Monday, February 28, 2005

Evil Empire: Walmart's CEO trying to make people think that Walmart doesn't screw its employees

And Timothy Noah does a great job taking the air out of his balloon.

Now, sure, I don't like Walmart, but that's mostly for its blatantly illegal workers' rights violations. And I won't necessarily hold it against Walmart that they legally exploit their employees as well, because hey, all's fair in love and capitalism. Walmart didn't write the laws (they probably just bought the Congressmen to write the laws for them, which is of course perfectly within the bounds of the American system, and Democrats and Republicans have been utilizing this method since Paul Revere opened a fried chicken chain in Lexington and Concord).

I think I could forgive a lot of Walmart's failures if the places weren't such wrecks all the time. The Walmart in Ashland, back in the day, was once that wondrous retail store where there was always an employee within ten feet of you that could answer any question, even if the answer were 42. The floors were spotless, every item was evenly spaced on every shelf, and well-groomed six-year-olds danced through the aisles hand-in-hand singing in French.

Those were my days of my retail innocence!

Our last Walmart purchase was a Sunbeam breadmaker back in July. We received about two hundred and seventeen sets of sheets from our very generous and softly sleepy friends and relatives as wedding gifts. A few of these sets came from Walmart, so we returned them, and thought it'd be neat to have a breadmaker, which I believe we've used twice since July. So it goes. According to Walmart's website, they certainly stock this guy.

The first two or three Walmarts we visited (and since there are none in Ann Arbor, these were significant trips), there were none of these breadmakers to be found. The next few, they at least had a display model that'd been beaten like an Abu Ghraib prisoner. I believe at our seventh or eight Walmart, in Cheboygan, MI, we finally found one Sunbeam breadmaker in a box that hadn't been chewed on by small children. And this was on the way back from our honeymoon something like eight miles off the highway coming home.

A blind monkey could find whatever bread maker he wanted at Target in less than thirty seconds. Even more amazingly, so could I! So boo for Walmart.

Update: Courtney informs me that we have in fact only used the breadmaker once. I think we made raisin bread. It was yummy. Mmm... raisin bread.

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