Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I've Never Been Cussed Out at a Wal-Mart

But I have at Whole Foods.

 I went to Whole Foods during Thanksgiving 2008. Life was pretty glum since I had been laid off a couple of months before that, my LSAT practice scores were miserable and would most likely have to move far from NC while my dad got sicker. Getting yelled at and cussed-out at a Whole Foods gave an exclamation point to an overall shitty year.

For some reason, my cousin wanted a turkey from Whole foods. Since she lived in Knightdale and I lived in downtown Raleigh closer to that store, my family commissioned me to go get a Whole Foods Turkey, a place I rarely go.

I went to the butcher area, saw two employees behind the counter talking, laughing and giggling. They asked if I had been helped and I asked for a turkey. Unbeknownst to me was that in an aisle perpendicular to the butcher counter was a table staffed by Whole Food workers handing out numbers for customers getting turkeys. I didn't know because I approached the aisle parallel to the butcher's counter.

The butcher-staff pointed me to the number-table and instructed me to get a number. I turned right and saw a table staffed by two Whole Food employees doling out numbers: there were also two people in line waiting to get numbers.

Soon after I got in line, the first person got her number. I was now second in line. The number-giver called "next." The woman first in line stood there, still talking on the phone. Moments pass and the call of "next" goes out again. The woman still stood motionless, planted to the floor. The Whole Food workers looked puzzled and a little frustrated.

After 30 seconds, I step up beside the woman and ask her "Are you next in line?" She is livid. She was one of those big-fat woman who are the "large and in charge types." She says "What? You want to go next? Go ahead." She yelled some more and cussed some. She told the person on the other end of the line she had to go. She snapped her phone shut in a huff and stepped up to the table.

I'm glad I wasn't 20 years younger when I was super high-strung. No doubt, I would have cussed her ass out. Instead, I stood there and let herself look like an idiot. Even though I was middle-aged, I still wanted to argue with her. My better judgment told me not to. First, she was a woman. Second, she had a baby with her. There was no way I'd come out of that situation looking good. She was a nasty abusive type woman. I've seen the type many times over growing up. I felt sorry for that kid. Oh well, the kid will have  issues 20 years from now. Mothers like that keep psychologists appointment books filled.

I finally got my number. The number-givers apologized. I wasn't the only one who thought that woman was a loopty-loo.

I was reflecting about this story and thought of the irony. I've never been cussed out at a Wal-Mart but I have at a prissy place like Whole Foods. For those not in the Raleigh area, the demographic of the typical shopper there votes Democrat, listens to NPR and watches PBS religiously. In the parking lots are bumperstickers with "Coexist" or "Yes We Can".

These are the types of people who roll their eyes, snicker and look down on Wal-Mart and all things associated with Wal-Mart.

Well, the typical Wal-Mart shopper may not be the urbane and dainty types such as these Whole Food shoppers , but I've never been yelled at or cussed out in a Wal-Mart.


  1. I like the stereotypes present in this post. The reason why I like it is because it's true.

    1. I can still see them in my mind's eye prancing around the store. Surprisingly, Whole Foods has good pizza at their fresh food line.