(Weapon of choice–incompetence)
For the sake of anonymity and possibly my need to start a lawsuit, I will use the names of the individuals (because their names are popular); however, I will not mention the store’s number or its location in this forum.
I should start by saying that this very November of 2015 would have been three years that I do not step inside of a Walmart. However, it is very difficult when a person is off-the-grid and Walmart becomes the only option. What pushed me out of the Walmart for almost three years? It was because I was doing research for my book “Repursury;” when I discovered that Walmart lives of the government to subsidize its workforce with welfare and its clientele with food-vouchers. In my book I call such phenomena, Hybrid Subsidies part of Titanic Subsidies.
So, on October 27th, 2015; I started a 770 mile trip; however, thanks to Walmart, it took me 6 hours to transverse only 60 miles, because to shop for a single one tire took me six hours. At 9AM I entered the Auto division of Walmart, after 30 minutes in line I said; “I need a 235/75/15 tire, I was quoted that you have one for $69.” The associate dressed in Walmart-blue said, “No problem, we have 7 in stock! Take this printed sheet and the associate at the garage floor will install it for you.”
This is when I met Anthony. The Associate Anthony came with a handheld computer and asked for my car make, model and year. I did mention that I do not wish for the factory tire, because all of my tires are 235/75/15. “Not a problem,” said Anthony, “I just need to enter your model for the invoice.”
At this point I had invested 40 minutes to talk to Anthony, and it took Anthony another 30 minutes to install the tire. I sat on the sidewalk to enjoy the morning sun and also to watch the process because my car’s tire was being replaced just outside Walmart’s garage. While I was waiting for my tire to be installed, another customer told me that Walmart used the wrong oil for his car model.
I saw my car being lowered from the floor-jack and I went to pay for the tire and get back on the road. When the bill was printed the price was not $69 but $79. On a closer look, I realized that Anthony installed a 205/75/15 instead of the 235/75/15 that I was quoted on. At this point the cashier asked for the auto-floor manager to come in to authorize the replacement of the tire. The floor manager, Jose; took another 30 minutes to show up, validate and authorize the replacement.
The tire was replaced, when I am once again back at the cashier, I read that the tire that was installed was not a 235/75/15; but a narrower version 235/70/15. Although the computer inventory showed 7 tires, Anthony could not find any in stock. Instead of informing me of such situation Anthony installed the tire without informing me. At this point Manager Jose returns and said, “This is the only tire that we can sell you, we don’t have any 235/75/15 in stock.” Reluctantly, I accepted the tire because I had no choice and I could not travel another 710 miles without a spare.
I got back in the car and the car does not start. At this point it is already past noon and the car’s hazards lights drained the battery, the portable starter charger is nowhere to be found and Jose brought a new battery from the floor and cables. The car once again did not start. Jose drove his supersized truck and finally with new jumper cables; my pickup truck started.
I got back on the road, and I drove, 10 miles out, I realized that when Anthony replaced the 205 with a narrow 235 he did not balance the wheel again. Thanks to my decades as a professional driver, I brought the car under control, made a U-turn and drove back to Walmart. Jose, Anthony and the cashier were surprised to see me back at the store. I explained to Jose, that when Anthony replaced the 205 with a narrow-235 he did not bother in balancing the tire again.
At this point the dialog was:
“Jose, I’ve worked in management, good help and training is hard to find. Anthony is making your store and Walmart look pretty bad; couldn’t be that not only he is too lazy to tie his pants-belt, but he is also too lazy to really investigate the inventory? I don’t want the guy fired, but if I was not a professional driver, I would be laying on the ditch thanks to Anthony’s laziness or incompetence.”
“Don’t worry, I have a 235/75/15 for you, I’ll replace it myself.”
Indeed he did, Jose knew that the floor display had a 235/75/15; he wasted no time; he removed, replaced the unbalanced tired with the display model.
“Jose, you know that unfortunately, I will have to address to your superiors and the public the way your store is operating. God forbid, I say nothing and Anthony continues to exercise his incompetence. Who may die? What he does for Walmart may put people’s lives in danger.”
“I don’t have a problem, it is your right to complain and inform. Here is a store coupon for $20 for the inconvenience.”
“Thanks for the card Jose, but thanks to Walmart’s lack of training Anthony properly. I cannot be on the road for more than a few hours. It is already 3PM; I will have to pay for a hotel thanks to Anthony’s incompetence.”
The Walmart’s store cameras and the redacted receipts attached to this essay can validate that I was at the Walmart for 6 hours to purchase one tire. The cameras and internal circuit can also validate that I did not raise my voice, made a scene or was angry with the store, even though it took me 6 hours to purchase one tire and my life could have been in peril, had I not noticed the way that the car was driving erratically soon after I left the store.
This goes in a complete circle from three years ago, and the main reason why I did not shop at Walmart; and three years later my reasons are once again validated. Because Walmart does not pay its employees a decent living wage, its inventory is disappearing. The computer had seven tires in stock, but not even a single one was available in stock. It is very hard for customers to shoplift a tire; consequently, the Walmart employees are probably selling Walmart tires on Ebay or Craigslist or to close friends to supplement their low wages.* Another point, what comes to attention is that employees like Anthony are paid such low wage that he is going to do the worst job possible or not care about having excellence. Regardless of doing a good or bad job Anthony is going to receive the same low wage and government subsidies.
Had I not been a trained driver, I would not have connected the steering wheel shaking with the neglect and incompetence of balancing the tire each time the tire has to be replaced from the rim. Had I died or hurt, I would have been a victim of capitalism, because it is greed that is making Walmart’s inventory disappear and once again it is greed that is providing Walmart’s associates very poor training, very poor salaries and consequently disdain for their own jobs.
The suggestion to all my friends and friends of the blogsphere, it is that, if you have no choice, but to shop at Walmart-Auto, keep on guard, because people should not trust their lives or cars with Walmart employees who have improper training and are paid very low wages.
* ( below; 3 reports nationwide about Walmart’s employee theft)