Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Call Me a Convict-I've Got a Conviction.

I have a conviction.

Nobody freak out--it's weird, I know. But I've found something to take a stand for, and now there's no going back. You should be proud.

Beginning this, the Fourth Day of November, 2008... I, Camille of Archives of Our Lives, will hereby never step foot into another Wal*Mart™. Ever.

I'm so passionate about my new conviction, I could probably go write for these guys.

How's that for conviction? Oh, what? You thought I was going to write something political, given the fact that this is a very big day for America? Nah...I got over that. No more politics on this blog.

But back to the matter at hand: Wal*Mart™. I will no longer be using their "services," and calling it "service" is being generous.

How did I come to this amazing conclusion, you ask? Simple. Last month, during the most stressful week of my life, I walked through the doors of a Wal*Mart™ at 3:30 a.m. I walked out an hour later, and my faith in humanity was gone.

See, I was accompanying Chelsie, who needed to buy spray paint for--well, it's a long story. Of course there were no available associates within a 10-aisle proximity to the paint department, and of course the spray paint is kept locked away, so we were forced to scour the aisles for 10 minutes before finally finding any life form whatsoever.

It was another 10 minutes before we actually found any useful life form (i.e. someone with a bloody key to the spray paint case).

If that had been the end of the trauma, I would probably be fine. However, as we approached the one and only check-out line, the dense air of change hovered thickly over my head. I should have known.

There they were, two middle-aged ladies standing behind one checkout counter, chatting away as if they were getting mani-pedis together, instead of what they were actually doing [working for, in my opinion, the world's most hateful and monopolising enterprise]. Though we approached the conveyor belt of doom with our items (I'd detoured to find my favourite lotion ever made) in the same cart, we put them on the black-top seperately, and divided them clearly with a plastic bar reading "Wal*Mart™...Always low prices. Always." {Subliminal messages, anyone? Brainwashing? Lemmings? What?}

Chelsie's spray paint was first. The woman in charge of scanning (she wasn't wearing a name tag, or I surely would have remembered what to call her) turned towards us and began lethargically scanning each can of paint. Upon completing that task, she asked to see Chelsie's identification (as buying spray paint is illegal for minors in the state of Arizona). No problem. Chelsie's 23 if she's a day. {Though, may I point out, this was at least our fourth trip to Wal*Mart™ for spray paint within the week, and she'd been carded once, and been taken on good faith twice. Not exactly the most stringent standards, Wal*Mart™.}

Chelsie produces her I.D. with no incident, and the lady looked at it--with only her eyes--and returned it to Chelsie. End of story.

But not the end of story. Instead of proceeding to swipe Chelsie's debit card--as all the other cashiers had done during the past week--she turned to me and asked for my I.D.

"Excuse me?" I asked, thinking I'd heard her incorrectly. Surely she wasn't carding me, too! I wasn't buying any paint--there was a divider between my lotion and Chelsie's paint. What more did she want?

"I.D.," she repeated, almost menacing this time. Clearly she was annoyed by having her 3 a.m. chat interrupted.

"Oh," I explained, "well I'm not buying any spray paint."

"You're in the same party, though. I need your I.D."

Seriously? Seriously. This had never happened to me before, and I was mad. Of course I had an I.D., and of course I'm over 18, and of course I could produce it at will. But this woman seemed to go about it so bitterly, as though this--this harassment of me--was going to make everything right in her world. I was not happy.

"Well," I said, "I'm not in her party, then. We just met up back there on aisle one hundred fifty, and she let me put my lotion in her cart. I don't even know her." I knew there was no way this blatant lie would get me anything, but I wanted to make it as miserable an experience for that woman as she'd made mine.

She looked at me blankly.

Oh, was I ticked. If poor Chelsie didn't need the spray paint so much, I would have simply walked away. [But therein lies the power of Wal*Mart™. They stay open later than any other store in the universe (i.e. always. There's that word again.), so that fools like me can plan on procrastinating, and then I'm forced to accept their mistreatment of me, simply because there's no alternative.]

Finally I handed her my driver's license--it took me all of one second--along with the sentiment that this was the stupidest thing I've ever heard [immature, I know. But I needed some shred of...dignity...or...something.].

This time, though, when the cashier took my I.D., instead of just inspecting it for a birth date, she swiped it. She swiped it! Through her credit card machine! As if it would give access to the Arizona State I.D. records, and she would be able to see if I had a history of sniffing spray paint at 3 a.m.! SHE FREAKING SWIPED MY DRIVER'S LICENSE! {No amount of exclamation points could possibly express how furious I was.}

Upon seeing nothing--absolutely nothing--appear on her screen after swiping my card, she handed it back to me with a huff. I paid my total, took my own bag, and walked away with Chelsie, fuming for hours afterwards (That's right. hours. 3:30 a.m., and our day was still hours away from being finished. It was a really long week.). So is Wal*Mart™ telling me that if I was a mom of four kids who needed me to buy spray paint for their community theatre backdrop, I would have to hire a sitter so that I could legally buy the cans of paint without a minor "in my party?"

Go to hell, Wal*Mart™. I've never--never--had a positive experience there. And yes, I do believe that a certain amount of retail therapy can make one have a more positive outlook on life. But with Wal*Mart™, I leave feeling like my soul is sucked right out of my body. I really, really loathe Wal*Mart™. Their customer service is sub-par on every level and at every department I've ever braved. I will pay a little more to shop somewhere I'm treated like a person, not a number.

"Save money. Live better." is their newest slogan. More fitting would be "Save money. At a cost." Image from here.

Think about it...have you ever left Wal*Mart™ feeling better than when you arrived? Probably not.

Good deals be d*mned. I will cut coupons and watch deals as much as I have to, so I won't even notice a dent in the budget from the sudden change in grocery stores. No amount of blue light specials are worth my value as a human being. I'll plan ahead so I can shop at a store that closes at 10 p.m., and if I fail to do so, I will simply fail. No more last-minute run-ins to buy poster board for the assignment due tomorrow. And since making this commitment, since finding the conviction never to step foot in a Wal*Mart™ again, I have noticed a little spring in my step. A bounce to my spring. I'm like a dadgum Tigger.

I feel free.

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Blogger Kristy said...

Wow that is insane, I would be as mad as you were. Why didn't you ask to talk to a Walmart manager? I sure would, and I would REFUSE to show my ID. That's the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. Did you get her name so you could call and complain?

November 4, 2008 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

Kristy-- I know, right? Ridiculous. I didn't get her name, I didn't get the manager, and I didn't refuse my ID. It was 3:30 in the morning and we had already been going for hours--I needed the paint and I needed to get some sleep. And anyway, I'm more passive-aggressive with stuff like this. I'd rather just blog about it and never go back. I MIGHT write a letter, though. Maybe.

November 4, 2008 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger lindsay said...

wretched. wretched. wretched.
that's what that woman is. and apparently that is what you have to be to work at a Walmart. Especially in Chandler. oh man, the ones out here in Chandler are just plain nasty.

November 4, 2008 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger linda rae said...

Oh dear. Does this mean that I can't buy you $2 Chipits at WalMart to make me your delicious cookies?

Surely WalMart in Canada is not as vile?

Your loving and supportive mother-in-law.

November 4, 2008 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger RPH said...

HAHA Camille. You crack me up.

Isnt the BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL something that happens at KMART, by the way?

November 4, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger RPH said...

HAHA Camille. You crack me up.

Isnt the BLUE LIGHT SPECIAL something that happens at KMART, by the way?

November 4, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Well, Tigger, more power to you! While I certainly don't agree with this newfound conviction, I respect your vehemence, adamance, and perseverance. Bravo, sis. Bravo.

November 4, 2008 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Jonathan and Sarah said...

Interesting conviction. I'm sure the lady had to ask you for your license or else she wouldn't have. Sometimes businesses have certain procedures that they must do even if it seems dumb. It doesn't really make sense and people can be dumb but I'm sure that not every Walmart is the same. Working in customer service has given me perspective on these things. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have been upset too, but I can also see the other side.

November 4, 2008 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger HeatherPride said...

Well, first of all I have to say THREE CHEERS for using the word "dadgum" in a blog post! That in and of itself has made my day. I am going to use it for the rest of the week.

And second, Wal-Mart blows. I wish it wasn't so darn convenient. Dadgum it!

November 4, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

lindser-lou-- Thank you for backing me up on this. It's true. I kind of feel bad generalising like that, but it's true. PERHAPS, the employees of Wal*Mart just become desensitised over time. Maybe they really are good at heart, but they just can't take customers any more. I don't know. It's a sad, sad thing.

linda rae-- I'm not stopping anyone else from doing what they feel they must do. You buy the chipits, I'll make the cookies...done. And while it's true I've not been met with any in-my-face rudeness at a Canadian Wal*Mart (though it was just a matter of time), it ALWAYS takes me at LEAST 30 minutes to get through check-out. Even if I do it myself, the fool machine always tells me to "please wait for cashier assistance." There's no avoiding this.

November 4, 2008 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

rph-- Thanks. Ummm...I don't know where it came from. I think you're right. But you got the idea, right?

rph-- Thanks. Ummm...I don't know where it came from. I think you're right. But you got the idea, right?

Anonymous my sister-- Well, while I appreciate you backing up my vehemence, adamance and perseverance, I wish you would support the actual theory. You take a step back and look at your life, and see if the bad days don't always (somehow) include Wal*Mart. Then we'll talk.

November 4, 2008 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Camille said...

Jonathan and Sarah-- Of course there are level-headed people out there who will try and see both perspectives. I can respect that. I'm generally that way, too, after every job I've had has been dealing with people in some way or another. I suppose I should actually call that Wal*Mart and see what their specific policy is, and then see if it's different at every store. It wasn't so much that she carded me, too--it was that none of the other three ever had. So I suppose you're right. I'll try and see it from her side, too. Even if she was a wench.

HeatherPride-- The "convenience" is what gets people. Sure, it's a one-stop dadgum shop, but is it really convenient to have to hunt down a hide-and-seek employee every time you can't find the chapstick or the bandaids? Is it really convenient to add an extra 30 minutes--guarenteed--to your day just to BUY your items? Convenience, HeatherPride? Meh.

And yes, dadgum is a FABULOUS word. I'll use it more, just for you, if that would make you happy. Because I'm all about reader-appreciation here at AoOL. If Wal*Mart had a blog, they would never use "dadgum" more, just because a reader liked the word.

November 4, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger ✩Molly✩ said...

I had a horrible experience at walmart last time I was there too.

It wasn't even due to the customer service, but rather the fact that they don't carry a single pair of plus sized pajamas to fit around my large body. It was 11pm and I needed to buy some pajamas as I spontaneously decided to stay at my mom's house that night.

It took me over an hour to find something that I "MADE WORK" for pajamas, at which point I had blisters on my feet and I was wearing a skirt so my legs had completely rubbed eachother raw. Not to mention I had a debilitating headache, and felt as though I was going to puke at any moment.

My husband has been begging me to stop shopping at walmart for a while now. But like you said, it is the only thing open, and happens to be the closest thing to our place.

Not to defend the walmart people, but I saw a tidbit on the news the other day that says we (AZ/ \valley) pay over 3.5 million dollars a year in graffiti covering services on top of the salaries of follow up detectives that investigate graffiti. So maybe they have threatened that horrible woman's miserable job if she doesn't card everyone, and swipe the "un-cooperative" ones.

Walmart also rips their employees off in the benefits department, as well as stealing settlement moneys from their employees by hiding loopholes in their insurance paperwork. Crooks, they are.

I support your ban, and wish I was a stronger person so that I could do it too. :)

November 4, 2008 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

I agree with your conviction completely!! I loathe walmart also. Unfortunately I can't say I've cut it out of my life completely, but I only go there if it absolutely can't be avoided. I've probably only been once or twice in the last 6 months. Target makes me feel so much better and Walgreens is open 24 hours for real emergencies.

November 4, 2008 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Merkley Jiating said...

I would have been so furious. I cannot believe she would ask you for your ID. You should step foot in Wal*Mart one more time just to have that piece of crap employee fired. I am fuming. At first I was laughing. Now I am just brimming with anger. It's so true, I have never left Wal*Mart feeling happy! Stupid company. Stupid employees. Always.

November 4, 2008 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

This is a good thing, Camille! I haven't been to wally world in about two years, and I fully intend to never go back. The thing that pisses me off about that place is that you can NEVER find the correct price of the item you would like to purchase. Not worth my effort. You mark the merchandise clearly with a price, I'll make up my mind. I'm not hunting all over their 1200 acre store for a scanner. Nope, I don't miss that stupid store one bit.

Disclaimer: Here in Michigan we have a "local" (based across the state) company that has a very similar model to wally world, but they actually run their business properly. I shop at Meijer all the time.

November 4, 2008 at 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Umm... Taking a step back... Looking... Nope. My bad days are in no way linked to Wal*Mart. I will be a staunch supporter of it. Always.

November 4, 2008 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Molly Shumway Rawlins-- I'm so sorry you had a wretched experience, too. That sounds awful. Maybe with enough bad experiences to spur you on, you can come to find a market that better suits your needs.

Melissa-- Right you are. Target: now there's a store I can enjoy. I saw the differences between the two stores back in high school, but never fully committed to cutting W.M. out of my life. Until now. If only we could get a target in Canada, my life would be complete.

Merkley jiating-- What is a jiating? Thanks for your support of my conviction. I liked your re-worded slogan: Stupid company. Stupid employees. Always. It has a nice ring to it.

November 4, 2008 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Joel-- I swear, as I was writing this, I thought to myself, " I bet Joel will totally agree with me on this." Actually, now that I tell you this, it's kind of awkward. Tell Aimee I'm not secretly in love with you or anything. Anyway, I have HEARD about the Meijer from the blog Evidently there are amazing deals to be had there, and money saving mom lists them all every week, along with which coupons can help people walk away with free stuff. Check it out, if you haven't already. Or don't.

Anonymous my sister-- Insufferable.

November 4, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger The Verenski's said...

Camille-- Well as you know I did work at Wal-Mart and James was a manager for them. I am not sure on this rule but I think you don't have card the other person if they didnt touch the spray paint. If you touched it then she would need to card you. But I will need to talk to James and see for sure. But I am sorry that happened to you. I think you should still shop at walmart though. They have some good deals sometimes. I will get back to you on the rule ....

November 4, 2008 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Holly Janeen said...

so at first i was like- what is Camille's big beef with this company? and then i remembered something that I, myself, blogged.

check it out.

you picked a good day to unveil this conviction :)
and the day shall live in infamy!

November 4, 2008 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I hate WalMart, too. Only been there a few times, and every time I go, something happens in the Check Out line, yes, always the Check Out line, that takes me at least 20 minutes longer than if I had just gone somewhere else. I don't know about anyone else, but this girl's always trying to fit way too much into her 24 hour day, and an extra half hour and lack of customer service does not help my day. You make a great point. I have never left WM feeling better than when I go in.... I usually leave feeling ticked and tired, mainly because my kids are throwing a fit as we wait in the looong checkout lines that always have issues. I am sorry she swiped your DL. What a mean lady. Love your blog!!!!

November 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger HeatherPride said...

You totally have a point with the hide and seek employee part. I don't think I've ever encountered an employee to request assistance of at my Wal-Mart, now that I think of it. But they do plant themselves in some convenient spots, if you know where the dadgum you need to go to find your stuff. I'll give you that one, dadgumit.

November 4, 2008 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Jolene Perry said...

I live in Wasilla, Alaska (everyone suddenly knows where that is) and my husband is an attorney at the DA's office. Everytime we HAVE to go to Walmart (limited options here) he counts "customers" we have yet to walk out of that store with a count smaller than 3. 3 people he knows to be convicted criminals. At best. Yeah, we avoid the place now. Fortunately a little piece of mass retail heaven called Target just opened. His largest count there was 1.

November 4, 2008 at 2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

go camille! power to ya! that lady was a jerk- you should complain. did i mention you're hilarious?

November 4, 2008 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Mikelle said...

Can't believe it. Actually, I can. I'm forced to shop at Wal-Mart, as we have no other options. But, I have left my Wal-Mart fuming many, many times. They have the dumbest cashiers that work there, honestly. Never live here. The people will astound you.

November 4, 2008 at 3:00 PM  
Blogger Cristin said...

I worked at Walmart in high school and I'm still mad at them for making me do this cheer at every employee meeting that included doing "the star" - this humiliating dance move.

November 4, 2008 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Busy Bee Lauren said...

Am I the only dadgum person that is rolling with the fact that she SWIPED your card? How retarded is she? No seriously...I am going to tell 15 people that today. Excuse me, I have business to attend to.

November 4, 2008 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

The Verenski's-- Oh, shoot. Jo, I am sorry if I offended you. You don't sound mad, but I know I can offend people with my words, and I am sorry if I did. Since you commented, though, and reminded me...can I ask you how you liked being an employee of Wal*mart? I'd be interested to hear. And again, I'm sorry if I offended you.

Holly Janeen--I'm reading it RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Anonymous-- Oh, a fan! Thanks for being a fan and leaving a comment and loving my blog.

November 4, 2008 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

heatherpride-- Dadgum.

Jolene-- I never considered counting criminals at Wal*Mart. Makes sense. Thanks for adding fuel to my fire!

Anonymous-- No, you did not mention that I'm hilarious. Thanks!! I'll take it.

Mikelle-- I don't think I'll ever have cause to move to New Mexico. But if I do, thanks for the warning!

Cristin-- I cannot even imagine what that dance move consists of.

Lauren-- I KNOW!!! I don't even know where that comes from. I'm pretty sure Wal*Marts don't have access to police records. Who do they think they are-- CSI Phoenix?

November 4, 2008 at 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do agree and I do not like walmart, but it is ever so convinient. I too have had some problems there, but, If i have to, I will. I am sorry you had that bad experience! I LOVE your blog!

November 4, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

Anon10-- Hi! The only way Wal*Mart is convenient is if it's the only choice. The more I think about this, the truer it becomes. Thanks for being sorry for me. I'm sorry for me, too. Keep on using Wal*Mart--I won't judge. And I LOVE your comments! Thanks for reading!

November 4, 2008 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger ☂niki. said...

so glad to hear your bouncing around like tigger now!! he was always my favorite pooh character.

November 4, 2008 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, small*wart has nary a redeeming quality. I rarely attend, myself, and i only buy shoes, and plants there. Just did my third trip there this year. For new walking shoes. My feet are oddly wide,(9and1/ a duck), and as always, i enjoyed unboxing and trying, comparing 20 something pairs of shoes, with no zipperhead nonames offering lame service...finding just the right pair, which are working out very well, and leaving all the others strewn on floor in section and a half of shoerack.
And Macdonalds inside each store? Crap finds it's own level?

A stiff slap in the face can correct the despair of many an oligopolisticmart drone. btw.

November 4, 2008 at 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike was so pleased to hear about this post. He hates Walmart. It is practically the end of the world for him on those days we have no choice but to shop there. He grumbles the whole time. Last time we went, we were greeted cheerfully by the Walmart greeter at the front door. Just to anger Mike I excitedly told the greeter that Walmart is our favorite store. I'm fairly certain Mike will never go back, even in dire emergency. ~A

November 4, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Camille said...

niki (crum) worthen-- Yes, that just sort of...came out. I'm not a huge fan of ANY pooh character, really. But the phrase "dadgum Tigger" just has a lovely ring to it, don't you think?

fight the power-- My, you sound strong. Agreed 100% with the McDonald's theory. I'm sorry about your duck feet. Good luck with your new shoes.

Anonymous my most recent boss-- Hi! And Hi to Mike, too! I had no idea Mike was a fellow non-supporter of Wal-Mart. That's excellent. Also, I'm glad to hear you go out of your way to be a teeny bit annoying to Poor Mike. Get him ready for marriage, and all that stuff. : )

November 5, 2008 at 1:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow that sucks! I've never even heard of swiping a license before! That woman was an idiot for sure.

November 5, 2008 at 10:12 AM  
Blogger The Lowry's said...

I wish we had a target in Canada then I could just shop there and Smiths too. No more Walmart or Superstore, both of which I don't particullary like. I can't believe that she ID you as well. Seriously what did she think? Oh and I love your pictures from the previous post especially the red leaves. Gorgeous! I feel the need to move.

November 6, 2008 at 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Camille, I'm sorry you had a run in with a mean lady. But don't blame Wal-Mart. I have run into mean salespeople at all different stores. I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this, but people also buy spray paint to huff it, get high. Buying spray paint at 3:00 in the morning is a little suspicious. You look sweet and innocent, given, but drug users come in all walks of life. This mean clerk obviously has had her fair share of run ins with druggies, probably has some in her own family. So she is just overly suspicious. If you are an old person and still work at Wal-mart, you've probably had some hard knocks in life. Why don't you try pitying her, it will bring peace to your soul.

November 7, 2008 at 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last comment,brilliant. sounds like somebody's mom. even my own.

November 8, 2008 at 5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The democrats are celebrating. What a victory! We all know that Wal-Mart is one of their top ten enemies of America!
The democrats axis of Evil.

1. George Bush
2. America
3. Global Warming
4. Christians
5. Wal-Mart
6. Judeo-Christian ethics
7. Republicans
8. America's Allies
9. Fetuses
10. Rush Limbaugh and talk radio
11. Joe Lieberman
12. Low taxes
13. Capitalism
14. Self sufficiency
15. Fox News
16. Taking positions on tough issues
17. Marriage
18. Home Schooling
19. Old People
20. logic
21. God
22. Religion
23. Freedom of Speech
24. Freedom of the Press
25. Anyone who opposes their views and gives logical reasons for it
26. Rick Santorum
27. ABC
27. The Army

November 8, 2008 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(not my words. so sue me.)

November 8, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

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