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Dr. Smith World of Writing: Walmart? Nah-ah-ah . . . not My Store, but Then . . . .

 

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Walmart? Nah-ah-ah . . . Not My Store

It sounds crazy to start an article with the above title, but crazy or not . . . here goes.

I had seen Walmart stores in and around Michigan, but I never visited them. They were not my kind of a store . . . me . . . a boutique shopper that loved unique everything, and Walmart … wasn’t it! A few years later, my husband and I bought a townhouse in a small town in Alabama, and on the day of closing, we needed the bare essentials: food, bedding, bath accessories and several other products. As we were contemplating where to go, (the choices were few) a sister who lived in a town nearby said, “Try Walmart.” I was like “What?”

“They have some really nice things.”

“Yea, sure.” However, time constraints and not many choices forced me to go there. I was surprised at the lovely thing I walked away with, and the quality was good . . . not the cheap looking stuff I had imagined. My cart was loaded with many wonderful products! So, when we were in Alabama, Walmart became one of the places we shopped. That did not, however, translate into shopping at Walmart in Michigan where we lived most of the time.

It took several years later before that would occur. One day, my toaster decided it had “had it,” and I needed to shop for a new one. After going to a couple of familiar stores and not finding what I was looking for, a soft, mental voice said, “Walmart . . . go there.”

“I don’t think so, they won’t have anything.”

“Walmart . . . go there.”

“Well, okay, I’ll go there.” There is a super Walmart in a town near my home in Troy, Michigan, so I went there. Guess what? I found the perfect toaster and nine years later it still works beautifully. Today, Walmart is one of the first stores I think about when looking for movies, bedding and and electronics. A few months ago, I replaced all of my AT&T phones with phones from Walmart.

Another thing that had made Walmart a store I did not enjoy doing business with, was low wages paid to its workers. I am a school teacher who spent most of my life earning the highest degree our nation offers, but still earned mediocre salary compared to other professions, so that was still a “thorn in my side” when shopping there. I was gratified to learn that wages have been raised on 100,000 of it workers and the minimum wage will be raised to $10 an hour.

One likes to feel that the stores he patronizes live by an underlying principle of “man’s humanity to man.” It’s one thing to be a big fish in a big ocean that gobbles up everything in sight without regard for smaller fish, but another to be a big fish with a heart that generates respect, compassion and appreciation for all of the little fish that helped make him big. “Ah-ah-ah-ah . . . that’s Walmart!”

 

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