My wife works at the local Wal-Mart, one of the anchors of the local mall. Wal-Mart is pulling up stakes and moving to a new location, a congeries of box stores
on the flood plain named the Corral Centre.
So Wal-Mart is in a period of rare transition. The store at the mall is still open, but it’s nearly empty. The shoe section has about 1½ aisles open, but all that’s left are women’s shoes on clearance. The toys have been relocated to where the seasonal candy usually goes; half the store is blocked off with pegboards lashed together with zip ties, and the merchandise remaining in the open side wouldn’t quite fill a store half again as small. It’s a little weird, wandering the aisles and having plenty of space because almost all the four-way displays have gone to the new store.
Mind you, there’s still no shortage of people in there, all of them frantic to find something, anything, that’s on sale. It’s a zoo, but it’s a kinder, gentler, more open zoo than it was before. Or so it seems.
I don’t envy the employees. I’m sure they deal with all manner of questions from the hordes of customers. How come you’re out of detergent? Where’s the shoes? When does the new store open*? Why aren’t there any [x]?
In fact, selected excerpts from my wife’s LiveJournal (for more, click T’Other Half under ‘Roll:
To All Wally World Customers:
No, we don’t have than in stock right now, you will have to wait a week.
Yes, we are moving to a different location.
We will be open AUGUST THE FOURTH and if you look ANYWHERE in the store you can find that out.
No, I can’t help you find ______ and maybe if you had come in more than 3 days before the wedding / party / whatever, I may have been able to help you find clothing / footwear / presents / cards / whatever. Since you didn’t, I guess you’re screwed and will have to wait until August the fourth.
Just so you know.
Today was The Big Move at work. I’ll take pictures of our new space soon, and post ’em. Look for it in the next few days.
* August 4th, judging by the NEON PINK signs posted every six feet on every vertical surface. The customer may or may not be right, but they sure don’t like to read signs.