Monday, July 1, 2013

Creative time lost at Walmart

Yesterday, me and my wife went to Wal-Mart. For a fan. Which we decided not to get...but that is another post for another time.

There was four registers open, and they were at least four customers deep. We got into a line with four people before us. And we waited in line. And waited. And waited.

We were in line for over a half hour.

At certain point, the happy little cynic that is me, looked at my wife and asked, "How much money are we saving here? Because I think that I could have made more money in the amount of time that we have spent in line."

Now, in all fairness to Wal-Mart, that last part might not be true. I am a writer and an artist--self-employed. And there is no guarantee about how much money I would make in a half hour. My wife was also working on her business yesterday--the same problem applies.

But my time is worth anywhere from zero plus to thirty-three dollars plus an hour.

(Ok, real quickly I state my potential hourly rate in a range because a lot depends upon what I am working on. There are some articles that I have written on the page-view sites that have earned me only pennies. And there are the ebooks that have only earned me a couple of dollars. There is my mid-range earners...about ten dollars a hour. And then there are the stories that beat that marker, like the story that took me ten hours to cobble together that has earned me over three hundred and thirty dollars and counting. Yes, it is the joys of ebook royalties.)

If nothing else, I could have been home napping with the cat. Sure, it would have earned no income, but it still beats standing in line at Wal-Mart.

I suspect that I was in a "penny smart, pound stupid" situation; and as you will see tomorrow, it was just the tip of the iceberg.


  1. Ugh I hate standing in line at Wal-Mart, let alone standing in line anywhere, where I could have used my time to do something productive so I certainly understand where you are coming from on this.

  2. Did the cashier die? What on earth was the reason you had to stand in line for so long with only four people ahead of you? You get a gold star for sticking it out so long. I would have just thrown my junk down and left.

    But I am terribly impatient. ;p

  3. I hate having my time wasted. Only yesterday I was at the airport and waiting to use the self serve till, behind me was a long queue and they just kept failing, which was taking the cashier away from his till. Utter chaos and frustration. I left my goods and went to look for an alternative option. Maybe if I had waited I would have been served, but I had to keep moving and find another solution, which didn't feel like time wasting.

  4. Morgan, cleaning a months worth of litter box deposits beats standing in line at Wal-mart! :)

  5. I have so been there! That price match guarantee seems to take a LOT of time. I hate lines anywhere! I pretty much paid an airline to let me work for them (or at least my wages seemed that way!) just so I could use the employee line when I traveled!

  6. I was going to comment, but your thing right below about trolls gave me quite a giggle!

  7. I'm right there with the other readers on waiting in line, I can not stand long lines, I will spend more money for convenience.


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