Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Infamous Walmart Story

It has long been suggested I write some sort of biography about my life and the crazy scenarios I, out of sheer happenstance, get into. Like the time I got a ride to church in the back of police car. Or the time that I was late for a bible study because I was nearly abducted and hit on by a seemingly homeless drunk at the train station. (Those stories each deserve their own post at a later date.)
I don’t have any plans to write such a book in the future, but if I did, the following story would make one of its chapters.
My Infamous Wal-mart Story
For those of you that don’t know, Wal-mart has this sticker on the door that says if you have a disability and need some help shopping, simply pay a visit to customer service and they will find someone to help you.

So anytime I go into Wal-mart that’s what I do. I wait in line at customer service, and ask them to find someone to help me do my shopping. Well, this one time I did that and got some… resistance.
Wal-Mart employee:Hello sir, welcome to Walmart. How can I help you today?”
Me: “Yes, I was wondering if I could get some help doing some of my shopping today”
Employee: “I’m sorry sir, we can’t do that today. In fact we don’t do that here.”
Me: “But you have a sign on the door that says if you have a disability, like me, and need some help, like me, I’m supposed to stand in line at customer service, like I’m doing now, talk to you, and you’ll find someone to help do my shopping.”
Employee: “Okay, hold on a second, let me get my manager.”
Manager: “Yes, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Hi, I was wondering if I could get someone to push a cart for me, or reach for things I can’t while shopping in my wheelchair, please.”
Manager: “I’m sorry sir, we can’t do that today. In fact we don’t do that here.”
At this point, I roll my eyes and wonder if I have to repeat myself. Reluctantly, and a little annoyed, I do. To which the manager responds with:
“I can’t do that sir, I just don’t have the man power. If I do that, I will be a man short. But I do know what will work. Follow me.”
The manager’s alternative was to stick me in one of their electric scooters with a basket on the front.

It wasn’t what I asked for, but she figured I could go around the store, grabbing the things I need and put them in the basket, solving the problem at hand. I cooperated, got in the scooter, left my chair with customer service, and away I went.
Down the milk aisle I grabbed my first item and success! The lady’s idea was working…. Until I started the scooter again. I drove the scooter no less then 50 meters and the battery had died. Great! Now what do I do? I was the only one in the aisle and nobody else wandered down there for quite some time. Knowing my ride home would be coming soon, if I wanted to get my shopping done I couldn’t just sit there. I pulled out my cell phone and called the store.
“Hello, thank you for calling Walmart, how can I help you today?”
Me: “Hi there, this may seem a little odd but, I’m in the milk aisle of your store sitting in one of your scooters and the battery is dead.”
Wal-Mart: “You are? Oh dear! That’s horrible! Okay I will get someone to come find you right away.”
I thank the person on the phone and a few minutes later, a Walmart employee finds me and offers to go grab the other scooter so I can finish my shopping, only to return with news that the other scooter also has a dead battery, and both are out of commission. After we both laugh about it, he offers yet another alternative.
Wal-Mart employee: “Sir? How about I go get your wheelchair, come back with a cart and be kind of like a personal shopper? You tell me what you need and we will go around the store getting it? Sound like a good plan?”
I agree, and as I wait for him to come back with my wheelchair, I laugh about it and think to myself, that’s what I asked for IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!
This happened at least 3 years ago, and I have yet to return to that particular Walmart. But there you have it. This is one of the crazy but true slapstick comedy situations that happen to befall me.

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