This Year I Resolve to…Avoid Wal-Mart January 7, 2013

According to what the self-help gurus tell me, I’m supposed to make my New Year’s Resolutions public so that I am more accountable to them. No problem, I say. Not only will this help me keep my word, but it gives me the perfect opportunity to rant about one of my least favorite places: Wal-Mart.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about capitalism and all, and I don’t hate big corporations. My hating Wal-Mart has everything to do with it being nastier than a Chris Brown Twitter rampage. (Oh and p.s., I am also boycotting Chris Brown and Rhianna in 2013 because they both suck.)

Yes, I have more “noble” resolutions…like using reusable shopping bags. It’s better for the environment and all, but it’s mostly because the cabinet where I store all my plastic bags is looking like George Costanza’s wallet. I am one plastic bag and a swift breeze away from it exploding all over my house with the force of Colon Blow cereal. However I’ll be damned if any one of those bags will be from Satan’s vacation home, otherwise known as Wal-Mart.

Many, many times have I stormed out of Wal-Mart and declared, “Never again!” And it’s even worse when I’m tired and hungry, so technically going to Wal-Mart makes me spend more and eat more. Because the last time I went I had to go through the Culver’s drive-through just to calm myself down with some pot roast sandwich goodness. Then when I got home I had to bust open the glass on my emergency dessert.

But this time I am never going back. Here are my reasons why, in no particular order:

1)     The Parking Lot.

Trash is everywhere, and don’t even get me started on the garbage. I can barely navigate my car down the narrow aisles because apparently everyone went to the Marcia Brady Freak-Out School of Driving. And tell me, was it Plow King or Mr. Plow that Wal-Mart hired to do a sh*tty job plowing its parking lot?[1]

2)     The People in My Way. All the Time.

How much are oblivious, slow-walking people drawn to Wal-Mart? Like gay men are drawn to the One Direction pop-up store. Like sixty-five-year-old women are drawn to PT Cruisers. Like Japanese tourists drawn to the size zero rack at the outlet mall. Like old men are drawn to those little cans of sliced mushrooms at the off-brand grocery store. (Trust me. They are.)

3)     The Nasty Grocery Section.

I recently entered the grocery section to find a dark deli and several scattered buckets which were apparently catching raindrops from the ceiling. Or maybe they were there to collect my shame – I’m not sure. Unless you’ve got a hankering for “REAL tomato ketchup, Eddie?” I’d stay away from the perishables.

4)     The Lack of Customer Service.

Recently when I found my hands were full, I searched in vain for a shopping basket. I then asked a worker if there were any baskets around, and she said, “Apparently not, but you can leave your stuff here and go get one at the entrance.”

Deep breaths.

Okay this never would have happened at Target. First of all, the Target worker would have gotten a basket for me. Secondly, Target has strategically placed baskets around the store for your shopping convenience. You want to encourage more impulse purchases? Make it easier for people to carry that Sham-Wow and Ove Glove they found on that “As Seen on TV’ endcap.

5)     The Lack of Check-Outs.

There were three check-outs open, and all of them were full of people with totally loaded grocery carts. The rest of us suckers with only a few items had to deal with the self-checkouts. I’m not eighty and I know how to use a self-checkout, however that does not make it any less annoying. This “cost saving measure” will still think that I’m stealing something when it doesn’t recognize that I just placed a five-pound object in a bag, so someone will still have to come over and help me…which kind of defeats the whole purpose, no?

6)     The Customer Service Counter.

Good luck navigating your way to the counter; you’ll have to dodge about six carts piled high with returns and scratch and dent groceries. You’ll then have to deal with the “friendly” customer service person who wants you to go away. The last person I dealt with looked like “Faces of Meth” times 100. Forget about taking teenagers to prison for that show “Scared Straight” – just take them to Wal-Mart to see this lady and they will clean up their lives real fast. One look at her multiple long chin whiskers and they’ll be cracking open those GED study guides in no time.


Here’s to Wal-Mart-free shopping in 2013!!

[1] Bonus points if you caught that Simpsons reference.