What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word(s?) Wal-Mart? A place for good deals? A store that sells all the best that China has to offer? A shopping center frequented mostly by the poor? Though their prices are good, I prefer purchasing my food items at Hy-Vee (a relatively big-time grocer in the Midwest). Why? Simple, they bag my groceries (technically, Wal-Mart does bag groceries, they just don't put 'em in your cart).
No, that's not the real reason. But here are a few genuine ones: for one thing, being in a Wal-Mart is a tad depressing to me. I mean, we all have this technology and brainpower, but this is the best we could do? This is the world’s number one company? I’m sure many of you are familiar with the millions of Wal-Mart employees who’ve had to rely on the government to give them affordable health insurance because their premiums are so high. Then there are hundreds (thousands?) of cases of employees who have been “strongly encouraged” to work through their breaks as well as the many incidences where women weren’t allowed to move up in the organization.
There are many other issues I have with them, but consider the above three a good start.
I’ve found that I really wouldn’t save that much by getting my food at Wal-Mart. Even if I saved, say, $8 a trip by going there instead of Hy-Vee, I would still opt for the latter. Hy-Vee’s employees consist mostly of teenagers who are required to wear ties, but who seem quite happy, nonetheless, to hold the positions they do.
One afternoon, after this schlubby kid finished bagging my groceries, I slipped him a dollar bill and then put my index finger to my mouth as if to say, “I know I’m not supposed to tip you, but I just couldn’t resist”.
And you can’t beat their slogan: “Where there’s a helpful smile in every aisle” (that trumps a smiley face saying “How May I Help You?” in my book). One thing I don’t like about Hy-Vee is how they have live lobster and fish displayed in their meat section. It reminds me too much of medieval times when people were placed in “the rack” in the town square as a warning to others. But I guess no organization’s perfect…except maybe Friday’s.