off the fence & thanks

You know how sometimes you’ve got one of those festering wannabe-commitments that just hasn’t marshaled up the political will to make it into reality? A few months back, one of mine finally made the jump after more than a decade in the holding pen.

Few people remember the name now, but Jdimytai Damour is the guy who many of us will keep in mind as we continue to avoid a certain behemoth retailer that’s got a fetish for trampling, whether it be running roughshod over local, regional, and national economies wherever it operates, or merely allowing its own employees to be killed by “overenthusiastic” bargain shoppers.

This is the same corporation that’s refined loss-control security measures to a high level, with video cameras seeing and recording virtually every square inch of the store property.

It’s one thing to underpay your employees so badly that they’re on assistance while still working (while living in mom’s basement, of course, since the wages are too low to support a person), to finagle their hours so they don’t qualify for benefits, to drive all your competitors out of business so badly that their former employees now work for you at drastically reduced pay & benefits, etc .. but it’s a whole nother thing to put your employees in harm’s way and then do nothing to apprehend the guilty after Something Really Bad™ happens.

You can tell we live in a really strange and fcuked-up place when it’s perfectly acceptable to trample a person to death (in the same business location where he works, no less) in search of shopping bargains, and when ostensibly law-abiding citizens feel little or no guilt or shame or remorse for having killed a fellow human being.

But by the same token, you can also tell you’re in a business run by really messed-up and sick people when that same business does literally nothing to preserve the scene of the crime so that the guilty can be apprehended. There is the abovementioned video system recording everything in an around the store 24/7. There were people with blood on their boots, shoes, heels, sneakers, and sandals. Did the store authorities freeze the registers, seal the exits, and tell everyone to stop right where they were so that their footwear could be examined before it rubbed off any more of the evidence? Did they ask everyone passing through the registers/exits to take a few steps on a large sheet of white paper (perhaps the back of some spare wrapping paper) while writing on it the name of each shopper? Of course not. Doing so would have interfered with that little “Bargain Shopping Über Alles” ditty we’re humming to ourselves 24/7.

Oddly enough, the same big blue company I’m talking about, the one we think of as the invincible juggernaut of bigger-box retailers, has had a few good in-your-face losses. It’s extremely gratifying to know that in certain markets around the world, the locals are organized enough to recognize batshit-insanity and to deal with it appropriately. Its failures in Germany and Korea tell us that if we want to, we can deal with it as others have.

There’s no mystery to it: just make sure to do your shopping elsewhere. Keep in mind that every cent you spend at someone else’s store means keeping that store in business while denying yet another sale to the business that doesn’t deserve to be in business. Sometimes this means spending a little more; sometime it means spending a little less. You can always make use of the opportunity to mention casually what you’re doing and why. Stores survive or fail based on incoming foot traffic. Speak out & be heard.

Everyone here is familiar with the way high entropic losses are an essential feature of monocrop agriculture. The same applies to business organizations too. Oversimplicity (and not efficiency itself, duh) is the straightest path to hell. Clearly, community XYZ is less prosperous when it’s got only one large retailer at the edge of town versus what it had before, which was a thriving local economy containing many different producers & retailers. The big-box store outside town buys its products from outside the region and usually from outside the country; the profits generated from sales do not remain in the economy; the store workers get paid the bare minimum needed to retain them in that market. Contrast that, if you will, with a thriving local business community.

So if you’re in the mood to show the local businesses how you feel about all this, just exercise a little care about where you spend your money. Voting with your dollars is far more effective than using your once-every-two-years one-per-citizen ballot. And if you can’t get everything you need from local stores, at least give them the first shot at providing what you seek, and move on to the other stores only when you can’t find whatever-it-is locally.

17 Replies to “off the fence & thanks”

  1. I’m hearing you, Nudge, loud and clear! And I’m fully on board with the concept of stashing that cash. That way I can get to it faster, to smell it, and touch it and roll around in it — whenever the need arises.

  2. Nudge, great rant. “Evil Wal*Mart Must Die!”(TM), that’s my motto.

    On the bloody shoes on paper idea, I recall that in Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood”, they caught the two killers by the footprints they left on some cardboard that was on the floor of the basement where they had killed the head of the household with a knife to his throat.

    bunn, somehow it’s not fair that a rabbit can gain nourishment from eating his cash.

  3. Bloody shoe prints at the scene is also how they caught OJ–NOT. Talk about an epic fail…

  4. god, i read this thing about 3 times without being able to understand it. all three times i kept thinking that rico wrote it, and it just wouldn’t compute. then i saw that nudge wrote, and suddenly, everthing slipped back into place. the world was back on it’s axis, thank god.

  5. ya, walmart. first place, honestly, i don’t really, in my heart of hearts, give even a small bit of a fuck about JD, niether do about 200 mil. other shoppers. yesterday, true shit, i needed some printer paper and some envelopes. so i jumpe on trusty 10 yo mtb, no fucking piece of shit , lateeda insight for me, cause i’m not a fat fuck fucking loser and i go to kinko’s, the local downtown print shop, who dosen’t have shit for inventory, staples and walmart. of course i bought at walmart. why? cause they had what i needed at better than half the cost of kinko’s or staples, which are just other corporate shitholes that haven’t gotten the bad press that walmartmart gets. i got a new fishing lisence at walmart while i was there.

  6. I bought a lifetime NY fishing license about 20 or more years ago so I only need to buy hunting licenses at the local discount mart. I went to fish Lake Champlain last Tuesday for catfish with my 88 yr. old fishing partner. He is a cranky stubborn ultra-conservative curmudgeon, but is a good fisherman. We caught some bullheads but the big cats evaded us.

  7. Thanks for the rant appreciation moment :) .. it’s almost worthy of its own smiley face.

    On the web you can find a Wal*Mart frown done up just like their stupid logo. The one I was hoping to find, and didn’t was with X’s for the eyes and some cap-in-yo-ass marks.

    The only time I’ve been in one of those stores since the killing was when my boss took me along on a little biz excursion (in his shiny new Compensator 9000, of course) and stopped there to go to the Subway sandwich store within for lunch. Was not planning to be there again. I’ll drive out of my way to find a real store now if that’s what’s needed.

    As Far pointed out in a comment on the other blog, the Prole*Mart work force is finally getting unionized anyway.

  8. Dave, I can assure you, me & the Rico are totally different people. Uhh, he’s someone else but I don’t know who he is either. I’ve got the video surveillance team ready to go on short notice for whenever.

    We’re expecting some obfuscation anyway. Perhaps he’ll tell me to get to a certain restaurant and ask the head waiter for someone named ‘Manny’ (or whatever) who will then hand me an envelope with directions to exit the restaurant on the other side of the building and take a certain cab that’ll be waiting there. And so on, until he’s sure I’m not with anyone.

  9. Nudge, can you please explain the title of this post? You’re “off the fence”. Regarding what? The trampling death of a Wal*Mart employee, err, associate? Or something else? And, you’re thankful. Again, regarding what exactly?

    I can’t believe you were holding back because of fear of Wal*Mart retaliation?

    “more than a decade in the holding pen”? WTF?

    I liked everything about the post except the title and no pictures, as JR has already pointed out.

  10. Hi Doom .. off the fence finally about not doing bidness with Prole*Mart. I had been thinking about it for a long time (and was prepared to for a few moron years) but the employee death thing finally got me motivated. I had never set foot in any of their stores until 1994 anyway .. and the guy I was with back then (engaged to, really) was a big fan of their low low prices and what he called “wholesome American family-oriented business attitude”.

    I confess to being a horribly slow thinker. Once took 3 years trying to think up the right arrangement for a living room (not 3 years doing nothing but that, of course .. it was more like a background thought process) and when the right idea finally came into focus, it was beautiful and well worth the wait.

    Spent probably 12+ months thinking about starting my own blog, too, and mostly being worried about not having enough to write about.

  11. “…who’s to say they weren’t monitoring you guys and building a dossier should you ever have interest in challenging TPTB?”

    Having interest in challenging TPTB is probably just about everybody that supposed to be getting a tax cut.

    Unsavory deeds are bipartisan, particularly when is about money.

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