The W Family Chronicles

The Evil Empire — and why I won’t shop there any more. Unless I absolutely have to.

Posted on: March 28, 2008

I despise Wal-Mart. I have for years. I hate their business practices, plus I find their products, service, and selection to be vastly inferior to Target. I LOVE Target. I spend about $100 every time I step foot in that place. When we lived in Florence, (that’s SC, not Italy!) we were about 5 minutes from Target and I was there as much as 3-4 times a week. We bought everything there…kid’s clothes, diapers, convenience food (this wasn’t a Super Target or we’d have gotten groceries there), stuff for the house…you name it, it probably came from Target. For a while there, it was a running joke among some of my friends and I. Every time someone asked where I got my purse/shoes/J’s clothes/etc. I’d say Target. I figured if Target didn’t have it, I didn’t need it!

Then we moved to Sanford. And all we had here was a Wal-Mart. Not even a Super Wal-Mart but an old, dingy, dirty, badly organized small Wal-Mart on the other side of town. YUCK. I despised going there, but it was often my only option unless I wanted to drive to Apex. Truthfully, it’s not much farther plus Apex has a fairly new, very clean, well stocked Super Target. But the idea of having to leave town to get diapers or cleaning supplies was a little too much for this city girl who’s used to having *everything* within a 15 minute drive. The idea of driving 20 minutes to the nasty WM or 30 minutes to the lovely ST was kind of staggering when we first moved here and I’m still not used to the idea of it. But WM usually won out as it’s a bit closer and it’s prices are slightly lower. But inevitably they wouldn’t have everything I needed and I’d end up telling D we needed to plan a weekend trip to Apex anyway.

Then in September, the new Sanford Super Wal-Mart debuted. And it *is* nice. Clean, well stocked, well organized, and they have a much better food selection than my favorite grocery store. Especially frozen foods…I swear they carry every single Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones meal. I really like that. It’s a bit farther away now, but at least the worst qualities are gone. Plus they have that whole $4 prescription deal, which saves us a LOT of money. And they do carry some organics, which is nice. Their meat and produce are terrible (we suspect they add preservatives to the meat so it stays”fresh” longer because all of the meat we bought there tasted absolutely awful) but their packaged foods were good, plus the prices are slightly lower. So I found myself going there more often, compromising my feelings about the company in general because it was convenient and cheap.

But then I read stories like this and I remember why I hate Wal-Mart. I understand *why* they did it. I understand it’s part of the contract and that they’re trying to “protect” their other employees. I still think it’s crappy. I think it’s a crappy contract. I think it’s crappy for the employees who aren’t interested in this kind of “protection” lest they find themselves the next victims. I think it’s crappy that WM makes $470k every 30 seconds and sues a woman, who has been severely brain damaged and is in need of long term care, for the money that is supposed to pay for her care. It’s ridiculous. Legal, yes. Moral? Ethical? Not just no, but HELL no. It’s reprehensible, and shame on the people who decided to pursue it. As much as it is within my power to do so, I won’t spend another dime at Wal-Mart. I’ll make the trek to Target when I need diapers or cleaning supplies or a really nice selection of frozen food. I’ve always liked them better anyway.

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W Family Players

D is the dad, the husband, and the breadwinner. All around nice guy and good at pretty much everything he does. It's disgusting, really. But makes him worth keeping around.

M is the mom, the wife, and the hopeless housekeeper. At least the kids' heads haven't fallen off yet. Beyond that, she sucks at the "stay at home" thing. Oh, and she's the blogger.

J is the big boy. Born October 11 2002, he is in kindergarten and loves it. Now 6 years old, and too smart for his own good. Talks a lot but extremely entertaining.

C is the little boy. Born June 26, 2006, he went through a lot in his first year but is doing just fine now. The only blond in the family, so his paternity is routinely questioned by rude strangers.

V is our baby girl. She is brand new and arrived in January 2009. So far everything is going well. We're thrilled to have added the final piece to our family puzzle. And yes, she WILL be the final piece!

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