Monday, November 29, 2004

Reasons I Hate Walmart

I shop at Walmart as infrequently as possible. Occasionally, I go just to see if it gets any better. Everytime, I am reminded why I hate Walmart.

1. Walmartians - these are the poor, hungry, huddled masses that can only afford to shop at Walmart. They are quite often unpleasant to look at or converse with. Whether it is prejudicial or not, you start to feel a little uppity and can't believe you shop at the same stores as "those" people.

2. Stupid people - they all seem to congregate at Walmart. They block the aisles, write checks out completely at the counter, don't have enough money to pay, argue prices with the check out clerks, have a full cart in the express aisle, etc. You see a little of this at every store, but Walmart has so many people, you are almost guaranteed to experience this at Walmart.

3. Crappy products - Walmart is so hell-bent on keeping low prices, quality suffers. I'm not sure many shoppers can look at a Dirt Devil for $250 and some off brand thing that looks the same but only costs $125 and not pick the cheap one...which will break quickly and not work very well. It is an evil trap that Walmart sets - offer name brands to draw in customers, then put forth so much cheap junk that you can't resist.

4. Sam's Choice - as a kid, I hated generics. They never tasted as good. Walmart is filled with generics and I feel bad for all the little kids that suffer through tasteless colas, only to discover Coke and Pepsi as an adult.

5. Greeters - why do I feel an overwhelming urge to maim the Walmart greeters?

6. Cheerleaders - there is something very disturbing about knowing the store employees are forced to do a Walmart cheer. Very 1984ish.

7. Lack of service - did you ever ask a Walmart clerk to help you find something? They usually say that it isn't thier department. When they do try to help, they are usually wrong.

8. Business practices - my hometown is now poorer due to Walmart. We had a wonderful little shopping district that had lots of specialty stores. When I was a kid, Jerry, the owner of the local jeans store, would special order my jeans in August, knowing I'd be there to buy them in September and would have them waiting in a bag with a price tag. I wore a strange size - 28 x 36. Jerry is out of business now and is a departmental manager at Walmart. After Walmart came to town, he couldn't compete. The local "brand-buster" merchants (someone that sells only one thing, like jeans, or toys) are all convinced that they were targeted one by one. Now, the downtown is mostly empty or cheesy. All those merchants that made a decent living are now scraping by with Walmart pay. None of them ever made enough money to just retire.

9. Walmart is nasty - the place is dirty. It smells bad. The aisles are narrow. The merchandise is just jumbled on the shelves. The shopping-carts are always broken. There are too many unruly children with inattentive parents. The place is just nasty.

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