Shannon Stacey

Dear Fellow Walmart Shoppers: A Rant

Let’s talk about Walmart greeters for a minute. The employees who welcome you to Walmart cover all demographic groups, shapes, ages, sizes and genders, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to pretend our Walmart greeter is a man.

When you walk into the store and he says, “Welcome to Walmart”, you should make eye contact, smile and say thank you.

It’s not that freakin’ hard, people.

At least say thank you. If you can’t bring yourself to even speak to the man, at least make eye contact and nod your head.

And, when you leave and he says “Have a nice day”, you make eye contact again and say, “Thanks. You, too”. At least wave your hand. Something.

That shouldn’t be too much to ask, even from people as rude as you.

They’re not invisible. Maybe you think it’s a waste of money to pay somebody to say “Welcome to Walmart” and “Have a nice day” eight hundred times, but you know what? That’s Walmart’s money to worry about. This guy is off his ass, punching the clock and earning a paycheck. That alone is worth enough respect to merit even the most basic civility.

You’re rude. You’re teaching your kids to be rude. And then you throw a hissy if somebody’s rude to you? I don’t care if you’re in a hurry. I don’t care if you’ve got your fancy bluetooth in your ear channeling your smartphone so everybody thinks you’re somebody important. When somebody speaks to you, you acknowledge them.

I swear I’m going to start ramming that little bar on the bottom of the shopping cart right up your Achilles tendons and when you’re lying on the ground screaming like a little girl, I’m going to smile and say…

Welcome to Walmart. And have a nice day.

22 comments to “Dear Fellow Walmart Shoppers: A Rant”

  1. Jaci Burton
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 2:36 pm · Link

    I think for some reason some folks skipped a generation of teaching their children basic common courtesy to other humans and I don’t understand why but it really pisses me the hell off.

    It takes no money out of your pocket and doesn’t affect your livelihood in any way to be kind to your fellow man, but I see so many people who just don’t freakin bother. Sad and annoying as hell.

    And it was really bad when I was living in California. People would just as soon run over you with their shopping carts in the grocery store than smile or say hello or, God forbid, say ‘excuse me’. Which is why I’m now living in Oklahoma, where people sometimes actually hold a door open for you and give you a polite nod and a smile. Sometimes.

  2. Leigh Royals
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 2:45 pm · Link

    I feel this way as well. Just general common decency–which isn’t so common it seems; much like its distant cousin common sense.

  3. Shannon
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 3:06 pm · Link

    Ha! So yesterday, on Twitter, I was talking about how I met my husband: I was a waitress and he was a regular at the coffee counter and I hated him on sight. One of the reasons I couldn’t stand him was that he’d keep reading his paper while I talked to him.

    One day I refused to give him more coffee until he put down his newspaper and made eye contact with me. He called me a dumb bitch. We went on our first “date” a few weeks later. (We were actually sort-of-friends with benefits for a while. Somehow we’ve been married 16.5 years now.) He’s now a server’s dream—polite, friendly and tips well.

    My kids know if they don’t stop what they’re doing and make eye contact with the waitress and say please and thank you, their shins will be black & blue. Actually, they don’t even think about it at all now. It’s just the way they are.

    I think one thing people don’t realize is that you can tell a kid to say please and thank you a million times, but they have to SEE it. When Mom says “Gimme a small black coffee” at DD and then just walks away, the children learn they only have to say please and thank you to MOM.

    I get compliments all the time on my children’s manners and, while I’m obviously proud of them, it saddens me to know that basic manners are so lacking now that a please and thank you merits special notice.

  4. Cindy Springsteen
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 2:29 pm · Link

    I love this and it is so true! People think its a stupid job, well they have a job and aren’t sitting home collecting unemployment they are trying to make a living and unfortunately people are just nasty and rude to them. LOVE THIS!!

  5. Jenna Culbertson
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 2:33 pm · Link

    LOL! Great post. I personally don’t like the fact that they post a person at the door to say hello and goodbye but since they do I at least try to be courteous to them since it is their job.

  6. Charlene
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 3:41 pm · Link

    This is why it’s nice to live in the midwest. People are friendly. :mrgreen: And the Walmart greeters tend to be retirees, so it’s nice to set the respect-your-elders example.

  7. Shannon
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 3:43 pm · Link

    That was a great post, Jamie! And so very true.

    And other people’s kids are always a little shell-shocked when they leave my house after a playdate. My house. My rules.

    And if you think for a second “hey, I want one of those” is going to get you a cookie here, you are sadly mistaken. You will call me Mrs. Stacey because I am not your BFF. You will say please. You will say thank you. And if your coat’s thrown on the floor, don’t even think about touching my Playstation or my Wii.


  8. Shannon
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 3:49 pm · Link

    Speaking of retirees, Charli, I had an interesting experience at the supermarket the other day.

    The woman bagging groceries on the register I ended up at was a very-much-older retiree and was also a tiny woman, to boot. So the cashier’s scanning my food and I ended up squeezing past the cart to get to the bags because I can’t stand there and let this woman bag my groceries.

    She told me she was happy to do this for me, but I just couldn’t handle it, so we ended up compromising and after she put the food in the bags, I’d lift the bags into the cart.

    It was killing me. I know she’s getting paid to do the job, but how the hell am I supposed to stand around and let an eldery woman hoist my grocery bags? It wasn’t even possible for me to do.

    Anyway. One of the many awkward, funny moments in my life. :lol:

  9. Michelle (MG) Braden
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 2:57 pm · Link

    Go Shannon! Excellent rant.

    I have that same issue with how some people treat waitstaff. They are not your personal servant and being rude to him/her is only going to get your food spit on. :mrgreen:

  10. Jamie
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 pm · Link

    I loved this. It reminded me of something that happened this week with my son so I blogged about it too.

    The thing is, we’re a military family so people just expect us to be polite and say “yes, ma’am” and “no, ma’am” but I felt strongly about manners long before myself or my husband were in the military. I put in quiet a few years as a waitress myself and I think working in the food industry teaches people a thing or two about “treat others how you would like to be treated”, that’s for sure.

    The little things like acknowledging someone’s presence and using your manners sometimes feel like a dying art. It’s saddening to see children, even adults (even worse when adults do it, imho), showing such a lack of empathy and compassion for others around them. Sometimes I feel like my kids are the only ones their age who have manners anymore.

    It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    And of course, your writing is always a pleasure to read!

  11. Rhonda
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 5:50 pm · Link

    The ONE thing I gladly thank my MIL for is the fact her kids (all 5 boys) have excellent manners. And greeters/wait staff – it’s common freaking courtesy! Our kids were brainwashed before they could talk , – we’d repeated “yes, sir”, “no ma’am” to them millions of times, and they were corrected every.single.time. they didn’t say it – and with a pre-teen (yeah I’m in denial, she’ll be 13 in less than a month *g*) sometimes it feels like I’ve started all over!

    And other people’s kids are always a little shell-shocked when they leave my house after a playdate. My house. My rules.
    M has this one friend, whose mother I love dearly, but we tell her every time she comes over, we are going to make a southern belle out of her yet – right down to manners!

  12. Sarah
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 5:54 pm · Link

    Great post! So right.

    I live in Florida (near the Mouse) and the lack of manners is so bad here that when I use a please or thank you I get these shocked looks as if they’ve never heard it before!

    What really annoys me is the public who are getting served, be it at a deli or coffee shop, and they just say “get me a coffee, black”. Where is the “Can I have a coffee, black please”.

    My hubby and I now say “you’re welcome” to people who don’t say thank you to us as a sarcastic way of pointing out to them their lack of manners.

    Maybe it is a generational thing? Which is a shame because if this generation don’t use them and therefore don’t teach them to their kids we’ve got one crappy future awaiting us.

  13. Kwana
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 6:19 pm · Link

    Great rant and I totally agree. How hard is it to be polite?

  14. Lynn
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 6:22 pm · Link

    I like the greeters at Wal-Mart. Why wouldn’t you say hello or bye back to them; are they not worthy or something? Ours here are mostly nice older folks who always get me a cart with wheels that work — and they know where everything in the store is, too. But my town is small and mostly agricultural; people tend to be a lot more polite and considerate here than in more populated areas.

    We have a market in town that employs several young people who are special for one reason or another. They may not always move as fast or speak as clearly as abled people, but they bag groceries and load cars just fine. I think they’re great kids, hard workers who take pride in the fact that they can earn a living with dignity just like everyone else. Obviously they only want to be treated like any other employee, and that’s what the locals do.

    You can always tell when someone in line at the market isn’t a local, because they stare at the kids or treat them like they’re diseased or invisible. It infuriates me, but what can you say to them besides, “Don’t you have any manners at all, jackass?”

    The beautiful thing is no matter how rude these jerks are, the kids don’t treat them any differently than the local customers. You think it would make them feel ashamed, but no, nothing seems to penetrate those numb skulls.

  15. Lori
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 7:12 pm · Link

    THANK you! Your kids learn by example. Please, thank you, hello and goodbye are not difficult words to use. And they make life a hell of a lot more pleasant for everyone.

  16. Annmarie
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 9:16 pm · Link

    I agree wholeheartedly!

  17. Wanderer
      · January 23rd, 2010 at 10:36 pm · Link

    Nice post! It’s an automatic response for me. I see someone standing there and always say hi/bye. One time I went with my sister and as she waited in line I sat on the bench near the door and next to me was a gentleman in his 80s. He was the greeter. My sister’s line was so long that I was able to have a really nice conversation with this sweet man. He told me how he enjoyed working there because he liked meeting people all day long. He talked about his part time hours and how the rest of the time is spent with his daughter and her kids. He lost his wife abt 10 yrs prior and had moved in with his son for a few years before moving here to stay with his daughter. We talked about where he was originally from and how he liked our city. It was all a really nice conversation with a sweet soul who had seen a lot in life. I was a little bummed when my sister approached and it was time to go.

    And I completely agree with being examples for kids. There’s no better way for kids to learn than seeing how their parents/aunts/uncles behave.

  18. MA
      · January 24th, 2010 at 7:34 am · Link

    I love taking my grandsons anywhere, they are very polite, and it is who they are, it’s not an act. Great parenting begins with mom and dad modeling the behavior they want to develope in their children with consistency not only in public but at home too!

  19. Shannon
      · January 24th, 2010 at 11:07 am · Link

    Hey, everybody, Ma’s here! :lol:

    TK & SK’s grammy has had the fortune-slash-misfortunate of spending a lot of time out in public with them, so it’s good to know they don’t act up with her.

    (I almost said that with a straight face. Grammy’s a little more strict than Mom and the boys know it. My sisters’ lovely manners attests to that.)

    One thing we don’t really do is m’am and sir. I know we should, but that’s something my husband and I don’t use and the kids don’t hear, so that one didn’t stick.

  20. Shannon
      · January 24th, 2010 at 1:17 pm · Link

    I personally don’t like the fact that they post a person at the door to say hello and goodbye but since they do I at least try to be courteous to them since it is their job.

    Sorry, Jenna! My blog sent you to spam for some reason, but I fished you out.

    I definitely wish they’d hire somebody to help people in the aisles so we wouldn’t have to climb the shelving like monkeys to reach things on the top shelf rather than paying somebody to welcome me to the store, but I try to be courteous, as well. Walmart’s whacked priorities aren’t the greeters’ fault.

  21. Jean
      · January 24th, 2010 at 7:05 pm · Link

    Excellent post, and I confess I needed to hear it. I usually do greet them, but I resent it, and I shouldn’t. What’s wrong with greeting someone, no matter who they are or what their job is? Not a darn thing. We should do it more often.

    I’ve noticed in our area that the greeters serve a dual purpose, they tag any items you want to return and point you in the proper direction to get that job done. They also help with carts and, depending upon the store layout, can also serve as a theft deterrent.

  22. Takyra Morgan
      · January 24th, 2010 at 9:59 pm · Link

    I think this is great because Walmart is like my favorite store and I love the greeters they are so nice to everybody that comes into the store including the children and I see the same thing you do and I think it’s extremely rude. So thanks for pointing that out I think that sometimes a lot of people tend to forget the basic manners that they were taught and that is no excuse for treating somebody wrong no matter what they’re job is. So thank you for posting this. :0)

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