Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Wal-Mart: The Evil Empire

My nephew referred to it as such this afternoon and I was very proud. I dedicate this to our blissfully foreign Lina, who did not know what Wal-Mart is.

1. Here is a good article that sums up the evil badness in a global sense.
2. Other evil empire characteristics include stomping out small businesses everywhere they go, locking employees in the store after closing and forbidding them to leave until closing duties are finished OFF THE CLOCK and making gobs of money off the sweat and blood of third world children.

3. Loyal Wal-mart shoppers often tend to be "rednecks". (but there are exceptions, especially in areas that do not have targets)(next week our TT will be about target)Do you know what a "redneck" is Lina? I won't go into the history or etymology of the word, but I will offer a generalized sketch of the characteristics of a red neck. Red necks tend to be largely uneducated. They may exhibit racist and sexist behaviors although it is fairly common to hear a red neck make statements like "I ain't a racist." and then offer a completely racist defense of their racist behaviors. Makes no sense to you? Ohhh you'd have to hear it to believe it.
For some reason, red necks tend to be prouder of and more open about their sexism. Red necks often make bold statements about social issues both locally and globally. These statements are largely ignorant in nature and seldom reflect any real knowledge of the issue being discussed. Red necks seem to be particularly fond of NASCAR racing and staged wrestling matches involving characters that are actually caricatures of different aspects of the redneck personality. Ive noticed that these folks tend to be proud of their ignorance. (please note: there are several fine people that like NASCAR and wrestling that are NOT rednecks). The best quote I found about rednecks is this one: , "They rebel against acting respectable, embracing this counterculture hero—the 'redneck' who is what he is, and doesn't give a damn what anybody thinks." -James C. Cobb (a professor of redneck studies maybe?)
4.As you may gather from that last quote, rednecks are not the politest, most pleasant people to shop with. Sometimes, they also have an offensive odor, because as you also might infer, a person who "doesn't give a damn what anybody thinks" and "rebels against acting respectable" does not tend to make polite social intercourse or personal hygiene high priority.
5. The lines at Wal-mart are likely to be super long and move slowly. I attribute this to the defeated morale of the cashiers and workers.
6. Wal-marts usually sell anything you'd find in a department store. The prices are often competitive which is the draw for folks like me. I hold fast to the ideal that one day i will be rich enough to make the stand to never shop there again.
7. Even now, I do try to avoid wal-mart unless I absolutely cannot (It is a 24 hour store). They unfortunately have diapers that cost almost half the price of other places so they have me by the short hairs (so to speak).
8. It is very rare to have a pleasant trip to wal-mart. If you are not insulted by a fellow customer, (either verbally or through the affront of smell) you will have to look freaking everywhere to find what you want, and you will have to stand in line for an unreasonable amount of time only to be greeted by a surly underpaid cashier who will screw up the transaction at least fifty percent of the time. This will result in the need to call a supervisor.
9. Apparently one of the qualifications of being a Wal-Mart supervisor is that you must be able to steadfastly ignore calls from cashiers asking you to fix their mistakes.
10. The rare friendly cashier tends to be mentally unstable and/or extremely emotionally needy. I once had a cashier start crying during our transaction (it was a lengthy one) about her autistic son.
11. The Superwal-marts (department store and grocery) are designed to be as inconvenient as possible. No matter what two items you need, they are most likely located a football field away from each other. (wal-marts are very big).
12. The automotive department offers oil and tire changes. Our local wal-mart is well known for substandard and shafty service.
13. In sum, to me (and many others) wal-mart is a teeming metaphor of everything that is going wrong in america. The fact that you don't know what a wal-mart is gives me hope Lina.


Crawlspace said...

I tagged the crap out of you, dude.

ZigZagMan said...

*sigh*....ya know I love ya buddy...but this is where I must step in. Walmart has saved as many towns as it has destroyed,,,,,,walmart is one of the largest employers in the US,,,,,walmart does make efforts to buy domestic goods, but as a business, sells what people want to, want less crap from china, stop buying crap from china,,,,,Walmart woud go away if people just stopped shopping there....that simple...:)

ZigZagMan said...

Now....lets pick on Target. While I have no real reason to go after them either.....least they are owned by the right behind ya buddy!!!! :)

The Mistress of the Dark said...

The Mart of Wal is evil. However since they zap all the smalltown stores etc...we have no choice but to shop there half the time.

Jay said...

I'm not going to fight with Zigzagman here on your comments section except for one thing...



Anyway, one of the things you left our about rednecks is they let their little kids run wild through the store and don't even know where they are half the time. Also they take their kids under the age of 8 to Wal-Mart at midnight on a school night AND those kids are usually not wearing any shoes. The boys usually aren't wearing any shoes OR a shirt.

Mert said...

My hometown is so redneck, walmart hasn't made it there yet. STILL ;)

I'm a hypocrite, I'll admit. i have high morales and standards yet I shop there to save money. I'm with you on the diapers... and it's just easier for me to shop there instead of 2 different places. i usually only go there when I need groceries and other stuff.

If it's just the "other stuff" I go to Tar-jay.

Your redneck theories had me cracking up! Yes, one can usually smell a redneck form a block away. Except for my hub's cousins... they are kind and clean rednecks.:D

Jenny Ryan said...

Yeah, I'm with you: Just say no to wal-mart!

Although in the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I really like Target-not sure exactly what that says about me :P

Lina said...

Red necks sound like charvas - "here, I'm not being racist like, but I think they should just all fuck off home".
Wow, so wal-mart sounds a bit, ahem, shite.
(Oh, and I do love having a post dedicated to me!!)

Trixie said...

LOL! One of the best explanations of WalMart yet! Brilliant. I *hate* that place with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Even in very upscale areas, such as where we live, the stores are a filthy mess and the employees are all mentally challenged, bless their hearts. I can't actually remember the last time I was in one, and they do sell crap cheaply but the experience of it is so horrendous I usually opt to drive 20 extra miles to Target. I totally and completely *love* Target! I actually can't believe people still shop at WalMart. It almost makes me cry.

Crawlspace said...

I was an employee of Wal-Mart in Casper, Wyoming for the worst 8 months of my life.

As an ex-employee, I can tell you, they suck. A lot. Shady work hour practices, though, no un-paid over time. But they'd make you stay for like 12 hours several days in a row, then insist you leave like 5 hours early one day, and if you go into over time even one minute you get yelled at excessively. They make you sing praises and a cheer to wal-mart and the guy who invented it.

Luckily I never had to deal with customers, as I worked the over-night shift and it was not a 24 hour wal-mart, though it was being turned into a super wal-mart while I was there and turned 24 hours a few weeks post my departure.

And don't get me started on their fear of unions and the sheer amount of anti-union propoganda they made us watch. And the method of yelling at someone a few supers used, usually involved chasting someone infront of a large group, etc...

ZigZagMan said...

I stand corrected and not afraid to admit it. As Jay pointed out, Target is not french owned,,,,,and seemingly no better or worse than Wallmart.

Ummmmmm...he get the snopes link wrong though!! :)

crse said...

(do i have the best commentors anywhere ever? oh yes i do)
Crawlspace: I have no idea what to do with this ubertag. I may drunkblog it tonight.
Zig: I love you man. I could completely argue about definitions of "saved" but instead, I want to tell you that your input completely rocks because we are so opposite on opinions but you actually put thought and insight into your opinions so even if I completely disagree, I cam appreciate what you are saying!
MOTD: I watched this happen to another town in PA. Its depressing!
Jay: YAY! I was quite ok with target being french owned but Im freaking thrilled that its in Minneapolis!
Mert: Ive met some kind ones and not that dirty ones too! I tend to think of them as "salt of the earth" exceptions!
Jenny Ryan: If lovin' target is wrong, then I dont want to be right baby!
Lina: Indeed! Wal-mart is in every sense of the word "shite!" I have to go look up "charvas" now!
Trix: I KNOW!!!! Also, the bathrooms seem to have a lingering stink of old people poop. It seems to be the same consistent stink regardless of the age and area of the wal-mart (I know this because Norm's bladder is the size of a pea) (ok yeah that pun was lame but intended!). I bestow this wish upon you dear trix. May there be a target minutes from your home for the rest of your days....
Crawlspace: Wow, personal testimony. You rock.
Zig: Are you freaking kidding me? Target not better than Wal-mart? Ack. My hands hurt from even typing the sentence. ;)

ZigZagMan said...

see...thats the cool thing about friends....we don't have to have the same opinion, but atleast a half assed articulate reason why you have the opinion ya have...both sides of the table..........I smell a sitcom!!! :)

Bunny said...

ASDA is Wal-Mart's western European division. They're taking over the world!! I try to avoid Wal-Mart because of the whole "axis of evil" thing. I even canceled my Sam's membership and pay more to go to Costco. I'm such a liberal commie pinko. Target here matches WalMart on most prices, so I do go there. I also go to Meijer. They created the superstore concept right here in lovely west michigan and exported it to the upper midwest. (We're sorry.)

Pippajo said...

Wow, this post was sheer genius. Is there any place I can nominate it for something? Walmart is one of those things I cannot imagine having to explain to someone who doesn't already know what it is. Kind of like trying to explain what color is.

Now I have a question: what is the difference, if any, between a redneck and a hillbilly? Oh, and white trash. Are they the same thing? Is it just regional? I need to know.