Friday, May 07, 2010

K-mart Sucks

I've been a frequent visitor to the K-mart in Astor Place over the past week. I just moved into my new place, so I've been shopping there for starters and essentials, such as blinds and paper towels. I'd estimate I've been to K-mart about six times since last Thursday. It's not because I'm inefficient -- I have lists. It's because I purchased some large items, which required me to make multiple trips to lug everything home.

Overall, it's been a fine experience. I'd prefer to go to a Target, but that's probably just because I'm a snob. K-mart is somewhat ghetto (they have layaway!), but it's the only game in town. The closest Target is at the Atlantic Avenue stop in Brooklyn, and I've experienced just way too much baby-mama drama there.

In any case, each time I pay, the cashier asks if I want to donate $1 to a charity. Sure -- I just spent a shitload of money, but that doesn't mean I have an extra $1 for this charity. I'm not Ebenezer Scrooge. I give money at church (though I don't go that often), I donate to people's charity 5Ks and bike rides (don't start hitting me up for money -- I'm not rich), and I've even raised money for charities myself (it's not too late to donate to Minds Matter!).

For the past week, they've been requesting donations for a charity that helps premature babies. Now, I think this is a very worthy and noble cause, and I commend this charity for what they're doing. However, I don't want K-mart guilt-tripping me into giving an extra $1 after I just spent $90 on a 10-piece set of T-fal pots and pans I'll barely ever use. (Side note: does anyone know the difference between T-fal and Tefal?)

I have no problem with K-mart trying to help mankind. I think it's great that they're trying to do this, but they shouldn't do it so publicly and use social pressure to try to guilt me into donating. They ask me at the cash register, while there's five people in line behind me. After I've just gone through the pain of seeing my bill pile up, they put salt on my wound by asking me to throw in an extra $1 for charity, as the people in line are watching and seemingly judging me.

K-mart cashier: Sir, do you want to donate $1 to help premature babies?
Me: No thanks.

If you were standing behind me in line, wouldn't you think I sound like a selfish jackass? This happened at least six times this past week. I felt extremely awkward every time.