Bob Barcus > 2014 > February > Wal-Mart Pissed Me Off for the Last Time

Wal-Mart Pissed Me Off for the Last Time

Posted by Bob Barcus on February 3rd, 2014

After my most recent experience at Wal-Mart, I’ve decided it’s in my best interest to cut all future ties with the retailer in an effort to preserve my sanity. I hadn’t been in there since I picked up my blood pressure medication a month ago. I really don’t want to check my blood pressure this evening because I have a sneaking suspicion that it is more than slightly elevated.

This evening, I decided to make a quick trip to Plymouth, deposit a check in the ATM and grab some dog food while I was in town. My “Sugar Bear” has developed a taste for Kibbles n’ Bits Bistro Meals and I feel obligated to keep her in good supply. Before leaving, my sister-in-law asked me to pick up a single yellow onion for her since she wanted to make chili for tomorrow. I also decided along the road that I should probably pick up some apples and bananas for myself. With my short mental shopping list complete before I made it the city limits, I felt confident that I could be home in short order. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of choosing Wal-Mart as my shopping destination.

After accidently setting off the alarm on my truck, I strolled confidently into Wal-Mart. I went and picked up my dog food and wheeled my cart back around towards the produce department. I found the yellow onion without issue and I was happy with the 78¢ per pound price tag. Then I looked through the bananas and picked out a decent bunch, although I wasn’t really happy since they were so green. Then it was time to pick up the apples.

Anyone who knows me knows that I like apples. My favorite variety (besides the ones I pick off of my own trees) is the Gala apple, although I will eat a multitude of others depending upon the availability. The first thing I noticed in the apple section was that there were very few apples. I picked through several varieties, but I couldn’t a decent apple in the store. Almost every one of them was either cut, bruised or had an off color. I made a comment to a woman standing next to me (who was equally as disgusted) that I wasn’t about to buy any of these apples and I suggested that she do the same.

Ready to leave, I wheeled my cart around and headed for the checkout lanes. What I saw ahead of me was utter chaos. There were no express lanes open, people were crammed into a handful of checkout lanes and the self-checkout lanes were partially closed since they were only accepting credit cards (no debit cards or cash). There wasn’t a manager or a figure of authority in sight. After quickly accessing the situation, I decided that I wasn’t about to stand in line for 15 minutes for three items.

I wheeled back to the electronics department to ask the associate there to page a manager or something. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that far into the conversation. The cashier in electronics turned around, began talking to a woman (who I assume was an off-duty employee) and he walked away from the register before I could say anything. The kid ahead of me in line seemed equally confused. Undeterred, I decided to take it upon myself to track down a manager.

Again, I couldn’t seem to find a manager anywhere in the store. Granted, I don’t think I was able to cover the entire store in a timely manner, but I still made an effort to look. My next stop was the sporting goods department. The chap manning this station was far less than busy. Our conversation went like this:

“Excuse me, but who is the manager in charge this evening?” I queried.

The associated replied, “Is there something I can help you with?”

I then pointed at the items in my cart and stated, “I don’t think so, you don’t have a scale back here so you won’t be able to weigh my stuff. But I would like to speak with a manager. The situation up front is just crazy.”

He then said, “Yeah, there’s really nothing we can do that about.”

Again, I made my request, “So who is the manager in charge? Because I would really like to speak with them.”

The associate then replied, “Yeah, there’s really nothing we can do about that this time of the year anyways, so there’s really nothing you can say.”

I continued, “Can’t you at least get ahold of the manager and let them know that there’s a problem up front?”

“No, there’s really nothing I can do,” he replied.

I was a little perplexed at his unwillingness to give me the manager’s name. Obviously, I wasn’t getting anywhere with this dimwit, so I decided to wheel back up to the front. The situation had gotten even worse since I had left. I parked myself at the back of the line, which extended into the women’s department. After a couple of minutes of no movement, I decided that it was time to leave. I left my cart with my three items in it and walked out of the door.

I decided then and there and I was done with Wal-Mart forever. I will never again step through their doors. Their lack of courtesy, customer service, employee training and mismanagement is all too much for me to bear as a customer. This is not the first time that I have been severely disappointed with Wal-Mart and I can’t see them changing.

Now, some may think that the impending snow storm may have caused a flurry of customers to swamp Wal-Mart, but I don’t think that was the problem. They only had a handful of checkout lanes open and they weren’t moving very quickly. The cashiers had no sense of urgency with their lines stretching towards infinity. To me, it just seems like a classic sign of mismanagement.

Still needing to pick up the items on my mental shopping list, I headed over to Kroger. The shopping atmosphere was completely different there. I walked in, got everything I needed and a couple of extras and was able to checkout without waiting. All of the employees I encountered seemed chipper and eager to help. It was quite refreshing. In fact, I even saved a couple of dollars since my dog food was on sale!

Now I know what you may be thinking – everybody was in Wal-Mart buying bread and milk. I have to disagree with that assessment. Wal-Mart didn’t seem any busier to me than it normally does. Besides, if that was true, shouldn’t Kroger have been just as busy with doomsday shoppers clearing their shelves? Kroger was almost dead in comparison. Additionally, I have it on good authority that Wal-Mart routinely and purposefully understaffs cashiers in an effort to improve their bottom line. Sacrificing the customer in an effort to make a couple of extra bucks isn’t quite in line with my way of thinking, so goodbye Wal-Mart and good riddance.


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