Ricky had a bizarre run-in with “Larry” at his local Walmart, where he was shopping recently with his mother, who needed a new trash can. While Ricky browsed the automotive accessories counter, his mom did mom things in the silk flower department, and she left her new trash can next to Ricky’s leg while she wandered off. It turns out, you do not leave trash cans anywhere in Larry’s line of sight if you know what’s good for you.
She didn’t want to tote it back across to the floral section when she replaced the scented oil. I was standing there looking when all of a sudden a man named Larry (who worked in the automotive section I assume) grabbed the trash can that I could feel touching my leg, yanked it up, and did a half slide/half throw toward the hardware side of the store. Well, that made the empty trash fly and crash in a loud kinda empty trash can sound way, very loud, almost 2 1/2 to 3 aisles down from where I was standing. As if my embarrassment wasn’t enough, he left it in the middle of the aisle and started to return to the Automotive counter.
Surely you didn’t expect him to go retrieve it, Ricky? Crazy and manners don’t often go together.
Ricky, who incidentally worked for twelve years in a big box retail environment, writes:
I walked past him and said, “Thanks Larry for throwing my trash can,” while 10 to 15 people just stared in amazement… It was very embarrassing. I hurried to where the can was lying in the middle of the floor and tried to pick it up without being looked at like a three-armed sideshow freak.
Larry was also trying to beat me to the trash can, the whole time saying that an “old woman” just left it there. I then politely said that “old woman” was my mother, and it was right beside me the whole time within 2 inches of my leg. He then ran back to the automotive sales counter where they change the oil, but never apologized as if he did nothing wrong. By that time I was so mad my head was throbbing, I was so embarrassed by how I was treated that I took the 2 wire items I needed and replaced the trash can back on the counter and said Wal-Mart will not get a trash can sell from me today.
Ricky went out to the parking lot to cool off, then called the store phone number that was printed on a receipt.
I was like, “I can’t let this pass.” I phoned and asked for the Store Manager, and the operator said she was on vacation. I then asked for the co-manager, [and the operator] said he was not there. I then politely asked, “Can I speak to whoever is in charge of the circus there?” She transferred me to Assistant Manager Mike.
Well, I told him my complaint and he never really said too much, said he would be mad too if it happened to him. [I felt] I was given the ole’ “I don’t have time to speak to you because I have to get back to setting the Christmas department planogram” song and dance–he was very rushed and short.
Ricky told the assistant manager the approximate time it happened and suggested he check the store security tapes for confirmation, and he left his number and asked that the store manager call him back upon her return from vacation. We hope at the very least Ricky receives an apology for how he and his mother were treated, and that Larry is “retrained” (to use a recently popular corporate term) to not throw the merchandise until after it’s paid for.
(On a related note: Ricky, learn to write in paragraphs! With punctuation! Yes, I am wagging my finger at you now! It took me three days to figure out how to edit your story down to a readable level. This isn’t just me being a jackass—you’ll be taken far more seriously by companies if you can make a concise, well-written argument on your own behalf. Maybe not by Walmart, which has a reputation for ignoring customer complaints, but there are certainly other companies out there who actually respond to customer feedback on occasion.)
(Photo: Getty Images)