Tuesday, August 14, 2007

If it's Tuesday, Wal-Mart still sucks

Wal-Mart still sucks ass. Just thought you should know.

I bet you were unaware that your local Wal-Mart has no control over their air conditioning, huh? That’s why when it’s 7000 degrees outside, it’s about 6000 inside the store. The a/c is controlled from The Mother Ship in Bentonville, Arkansas. That’s right. Some wonk at corporate HQ looks at the local temperature and arbitrarily decides whether or not to use the satellite control box to adjust the temps inside a store he’ll never set foot in.

The same goes for determining how many cash registers are open on any given shift. Ever wonder why there are 25 registers and only 5 open? That’s because some other wonk arbitrarily determines how many checkouts can be open at any given time based on sales.

Last weekend was Tax-Free Weekend here in SC. That means that there was no sales tax on clothes, computers, and school supplies…your basic back-to-school stuff…so it was almost as big a shopping weekend as you’d get around Christmas time. The Wal-Mart I was in was one of the newest ones in the area and located in a very busy suburban area, with 20 checkouts, plus 8 self-checkout lines. How many were open? Five. I shit you not. Probably a couple thousand customers rolling in & out of this store, and lines 30-bodies deep, and only 5 lanes open. I skipped it & asked the girl at the jewelry counter to ring me up, and there was still 3 people in front of me in THAT line. And yeah, it was hot as balls inside the store.

The same thing happens at my local Wal-Mart in Walterboro. We have 25 checkouts and I do believe a further 8 self-checkouts, which are preferable for quick purchases. Well, those close down by 8:30 PM in a 24-hour store, and after 10PM there’s only 2 checkouts actually open. And of course, at midnight they change out the money in the registers, so there’s another 5-10 minute delay with lines 10-15 deep. On Saturday nights it’s an utter joke, because all but like 3 counties in SC are dry on Sunday (those are the counties that cater to out of state tourists who are allowed to drink any time). You could get in line at 11:30 and be stuck there holding a 6-pack for 30 minutes waiting in line for the sole register, or two, to ring up the 25 people ahead of you, and if you happen to get to the register at 12:01, you’re screwed. They won’t sell to you. The registers won’t even scan it in after midnight. They don’t care that you were stuck in line for 30 minutes. Tough shit, pal.

Taking something back for a refund or exchange at night is a treat too. Customer Service is already long since closed. There’s no greeter to give you a dirty look like you’re stealing something (our greeters don’t greet you. They face into the store to watch you like a hawk as if everyone walking out has a DVD player in their pants. They fired the little old lady who used to be the greeter. She was too friendly.) Since there’s no greeter to give you that lame pink sticker that does nothing other than show you passed a checkpoint, you just get in line at a register (read: THE register. The one.) and hold up the people behind you trying to buy beer before midnight while the cashier fumblefucks around and has to call for a CSM (Customer Service Manager, in the red vests, who avoid all contact with customers if it can be helped) in order to give you your refund. Or if it’s an exchange, you wait in line, state your case, and then go get your shit and wait in line again to finish the debacle.

Oh yeah…Wal-Mart Uber Alles. We will bury you.

1 comment:

jms1 said...

There's another blog that I read, written by somebody who works at a wally-world customer "service" desk... and it's funny how his opinion, "from the inside" as it were, closely mirrors your own...