Monday, December 14, 2015

12.14.15 Bee-otch of the Day: people who shop big box stores

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on



Names: various
Ages: various
Occupations: various
Last Seen: various
Bee-otched For: still supporting Walmart and other big box stores
Every time I see those fucking annoying Walmart commercials with the sellout known as Craig Robinson playing a piano, I want to turn that keyboard sideways, shine it up nicely and shove it straight up his candy ass and other things The Rock does.

Last week, I saw a YouTube video that shows why people need to stop shopping at big box stores and other places that treat their workers like numbers. It was a woman from Pueblo, CO who had shopped at Walmart and her cashier was having major issues. His cash register wasn't scanning right and when the customer ahead of her ran her card into the POS system, it kept declining it. The customer was pissed at the cashier, claiming that he was stupid, etc., etc., so this woman told the other woman to piss off. If she didn't like his service, she should have gone to another checkout. The woman walked away and the cashier did something most cashiers don't do: he tearfully hugged the woman for standing up to her. He then revealed that his mother had committed suicide that morning, but he still had to work because he couldn't afford to take the day off.

You know, it's something when a cashier at Wally World can't take the day off to mourn, but one of the members of the Walton clan that controls the chain gets to relax in her $25 million Manhattan penthouse. If one of her family members were to die, she could take the year off to mourn while her little servant in Pueblo cannot just take one day off. But since most Walmart workers are technically part-timers anyway, they don't traditionally qualify for benefits or even vacations.

Yesterday morning at church, I heard another horror story when one of my fellow parishioners told the congregation during "joys and concern time" that her husband is on the verge of a nervous breakdown because he was forced to, kicking and screaming, a management position at a place she wouldn't mention in front of the church. So, after service was over, I asked her and she told me that the place where he worked at was none other than Meijer. She told me that they've really gotten bad over the past 15 years and I don't blame her. They treat their employees like shit and people simply want out.  She even told me that they now have offices in Hong Kong since a lot of their crap is made over there.

Sadly, she's right. Since Fred Meijer kicked the bucket, the chain that started in his daddy's barber shop 81 years ago has gone straight to pot thanks to his kids. Fred was a wealthy man,
but he lived in modest housing and drove older cars. Since he died, his sons have worked on simply converting Meijer into a Walmart clone, taking over more towns and shutting their competition out of business. Where I live in Grand Rapids, Meijer, Walmart, Spartan (Family Fare and D&W) and the German Albrecht Brothers (Aldi and Trader Joe's) pretty much run my end of town. However, there's also Horrock's, which I should go more often. Where I grew up in Torch Lake, MI, the nearest grocery stores to me were the Village Market in Elk Rapids and Eastport Market in Eastport. Both stores are family-owned. Since we worked and went to school in Elk Rapids, we shopped at Village Market regularly. Of course, Meijer just built a store in nearby Acme and they're probably praying and hoping that both Village Markets in Elk Rapids, Rapid City/Alden plus the Tom's in Acme would all meet their untimely demise. When Tom's in Acme opened in 1983, it only hurt the Village Market a little. But since people in Elk Rapids are committed to shopping at their locally-owned store, I don't think they're going anywhere. True, they publish ads for the owner's gun shop in the back of their circulars, but I'd rather shop at a store owned by a man worth a few million bucks over a family worth BILLIONS.

Look, I know that people think that they're saving money by shopping big boxers like Meijer and Walmart, but in reality, these companies are run by spoiled assholes living off of Daddy's money. They exploit their workers and create a system where they're practically a hair above slavery. But let's remember: want to know what's causing them to be successful? Look in the mirror. Remember, if you give Walmart $100 per week, that's $100 less that's going to a local grocer who cares and loves his community. It's less money for schools and even other jobs.

Let's remember this fact: in the early 20th century, The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co. (A&P) had 16,000 stores. They were in big cities and even towns that had less than 1,000 people. But get this: the day before Thanksgiving, they closed their last supermarket after declaring bankruptcy for the second time in five years. Why did A&P collapse? Part of it was from smaller stores that joined co-ops like IGA and here in Michigan, Spartan Stores that allowed them to better compete with big chains like A&P. Most A&Ps were smaller stores, but the local stores beat them at their game by building bigger, cleaner and better stores that made A&P too hoidy-toidy.

True, I highly doubt if either Tom's or Village Market will go ahead and build 150,000-square feet megastores to kill Meijer, but let's face it: there's a plus to shopping at a smaller store vs. a superstore. The prices are comparable and you're in and out in a hurry. In the case of Village Market, they've had people who have worked there long before the Young family bought it in 1974 when it was Don's Supermarket. So, it shows how much they care about their employees.

If people just simply supported local stores, then we'll have more jobs. Cheaper isn't always better. Trust me, I've bought Old Navy jeans made in Vietnam that has zippers that don't stay up and started to rip after only six months! My next jeans will probably be Levi's.

It's too bad that I can't think of a local store off the top of my head that sells them.
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