Thursday, July 31, 2008

WalMart - We have a problem here

Posted by Mandy at 2:00 PM

In a small town like this, there is little option outside of Wally World to get most of what you need. Our once fairly understocked and cramped for space Walmart has recently undergone dramatic changes. I love the new design and layout, though I am having to walk twice the distance to find things and possibly circle the store a few times just to give up and leave. In good time, I know it will become familiar to me, so I'm willing to avoid complaining about it.

One thing I must complain a bit about though is the new check-out system. Now, many of you in other cities probably already have this check-out system in place. I have dealt with it in other towns, but now it effects me on a once a week, at least, basis.

After shopping with all of the kids for roughly an hour, for our once a week grocery trips, I now wait in line like normal and unload all of my groceries onto the conveyor belt like normal. The difference now is that instead of the employee sacking and placing my groceries into my shopping basket, I now get to grab them off of the turntable and put them into my basket myself. Once the basket filling job is over, I then have to make my way back to the cashier to make payment. So, let me get this straight. I am spending more money than EVER at Walmart thanks to skyrocketing food prices, and yet getting LESS service than ever in return? What's the deal? What happened to customer service? When you have the screen on the credit/debit card machine that reads, "Was your cashier friendly today?" or "Did your cashier greet you today?" then you know there is a serious problem in our service industry in today's times. I'm totally aware that Walmart employees are GROSSLY underpaid. I am also aware that their job is probably very tiring and greeting EVERY customer each day is exhausting. Hey, guess what... that's part of the job. I have a few cashiers that I choose to wait in line for simply because I know they will be friendly. Do they always have good days? I'm sure they do not. Do they always WANT to greet me? I'd guess no. But, they do it anyway. And it is greatly appreciated.

How often in life do we feel that way? Someone is just TOO hard to talk to. We just don't feel like dealing with them. Being civil or God forbid friendly is just too much for us.. I mean.. that's just how we are. How can anyone expect us to change how we are? I find it laughable when people excuse rudeness with claims of a personality trait. Being rude, or polite, is a constant choice. It has nothing to do with how we feel, what we think, or even if we like someone.

Jeff preached a sermon recently and he mentioned that if we really really realized what a precious gift Jesus dying on the cross FOR US is, then we couldn't possibly have bad attitudes. We would be so incredibly thankful just to be here, that a gruff attitude would simply be impossible. I know that when I'm having some self pity over something and not feeling that grateful for what I do have, it has the ability to change my entire attitude. For example, when we struggled with some infertility issues when trying to conceive Samuel, there would sometimes be days that would pass that I couldn't even muster a smile. I was so down, so defeated. Even with the abundant blessings I currently had, I did not have the spiritual maturity (a.k.a relationship with Christ), to be filled with joy no matter if I was pregnant or not.

I wonder if that is what's lacking in society today. From customer service to the people in our lives, is our society as a whole lacking real spiritual maturity? Could it be that more distant relationships with Christ, and not working mothers, public schools, rap artists, drugs, alcohol, and a poor economy are causing rudeness and general disrespect for others and others' property? What can we, as Christians, do to help this huge problem? I think the best thing we can do is lead by example. Put a smile on your face even if times are tough. Don't be 'fake,' but don't choose to be sullen, either. Ask someone how they are in sincerity, not as a habit. Let things go... let things go as Christ does. Let things go for others in the same way you want Jesus to let things go on your behalf. No one is always happy, no one always feels like being polite and caring. It is our 'job' as Christ-loving people to rise above our emotions.

Jeff, and other Journey Go-ers... on behalf of mothers like myself and others in need of a hand, perhaps a great service for us to provide to be more community minded would simply be to spend a few hours helping people place groceries into their shopping carts. Simple acts like that can mean so much to so many. Non-Journey Go-ers... consider doing this on your own... simply lending a helping hand, even when someone doesn't appear to need it.


Shelley on Thursday, 31 July, 2008 said...

that "did your cashier greet you" thing determines if they get a be HONEST, cause they can't see what you pick :P

Mandy on Thursday, 31 July, 2008 said...

lol thanks for the info! I definitely am honest with them... sometimes I will avoid clicking "no" if they weren't great.. but I ALWAYS click "yes" if they were!

Lou Arnold on Friday, 01 August, 2008 said...

good post. I however do like the new checkout system. We buy groceries for the whole month so we have a lot of stuff. Sometimes it is me and the kids and they would place my grocies into two baskets. How can a mother with two kids push two baskets out to the car? At least now I can put it into one basket.

I do believe the times are beginning to show people with less relationships with God. I have to admit I am one with that problem. I think I lot of us are or we wouldn't get so worked up over things.

Mandy on Friday, 01 August, 2008 said...

What a great point, Lou. We ALL get too "worked up" over issues. Probably on a day to day basis, at that. Just last night I was feeling really stressed with just getting the kids into bed for some reason. I mean.. what's the big deal?

Ana on Wednesday, 06 August, 2008 said...

Well written! I'm not familiar with the new check out system in Wally world. However, I do know about there 'how did your cashier greet you' survey.

It's funny (no in a hahaha way) that you should write about the lack of customer service because months ago I wrote about the same. I totally agree that it has to do with our nations draw away from old fashion, tried & true, Biblical principles. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. And other principles like that.

Sadly, even Christians are falling into this mentality. I remember at church one time I was behind a lady who was late for service. The ushers requested that we sit in the rear pews. The lady in front became rude with the usher and refused to sit in the back. To avoid a scene in the church he let the lady wander the aisles to find a seat she wanted. Her actions were disruptive to others but she didn't care. So very sad this attitude of "I can do whatever I want - it's my right". Too many rights and not enough accountability for actions.

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