How to NOT develop Film

Some times, every day experiences become unexpected escapades. This unwanted series of events all started with a disposable camera.

I’ve had this camera as you can image for quite a few YEARS. In fact it was from before I got married. But it had a few pictures left on it, so over the years curious toddlers have found it, accidentally snapped a picture of probably their foot or my nose, learned how to wind it and then it was put out of reach again. However with all the moves we’ve had, it’s been placed in different places over the years and eventually all the pics got used up.

Baby Mr. L.

Eventually it was time to get it developed since I had forgotten what was originally on it anyways. Hidden treasures hopefully. Well here is where I first went wrong, I noticed my local Walmart had a box to drop off film and disposable cameras in.

I asked the photo department associate if they still took that type of camera and they gave me a photo envelope to seal it into. I filled out the envelope, and stuck the parcel into the wood box. And then a month went by…

I decided that since it had been about 4 weeks, that maybe it had been developed and sent back to the store. Maybe it had been filed away and they forgot to call me. So I found an associate to go check their system for me. No return. Check the ledger, no send out?? We check the wood box and lo and behold it was still there collecting dust. I should have said nope! And took it home with me. I should have taken it elsewhere.

But I like to give grace and second chances… I shouldn’t have this time, but I did.

Supposedly they sent it off to be developed. A week later I checked, nothing. Every week for 2 months I checked, nothing. I let February go by and decided to call the store instead of wander around looking for help on my next grocery visit.

Old School Camera.

I get this teenager on the phone after getting passed customer service. He can’t find anything. I explain the situation and he tells me that the developer probably lost it. He then has his manager call me back the next day. The lady was nice enough, called me the next day and gave me the photo developer’s number.

I called their customer service and they told me that Fed Ex mailed it back in December. I called Walmart again and they told me to call Fed Ex, so I did and they told me it was signed for and received back in December.

Then I called Walmart back and I told them it had been signed for by an A. Adams. They told me they didn’t know anyone named Adam. A. Adams sir, Adams is a last name. So they told me it must have been sent to another Walmart and to call Fed Ex back.

By the way, every time you call one of these places you have to wait, get customer service, sometimes no one picks up in the photo department… Bla bla bla. Well Fed Ex also hung up on me telling me they couldn’t help.

At this point I was pretty invested so I called Fed Ex back again and finally found a lady who would listen to me. She told me again that it had been received. I asked if she could give me the location and she said that was private… Walmarts aren’t “private”. I asked if she could at least tell me if it had been received in my state. She verified it had NOT been. I asked if she could tell me which state it had been sent to. This half willing lady told me it had been sent across the country to South Carolina!!!

Thankfully Only 2 Walmarts Here.

My photos had been mis-addressed to another region of the United States. Ok. She agreed to telling me it was in Greenwood, South Carolina. But wouldn’t tell me which Walmart and I’ll let you know that there is definitely more then one. I had to look them up and call them.

Let me just tell you that their customer service in Greenwood is atrocious. The girl in the photo center of one of them hung up on me because she didn’t sell disposable cameras… Which was not what I had asked. When I called her back she got angry at me and told me that her photo center doesn’t even develop or receive photos… So what do they do then? She hung up again.

Another location in South Carolina’s customer service got mad at me for calling because she was “busy with customers”, what was I exactly? She even demanded to know why I stayed on hold because she didn’t “have time for me”. Her manager wasn’t any better. She acted like I was stupid for calling South Carolina when I didn’t even live there. She went on to try to condescendingly tell me that I was calling Greenwood, South Carolina- Like I didn’t know that already? She even stooped to speaking slow like I was missing her words and she told me I needed to fix my accent because no one can understand me.

For anyone curious I don’t have any strong accent- as cool as that would be. Sometimes I sound a little like I’m from Utah when I talk fast, and I’ve had people guess I’m from Canada, but at the end of the day, no, I don’t. I just don’t carry a deep, backwoods, southern accent either. But this unprofessional actually hung up on me too. Maybe that’s a part of their training in that area… Just hang up if you don’t want to try.

I tried the other Walmart in the area, and that photo center guy didn’t know how to use his phone either, he kept dropping the line and had no idea who Adam was either. (A. Adams people, who knows maybe who ever signed for my photos was Adam Adams, but I doubt it). This kid was nice enough, not super clever though. He couldn’t figure out why the first 3 numbers of my phone number weren’t Greenwood numbers. Even after I told him that it was a Utah number- he still couldn’t fathom that the first 3 digits weren’t 864. He was very troubled by it actually. I have no intentions on hearing back from that location.

I then called the developer’s customer service again to see if they could send another copy of my film. Turns out they could have within the first 30 days. But after that they get dropped from their system. Turns out Walmart could have also printed them from their system within that 30 day window, but they drop them after 45 days.

Where did my pictures go!? Why was I never called when A. Adams received them!?

My local Neighborhood Walmart photo department was then called again. Some other teenager who was super friendly picked up and wanted to hear my whole story. Then he told me he couldn’t help because he had only started 3 days ago but was happy to wander around the store looking for another manager until his came back from break in an hour… Ok kid, go wander your store and do nothing for the next hour in the name of courageous customer service, much appreciated. I congratulated him on his new job and he excitedly thanked me.

After an hour I called my local store again, waited and waited while customer service called the photo area… The manager picked up, said she would need that kid to make all the same phone calls I already did to see if they could find my pics. Umm yeah… If you were going to do that… Why did you make me do it first? So that kid apparently called all the same places I did.

The kid called me back and told me everything I had already told him. I asked for compensation- $50 gift card, because I’m sure whatever I wanted ($25 gift card) would be negotiated down. He handed the phone to his manager who then also repeated EVERYTHING to me that I had already told them.

Hours of my day wasted.

I asked her how she would compensate me. She said, “For what?”. I said for losing my property, and for her department not following their protocol. If Walmart had followed protocol, I would have had my photos months ago. Instead they are gone- forever. Again she said, “Yeah, but for what?”… I then asked if I needed to talk to the store manager about how the photo department had not even sent off my photos correctly in the first place and how her department should have noticed something went wrong months ago. So she gave me a $20 gift card and said it would be waiting for me at customer service.

Not Much Compensation.

Crazy enough my kid’s school was having a book fair, but for some reason it was only open before school with parents or late at night- and I didn’t want to deal with that even though I love books and I like book fairs.

An Odd Series, But reading is reading Right?

So after school I took my kids to Walmart, picked up the gift card and I told the kids they could each pick out one book, any book they wanted- instead of making me get up early for doughnuts and book fairs at their school next week. They happily agreed.

My Boys Love these Odd Books.

I didn’t get my photos back. But my kids each got a book, and I got out of parking and walking my kids through the rain to their school to get smashed into a crowded book fair and given a stale doughnut.

I’m telling myself that Jesus didn’t want me to have those photos because the whole thing just feels so bizarre. I’m guessing Jesus was like, those photos were just going to embarrass you- you know, old boyfriends, dumb college roommates doing stupid stuff, and then blurry stuff you couldn’t make head or tail of anyways. So here, take this gift card instead, save yourself the embarrassment of explaining more of your past to your husband, and let your boys get started into a new early reader chapter book series on me. And let your daughter pick out any book too, even if it makes loud, annoying sounds, she’ll love it.

Root beer Floats are Better then Loud Books.

You win some, you lose some. I don’t even know what was on that camera… But I’m glad my kids were excited about books.



  1. Wow. You are persistent. I found an old camera, one of the first digital cameras, that had been in a drawer for years and was excited for a minute. There was one picture worth looking at, but it wasn’t anything unusual. Still, I probably would have been curious as you and gone to more trouble if I had to.
    The worst film fiasco we’ve had was when my first child was born. My best friend snapped a picture of my husband coming out of the delivery room, still wearing a surgical gown and cap, mask dangling from one ear, holding his brand-new daughter with a little smile on his face … Kmart lost the film.
    I was pretty mad, but then I realized some people have lost their babies, and pictures are all they have. I have NO complaints.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really can be super stubborn, especially if I believe there is an injustice taking place 😅
      Oh I can’t believe Kmart lost such an important photo! I would have been so upset! But you did put that photo into a good perspective. I feel the same way when I hear a child screaming, I think to myself that at least the child is breathing. After performing mouth to mouth resuscitation on my baby girl, I’m more then happy to hear screaming little ones- it means they have strong lungs and it makes me smile.


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