Friday, March 28, 2008

Impromptu Introduction

I had the most wonderful experience this afternoon. I met a lovely young woman named Jade, while I was setting up for the Women's Show that's tomorrow. Jade came over and said she had read a bio on and wondered if that was me. It was, of course.

She has also seen me at Wal-mart, where she works. In fact, she had seen me just a little bit earlier because I'd been to get another prescription. (Antibiotic round FIVE for those of you keeping track!)

I'm so glad she introduced herself. We had a nice conversation. I know she's someone I'd like to know better. She's working with a city program to encourage recycling. Interestingly enough, I had just bought a reuseable bag at Wal-Mart. I recycle at home, but I know I can cut down on the amount of bags I'm putting back into the environment. I may not always have one of them with me, but every one I avoid taking out of the store is a benefit. So, I'll make an effort. I just have to get a system going where I've always got some in the car and remember to take them in with me.

I like living somewhere where people will introduce themselves to you. I felt bad that I didn't shake her hand, but I explained I'm trying to keep anyone from getting anything I've got. Peggy's mom has been in the hospital for a week and I had intended to go see her but I haven't felt like going anywhere and I certainly didn't want to expose anyone to what I've got - especially not someone who's not at their optimum to begin with.

On that front, I went to the doctor again today - third time in the last few weeks. Three doctor visits are usually spread over three years for me. Today he sent me for a chest xray to make sure he wasn't missing something, but it was fine - no tumors or anything like that. He just wanted to be sure and I appreciated that considering how rare it is for me to be this sick for this long. I have felt pretty rough for quite a while. I thought I was much better the last couple of days and woke up worse today. So many people are ending up hospitalized with this gunk and it's Friday and I just didn't want to chance it. So, at least I know it's just typical stuff and nothing serious.

I've felt bad enough today I've had to remind myself... "Patsy... you have a cold... keep some perspective... people have real health problems... you have a cold... buck up..." But inbetween that I was nearly in tears because I've just not been "normal" in so long. Hopefully that's just around the corner. Maybe a couple of pills of this heavier duty bug-killing-drug will have me on the mend. And maybe I can stop whining. Geez, I hope so... because I'm sick of my whining... I can't get away from me...

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Anonymous said...

On the subject of WalMart - have you ever watched the DVD of
"Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" ?

Very informational - you might be interested, before ever shopping there or promoting it again... I highly recommend it to you.

Patsy Terrell said...

I know all the reasons we are supposed to hate Walmart. What no one has been able to satisfactorily explain to me is why we hate Walmart but think it's OK to shop at Target, Sears, Kroger, etc.

If people want to eschew all conglomerates and shop only at their local stores I think that's wonderful. That is not an option for me, but for some it may well be. But to just go across the street to another conglomerate and pretend that's making a real difference is fallacy.

I cannot justify spending $112 for a prescription at my locally owned pharmacy that I can buy for $4 at Walmart - and those are actual prices. For people who can afford that, I think it's fabulous for them to do that. And, although this isn't the case for me, it's good to remember that for some people that's the difference between having medication and not having it.

I don't think Target is doing that much better than Walmart and none of the organizations that rate stores think so either.

Frankly, I've grown so weary of the debate about Walmart that it's almost defiance for me to shop there. I can't count the number of people who have told me "I don't shop at Walmart." And then, what do I see? But them, in the aisles at Walmart, with an overflowing shopping cart. When I ask what the deal is they say, "well, I only shop here when I HAVE to." Well, you never HAVE to. You choose to. So stop preaching the message that you don't abide by. I'm not saying that YOU, specifically, do that - I'm talking in the general "you."

I like Walmart. I like the convenience of it. I like the hours. I like the variety of products. I like the fact that they encourage recycling on multiple levels.

I don't like the debate being focused on Walmart instead of the "mega store" concept in general. I guarantee if Target or Kroger had figured out the same strategy before Walmart, they'd be using it.

Walmart will always have a soft spot in my heart because they brought convenience and products to rural areas long before anyone else was interested in those communities. Those of us who grew up in rural areas know that before Walmart we had far less choice than we do now. And what happened once Walmart proved these to be lucrative areas? Here comes Target and Kroger and Kohls and Dillards and all the others.

I'm not saying Walmart is perfect. But I'm saying they're not that much different than the other mega stores and we need to be more equal in doling out our distaste.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining how you think about WalMart.

You didnt answer if you've seen the documentary I recommended? I suggested it because it does explain what is different about WalMart. Yes, different.

We obviously have many corporations bringing us our goods -- and our food -- these days. You're right, there's still Chinese made junk at Target, Kroger has certainly mistreated its local truck drivers, and so on. But it's a matter of degree. WalMart is influencing all business for the worse, exerting its force in ways that may amaze you if you take the time to inform yourself. For example, one issue covered in the documentary is how lives of its third world workers have been made even more miserable by WalMart. Not to mention its crummy treatment of its U.S. workers!! do try the documentary!

Good point on the hypocrisy of some you have seen with full carts at Walmart. I've not shopped there in several years myself, it's very doable actually. I do have to make more trips. I think I save money buying elsewhere - a lot of that cheap junk made in China sold at WalMart does not last. I like to buy used items when possible, and know that I am getting better quality at less cost to myself and less cost to the environment. I do like buying local when possible. Maybe for prescription cost comparison you could call around other pharmacies?

Most people who shop at Walmart have no idea what they are supporting. I think if customers demand the corporation clean up its act, they eventually will.

Becoming informed is the first step.

Patsy Terrell said...

Sorry... I got sidetracked. :) I have not seen that particular DVD. I have read some articles, but not seen a DVD. I am not much of a movie person, but will try to seek that out.

As for prescriptions, the only similarly priced place is our local Dillons (owned by Kroger) which decided they wanted to do $4 prescriptions once Walmart started doing it. It's that very copy cat nature that irritates me. If Walmart is doing something horrible to offer them, so is Kroger - but no one is complaining about Kroger. Somehow just because they're reacting to Walmart instead of offering it in the first place, exempts them. I don't like that - it feels very much like playing favorites. My local pharmacy where I still buy things that aren't on the $4 list has always been comparable with other places - sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less - but I've supported them because they are the only local pharmacy in town and I liked doing that. But at $108 difference I just can't justify it.

We have one locally owned market, but it's just fruits and veggies. You can't shop local for groceries here without burning a lot of fossil fuel to go to farms and even then you couldn't get everything.

This had made me think about things like buying a screwdriver. That cannot be done locally where I live. There is nowhere that sells something like that except a conglomerate. And there wasn't even before Walmart built here, so it's not Walmart's fault there's not a local hardware store. We have Ace, but that's just another conglomerate. We have Lowes and Home Depot - but they followed Target, which followed Walmart.

I'm impressed that you are able to avoid Walmart since it's important to you. That's wonderful. And I appreciate the thoughtful exchange regarding Walmart.