The Wal-Mart Experience
November 3, 2009 by admncc
In the past, whenever we’ve discussed Wal-Mart on this blog, it’s always been entertaining. Some people like Wal-Mart and some people don’t. But one thing always remains true – the opinions on both sides are strong.
This post actually involves my wife. Yes, that’s right; Mrs. Constant Complainer! Keep in mind, she’s not a blogger and doesn’t read every single post I publish. But she has been supportive of my time and efforts on here. So imagine my excitement when she said, “This is the closest I will ever come to a Guest Post.”
I’m never exactly sure what to make of the Wal-Mart greeters. Some days they are extremely nice and other days I think they are overstepping their bounds. Mrs. Constant Complainer has had two incidents in as many weeks with these greeters. I’ll share her stories and then you’ll have to be the judge.
Like I was saying, this started two weeks ago. My wife visited Wal-Mart for two quick items. She grabbed them, paid for them, stuck one under each arm and headed out the door. At which time she was summoned by the greeter and told that she had to furnish her receipt before she would be allowed to leave the store. My wife explained that she was in a hurry, had already stuffed the receipt into her purse, clearly had both of her hands full, had visibly just left the cash register and asked if she could move on. She was told no and that she needed to produce the receipt. I should note that anyone having met my wife would agree with me when I say that she clearly would never meet any thief stereotypes. So what did she do? She set the items down, produced the receipt and was allowed to leave.
Last week, she went back to the same Wal-Mart (I told her this was the first problem). This time she purchased a number of items, including two pumpkins for Halloween. When she got to the checkout register, the cashier said, “Oh, are those the $2.98 pumpkins?” My wife said, “Yes, do you need me to take them out of the cart.” And the cashier said, “Nope, that’s OK, I got them.” As my wife was heading out the door, a greeter again stopped her. This time, he was an arrogant young man. He said, “I need to see your receipt.” She gave him the receipt. He then proceeded to go line by line through the receipt and verify every single item in every bag. He said, “You weren’t charged for the pumpkins.” My wife explained the above-conversation and that she should have been. He then said, “Well, you weren’t charged for the pumpkins.” So she said, “Well, what do you want me to do? Set them here on the floor?” Surprisingly, he said, “Yes.”
Part of me says that the Wal-Mart employee was doing his/her job. But the other part of me says come on! Why was she flagged twice? Why did they only stop her as five other customers walked out of the store at the exact same time with items exposed in their carts? Why was my wife stuck there being questioned about her purchase? Like I said; she looks like the last person who would be a problematic customer. The answer – she was chosen because they thought she would be the easiest to question and pick on. Interestingly enough, in the second scenario, the cashier actually hadn’t charged her for the pumpkins. So she was literally forced to set them on the floor in front of the greeter, before storming out.
I stopped by the exact same Wal-Mart last week to buy a DVD for my daughter. It was in stock; so I bought it and brought it home. The DVD didn’t work, so I went back the next day to return it. They said no problem, told me to go pick out another one and bring it back to the customer service desk. I did. However, when I got back to the front of the store, the employee proceeded to start opening the DVD. I said, “What are you doing? Why are you opening it and taking the plastic off of it?” She said, “We need to make sure there’s nothing else in there.” I said, “It’s a factory sealed DVD.” She glared at me and said, “And we need to make sure there’s nothing else in the case.” She then ruined the collector’s case by ripping the seal off and digging her fingernails into it. So let me get this straight – they open a factory sealed DVD to make sure that I haven’t found a way to already open it myself, put merchandise in there and then reseal it (all within the five minutes that I’ve been walking through the store).
Is it me or are Wal-Mart’s priorities mixed up? I don’t think we’ll be going back there anytime soon…
P.S. It’s Election Day 2009. Please make sure to get out and vote!