Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Big Store, Small Heart

Many of us have considered it:  boycotting a store we don't like. Maybe we like their clothes or food or lamps or bathroom cleansers, but something else about the store has Set Us Off. A pro-abortion policy? Or pro-life? Support of Planned Parenthood? Or the Catholic church? The Gay Lobby? Too Green ... or Not Green Enough?  Whatever the issue, sometimes stores get us "real lit up," as they say in the South.
I found this image online, and just could NOT resist.
I've tried to boycott Wal-Mart before. Years ago, I decided I'd go anywhere else, and I just about did. I got a few things at Kroger, and tried out Freds too. At that time I was put out by Wal-Mart's support of Planned Parenthood, which I'd discovered from a friend who had seen the list of foundations that Sam Walton's business supported. "No more Wally's for me!" I said, and I stuck with it for quite a while.

A few years ago, Adam and I swore off Wal-Mart again for other reasons. Our store was poorly managed, dirty, with poor customer service, and honestly we wanted better products for cooking than we were finding at Wal-Mart. But eventually we returned to the trough, like dumb cattle. I told myself they were cheaper (which they are not always).

But then today.  Oh my -- I read this story on this blog, The Blue Family. Please go read the horrible things that this family suffered at the hands of over-zealous Wal-Mart employees! I'm stunned, saddened, very angry, and horrified at this story. And just so you know, I know this mom; she's the daughter of very dear friends of mine. She's a sweet lady with a precious family. They bought TWO BUGGIES of stuff at Wal-Mart that day, and then forgot to pay for some sheets and detergent that were in the bottom of a cart. How could anybody believe they were shoplifting??? That's insane! Have we all been taken to an alternate universe? I'm shaking my head in disbelief.

It reminds me of another similar story that happened recently, remember? A couple with a toddler go shopping at Safeway. 8-month pregnant mom gets hungry. They pick up 2 chicken salad sandwiches in the store and eat them, and place the wrappers in the buggy, so they will pay for them at the check-out. But they forget. They pay the $50 for their groceries, but forget to pay the $5 for the sandwiches. And they're arrested for shoplifting, and their little girl is put into Child Protective Services overnight. What a fiasco! Later, the store agreed to drop all charges.

I mean, let's get real. Grocery stores (and Wal-Mart is included in this) offer your family free cookies, and free cups of wine, and free popcorn, not to mention all the other samples that get foisted on you while you're shoving your cart. They long for you to pick up their produce and put it into your cart. They leave fresh produce unwrapped so you can smell it, squash it, handle it. Have you ever tasted a grape in the store? Have you ever opened a package of cookies/crackers/whatever, to stave off hunger for you or your child? What if you forgot to pay for it at the checkout? My mother often picks up a muffin in the deli, eats it, puts one of their little deli bags in the cart, and just tells the checker that she ate a muffin. What if she forgets to tell her?

What if they wouldn't let you pay for if, even if you pleaded, after you'd pushed your buggy away from the checkout?

My friend K. had not even left the store. I'm really appalled at this event, and I will say this: I'm boycotting Wal-Mart until I hear that they've apologized to the Blue family and reimbursed them for ALL their distress, fully.

Good-bye, Wally's! Good riddance!

1 comment:

  1. Any updates on the Blue family? I saw a court date mentioned of 2.2.12, but I suspect that is a preliminary hearing to see if they are going to plea or go to trial.


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