Tails from a Disgruntled Wal-Mart Cart Pusher: The Wal-Mart Diaries
ENTRY #5: Stop for No One.
February 10th, 2018.
There is one physical affliction which all Wal-Mart shoppers seem to share with one another. It’s a little something I call, “The Wal-Mart Shuffle”. The WM Shuffle is an agonizingly slow, zombie-like trod that customers make on their way through the store. Half-hypnotized and sometimes slightly drooling, they lumber through the shopping isles grabbing the items they ‘need’ to fulfill the all-consuming and eternal hole in their consumer souls. This is the penchant of the US commodity culture. Fortunately, I have discovered a method for breaking my fellow citizens out of this ceaseless and painful shuffle. Well, painful for myself anyway — since I am the type of person whom prefers to grab his items with efficient speed and accuracy, pay for them, and leave the store in no less than seven minutes flat. This proves to be an impossible feat given the large, lumbering American zombies that are in my way. So this is what I do:
I’m gathering the carts throughout the lot, as is usual. I see a couple of obese Americans with two children approaching the crosswalk. I have thirty to forty carts stacked into one another and attached to a electric, red cart pusher. I have the remote control in my hand and I have two choices. One, I can wait three and a half minutes for the customers to sleep-walk through the crosswalk and into the entrance doors. OR two, I can cut those minutes away and point the cart pusher in a direction that will intercept their walking path and therefore the carts shall be pushed into the garage timely and efficiently. Quite obviously, I tend to go with the latter choice. I’m a believer in working smarter, not harder.
So I yank the cart train to the left. It’s now going a diagonal route through the crosswalk and over to the East side cart garage. The couple are in their early thirties. They have children yanking on their sleeves and screaming at one another as to who gets the last of the Doritos. Spittle flies from their fat, red cheeks. The parents are looking dazed and miserable, par for the totality of their future. After a few seconds, they notice their beloved walking path is about to be disrupted by my oncoming train of carts. The carts are rumbling loudly over the pavement. Now they have two choices. They may either One, stay situated where they are and wait patiently for me to pass through the crosswalk, which should take no more than thirty seconds. OR Two, they can break with their relentless and tiresome Wal-Mart shuffle and walk a bit faster, therefore making it to the entrance doors before I cross. Wholesomely aware that they are the customer and that I am a mere working associate, they feel dignified in knowing that they are entitled to the right of way. They will not wait, nor will they be patient, as they are the ones to be served and I am the server. After all, Wal-Mart’s widely professed number one concern is 100% customer satisfaction. Not so for me, your disgruntled Wal-Mart cart-pusher!
Their bus-sized behinds jiggle furiously as they pick up their feet and break from their slumber. They escape my train of carts with their lives spared and walk through the doors. The children have stopped screaming over the last of their bag of chips and the parents have broken from their blank stares into space. They look more aware, more alive now. I have successfully broken the consumer trance.
Proudly, I push the carts into the garage and go back out into the lot for another cart load. I have a rule —I stop for no one, all except the elderly and disabled. I like to think this is a very reasonable and generous rule to keep. You see, I am a working man of values and mores.
Until next time, dear readers. The next entry will center on my experiences working with the elderly customers at Wal-Mart. They are in fact, some of my favorite people…