Scott Hardie | July 4, 2002
Pardon me, this weblog was made for bitching... Fuck the fucking Wal*Mart on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa Florida!! I've been there three times now and every time it's been a horrifying, sanity-testing experience. Dante couldn't have come up with worse.

First of all, the clutter. Wal*Mart is known for clutter in the aisles, but this place takes the cake. You can't go six feet without encountering a cart full of stuff that needs to be shelved, or a 4'x4' display of some shit-ass product that nobody wants. You can barely navigate a cart through most of the aisles! And on top of that, customers are constantly abandoning their carts right in the middle of the aisles. Kelly and I have navigated our way through a maze of carts, displays, crates, and miscellaneous stuff only to have the exit blocked by some woman who abandons her cart to go fetch her screaming child. Move your fucking shit so other people can get through!

Second is the service. There are at least several dozen employees present, because I hear their names on the PA system constantly, but it's fucking impossible to find them. Need something unlocked from a display case? Don't hold your breath. The checkout lanes are the worst. You stand there, and stand there, and stand there, and stand there some more. You wonder if you would be better off in another lane, but look over to the next one, and see that it hasn't moved in five minutes either. WTF? Get your line moving! Don't stand there haggling over coupons and paging the manager.

Third, and by far the worst, is abuse of the PA system. They've got it cranked up really loud, and someone gets on it every thirty seconds (Kelly counted!) to make an announcement. These announcements are always proceeded by at least one loud beep, often several, and sometimes the employees breathe into the phone before they speak. ("click BEEEEEP BOOOP BEEEEEP .... psssssssh uh Yeah I need an assistant manager to the housewares department please, assistant manager to housewares, click CLICK") I thought everybody was just incompetent, but Kelly said that the crew at the Dominick's grocery store where she used to work was like that: Blowing into the phone, or pressing too many buttons before the announcement, was an in-joke among the employees. Well, good for them, but it's incredibly motherfucking annoying to the rest of us. Have someone hover ten feet over you and keep pressing the BEEP button on a bullhorn every thirty seconds for an hour and see if you like it.

Fourth is the number of people. It's a swarm of humanity. The store is located at a prominent location, the intersection of an Interstate and a major city highway, in a densely populated area. It gets a tremendous number of customers. You can't stop walking because there's always somebody behind you. (Let me rephrase that: Kelly and I can't stop walking because we're polite. Other people stop, and frequently abandon their carts, right in the middle of fucking traffic.) There are 1-2 fighting couples (yelling at each other in Spanish, no less), and a surprising number of screaming babies, within earshot at any given moment. Add this to the PA system and you get a nightmare.

I'm fine with other Wal*Marts. The next worst one that I've ever entered is on University Street in Peoria, and that one's nothing compared to this one. I will never, ever set foot in this Wal*Mart again, ever.

K. R. | July 4, 2002
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Scott Hardie | July 5, 2002
Actually, I never liked Target that much, despite working there. They do have a lot of stuff (and it's a notch about Wal*Mart in quality), but they don't have EVERYTHING like Wal*Mart does. Ah well. I've bought what I need for a long time.

As for Tampa, I don't know so far. We've only explored Dale Mabry Highway, which is near us and has virtually everything we need. We haven't needed to go elsewhere yet, except to Petsmart for a cat (and that was way up on the north side). We'll expand our territory soon.

Jackie Mason | July 5, 2002
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Scott Hardie | July 6, 2002
True. The Macomb Wal*mart was one of the best I've ever entered, except on move-in day at WIU. The Wal*mart Supercenter north of Peoria on I-74 (on the river bank) was also a good one.

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