I make midnight runs to Wal-Mart all the time. Mostly because I end up working really late and it’s a 24 hour resource for me. I go there so much and with so little care for my appearance because it’s so late, that I worry about ending up on www.peopleofwalmart.com.
If you would like to submit a picture then all you have to do is loiter around my local Wally World and I will surely drive up at some point within two or three days. You will know me because I will have paint and glaze all over whatever I’m wearing, all over my hands, and all over my hair. You will also recognize me by the oldest, rattiest clothes I own because I didn’t think I’d see you there. Oh, and of course, there’s my uber-comfy Crocs sandals.
If you submit my picture or if you come across my picture, then I beg of you to please, please, please not tell me. My very tender self-esteem could not handle the humiliation even though it would surely be all in fun.
Going to Wal-Mart after say around, oh….11pm is a challenge in customer service. There is no staffing other than for re-stocking. Making your way through the maze of boxes, palettes, hand trucks, and staff trying to re-stock for the next day is probably how the Team USA track and field atheletes are currently training for the London Olympics in 2012.
On normal nights, there is only one cashier lane open for the entire Super Wal-Mart. It’s as if they’re taunting me. As if they know how annoyed and tired I am right at that very moment. …and I need what I have in hand. I can’t leave without it. I’m absolutely trapped. So, I complain to anyone who will listen to me. I’m working on that. Seeing as how I refuse to take complaints from my employees, I should maybe, probably, could possibly make a tiny, small, minute effort to be a bit, a little better about not complaining.
Unfortunately, the following story of an event at Wal-Mart happened well before making that very strong and determined resolution in the above sentence.
I was standing in line very, very late in the evening or should I say, early in the morning. I’m certain it was around the holidays which means I’m typically working until 2:00am-3:00am loading kilns, glazing pottery and generally working for Santa and his elves for about eight weeks. I will typically stop by to pick up diapers and/or snacks for my daughter….perhaps some toilettries, etc. Items that truly can’t be done without for the next day without having to get up extra early. …and getting up extra early is not typically an option at my house.
As usual, the line was about ten people deep. Some of these people were doing their grocery shopping so while I had maybe one bag of diapers, these people had their week’s worth of food to get scanned before I could get up to the front of the line. I could see the gentleman at the front was working as hard as he could. He was as tired and as frustrated as his customers were. He was not at fault for the manager’s decision to only open one check out lane mid-December.
Meanwhile, I look over and see three young Wally World team members chatting up a storm over at the next register. What I saw next made me want to blow Wal-Mart up. Now, before anyone reports me or before that statement precludes me or my husband from ever running for office, please note that I did not literally want to go get explosives and blow up Wal-Mart. It is a figure of speech meant to indicate my incredible hostility at those young ladies. Calm down. For the love.
Anyway, what I saw next….was those three team members buying candy and checking each other out through a closed lane. Meanwhile, I’m standing behind some lady who is telling me all about where she’s going to put the new throw rug she’s got in her cart along with about 367 other items that will undoubtedly need a price check. “Price check: How much are the rubber duckie soap dispensers and the rubber duckie curtain rod rings?”.
Stop for a minute and picture me in that line looking over those young ladies and now picture me put index finger in front of me and shake it back and forth while I say “Oh, NO you didn’t!”. I was beyond livid.
I finally made it through the line and checked out with my poor check out guy. He told me they only get $1 more an hour for working nights. That they can’t find anybody to fill the shifts. I felt horrible for him and yet I was still insanely angry at what I had seen.
So when I got home, even though it was very late, I got on the Wally World website to find a place to submit a complaint. Sure enough, buried in one of there 32,898 pages was a “contact us” button. I submitted my complaint with exact details.
Would you believe that the very next day, I got a call from the manager of that store apologizing for my experience? It was shocking and very satisfying. He told me the same things the man had told me the night before. I was pleased with how he handled the situation and diffused my anger. It was a lesson in customer service. …and from Wal Mart!
So while I do have some issues with Wal Mart’s world domination, I was very impressed that they would take time out to talk to one insignificant customer.
I just pray every night that Wal-Mart doesn’t go into the pottery business or I’m in trouble.