Like the choice was really hard. Actually, it kinda was. A little. Well, the hardest thing to give up was the availability. Open 24 hours? Have nothing to do at 2 am? Go to Wal-Mart. Ok. I used to do that in college, but you get the point.
Wal-Mart is attractive to many people because they are a one stop shop for most things. It is easy to get your oil changed, pick up some milk, buy a TV, and get the baby food all in one spot. Unfortunately to go along with all of that, on more than one occasion I have encountered some of the worst customer service I have ever seen. (If you work at Wal-Mart and are a kind, courteous person, I apologize to you. The previous comment was not intended to offend those who actually care how they respond to customers.)
The last time I was in the store, December 31, 2009, I was looking for an anniversary present for my wife. My one year old son and I were shopping around and I had hoped to find a good deal on the item that she wanted. I asked an associate where it might be located. She told me that if they had it, it would be in such and such place. Her boredom poured off of her. So, I went looking and couldn’t find it. I thought I might have looked in the wrong place. I went back and asked again. She looked up at me and, with a tone of annoyance, told me that Wal-Mart didn’t carry that item. She treated me like I was a moron for asking.
I decided in that moment that Wal-Mart no longer needed my money. I was not upset that they didn’t have the item I was looking for. I was upset that I had to go to the associate twice, asking the same question, and she couldn’t tell me the first time that they didn’t carry the item. She was even a bit rude. It was like my desire to purchase an item from her store was inconvenient at the time. That was not the first time I had encountered this kind of issue in Wal-Mart, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I have discovered something interesting in my time away though. The mom and pop store still exists. There are still stores out there that want your business and will go out of their way to make sure you are satisfied. AND they are no more expensive in many cases. AND their products are actually better quality.
I may never set foot in a Wal-Mart again. I can’t think of any reason I would need to outside of a major emergency. So, I will take my grocery money somewhere else. The Christmas and birthday monies I spend every year will go to another establishment. No, my few thousand dollars a year may not matter much to Wal-Mart, but they matter to me. I want them to go somewhere they are appreciated.
Funny thing is, had that associate treated me with kindness and respect, I would never had to write this blog post, I would have most likely have let the incident go. But, I wouldn’t have taken the time to go into some of the places I have gone. Wal-Mart’s loss is someone else’s gain…mine.