Man, I’ve gone back and forth with my feelings about Wal-Mart long enough. Time to take a stand.
Fuck that place.
I’ve always abhorred their business policies, but it is undeniable that if you’re poor, it is very difficult NOT to shop there. Well, last night I decided to quit giving Wal-Mart my money, although I will continue to loan it to them for short periods.
Let me explain.
So last night I needed to return Item A and buy Item B. I walk in, and the line to return stuff is really, really long. So I ask the greeter lady if I can shop first and hope the line goes down. She says I can, if I leave my stuff in the car. I guess the idea of exchanging things is beyond her. So I get into the return line and wait for twenty goddamned minutes. Every single return in front of me turned into a game of “How Many Wal-Mart Associates Does It Take To Return An Item?” I swear each return started to resemble some sort of football huddle. The weird thing is, there were only two return registers open, but four people huddled for each transaction. Imagine watching this train wreck for twenty freaking minutes.
So I return Item A, go get Item B. There are three registers open, each with long lines. There is also one “self checkout” lane open, with an equally long line of people who I would never let near a self checkout line. There were about 10 closed registers and 5 closed self checkout registers. I almost walked out when the aisle light started flashing for the second time for managerial assistance.
So, it took me another ten minutes to pay for my stuff. A half-hour of my life, wasted in lines at Wal-Mart for fucking vacuum cleaner bags.
As I was waiting in line, I began to think about a movie I saw recently: “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices”. Among many other shady practices, it accuses Wal-Mart of intentionally understaffing stores. Duh. Why didn’t I figure this out before? I thought back to my previous Wal-Mart experiences. It’s ALWAYS like this. There are always extremely long lines and there are always closed registers. Fewer workers may equal lower labor costs which may equal lower prices, but it also equals endless frustration and waiting in line for me. Wal-Mart has never been a pleasant shopping experience. Yet Target always seems to be. Hmmm. Maybe it has something to do with scheduling enough people to minimize my misery. That’s got to be worth an extra fifty cents for vacuum bags.
I didn’t take my frustration out on the people who were working there. They were doing their best and were pretty obviously stressed out. I’ve decided instead to take my frustration out on Wal-Mart in a different way.
Whenever I need something, but I don’t really need it for more than a day, I will now buy it at Wal-Mart and then return it when I am done. If I need to go camping? Buy a tent; return it when I get back. Need to fix something? Buy the tools; return them when I am finished. No doubt, sooner or later Wal-Mart will catch on and ban me or something; I have no problem with that. But until then, fuck ‘em.