Thursday, April 29, 2004

To shop at Wal-Mart or not to Shop at Wal-Mart

I just got back from a morning trip to my friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart. O.K. I’ll admit it; I have been shopping at Wal-Mart for years. Yes, yes, yes all that junk from China, Guilty! However for about a year or so, I have found myself shopping there less and less.

     I know that many people feel strongly about the world’s largest corporation and its lack of responsibility to its employees. If asked I would have to agree that low wages, long hours, overnight lock in’s of its employees and high medical coverage is wrong, very wrong. It just so happens that my reason for not shopping there is much less political.

     My problem with the Wal-Mart in my neighborhood is the ridiculously, inconvenient way they redesigned their parking lot a year or so ago. They have taken the entire front half of the parking lot and not only reserved it for handicapped parking; they have also designed the spots for parallel parking.

     Now I am not saying that I am against handicapped parking. No way, I am all for anything that will make their life any easier. I am just saying that they have used ½ of the parking lot for these parallel spots that are 90% empty almost every time I go to that store. That means that the rest of us are enormously unconvinced, especially if it is pouring down rain. For absolutely no reason at all. There is no way they will ever need that many handicapped spots. Not Ever!!!

     Luckily, a Walgreen’s opened up right across the street about the same time as the parking lot dilemma occurred. Walgreen’s has plenty of front door parking including an appropriate number of spots for people with handicapped permits as well. So problem solved, we all win. For all of those quick stops that use to be made to Wal-Mart, I can now run right in and right out of Walgreen’s.

     All of that aside, I did stop in to Wal-Mart today for some copy paper and a few other office supplies. I came out with all of that plus a cute new night gown for the summer, 2 new shades of nail polish, a tiny umbrella for my purse and a bran new blue jean skirt. YAY!

     When heading to the check out line, I saw for the first time, the 4 new self checkout stations. I just had to give it a try even though I felt a little guilty knowing that they have probably put at least 8 cashiers out of work. They actually worked great. You put your merchandise on the belt, scan everything yourself and place it in bags that are sitting on scales. Hint- if you try this yourself, make sure to get rid of any hangers or shoe boxes before you put things in the bag or the machine scolds you. There is no receptacle to place them in mind you but the machine will say, “take unscanned item out of the bag please.” I scanned everything, slid my ATM card through and I was on my way out the door really quickly. It even takes cash and gives you exact change. But their was no nice smile or friendly have a nice day like with a real person.

    I doubt I would use it again, even though it was super convenient. I want to do all that I can to insure some body keeps their job.


*** Coy ***




brimasta1 said...

Those self checkout things are the best. But, good point about helping people keep their jobs. Even if the jobs are with a slavedriver like Wal-Mart! Enjoyed your journal.


slowmotionlife said...

When I wrote my big "I love Walmart" entry, I had a colleague email me to remind me about those negatives you mention.  ::snap::  Guilt-free shopping, no more.  I'll still be shopping there, though.  My only neighborhood option is a Kroger's store, which is OUTRAGIOUSLY priced.  Blah.

And I've tried the self-service check out. What I thought was funny, though, was the fact that the store which offered it had to hire people to stand there and show people how to use it.  LOL  So they weren't really saving any man-power.  Go figure.

goldenchildnc said...

Oooo! I love self check-out! But I don't shop at Wal-Mart. Never have for some reason. I know there are some here in town (of course). It just never occured to me to go there. At least I don't THINK I've ever been there. ROTFL! With all the brain cells I've killed there's no telling. :-)