Kate vs. Wal-Mart

I know Kimberly is not doing Secret Mommyhood Confessions today since it’s a holiday and all…but I have one for you.

I hate Wal-Mart.

Now, I know some of you are running to your Google readers and hitting unsubscribe as fast as you can because I just insulted the temple of all frugal mommies…but hear me out.

I don’t necessarily hate YOUR Wal-Mart…just every Wal-Mart I have ever been in–which is pretty limited.

In fact, up until today, I don’t think I had been in a Wal-Mart in over three years.

I know.

Go ahead.  Soak that in.

So what brought me there today?

Christmas returns.


Yes, Wal-Mart AND returns.  I know.  What was I thinking?

I eased myself in.  First I had a very pleasant return to Kohls.  Then I pleasantly returned something to Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

Before leaving that parking lot, I said a little prayer for my life, started the car and headed to Wal-Mart.

As soon as I got into the parking lot, I began to curse.

First of all, they have those stupid slanty parking spaces–you know, the ones where you have to drive a certain way to park into.

Those parking places alone do not make me mad.  They have them at Macy’s too and I have never been bothered by them there.

But at Wal-Mart?  People do not know how to operate the parking lot.  Even though it’s been this way forever.

So I am already frustrated because it takes me 5 minutes to get into a parking spot…not because I couldn’t find one…because I had to wait for people to figure out the parking lot.

The car parked, I start toward the entrance.

As soon as I got to the door, I was bombarded by no less than THREE homeless-looking guys asking for donations to several things.  Now, again, I don’t mind giving to charities (in fact I give to Salvation Army when the ring their bells, and we give to others regularly each year), but I do mind strange, large men getting all up in my grill about saving people.  uncool.

Moving along…

I get inside and an old man takes my item, scans it, and sticks a return sticker on it for me.  Ok, whatever.  Not sure why Wal-Mart has this process, but it doesn’t bother me.

I quickly find the Customer Service at the front of the store and let myself think for a second, “huh.  they’ve re-done this Wal-Mart since I have last been here.  Seems cleaner and newer…still smells the same though.  Eh, maybe it won’t be so bad.”

Mistake.  Wrong.  Incorrect.

I stand in line with my helicopter to return.  I am behind an older couple with a cart and one item.  The customer service desk has four ladies behind it–three who appear to actually be doing returns and one who is supervising and helping.

From this distance?  Things are still fine.

The middle customer service lady finishes up, sends someone on her way, and takes the old couple.

I wait patiently as it looks like the customer service lady on the Left will be opening up.

She does.  She begins talking with the supervisor lady about her headache.

I am the only person in line with my lonely toy.

The supervisor suggests that she is hung over.

Seems inappropriate conversation seeing as there are little kids with the lady on the right.

Middle lady finishes with old couple.

I am eagerly waiting to be waved forward.

Middle lady adds to headache conversation (perhaps Left lady should have her blood pressure checked.  What?)

Finally Middle lady sees me.  I smile.  She says, “well?”


I tell her I want to return my item, please.

She takes it from me, scans it, shoves a return receipt at me and says, “sign this.”  (um…please?), and grabs it away.

While this is taking place, Right customer service lady finishes (all this while?  Headache conversation has been going on.  Along with much talk of booze.), and a larger man in pajama shorts and a Red Wing T-shirt with holes in it approaches her and says, “yeah I called earlier because you people didn’t give me my full refund on my thing.”

Middle lady (who is still not talking to me.  not sure what I did, but at least she is actually still working on my return) says, “oh yea, I totally e-ffed (yes, she said ‘e-ffed’ and not the REAL word) that one up.  It’s right there.”

Still inappropriate.

Then she turns back to me, hands me cash and says, “15.92, bye.”

“Um, thank you.  Happy New Year,” I say back.

She is already talking about how maybe she needs to “get  laid” to get rid of her headache.


So I start to walk to the toy section to pick Eddie a new toy when I realize, they just gave me cash.  I do not have to shop here!


And with that?  I leave stupid Wal-Mart.

But not before another parking lot struggle.

Oh and? I bought Eddie some Melissa and Doug toys at a local toy store, in case you were wondering.

I guess I won’t be sponsored by Wal-Mart to go to any blogging conferences.

Happy 2011.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Oh I would have been ALL over the manager on that one! I’m not a fan of the Wally world myself- yet I still manage to wind up there at least once a month 🙁

    • I was WAY too eager to get out of the store to complain. I knew I wouldn’t be back, so I really just wanted to get my money and leave!

  2. WOW, My Wal Mart isn’t nearly that bad. We have the regular parking spaces though, and we don’t have homeless looking people at the door. Our customer service people are quick and courteous. The only real problem are the other people that shop there, and the stock people. The stock people are lazy and won’t look for anything and if the other people in the store drive like they push a cart I am very scared. I try to avoid going there, because it is on the same stretch of road as the mall and about 300 other businesses (hence the name Business Route 6). Not to mention I hate driving 9 miles to that insane asylum.

    • luckily for me? In the same area (and actually closer to our home) we have a Meijer and a Target. Between those two, I can’t possibly see a reason for me to have to go into a WalMart again for a very long time.

      • I HATE our Target…the staff is always rude and make me feel a bit stabby whenever we go there. It is on the opposite side of the Wal Mart parking lot so it is the same distance to get there. I usually go to Family Dollar for everything that I can because I am cheap anyway.

      • I agree. I have the choice between Wal-Mart and Meijer in my town and I pick Meijer EVERY time. I still get exhausted getting to the milk, but at least I don’t feel like a shower every time I leave.

        I started couponing JUST TO AVOID the Wally. I’m with you Kate! Be proud!

  3. I hate to shop.

    I hate to buy things. I hate to return things. I hate the whole handing my money over for things I do not need and do not really want. Hate it.

    I hate stupid people. I hate stupid people who work in the places in which I have to shop. I hate dealing with stupid people when I have to return things.

    I hate people who cannot figure out how to work a parking lot.


    I hate headaches. I have one at the moment, and it is making me use the word “hate” a lot in this comment.

    I usually try to avoid using the word “hate.”

    I hate when people use the word “hate” when what they actually mean is that they are unhappy with something.

    I hate having a headache.

    Plus also?

    I hate WalMart.

    Delete this comment if it is too hateful.

    Happy New Year!


    • You might hate just about everything in the universe, but I love you so hard for your poetic expression of hatred.

    • I don’t for real “hate” many things in this world, but WalMart? I totally hate.

      And next time you go for the cheap champagne? Think of me raging about WalMart. You will remember about hate and headaches and you will opt for the better stuff.

  4. I’m still here. I hate Walmart too. Let’s be friends.

  5. Jackie (Twit Name: jlevesque929) says

    It’s a shame…we have three Walmarts in the vicinity of where I live with a fourth being built (*ugh*) The firs Walmart is so dirty and there is a complete lack of respect by the shoppers there that they always dirty it. I have seen people pick up multiple items on hangars and just: drop them on the floor like it was something amusing to do. It also smells like urine.

    The 2nd Walmart is just – for lack of a better word: ridiculous. It’s a mess, the service there is awful and they also re-organized the inside to confusion. I went there with my sister to buy a gift…she had a picture frame. Found one in a plastic case without a hole punched through it. She swears the checkout girl popped a whole in it just to be nasty. Yes, she was in a miserable mood.

    The 3rd Walmart is unfortunately, no better either. This store is brand new but also a mess and has horrible service. I too have had other experiences there hearing inappropriate stories, and have been blatantly ignored when in the return line.

    I have wondered if they make that the experience requirement. “Can you be a miserable person who can ignore others and tell raunchy stories, or stories that should not be told in the customer service line?”

    And yes, forget the niceities!

    I’m also not a fan of Walmart either. I dread what the 4th one they will be opening soon will bring….

    • I mean seriously…it’s like they are out to figure out the best way possible to make everyone in the vicinity of the building miserable. The people working there seem to hate their lives, the customers are always disgruntled…it’s just…sad.

  6. Wow! It drives me crazy when people seem to forget they’re at work and act like you’re just a nuisance. I go to Wal-Mart maybe once a year and that’s only if I can’t find what I need anywhere else. All the socks I got for my daughter when she was a newborn were too big and Wally World was the only place where I found socks that fit and actually stayed on her feet. Luckily, she refuses to wear socks now so I don’t have to go there. 😉

    • Tell me about it! The workers there acted like I was interrupting their off-time. What??!?! Needless to say, I won’t be back again…hopefully EVER!

  7. Dude, more proof of our same-ness. AT one point (in college) I loved Wal-Mart because it was cheap and the Wal-Mart in my college town was brand new and not scummy. (And even though there were two Wal-Marts in my college town, I drove alllllll the way across town to the new one because, in my mind, being the less scummy of the two, it was the only one that really existed.)


    Now that I am older and wiser? I step into Wal-Mart maybe twice a year and it is an ordeal every. single. time.

    • seriously. WalMart is an ordeal before you even get there, ya know? That place is the epitome of evil. Blah.

  8. Dude, I’ve never had an experience like that at a WalMart, though, I will admit there are always weirdos outside of a WalMart trying to solicit money for something. But Oh my dear God- be glad I wasn’t there with you… cause as soon as she said “well?” all hell would’ve broke loose. Well? How about I’ve been standing here waiting to be helped while y’all sit back there talking about getting laid and all kinds of inappropriate workplace conversation in front of customers. How about I call your district manager (whose picture is always in the customer service area) and let him know about this?
    Ugh… Katie…
    You are so much more patient and kind than I.

    • I would have LOVED to have you with me! I was far FAR too busy figuring out what the fastest way out of there was…normally, I am a “WHERE IN THE HELL IS YOUR MANAGER?” kind of person. But that day? I was a “get me the hell out of this place” person. Walmart.

  9. I know the Wal-Mart of which you speak, Katie, and I concur. The people are totally unhelpful. I once had car trouble in their parking lot, went in to the car service place and asked if they could help me. Some guy with a smarmy look just said, “I don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t have time to help you. Try Sears -haha.” (as he looks at his fellow smarmy workers and they all smile) Yuck! Needless to say, I think I’ve been in that store maybe once since then.

    • seriously…I think they ONLY hire smarm. At least from what I saw. The only other Walmart I have been to is the one in Ludington. That one was not nearly as bad, but I would MUCH rather go to a Target or a Meijer.

  10. Move to New Zealand. We have nothing like that here!

    • I would LOVE to at least VISIT New Zealand! From what I understand? You all have a GORGEOUS country!

  11. Oh friend! Don’t even get me started on Wal-Mart. My favorite thing about living in the city is the complete lack of a Wal-Mart anywhere near me. Don’t need it, don’t miss it. Not to mention, they are an incredibly irresponsible corporation.

    • I know! I even thought as I walked in there…”I am not supposed to go in here alone. Tonya would kill me.” And I remembered the time I called you because I got lost trying to find envelopes and I couldn’t find my way out. That may actually be the last time I was in there. Huh.

  12. oh i am so with you. i did shop at walmart for several years only for groceries because they were so damn cheap. but i finally put my foot down & decided my body is worth the money, baby! No more walmart for this mama!

    • they are way cheap! but now I wonder at what expense? No one in that entire building seemed happy. NO ONE. No more WalMart for this momma either!

  13. I have to agree. I HATE walmart as well. The walmart by my house is full of old and I mean old. So it is very hard to get anywhere without one of them running you down. And with 30 lanes to serve you only at most 5 is every open.
    So glad I found someone who shares my feelings.

  14. I am not a Wal-Mart fan. Can’t stand it, can’t stand the craziness, the quality, the clearly underpaid staff.

    Once, I needed paint. I do not recall why I thought to get the paint at walmart, but they have it, so for some reason that’s where we went. (Perhaps this was before the Home Depot opened near our house.)

    Knowing that Wal-Mart is often not fully staffed with helpful people, I decided to CALL FIRST to make sure that there would be someone there who could actually mix paint.

    I called. I was on hold for over 20 minutes because no one could find anyone in the hardware department who knew whether or not any paint-mixing wizards were currently clocked in.

    Finally – YES! Someone told me. Paint-mixing staff is here!

    Hooray! Hopped in my car, drove to the Wal-Mart, stood in the paint department waiting for said Paint Master to show…waited some more…wandered about. Finally found someone to ask. “Where is the maestro of the paint department?”

    Only if I’d asked it like that they would have thought I was some sort of crazy space alien.

    I was told that no one was there to mix paint. Come back tomorrow.

    I think I may have at that point chosen to change the color of the den with a crayon.

    But I repressed that memory.

    • I would have exploded all over the store. I would have gone absolutely bat-shit crazy.

      and “maestro of the paint department” is so what I am saying next time I go to buy paint. It so is.

  15. My hate for walmart knows no bounds. There aren’t words to describe how much I hate that place. I have been to 3 walmarts in my entire life and each time i felt that I had entered the seventh ring of hell.

    It’s target or bust, baby. There ideas no need for walmart in my life.

  16. It sounds like you went to the Walmart in Holland. Sorry.

  17. I am cracking up. Because really I do not enjoy walmart. One time (months ago now) this lady with no teeth wanted to talk to Sophia. And Sophia was cracking up. And as we walked away I said to Cody “She was laughing because she has more teeth than that lady did”. Wow how NON-PC of me ha ha. This other time this old lady grabbed Sophia’s hand while we were walking through the parking lot. Seriously, I almost lost my mind. Stuff like that never happens to us at Target or Kroger.

    • ACK! that is the creepiest thing ever! Who just walks up and grabs a babies hand!!?!? Seriously. I have never had that sort of experience at Target! Ha!

  18. You are a gal after my own heart. I hate, HATE Walmart too! I will do almost anything to avoid it, and luckiy there’s an awesome Target 1/2 mile down the road from our Walmart. I have never had a good experience there!

    So much for those endorsements, right?!

    • yeah, we are not going anywhere with Walmart, but you know what? that is ok because I would not feel right representing that crap-hole anyway! and yes, we go to Target too! It’s closer to our house and it’s a lovely shopping experience!

  19. sarah partain says

    I hate walmart and refuse to shop there even tho it’s close to my son’s preschool. I drive fifteen minutes away to super target and trader joes. Every single one is gross and dirty, poorly lit and everyone there is apathetic, shoppers and workers alike. No thanks!

    • I totally agree! Plus Spartan stores and Targets tend to give back to their local communities. Walmarts? Just suck the joy out of everyone.

  20. I also don’t shop at Wal-Mart (for the reasons you stated!) Then my husband put “The High Cost of Low Prices” on our Netflix. Now I believe Wal-Mart is not just an intensely frustrating place but it might also actually be the root of all evil.

  21. I want to stab WalMart. Like Stab it right in the happy face bobbing guy. I don’t give a shit how cheap that place is, it’s a facken nightmare to walk into…actually the nightmare starts out in the parking lot.
    I loate that place like a zit on my ass. Actually, the zit on my ass…which I don’t have…knock on wood…would be better than walmart. Totally better.

    • dude. I would SO rather have a huge, nasty zit on my butt than have to go in that facking place again. It is AWFUL.

  22. I haven’t stepped foot in a Wally World in over 5 years. And I’m SO happy to hear that you spent your money elsewhere and I’m kinda guessing you won’t be going back any time soon. I have many reasons I don’t shop there but I also wanted to say that the general state of customer service is HORRIBLE these days. Unfortunately I can imagine those bad manners and conversations going on in many retail establishments these days…

    • I agree that when going for customer service ANYWHERE, I don’t usually have high expectations. I end up pleasantly surprised when I get good service. Good service should be the norm, not the exception. But at Walmart everything is evil. I will NEVER spend money there if I don’t have to!

  23. I haven’t gone into walmart in years. For reasons you didn’t even list here.

    • besides all of what I said here, there is the whole “evil corporation” stuff too. I’ve seen the documentaries…I prefer not to give that my money.

  24. I’ve written many-a-“i hate walmart” posts….

    I HATE walmart.

    Gasp. I know, right?

    Come over and check me out sometime. Enjoy your writing!


  25. Although I avoid Walmart as much as I possibly can, it is, for me a necessary evil. Living in Canada I do not have the portal to heaven (also known as Target). One of these days I have to take a road trip over the border and check out Target, I hear so many great things about it on MANY of the blogs I read. In Canada (at least in my city) the Walmarts are not overly dirty but otherwise everything else is the same. I find the thing I hate most is the HUGE pallets of crap they place every 5 feet down every main aisle, there isn’t even enough room for two carts to pass each other, I hate that more then I can say!

    • wait…Canada doesn’t have Target? I did not know this!!! I know feel so sad for you guys! Can you order from target.com?

      Yes…Walmart does have huge pallets of crap everywhere, don’t they? Yet another super annoying thing about them! We have something called Meijer here that does that, but they have super wide aisles and it’s not a problem.

      • If there is a Target here I am unaware of it and it would likely be in Calgary or Toronto, neither of which is a short drive away. I am only about an hour and a half from the US border (North Dakota) and I am sure there is probably a Target in Fargo or Grand Forks but until I get my passport I have no way of checking one out. But as soon as I get one I am so organizing a girls road trip just to check out the Target, oh and maybe also have some girlie alcoholic beverages that my husband laughs at, do some Bath and Body Works shopping (which we finally have here but of course the prices are jacked up so it is still way cheaper over the border!), and laugh and talk and laugh some more 🙂

  26. Have you read “Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich? In the third section she actually takes a job at Walmart – it is very interesting. Although it may add to your hatred it is a really good look at the underlying issues.

  27. Loving me some TARGET! Although as far as returns go Wally World does give CASH-gotta love that.

  28. I HATE THAT STORE. Hate!! I can’t figure out how every single idiot within a 10 mile radius ends up there at the exact time I do, and I’ve only been there twice. Neither times have been willingly.
    And is it just me or is that store the dirtiest, most unorganized mess you’ve ever been in? Ugh! I need to go take a shower now.

  29. I haven’t been to a Walmart in years. There aren’t that many of them around here, and Targets are everywhere.

    And Meijer! Whenever we visit my husband’s family in Grand Rapids, I must make a trip to Meijer. You could spend days there. Sometimes I just fantasize about moving in. Pretty sure no one would notice.

  30. Wow. That sucks. It’s ridiculous. I have a WM like 2 minutes from me and it’s actually *GASP* NOT THAT BAD.

    Sssh. Don’t tell anyone I said that, though. My secret is safe with you – right? 😉

  31. I hate Wal mart with a passion, and we have to shop there every week. Every, single, week. It’s the only place we can get the amount of groceries that we do on our budget, believe me I’ve tried other places. And the customer service seems to always have the rudest cashiers. Shouldn’t customer service have the nicest cashiers?


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