August 22nd, 2010

Wal Mart, how do you fail? Let me count the ways.

I have a particularly bad habit of impulsive shopping, generally for food-type items. It is not unusual in the least for me to head out to the store at 12 AM because I've decided I want cake, or chips, or some other stupid junk like that.

So it was near one-two AM, and my friend and I go heading into the Wal-Mart near my house. I have a guide/balance dog (see icon.) She helps me with things like remaining upright, balancing me so I don't sway or fall, guiding me around obstacles, retrieving dropped objects, physical blocking work so I don't get knocked over, and so on. WalMart has gotten into trouble many times by refusing entry to service dog handlers, so I've never been denied entry, but sometimes...

My friend and I are heading through the store, my dog's pulling gently into her harness to keep my momentum going while walking and friend pauses to look at something. I was standing next to her, one hand on the shelf to keep from toppling, the other hand gripping my dog's harness, which I use to balance myself. My dog will lean into or away from me, depending on which way I begin to tilt.

And then some employee comes over, GRABS my dog's harness, and practically yanks her out of my hand. Suddenly losing all support on one side, I stumbled and toppled to the ground, and she sort of glared at me like she couldn't figure out what the fuck I was doing on the floor. Uh, lady, you just took my service animal OUT FROM UNDER ME.

Employee: "What's wrong with YOU? You don't LOOK like there's anything wrong with you, you don't need this dog."

I snapped at her that I have a neurological condition, reached over and grabbed my dog's harness away from her, and walked away. I couldn't find a manager to complain at that time, but I wrote a letter to corporate later on and never got a reply or anything, so I consider it a lost cause, and thought it might be pushy to write again. Y/N, bad_service?

It wasn't the first bad experience I had at walmart-- the first was the employee that knelt down and grabbed my dog's collar, tugging her over to him as he baby-talked her and resulting in another fall-- but it was definitely the worst I have ever gotten from employees ANYWHERE.

Three Months and Seven Dollars Later

My husband and I collect antiques.  You could say it's our hobby  and we love to browse in shops and purchase what catches our eye.

We have certain shops that we will frequent on a regular basis.  One favorite haunt is in the town near where we keep a summer home.  We open the house from May - October, so for half the year, we will pop in and out of this particular shop fairly regularly to see what they have and what's new.  We've been going to this particular shop for over  seven years, usually on a weekend, so the saleswoman (who is not the owner) knows us and knows we are regular customers.  She'll ask us if we are back for the summer, and ask us as the summer progresses, how our summer is going, etc.

We have bought many items in this shop over the years:  lamps, an antique radio, paintings and prints, silver, wonderful porcelain pieces (porcelain is a particular passion of ours).  In other words, we have purchased quite a bit from this place and have given them a fair chunk of change.

Earlier this year, over Memorial Day Weekend in May, we went in for the first time this year, since the vacation home was finally open for the season.  We saw quite a few items we liked, and ended up spending around roughly $200.

(ETA under cut, since it would take way to long to reply to individual comments.)

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