Tuesday, December 09, 2008

kabul safer than wal-mart

dang. for the second time in a week or so, i'm reading about deaths at wal-mart. i knew that wal-mart was evil, but this is getting ridiculous. employees, who are already not treated well by their employer, are trampled to death as they open the doors. and now there's talk of other employees who tackle poor shoplifters (who are probably desperate, sad people in the first place) and kill them.

when i was in college, i went to wal-mart. i liked that they were open 24 hours. you could go there at 1 a.m. to buy your cleaning products and avoid all the freaky crowds. tho' you didn't really avoid the freaks, since that's when they were there, wandering the aisles, muttering to themselves and gesturing wildly. still, that's when i chose to go. something about breathing in the chemical smell and the reassuring whirr of the floor polisher just had its appeal.

but, then somewhere along the way i read barbara ehrenreich's book nickle and dimed: on not getting by in america and i decided not to go to wal-mart anymore. and i haven't set foot in one since 2003. of course, it helps that where i live there aren't any, but even when i'm in the US i avoid them. and my dad, who just turned 75 yesterday, has NEVER set foot in one. i'm so proud of him for that. of course, it didn't help my resolve that i spent a number of years working for the world's largest container shipping company and that wal-mart was a major customer (they had a whole fleet of key account managers hanging out in arkansas). however, i had no direct association.

but this latest rash of madness and mayhem at wal-mart further reinforces it for me. i'll definitely not be setting foot in one again now, i don't care how bad this financial crisis gets. i'll just make do with less cleaning products. and i'm sure with the economic slowdown, it's only going to get worse for wal-mart workers--kept on part-time hours so the company can avoid paying benefits, paying only minimum wage, all so we can get the jumbo pack of paper towels for $1.99. and we can see how much they care about the safety of their customers. no thank you. i'd rather walk through downtown kabul. which is probably actually safer these days.

1 comment:

marymurtz said...

Great post. And anyone who hasn't read Ehrenreich's book needs to. It is terrific.