Frustration meets with creation

Or maybe vice versa. One thing’s for sure. The weekend was productive, even if not in the way I anticipated. I worked one putting more books out wide and they should be showing up in the usual non-Amazon over the next day or two. I’ll post an announcement when it happens. I also managed to get close to 6k words written yesterday on a new project. That’s both good and bad. Good because it was new words. Bad, because it wasn’t on one of the two or three projects needing final drafts completed. And then we come to the frustration which cut into a large part of the afternoon yesterday. In one word, that frustration was Walmart. In a slightly longer explanation, it was Walmart grocery delivery. . . or lack thereof.

Let’s start with the frustration.

Mom’s still not quite comfortable with me going to the grocery store. Yes, we’ve both had our shots. But she knows me and knows I will forego my mask whenever I have the chance and she worries. So she asked me to make a Walmart order for delivery. “One last time”. I agreed because I was writing and the words were flowing. So, before 0900, I placed the order and set delivery for between 1400-1500 hrs.

Everything went as expected. I got the confirmation the order was received. At approximately 1330 hrs, I received notice one item was out of stock. Of all things, it was a sweet onion. They wanted to substitute a yellow onion. Was that okay? I accepted the substitution and let Mom know. Then I went back to work, expecting the delivery in the next hour or so.

Except. . . .

At 1448 hrs, I received a canned email apologizing but the delivery would be delayed. This time, despite already sending notice that my order had been shopped and one substitution made, the canned email said they were delayed “shopping” for my order and would let me know when it was ready to be delivered. Riiight.

I waited.

And waited.

And around 1600 hrs, went looking for a way to contact Walmart to find out what was going on. If you authors think contacting KDP is difficult, try contacting Walmart about a grocery delivery. I finally worked my way through their site and started a chat with a CSR. They tried to help. But they aren’t at the store and all they can do is call to find out what’s going on. Great. Do that. I’m put on hold. When the CSR came back, it was to apologize but they couldn’t get anyone at the store to answer the phone.

WTF?!?

No one at a Walmart Super Center is answering the phone?!?

I had a choice of waiting or canceling the order.

I chose to wait to see if the order came.

An hour later, after reviewing the email sent by the CSR, I called the number attached to the email. Got another CSR–no surprise there–and explained once again what was going on. Once again I was put on hold while they tried to contact the store. Again, no answer at the store. This time, the CSR let slip that they have a known issue with finding drivers on weekends.

Hmm.

Known issue.

Using a service like Door Dash or Uber–not sure which, just that it is a similar type of service–and therefore they are at the mercy of the service and drivers accepting and actually showing up to get the groceries to deliver.

Again, I’m presented with the same options and once again I chose to wait.

At 1800 hrs, three hours after the close of the delivery window, I once again called. Once again, yet another CSR tried to contact the store. Once again, I was told the call wasn’t answered and all they could do was leave a message. By then, I’m angry, frustrated and more than a bit snarky. I asked if maybe it might not be smart to call the police to check on the store. After all, they’ve tried for three hours to contact it without a response. What if the store was being robbed? What if it was on fire? Who knows what sort of mayhem might have been taking place?

After all, no responsible business would let their phone go unanswered during business hours for three hours or more, would they?

Silence from the CSR.

So I got serious. I noted that I was told by a previous CSR that it was a known issue about having enough delivery drivers over the weekends and yet Walmart wasn’t adapting the delivery time slots offered its customers when they place an order. He hemmed and hawed a bit and finally admitted they did know about it. Oh, and they were taking it seriously. But what did I want him to do about it?

I considered telling him what I really wanted him to do about it but decided it wouldn’t be politic.

I asked how long we were expected to wait for our groceries, especially since I didn’t know if I was the only one who hadn’t received their order if there were others in the same boat? Would the order come that night? If not, would it just be canceled or what?

Well, he said after a moment’s thought, it is general policy to delivery the grocery orders left over from the previous day between 0800-0900 the next morning.

The problem with this? Well, problems. . .

First, how was I to trust them to have drivers Monday morning when they couldn’t get them on a Sunday afternoon?

Second, who was going to pay for the dinner I now had to order in because I hadn’t received my groceries–groceries that included items for the meal I planned to cook? (Trust me, Walmart wasn’t going to pay, although I was offered a unspecified “discount” coupon for a later order from the store.)

Third, who was going to pay for my time to go grocery shopping Monday ?

Fourth, if I chose to wait to see if the groceries would be delivered Monday, would I get notice ahead of time about delivery or just the standard notice that the driver was on his or her way? No answer. So the answer was I would have to wait around the house and hope. . . just as I did Sunday.

I canceled the delivery.

But between the time spent trying to figure out what was going on and the frustration, I lost hours of potential writing time. Color me not happy. Fortunately, however, the muse wasn’t that easily dissuaded and she kept me busy during the evening. Hence the close to 6k words by the time I shut down for the night.

So what is the new project?

It’s one originally scheduled not to be looked at beyond drafting up a cover which is now obsolete since I used the main image elsewhere. . . Panther Dawn. Set in the same universe as the Nocturnal Origins/Nocturnal Awakening books, it takes place about 10 years or so after Jaguar Rising. Mac, Jackson, and all the others are there but this series focuses on the younger generation. Or at least they play main roles. Which is why I wasn’t ready to start writing it. There are still stories between Jaguar Rising and Panther Dawn that I need to flesh out. But my muse is fickle, as you guys know.

I do so love it–not–when Myrtle the Evil Muse decides to throw a wrench in my carefully crafted schedule.

So that was my weekend. How about you? Hope everyone had a fun and safe time.  Now I’m off to find more coffee before going out to brave the grocery store before sitting down to serious work.

Until later!

Featured Image by Prettysleepy from Pixabay

5 Comments

  1. Hey, Amanda. I was poking around this weekend, and wondered whatever happened to the newsletter. Went poking around my email, and found in the junk email folder not one, but two confirmation messages. Clicked those, and hopefully I am actually on the email list now. But… can I get the newsletter and story that I have missed?

  2. I had the exact same problem with Amazon prime, but in the middle of the week. I did cancel the order after waiting three hours. I was not pleased. The shortage of delivery drivers may have to do with the extended benefits.

    1. Yeah. Add to that the fact these stores are using driver services like Uber instead of hiring drivers–which they did at the beginning of the pandemic–and you have orders being accepted and put together at the store but no drivers to deliver them.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.