**Note** Holly, you may want to skip this one.
I don't hate all big box stores. I think that like everything else, they have their pros and cons. I do think the bad they bring to communities, such as driving all the mom and pop type places out of business is particularly bad, as it steals a sense of community. I particularly dislike Wal-Mart and have for years. This is not an editorial on the horror of Wal-Mart to general society, it's an editorial as to my personal horror of Wal-Mart.
I went grocery shopping tonight at our local Super Wal-Mart. I tend to avoid Wal-Mart unless I am counting pennies because I find it so tedious and frustrating to shop there. My fellow shoppers tend to be particularly annoying. We've all seen the internet joke about playing the Wal-Mart game, picking out all the various physical defects the shoppers have, such as homemade tattoos, stitches from dog bites, etc.
Tonight, I encountered a very large lady in one of the motorized wheelchair shopping carts. No problem with that, but the motorized wheelchair shopping cart was emitting a very high pitched buzz that was extremely LOUD. Like I could hear her in the next aisle. Does anyone do routine maintenance on these carts? Obviously not. Poor woman must have been hard of hearing as well as large to not have been driven batty by the noise.
I wanted to buy a whole roasting chicken for Sunday dinner. Wal-Mart had 4 or 5. None of them had price tags on them, there was no sign posted of the price per pound, but living dangerously, I decided to purchase one anyway. Because we were buying cigarettes, there was only ONE DAMN LINE IN THE ENTIRE STORE WE COULD WAIT IN! ONE! After waiting in said line for about 20 minutes, (gave Martin time to run back and grab the butter we forgot and gave me more time to play the Wal-Mart game and read the National Enquirer), the poor cashier tried to call the Meat Department to get the price. After three tries of paging with no response and the people in her line stacking up like cordwood, I told her to forget it. She was very nice, apologized and I told her, hey not your fault, which it wasn't. By the way, isn't it a law that prices have to be displayed and marked?
Okay, lets go into the waiting in line. If you want to buy cigarettes in Wal-Mart there is only one aisle that you can do so in. So even if you are popping in to buy milk, bread and cigarettes, you get to wait in line for half an hour with people who are buying groceries for a month. Plus, Wal-Mart cigarette prices are extremely high. $6.06 for Marlboro Lights. I can get them at the overpriced gas station for $5.15.
I needed to buy a new filter for my Brita water pitcher. Pretty simple, right? You go to the section that sells kitchen stuff like plates, coffee makers, the like and there is it, right? NOOOOOO! It's in freaking HARDWARE DEPARTMENT! The logic of this is just beyond me, I can't even editorialize on that because stocking something that goes in your refrigerator with the hammers is just stupid.
I would never buy or wear Wal-Mart clothes. Never.
We wandered through the toy department to see if we could find my daughter Mia a doll baby. Mia is a biracial child. I would not buy her a Wonder bread baby doll. That's just not right. Was there one single baby doll that was not a Wonder bread doll? Nope, not one. Wal-Mart really wants to promote diversity, don't they? I don't count Dora the Explorer, either.
Oh, while we were wandering the toy department, we saw a Wal-Mart employee, easily identified by his blue vest and cheap shoes, reading a Precious Moments book. This guy was like 19 or 20. Sam would have been frowning because he was STEALING WAL-MART'S TIME! TIME THEFT!
I feel bad for the employees. I know they get a shit deal. It's obvious they not only don't get paid well, they don't get good benefits, either. How is this obvious, oh wise one, you ask? Well, they all wear cheap bad shoes. By that I don't mean inexpensive, because I'm a clearance rack sort of girl myself, I mean downright cheap, as in plastic shoes. And an awfully high percentage of them also seem to have really poor dental care. Missing teeth, black teeth. The stink of defeat is on many of them.
For more insight into Wal-Mart, please read Barbara Ehrenreich's excellent book, "Nickel and Dimed." She spent some time undercover as a Wal-Mart employee. An example:
"They talk about having spirit," she says, referring to management, "but they don't give us any reason to have any spirit." In her view, Wal-Mart would rather just keep hiring new people rather than treating the ones it has decently. You can see for yourself there's a dozen new people coming in for orientation every day-which is true. Wal-Mart's appetite for human flesh is insatiable; we've even been urged to recruit any Kmart employee we may happen to know.
I really hate Wal-Mart.