The topic I really want to blog about is too sensitive to discuss here, so let me just express my curiosity about Christmas lights. What is it that possesses people to want to drive aimlessly through neighborhoods and look at other people's light displays? I could understand it if incandescent bulbs had been invented in, say, September of this year; but don't we all know what electric lights look like now? Admittedly, there are a few people who do go all-out enough to make their house an actual attraction, but gas prices are too high to just troll through display after display of the same inflatable Santas and snowmen.
I know I'm a missionary, and flexibility and patience are supposed to be my key character qualities. But Walmart really pushed me to the limit this afternoon. I went in for an oil change, figuring that an icy day like today would cut down on the crowd. I walked into Walmart and, as commonly occurs, nobody was at the desk. After waiting about five minutes, a surly associate sauntered back and asked what I wanted. I told him I needed an oil change, and he told me it might take an hour and a half. I agreed to that. I had decided to try synthetic oil this time. I thought I was going to get by for about $35, but it turns out that was a synthetic blend. For pure synthetic, you have to pay about $50; but I decided I was willing to try it.
I had a little shopping to do, so I went and finished it. Then, I sat and watched the entire movie of the Transformers. Grrr, what a waste of celluloid! After 2 1/2 hours, my car still hadn't been touched. I went and played video games; I came back and watched a 45-minute TV show on our iPod. Still, nothing. Finally, the one guy who was working in the garage pulled my car in. He manfully struggled with the oil filter for quite a while, then gave up and went in to get the desk guy. At last, they freed it, and a mere 4 hours after I arrived, my car was ready. A little earlier in the process I had asked one of the Walmart associates if she had called my name and I had missed it. She said, "No, you're next."
Me: Why did the guy tell me it was going to be 1 1/2 hours, when it's been almost double that and you haven't started yet? Her: The guys had lunch breaks. Me: Did he not know that they were going to take lunch breaks? Her: That's why we have these signs (pointing to signs that say they will give their best estimate but cannot guarantee service time) Me: Yes, I understand that you can only give an estimate, but the estimate he gave me doesn't seem very accurate. Her: One of the guys had to leave. Me: (fuming)
Apparently, my car took an extra half-quart of oil too, so they charged me another $6. So...final total...about $60, 4 hours. I'm never going back to Walmart for an oil change again.