Who Do You Think You Are?

In the past 24 hours, my mom and I have gone to 2 major retailers (Wal-Mart and Target). I know that these are major stores and they are very busy in the middle of summer, but I’ve noticed some really crappy behavior at both stores lately.

  • The Wheelchair Carts – my mom still has trouble getting around the stores without being in one of the carts. One of the greeters at Wal-Mart last week wouldn’t let my mom have one and practically refused to use the phone to call for one from the other side. (She said hers were uncharged, though 5 minutes later an older lady got one.)
  • Help putting things in the carAt Target: my mom asked for help putting stuff in the car, since we had gotten the printer. The electronics guy called for help and told us to wait by the door. We waited…employees walked past/went to lunch/came back from lunch/went on break/came off break/stood at registers of other employees and talked. The Customer Service person called for help again. More employees walked past. The CSM person got someone to come take over for her and she took them out. At Wal-Mart: my mom asked this cashier (who is always rude, but at night she’s usu. one of the only people open) to call someone to help. She laughed at my mom and said that no one could help because they were all in the back stocking. Since it was 1 AM, thus completely dark outside, we knew that that kind of response was completely unacceptable to any cashiers, but especially women. (Generally major retailers and malls will supply escorts out to the parking lot any time after the sunsets to ensure safety.)
  • Attitude – there are several employees at Wal-Mart who have been extremely rude to customers, not just us. They will sometimes laugh in your face. They will mock you to other employees. They will get angry if you’re still unloading the cart when they get done with the first bag, thus refusing to continue to bag things, then the belt will get full and you won’t be able to unload the cart anymore. They will close the checkout with people in line, sometimes after 1/2 a cart is already unloaded, and will tell them reload their cart and go to another lane.
  • Inventory – I get that these are busy stores and you can’t possibly keep things stocked at all times, but when you’re in the middle of doing inventory, you should at least make sure to face the shelves properly. When you do the facing, if something is in the wrong spot, then you should put it somewhere else. (At major stores, you could just put it in a shopping cart and re-stock later.

I get really frustrated by a lot of these people because I know how retail employees are supposed to act. My dad was a manager at Radio Shack before being an Asst./Shift Manager for Petcare (which became PetCo). My mom was a Customer Service Manager at places like Burlington’s, Wal-Mart, Lechters, and other chains. As a kid, when my dad would be down employees, sometimes I would help at Radio Shack with inventory. When he nearly moved us to Jonesboro (the winter before the Jonesboro school shooting) so that he could be a Store Manager at Petcare, the staff at that store didn’t know how to do inventory, stocking, and facing, so (the week my mom and I were there) I spent some of the nights working on the canned food sections. It was a bit tedious, but a little fun. So, if a small child can help on inventory at an electronics store or a pre-teen/teenager can do proper facing at a pet store on one of the busiest aisles, then I think that people who are actually being paid should be able to do the job.

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.