Wednesday, April 1, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding me

I just went out to pick up today's mail and discovered only the monthly magazine for our local utility company.  I did my usual quick glance-through, when what did I see... No. This can't be right. It's April Fools Day, but it's in print right here in my hands. An article praising Wal-Mart?

Ok, seriously. There are so many things wrong with this picture, I don't even know where to begin. My initial thoughts: WE ARE IN A RECESSION WHERE SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES AGAINST THIS CHEAP-CRAP-SELLING GIANT AND OUR LOCAL UTILITY COMPANY WRITES AN ARTICLE ENCOURAGING PEOPLE TO GO TO WAL-MART BECAUSE THEY'RE A NICE COMPANY! You have GOT to be kidding me. 

There are so many people here in my community (including ME) who spend our days campaigning for these small local businesses, trying to get our voices heard, their voices heard. While families struggle to pay the bills, Wal-Mart is notorious for low wages, sexual discrimination, and denying the majority of their employees health care coverage which only forces the burden on us (the taxpayer) when their employees apply for government assistance just to survive. 

Ok. Then there's the question of: does this almost 200 billion dollar company need advertising from a local magazine? I mean, does anyone in this town NOT know that this behemoth exists? Why not promote local businesses whose money actually comes back into our community. I know I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but when you buy at a Wal-Mart, only $14 out of $100 comes back to our community. Buy at a locally owned business and it becomes $45 out of $100. CHEAP COSTS US IN THE LONG RUN! We pay it in our health, we pay it in the environment, and we pay it in the loss of valuable local businesses.

I understand the article is about all the "nice" things local Wal-Mart employees are involved in to support our community. I don't want to disparage the compassionate acts of any individual, and I know the magazine has written some nice pieces about other organizations in our community, but Wal-Mart? Why Wal-Mart when there are still so many opportunities to write and show support for our many locally-owned businesses who not only support our community, they ARE our community - the small business owner or the farmer who makes a living selling fresh, quality, local food at our farmers' market - the REAL heroes, NOT Wal-Mart!

Sorry. Can you tell I'm a little miffed? I'll close for now. I have a letter to the editor to write...

6 comments:

fearlesschef said...

Good LORD!!!! Has no one any priorities? That letter better be good!

Lisa Sharp said...

Geez! I would never step foot in Wal-Mart again if I could. I RARELY go as it is. I live in a small town and after Super Wal-Mart we only have one family own grocery store left. I go there some and will go more as they get more organic food.

I do go to our local dairy store for milk and such. It's hormone free, rumored to be going organic and I have been to the dairy, it's nice, clear and the animals seem happy. It's a chain but only in a few states and the farm is only an hour or so from me.

I do go to Super Target in a town north of us once a month but we also shop at a natural food store in that town that day. They don't have everything we would need or we would only shop there.

Anyway the point is I'm totally with you! :)

ttammylynn said...

I have to go to WalMart almost daily and you're right...it is one of the most unpleasant things I have to do. I see worn-out faces on people I have known for many years. They are just doing their jobs...but, at Village Foods, I see Mr. Junek checking groceries because the lines are getting long and greeting some customers by name. The man runs from one end of the store to the other, doing every menial job in between, he always has. I can't say I've ever seen the store director at WalMart actually checking groceries, bagging, or stocking shelves. He is a good PR man, don't get me wrong, and I have no qualms against him...I've actually done favors specifically for him(I took special deliveries of bread during hurricanes--even though I do not deliver bread to his store), it is just that the stores really are run differently.

Heather @ SGF said...

fearlesschef - I sent it off last night (email). We'll see if I get a response. I offered to connect their writers to local businesses and advocates. Now to see if they take me up on the offer.

Lisa - I think most people just don't know about Wal-Marts reputation. I don't have a TV, but I'm guessing it doesn't routinely hit the evening news. But it's still crazy to do a 2 page article praising the one company who is trying to push our little guys out. It makes me sad. Having worked so hard to encourage people to frequent local businesses only to be thwarted by a local mag :(

Tammy - I agree, I feel happy in Village Foods - like I'm part of the VF family. I haven't been to Walmart since I was on the hunt for some pie pans for Amy (Jammin' Granny) and it was only to check availability and price for her, but no one thanked me for shopping (like they say in the article) and they were far from cheery. The store was cheap, overwhelming, and made me feel a bit claustrophobic. Plus knowing what I do about their reputation. I'd rather not support them, especially when it comes at the expense of the local farmer, the local coffee roaster, the local drug store, etc.

Crowley Family said...

I hate wal-mart. There is not enough room on here for me to tell you all the reasons why, but the are all very good, solid reasons... :)
BTW - I went back to Village Cafe yesterday and and going again on friday! LOL got the peanut butter sandwhich. You were right - AMAZING!

Heather @ SGF said...

Crowley Family - You're becoming a Village Cafe addict like me. It's crazy how yummy they make a peanut butter sammy, right? I know it sounds silly, but the VC rocks! Let me know what you try tomorrow!