Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wal-Mart: A Rant

Posted by HopeRadio.

I went to Walmart tonight.

I hate Walmart.

I hate the lights.

I hate the oblviousness you see in the eyes of people as they shop.

I assume they are thinking the same thing.

I assume, given they are not looking out of watchful eyes-- only glazed over ones, they have succumbed to hating Walmart a long time ago and have given up so...why fight it?

I try to go in to this store at a good clip. As if by bringing up a full head of steam, my chances of not coming out of there a pod will be greatly increased.

I steel myself in the parking lot, grab a cart and bless myself. Well sometimes I bless myself. Other times I scan the parking lot for the cars of people I least want to run into...this step varies and is dependent on my level of sleep deprivation, prolactin and other hormonal fluctuations brought on from hitting 40 soon. No matter the digression, I contend Walmart is the most likely place to run into people you least want to run into. It's some sort of universal truth.

Another universal truth about Walmart is that at Walmart I always see the same things.

Women screaming at their children with bulging eyes. Demanding that they "get over here right now!" Said children walking over and from their expression simultaneously wondering why they are being called stupid for not getting over THERE fast enough. Who walks up to a bulging eyed, madwoman for the imminent smack, willingly? That would, but not nearly as stupid as the same maniac showing the love in front of 15 or 20 people assuming the whole time their invisible button is switched to ON.

I pass children in baby carriers screaming for their mothers, who with one hand mindlessly pat their foot, telling them "oh, you're alright" while with the other debate between the three pak of Irish Spring
or the six.

I wait behind people from church who stop in the middle of the aisle to talk about their Dillon or Courtney and why they are never going to leave the house or get out of jail or take care of their children as well as they do.

I pass racks of girls children's clothes which suggest that the age for general prostitiution has been lowered--a decision reached by some mysterious, unposted consensus and collectively forwarded to Walmart buyers.

When in Walmart I don't look up.


I am absolutely certain should I ever actually risk it, I will see the no hack dementors they have hired at a bargain outta Azkhaban to swoop around and suck the life out of people when they least expect it. I would bet the only problem HR had was getting them to wear the blue vests.

You can sell ANYTHING to the soulless.

Inevitably, no matter what pace I start the shop, it is a very short time in before the very air in that place starts soaking into my skin, wieghing me down.

Then there is checkout.

Just in case the dementors don't get you, Wallyworld architects leave the checkout lane all buffed up super duper and ready to recieve anyone on the brink of stuffing a feeling with candy or in sore need of escape from whatever bit reality they have managed to hang onto,"Holy crap is Brittney looking fat or what???Damn... I can't believe she actually lost her kids!!" As a matter of fact not only can it be a nice escape for some, but that kinda shit does much for self esteem.

I call checkout time my lala time only I don't stick my fingers in my ears. I also don't look at the flat screen tvs which discuss the merits of Slim Fast or at the big boxes of honey buns conveniently flat packaged so they can be slammed under a seat or bed to be binge eaten at a later time.

I concentrate instead on the people around me.

I make up stories in my head about who they are, I organize my crap on the belt and ready a check-- anything to convey how ready I am to get the hell outta there. I do whatever I have to do to avoid looking up and to keep from soaking up too much Wallyworld lest the dementors take a liking to me.


Anonymous said...

Perhaps you should shop elsewhere. Most people shop at WalMart because they can't afford to shop at other stores.

I shop at WalMart because I have to, and I am none of the things you describe above.

Anonymous said...

I think it's sad how you lump all Walmarts and all Walmart shoppers into one category. My Walmart is nothing like that; I actually enjoy going there. I shop there because I can get more groceries for my family for the price and am able to get more errands done in one stop (important when you've got several little ones in tow). You sound very bitter and I have to wonder why you even go there when you hate it so much. And for the record, I do NOT consider myself "soulless". I do not ignore my children or hit them (in private or in public). And I've never seen anyone else in Walmart do that either. I think you need to broaden your mind.

flutter said...

Quite the broad brush you've painted everyone in every WalMart with.

I hate that store because it's disorganized and poor quality. I can't attest to every soul who shops there

Unknown said...

I hate Walmart too, and I understand what you mean, I think, but I also understand what the first few commenters have said. If you give people a chance to act human, maybe reach out to one of the cashiers, in my experience there's a good chance they will welcome it.

Of course they might not, but does that mean that all of your worst fears have been confirmed? or that you should stop trying to connect with people?

Anonymous said...

Instead why not focus what is truly harmful to society? WALMART is not good for America. Watch the "High cost of low prices"

Anonymous said...

I choose not to shop there because their business practices are awful, and their prominent use of child labour. No one is forcing you to go!

Anonymous said...

Alright, I have to say, I HATE Walmart too. And I never use to shop there, but now that we have relocated to a remote area it is literally the only variety store in our area. And i HATE it. Hate it. I don't judge anybody in there because I know they are forced to shop there as well. I think you can find the people you described in any store anywhere, because they are everywhere.

Oh, and amen to, "I pass racks of girls children's clothes which suggest that the age for general prostitiution has been lowered--a decision reached by some mysterious, unposted consensus and collectively forwarded to Walmart buyers". I so very much agree with you on that!

Anonymous said...

What a creative take on Walmart. Frankly, I've never been in one and I never plan to go into one. Fortunately, I live in a city and don't have to depend on Walmart for anything.

Anonymous said...

If you hate it that much, don't shop there.

But to pass such scathing judgment on those who do — well, I find it to be pointlessly generalizing and unkind.

Many of the shoppers you describe have little money and few options.

A debate over three-packs vs. six-packs of soap may seem silly to you, but who's to say those women weren't calculating how much they could afford to spend on that particular shopping trip?

Or maybe they were just trying to figure out which was the better deal.

Criticize the store all you like — hell, I'm not a Walmart fan either — but to stereotype and attack the shoppers is arrogant and just plain mean.

Anonymous said...

I love this, mostley because it is so true. I like target better, there are less screaming children.

Anonymous said...

So go to Target. I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart myself, but sometimes my paycheck doesn't even allow for a forray to Target, so shop at Wal-Mart I must.

That doesn't mean I'm soulless.

What if the woman yelling at her kid to get over there right NOW has had her child wander off and scare the daylights out of her with worry and she's only trying to keep the child by her side?

Maybe Dillon or Courtney have agoraphobia and CAN'T leave their house, despite years of therapy? Maybe those standing in your way don't realize they're in your way and a polite "excuse me" would get their attention.

Seeing snippets of peoples' behavior, however unsavory, doesn't necessarily mean they're rotten people to the core. When I'm in Wal-Mart, much as I don't like the overbright lights, the crowded aisles, or the business practices I remember from having worked there in college, I still try to be courteous to those around me, sidestepping out of the way if I see my standing there calculating my budget vs. the product in my hand is impeding someone from seeing something they need on the shelves.

Wal-Mart shoppers aren't the problem. And if you feel that strongly, go there in off hours when it's less crowded or go somewhere else. Your poor opinion of shopping there is bound to catch the dementors' attentions before my attitude of resigned acceptance will, considering they feed on despair.

b*babbler said...

Sigh. This post made me sort of sad. I don't like Wal-mart - I don't like what the company represents or how it conducts its business.

But... you don't have my sympathy on this one.

The generalizations you apply to the people that shop at Wal-mart are more than a little insulting. I've shopped at Wal-mart. As a (very poor) teenager, it made the difference between me having food and going without. Between being adequately dressed for our cold winters, and not being.

As for the parents? That behaviour exists everywhere. Been to a high-end children's toy store lately and observed the parents buying off their kids? Is that better? Bad parenting exists everywhere, not just in Wal-mart.

You feel that the Wal-mart shoppers are soulless (although this seems to conveniently exclude you). Yet, you are being judgmental.

Which is worse?

Heather said...

I love wal-mart. if you hate it so much, go some where else. wal-mart has great prices on a lot of things my family needs, and last time i check, i still had a soul.

Jaelithe said...

Once, when I was in a Walmart, I walked around the whole store for twenty minutes looking for someone to help me find something, and every time an associate saw me coming he/he started walking rapidly away. I finally found the store manager, and when I started to ask him for help, he interrupted me, pointing to his name tag, and said "Do you see this? It says I'm the store manager. That means I can't help you."

Since that incident, I do not shop there. If my bank account is low, I resist temptation and just buy less stuff. If I am out of bread and low on cash, I would rather bake my bread from scratch than buy it at Walmart. I will only go there as a last resort.

Of course, I am well aware that some people do not have much of a choice about where to shop, partly because Walmart has been so ruthless about driving out both small town shops and other big box low-priced stores. So I don't blame anyone else for shopping there.

Anonymous said...

What's up with Walmart? Within a 30 mile radious of where I live there are 6 Walmart SuperCenters. Are they trying to take over the world?? I am poor and I have lots of children. I hate shopping at Walmart. Aside from Sam's(4 stores) and the forementioned Target (3stores) every grocery store around here within the last 10 years has closed. Walmart is what we have been left with. Unless I want to make a 200 mile round trip and go somewhere else. I hate Walmart because of the cheap useless crap they are pawning off as supposed good stuff. As for the young girls prostitute clothing, I think Walmart isn't the only one guilty here. It really is a shame what is being marketed for my 8yr olds. And no you wouldn't be referring to me yelling at my kids bugged eyed for whatever the ailing reason. I am more responsible than that. And I hate Walmart zombies. I know what you are referring to. And forget about 2am shopping. Apparently everyone else has cued into this advice and I find as equally a large crowd at that time as I do at 2 in the afternoon. But what is worse at that time is all the stock flats strewn everywhere blocking access. It becomes a huge maze. As for cheap prices! HA!! $4.09 for a gallon of milk, isn't cheap! $3.97 for a carton of generic oatmeal, isn't cheap! And have you seen the outrageous prices on potatoes. I'm finding I will do with less. I will shop second hand because it lasts longer than the stuff Walmart sells. I'll grow my own. No thank you Walmart. Go away!

Sad too. This used to be a good store. Then cooperate greed took over.

@Leslie said...

MallWart is the suck. I prefer to sell my soul to Tarjhay instead, or shop online for bargains. :) Nice post.

Anonymous said...

If I go to Walmart once a year, that's a lot. I am at Target twice a week.

Target rocks!!

Cristina said...

I just read through the comments and this struck me:

"Aside from Sam's(4 stores) and the forementioned Target (3stores) every grocery store around here within the last 10 years has closed. Walmart is what we have been left with."

If you can afford not to shop at Wal-Mart and there are other choices, I would encourage you to shop elsewhere. Wal-Mart is everything that is wrong with this country - and I'm not talking about the people who work there or shop there. I'm talking about how it is taking over small businesses all over the country and leaving many consumers with no choices but to buy their made-in-China crap. I just actually posted about Wal-Mart and their latest debacle here:

Cristina said...

Oh, and just to clarify, my comment is aimed towards the post author not the comment author.

Anonymous said...

These people prtest just a bit too much I think. Must have struck a nerve.

This accurately depicts every Wal Mart I've ever had the misfortune to patronize.

The only surprise to me is that any of the soulless protestors could figure out how to turn on a computer.