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Blog: I Want My Old Walmart Back

Whatever happened to the store I used to shop at, where check-out clerks were called when lines grew long and rest rooms were kept clean?

Walmart is one of my favorite stores ... well, sort of.  

My husband I got married seven years ago. At that same time we also moved into our home in Plainfield. We were barely settled when less than a month later I found out I was pregnant, with TWINS! Did I freak out? Yes! But that is another story.

Right away, some serious planning went under way. How was I going to handle this exactly? Luckily for me, there was a located very close to my home, right on Route 59. I felt blessed. I knew that after our initial setup of the twins' room, furniture and equipment, I could maintain what I needed during the week at Walmart.  

Back then, some of the regular workers referred to my boys as the "Walmart Twins," as we were there so often! It was great back then!

I must admit to you, however, that the checkout routine has become so troublesome in the last couple years that I feel myself starting to not enjoy "my Walmart" as much. And, yes, I've been cheating on them! Shhh! Please don't tell anyone!

I simply don't understand why they have so many checkout lanes, but consistently only have a couple open. And the lanes that are open are overloaded with customers all sharing the same frustrated facial expressions. I know this place is making money, so why the cruddy service?

I openly admit I am one of those people who will say something. No, I don't think I'm special ... hardly the case. But I do not have a problem in asking them to open a lane as there seems to be a need. Like right now! I am always nice and polite about the request. 

In my humble opinion, the fastest way to run customers away is lack of customer service, lack of check-out lanes, dirty bathrooms and non-competitive pricing. 

I don't work at Walmart, nor do I have any friends or family who work there. I am sure I am stepping on some toes by voicing my concerns as I realize they are a large employer and supplier to residents in this area.

Where else can you get your oil changed, grab a fresh rotisserie chicken, have an eye appointment, pick up your prescriptions, select flowers for your garden, get groceries and pick up your snapshots?    

However, lately, I have been exploring other options. I am trying to shop for more organic food, which requires other stores. Yes, Walmart has some organic items, but just not enough. I am becoming fond of the places that open check out lanes. It's refreshing! And stores that value their customers enough to actually clean their bathrooms just in case one of my kids has to "go potty" is a major plus.  

I love the concept of a huge "we've-got-it-all-under-one-roof" shopping experience. Unfortunately, without the simple things a customer assumes to experience, things can go down hill pretty fast.

I feel like that is what is happening to "my Walmart." I am starting to feel it's worth the extra couple dollars to get just a little bit better quality, service, cleanliness and reasonably available open lanes. In my heart of hearts, I hope Walmart improves. But if they don't, I now know I can live without them, like we all did before.

P.S. A huge shout-out to the Walmart greeters! They are always kind, courteous, helpful and nice.

Rebecca L. Erickson-Soto January 17, 2012 at 07:29 AM
In total Agreement!
Beth Randall January 17, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I totally agree and because of it I very rarely go to WalMart.
Zach January 17, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Wow, a requiem for Wal-Mart. Perhaps the saddest thing I have ever read. Our country has officially descended into an abyss when we're lamenting the loss of a corporation that destroys more jobs and businesses every year than any individual or corporation in world history.
BitterBluePoison January 17, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Yes...your blog proves that we are all too spoiled & privileged. I agree with what you say but aren't we blessed to have the right to complain about something so minute.
Butch January 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Who would want to use a washroom after a Walmartian walks out of it?
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Thank you, Ms. Erickson-Soto :)
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Ms. Randall, thank you for your note today! :)
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Dear Zach: Good morning to you! I can appreciate your point of view. Thank you for your comment today. :)
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Hello Butch: Something tells me you might be one a fan of "peopleofwalmart.com"? :)
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 03:09 PM
BitterBluePoison: I agree that some of us, not all, Americans are spoiled. I have traveled enough to know this is true...myself included. When I return to the states, one of the things that I find I always feel refreshed about is our right to freedom of speech. It truly is a beautiful thing. :)
Dr. Ed Rockstein January 17, 2012 at 04:12 PM
It's all about the bottom line, unfortunately.
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Greetings to you, Doc! Yes, and unfortunately it feels like it too. I am grateful we have the opportunity to choose from so many places to shop. :)
Nick Beam January 17, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Maybe this is just me, but you described the way Walmart has always been to me. I prefer Target of Meijer over them any day. Target's customer service has been pretty darn good whenever I need it.
Kelly L Karthik January 17, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Mr. Beam: I have had a lot of messages today saying that very same thing. I need to try those stores out again as well. Thanks for your note! :)
Chris January 18, 2012 at 06:04 AM
#firstworldproblems
BitterBluePoison January 18, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Served 7 yrs protecting your freedom of speech..but if all you have to complain about is the number of checkout lanes open at Walmart ...I quote " Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt".. Thank God you are not in line for a Liver transplant!
Kelly L Karthik January 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Greetings BitterBluePoison: I believe this is your second comment for my article... My father, in addition to other members of my family, have served all their lives. In addition, my father also completed 2 tours in Viet Nam. So, I completely understand the concept of "protecting your freedom" and I thank you for your service with my most sincere respect. Freedom of speech is one of the main principals this country was founded on. And I am sorry your are so bothered by my use of it. Maybe in my future articles, you will come to see there is more to me than just this one article to base your opinion on. Thank you, again. :)
Nick Beam January 18, 2012 at 06:39 PM
I don't think anyone is trying to compare the sub-par service and appearance at Walmart to world hunger.
BitterBluePoison January 18, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Please Kelly..I am in no way bothered by your comment! My point is that we are so pampered here in the United States & are privileged beyond belief. As I stated in my first response...I agree with you that some lanes should be opened when the lines get long but as Dr Ed stated...it's all about the bottom line. I thank your family members for their service to this great country. May God continue to bless us all.
Kelly L Karthik January 18, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Mr. BitterBluePoison: Peace :)

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