Thursday, January 13, 2011

Inefficiency Perfected

Americans are a model of efficiency. In America virtually everything is faster, better, and cheaper. Some days, like today, I really miss that.

Today, after a four month wait, the little buddy finally got in to see an ophthalmologist for an eye exam. Getting an appointment to see a specialist around here is kind of like winning the lottery, and I knew I would need extra time to find the office and get a "park" so I left extra early. I'm glad I did because when we eventually did find a "park" it was right next to a park! Score one more for my summer mission!

Mooramba Park Dee Why

Even though we had an appointment we had to wait nearly 2 hours to see the doctor. Two hours is a really long time when you are a four year old boy. Even if you are a four year old boy with a new ipod touch.

Afterwards, I felt so sorry for him with his miserable dilated eyes that I was easily conned into getting him McDonalds for dinner. McDonalds just happens to be located at the mall, right next to the grocery store. Now you might be thinking, "How convenient to have the grocery store right at the mall." But in reality it is anything but. Try pushing a 4WD style shopping cart filled with a week's worth of groceries through a mall out to a multi-level carpark and you will quickly realize how absolutely inconvenient it actually is!

So it was with some hesitation that I wandered into Woolies to grab a few essentials this afternoon. I reasoned that the Little Buddy would be happily contained in the trolley with his cheeseburger and I could zip in, grab my milk and bananas and get out unscathed.

Of course just as I'm about to unload my 5 items he announces to me that he has to pee. Urgently. He's "bursting".

Every American mother of small children knows exactly where to find the restroom in the grocery store. It's as familiar to her as the dairy aisle. But alas, Woolies offers no toilet facilities for customers. Instead, we are directed to the mall bathrooms.

So I abandon my trolley- half eaten Happy Meal and all- near the check stand and make a mad dash into the mall with the Little Buddy in my arms. Luckily, we made it, and quickly headed back to Woolies to reclaim our trolley. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to find the same customer standing at the check out. (That's right- it took less time for us to walk to the mall bathroom, pee, wash hands, and walk back than for the Woolies checker to move one customer through the line). Only now, I had lost my place in the queue and had to get behind a sweet little old lady with about 20 different types of produce in her trolley. Not surprisingly the checker didn't know what half of the items were. (Oh, these are regular peas, not snow peas? Let me cancel that transaction and try again). Eight minutes later, we finally made it through the torture that is shopping at Woolies!

And to top it all off, my $6.00, 3 litre bottle of milk leaked all over the "boot" of my car on the way home.

If my kids are eating dry cereal for breakfast next week, you'll know why.


Nana said...

Oh Jenny, I shouldn't laugh, but I could not help it! You have made all my fustrations of not being able to change things or do them quicker, disappear. I have it made.

Freckles said...

I never went to that park with you guys. That doesn't count in the summer mission.

Danielle said...

OMG I have this same experience weekly! I hate that there are no toilets inside stores, so frustrating! I have weasled my way into employee bathrooms in Woolie's and Coles before, sometimes when we are on the opposite side of the store and my 3 year old announces the same, that he is frustrating! And having to navigate the trolley (with all 4 wheels that move every direction) in those tiny carparks, down ramps, yea, so frustrating! Great post!

Ann-Marie said...

Where's a Nana or a Grammy when you need one?

Allison said...

Oh, Oh, Oh, speak it to em sister. You are so right! it was almost painful to read this for me as both the woolies and the Dr experiences are near and not so dear to my heart. 4 wheel drive carts are the worst, worst, worst it is almost impossible with groceries and kids in it to go anywhere and then there is the snide person with a basket who huffs at you as your cart careens out of control when they cut in front of you. Not being able to get your child into the care they need is enough to make me give crazy a bad name!

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