Although I do support locally owned businesses as much as possible, the big box stores also employ many local people - many of my friends, so there can be a place for both types of businesses to exist side by side in this world.
However, by virtue of their size, the big box stores are a challenge at times.
Recently I was grabbing a few items in our local and newly refurbished/transformed Super WalMart. There was an elderly gentleman, walking with the assistance of his cane, asking an "associate" where the men's wallets were. He moaned "You are the 4th person I've asked and all anyone can tell me is - look in the men's department". He was nearing his wits end. We've all been there.
Coincidentally, I had recently executed this same search mission, with success. I knew just where the men's wallets were! My cart and I marched right over to this man and led him to the wallets. We both were happy!
Another funny adventure in big box land I had a long time ago was in a newly opened Home Depot near the first home I bought in RI. I was looking for some lattice for under my porch.
The "associate" saw me searching and searching, approached me and asked if he could help. When I mentioned I was looking for lattice, this nice fellow (with quite an accent) brought me directly to the ladders, and proudly said "Laddiss". Hmmmmm, I shook my head, said "Lattice" very clearly, and even drew a picture of the criss cross lattice patterns.... He shook his head, pointed to the ladders and said "Laddiss". I gave up and left the store. Looking back, this is quite funny, but not so much at the time for a non-shopping fan like me!
The lessons here are that sometimes in shopping, like in other aspects of life, you are on your own. It pays to know how to depend on yourself - but it is also good to help others when you can. It is also good to have a sense of humor, even if it shows up after the fact!
I am a Putnamaniac that can find the humor in shopping - most times!