I drove to the Kmart the 90s forgot–on Manchester Avenue in St. Louis, if it matters–in search of a $70 Nook Simple Touch. I found it in the electronics section, in the very back of the store, in a glass case with a bunch of obsolete stuff. If you need VHS tapes, I know your place.
The price was wrong. That was a bad sign, but I waited until the clerk wasn’t busy.
“Can I help you with something?” she asked.
“I’m looking for the Nook Simple Touch,” I said.
“We don’t sell those,” she said, suddenly aggravated.
“It’s right here in the case,” I said, pointing.
“We’re out of them,” she said.
Hmm. That’s different from not selling them. I’d checked the inventory on Kmart’s web site beforehand, in hopes of avoiding just this situation. “Even though the web site says you have them in stock?” I asked hopefully.
“No. They’re all in layaway.”
“OK. Thanks,” I said. Thanks for what, I’m not sure, but what else do you say?
And with that, I left. Now I remembered why I never go to that place. It’s high on attitude and low on what I need.
There are about four other Kmart locations left in the St. Louis area, but I didn’t want to drive all over the place in search of one. I went back home and did what I wished I’d done in the first place–I just ordered one online. They honored the $69.99 price, only charged me $2.96 in sales tax, and gave me free shipping to my home address. I’ll have it in about a week.
I didn’t mind driving 20 minutes and paying the higher city sales tax to get it tonight and support a struggling store’s struggling location. I had planned on picking up a memory card for it too, if the price wasn’t too far out of line. But that wasn’t going to happen. I don’t know why the sales clerk didn’t suggest ordering it online, but it’s not my job to tell Kmart employees how to do theirs.
No importa. Three minutes after I placed the order, I had a message in my inbox with a UPS tracking number. As for the memory card, I’ll check and see what Amazon or Newegg can do for me on a 32 GB SDHC card, or pay a visit to Micro Center, which always has first-rate service.