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  • I Don’t Actually Work At Wal-Mart

    January 5, 2007

    Jeff Foxworthy says that if you spend more than 40 hours a week at Wal-Mart and you don’t work there – you might be a redneck. This gives me pause for concern.

    So.

    Yesterday, I was at Wal-Mart for the few things I had failed to get on my previous five trips earlier in the week. I tend to have bad luck when it comes to check out lines and I’ve learned that the key is not to find the shortest line, but to spot the most skilled checker.

    With that criterion in mind, I landed in a line directly behind THE electric cart lady. The checker was a young man, about 20 and he was reasonably proficient. He managed to get electric cart lady checked out and on her not-so-merry way in no time at all and then he began checking my few things.

    I noticed that as I pulled my cart forward to the bag-turnstyle-thingee that electric cart lady had left behind a bag that contained a carton of eggs. So I told the young man checking the groceries that she probably hadn’t gotten too far and that if he hurried, he could catch her. So I’m standing there with outstretched arms holding a bag of eggs across the conveyor belt as though I’m offering him my first-born son. And checkout boy just looks at me. And then he looks at the eggs. And then back at me. With contempt. I’m not sure if the contempt was for me or for the eggs. Maybe he can’t eat dairy, I don’t know. But then he rolls his eyes to emphasize his contempt for 46-year-old women offering eggs. And I could see why. After all, a man of his stature and in his position could not be seen running after an electric cart lady hollering, “Ma’am, you forgot your eggs!” So undignified.

    So to help him in making a good choice, I thrust the eggs at him again and said to him in my best mother voice, “Young man. Go. Take that woman her eggs.” I nodded my head at him and gave him my disturbing “is it sweet or is it wicked” smile. And that must have frightened him because he took the eggs and trotted after electric cart lady, but not before heaving a sigh of yet more contempt. I waited patiently for his return while the three people in line behind me took turns heaving sighs of contempt in my direction. It’s good practice for when Sean becomes a teenager.

    When he resumed his post, I said, “There now. Aren’t you glad you did that? Wasn’t she appreciative?”

    And he said flatly, “No. No she wasn’t.”

    “But oh! Think of all the stars in your crown!” I said with much merriment.

    No. I didn’t really say that. I just said, “Oh. I can see that.”

    As I left, I checked the bag-turnstyle-thingee three times to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I didn’t want checkout boy and three contempt-heaving shoppers to return my eggs to me one knuckleball at a time.

    38 Comments »

    1. Karla~Looking Towards Heaven says:

      I guess all Wal-Marts are required to have an “electric cart lady”, because I have yet to be in one without encountering one.

      I guess it’s to balance out all of those low price smiley faces they have posted everywhere.

      Blessings,
      Karla

      January 5th, 2007 at 1:28 am

    2. jeana says:

      Okay, I thought you were going to chase her down with the eggs yourself, but I loved this “encouraging others to do good works” spin, especially considering he’s a strong young buck and, oh yes, IT’S HIS JOB. The “is it sweet or is it wicked” smile was just gravy.

      January 5th, 2007 at 6:27 am

    3. Angela says:

      my disturbing “is it sweet or is it wicked” smile is going to have me laughing all day.

      January 5th, 2007 at 8:10 am

    4. Becky says:

      Ditto what jeana said. I so thought you were going to chase her down, only to find that it infact was the same electric cart lady you had encountered mere weeks ago! That would’ve been a twist, huh? 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      January 5th, 2007 at 8:43 am

    5. Beck says:

      I’ve never had a cheerful cashier in Wal-Mart, but the woman handing out carts and stickers at the front is always sweet. Maybe they should see if she has sisters…

      January 5th, 2007 at 9:09 am

    6. His Singer says:

      Way to go, Mom!!!

      I embarrass my kids by doing things like that all the time. Like when we’re in the drive-thru of a certain “restaurant” with golden arches, and they don’t thank me when they hand me my order. I make a point of saying an elaborate, exaggerated “…and THANK YOU!!!” to them.

      Unfortunately, with teenaged employees, it tends to go right over their heads.

      sigh.

      January 5th, 2007 at 9:13 am

    7. edj says:

      I’m so glad we have you to teach those surly young checkers how to behave 🙂

      January 5th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    8. chilihead says:

      I have left my sack at WM b/f and gotten all the way home b/f I realized it. Then I went back to get it. They just smiled at me and said, “We almost ran it out to you, but we knew you’d be back.” I’ll refrain from my normal response seeing as how it’s not that kind of blog.

      January 5th, 2007 at 9:51 am

    9. Shalee says:

      “I waited patiently for his return while the three people in line behind me took turns heaving sighs of contempt in my direction. It’s good practice for when Sean becomes a teenager.”

      It’s my goal to teach my children that I will slap them silly when they do this sighing to me. In Christian love, of course.

      Way to go at getting someone else to earn a star in his crown, especially a young man who obviously needs to learn all about that. On the day that he gets a returned lost wallet, he’ll think back and remember you and your “disturbing ‘is it sweet or is it wicked’ smile.” and he’ll understand what it is all about.

      Or not.

      But it doesn’t hurt to try.

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:02 am

    10. Rabbit says:

      Ohhh I love throwing out the sweet? wicked? sweet? wicked? smile. Bravo to you for pushing the young man to do what was right, not to mention what was part of his JOB. Golly Ned. As if learning how to work the bag-turnstyle-thingee wasn’t enough! That thing is a complicated piece of mechanical engineering, you know. And you go and expect courtesy on top of it??

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:10 am

    11. Tina says:

      You are so funny. I LOVE how you handled the situation. Way to go.

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    12. SG says:

      This just happened to me last night!!! I left a 12 pack of coke zero at the Walmart check out. I didn’t miss it until I got home. I called and they said yes, the checker saw it and brought it to them right as I left the store….WHAT???
      So I drove all the way back and stood in line at the service center 15 minutes only to learn that I had to go back to the back of the store and get another 12 pack because in the 30 minutes it took me to get home realize and get back, they had put it up…. Since the checker had to walk the coke0 to the service desk and then some Wal-Mart employee had to walk it to the back of the store to put it up…Wounldn’t it have been easier if the checker would have just followed me 15 steps along the way!!! I needed AM behind me last night!!!

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:50 am

    13. Carol says:

      You’re 46?!?! Okay, what month were you born?

      I am ALWAYS the oldest. Time for my tantrum.

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:53 am

    14. misslionheart says:

      I’ve never set foot in a Wal-Mart! Maybe it’s just as well…

      January 5th, 2007 at 11:11 am

    15. Kara says:

      LOL! I think I’m lucky in that the cashiers at my WalMart are pretty nice 😀 I loved your “sweet, wicked” smile lol!

      January 5th, 2007 at 11:49 am

    16. Shayne says:

      Personally, I think Mr. Foxworthy’s 40-hour limitation is a tad low. Shouldn’t it be more like 60-70? Just thinkin’ out loud.

      I was at the local grocery chain the other night (Starts with a K…ends with an R – all ya’ll in the Southeast should know it) and the cashier boy started crackin’ on one of my purchases. It was John Grisham’s latest (my husband’s a fan) anyhoo I proceeded to tell him and his bagboy friends that perhaps if they read a few more books, they wouldn’t have to work at K—-r. After mopping my daughter’s mortified corpse off of the floor I sashayed my bad self outta there. Cashier/checker/bag boys beware. Don’t mess with mama. Antique or otherwise.

      January 5th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    17. Christy in TN says:

      I am cracking up. Way to go, AM. And way to go, Shayne. I’m taking lessons here. If only my brain would work that fast. Those clever retorts don’t come to me until later when I’m rehearsing the scene over again in the shower (that’s the best place to solve life’s problems, you know).

      January 5th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    18. Sandy says:

      Hey AM, hope you remember me Gibee’s SIL from Wanna Meet in 2006. I just wanted to say since coming back from TX every once in a while I peek in on your blog and absolutely love it. What a great story teller you are!

      January 5th, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    19. Leah says:

      It’s a pitty for a customer to have to push a cashier to take someone her eggs. Just a crime. Why, when I was just knee high to a puddle duck, those boys carried out our groceries, and put them in the car for us! Imagine that!

      January 5th, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    20. Anne Glamore says:

      I can picture every bit of that! You would have been at TARGET if he’d been nice about the eggs.

      (My mom used to say that about stars in your crown!)

      January 5th, 2007 at 7:18 pm

    21. merrymama says:

      My mom used to say that too. ThoughI have to say, My Wal-Mart people are usually nice. They actually offered me a bed and breakfast if I kept coming back.

      January 5th, 2007 at 7:49 pm

    22. Linda says:

      They just aren’t making cashiers the way they used to. However – I think you did exactly the right thing. Bravo!

      January 5th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    23. Linda says:

      Zippity – do – dah!!! I posted a comment. If only I had known. I’m sure I could have come up with something much more clever.
      I love your posts – absolutely love them!!

      January 5th, 2007 at 8:41 pm

    24. ChaCha says:

      Good for you for teaching that young man some manners!

      January 5th, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    25. Paulette1958 says:

      You are a much better person than I , I abhor Walmart. Someone gave me a 200 dollar gift card for Christmas for Walmart and I have yet to go. Maybe I should try yours, you have so many great stories from there! This was hallarious.

      January 5th, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    26. Roxanne says:

      I had a gal come running out of the grocery store the other day to bring me my chocolate icecream I had forgotten because I was ONE THE PHONE at the time I checked out. I’d say she was a lot more polite to me than I was to her. That’s just kind of common courtesy even if electric cart lady isn’t so nice. Good for you. . .and I am SO glad you TOLD him to do it. 🙂

      January 5th, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    27. Blessed Beyond Measure says:

      Probably my favorite part of this (which we’ve all lived through in real life way too many times) was his honesty that he was NOT glad. That part cracked me up. I wonder – where are the polite teenagers? I swear I’d shop there exclusively if I could just find them.

      January 6th, 2007 at 9:30 am

    28. Maggie says:

      I’ve had my moments too in Walmart, sometimes it’s an ugly world out there… 🙂

      January 6th, 2007 at 9:35 am

    29. Damselfly says:

      Well, at least there will be stars in *your* crown.

      January 6th, 2007 at 10:39 am

    30. Toppytiger says:

      As a former Wal-Mart employee and now a cashier for another company, I will play Devil’s advocate. One starts out a wide eyed, polite worker, but after a while the contempt does set in – in a big way. Paid and Lefts happen all though out the day. Chasing after the customer usually ends in very upset people behind the customer and a very upset supervisor and/or manager because you’ve commited the unspeakable crime of leaving your work area.

      Exibit A:
      Customer walks up with a $100 item insisting the real price is $40. Upon explaining that I cannot simply deduct $60 without approval from the higher ups it is remarked that its okay obviously if I’m working for Target I have no education and its understood that I don’t know anything.

      Exibit A also happens about ten times and after hour 7 of day 100 and something the only response – wrong or right – is contempt.

      January 6th, 2007 at 11:26 am

    31. jen says:

      I would have been happy If you did this for me…some people…Happy New Year bag boy.

      January 6th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    32. Nicole says:

      You are so funny. I seriously cannot see ANYONE man or woman in an electric cart without thinking about your Electric Cart post. You’re just FUNNY I say!!

      January 6th, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    33. Antique Mommy says:

      Toppy, your point is well taken. I would not be a very good cashier aside from the fact that I don’t make change very well.

      January 7th, 2007 at 7:45 am

    34. Stacy says:

      If I had to work for the pathetic wages and deal with the profound disrespect my employer has for its employees everyday, you’d better believe I wouldn’t chase after some fool who forgot her eggs. The eggs aren’t going anywhere. Maybe if they treated their employees better and paid a living wage, we’d see some better service. Not a fan of the chastising of the cashier. I don’t see how it was any of your business. If you cared so much, why didn’t you go after her? (But obviously, I AM a fan of chastising the blogger! LOL. Sorry.)

      January 7th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    35. The Wooden Porch says:

      The same lady!? I thought about you when I was at Walmart a week or so ago. I know the type…

      January 7th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    36. Antique Mommy says:

      Well Stacy, I guess shame on me. I was thinking of the electric cart lady and how much trouble it might be for her to have to get in and out of her car to come back for the egss for which she paid. I guess I should have concerned myself with Wal-Mart’s dismal employee policies instead.

      January 7th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    37. jeana says:

      Since when does anyone “have” to work at Wal-Mart? Last time I checked this was still a free country. And while I believe that the “paid and lefts” happen often to cashiers, (I didn’t know they actually had a name for people like me) I think I too would make an exception for someone who didn’t have good use of their legs. Also I’m assuming AM had a three year old with her that she couldn’t just ditch with the cashier. (Expecially one that surly.)

      Oh, and I’m not buying that contempt is the only response. There are several cashiers at my Wal-Mart who always have a smile on and are always friendly and gracious; most of them have been working there for years. I have a hard time believing they just have fewer paid and lefts than the next cashier. They choose to have a better attitude.

      January 9th, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    38. Carrie says:

      Hilarious! Your blogs are always SO funny! I love reading them! I totally agree that the cashier should’ve run after the shopper! What is this world coming to with people’s work ethic? I can’t imagine only doing as little as possible to get by at work! How sad! 🙁

      January 26th, 2007 at 3:39 pm

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