Another reason to keep it local…. or…. Did I actually get anything done today?

We do have products and services here in Sumter South Carolina and I am trying my best to promote them but – in theory -- there are better products and services in Columbia.  Since I had to drive the 37 miles to go into work today (ON MY DAY OFF) I decided to go the rest of the way into Columbia where I can get my eye exam for half the price I can get it here in Sumter.  I also use this particular nameless eye exam place because they don’t try to force feed medicated drops, unnecessary dilation, scratch resistant lenses, etc.
So after fighting through construction detours, accidents, I’m-cutting-you-off-from-right-with-my-left-turn signal-on drivers and other annoying traffic issues I finally arrive at el-cheapo eye exams and they tell me “you can come back later tonight and we can fit you in”.  No, I can’t; I live 60+ miles away and I’m not sure what they are fitting in since there was only one person waiting for an exam. 
So as long as I am already there I go to another nearby optical place that advertises walk-ins.  Yes they can get me in right away.  They give me the stink eye when I tell them I don’t carry vision insurance.  I don’t know what difference it makes – I pay cash and they’re getting their money.  Then when I tell them I don’t do dilation they give me the purely EVIL eye and say you’ll have to discuss THAT with the doctor.  No I don’t have to discuss it with anyone – I am in charge of my body the last time I checked and I am the paying customer.  So this is going to be a major issue and I just leave.

I haven’t learned my lesson yet, so I figure as long as I am here I’ll do my grocery shopping here as well.  When I get to the check out the not-quite-fit (understatement) cashier says “you don’t really expect me to pick that up do you?”.  Well, no – I did pick it up and put it on the belt – maybe I should come behind the counter and roll it across the scanner for you.
So now that I have made the 120+ mile round trip what did I get accomplished today?  I learned that we have goods and services in Sumter.  I need to start using them (more).  Do they cost more?  Sometimes.  Do they have the quality goods I want – not always – but if I keep asking maybe they will start carrying those items.  Bottom line though, we may THINK everything is better on the other side of that river but it really isn’t all that. 

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