Sunday, October 12, 2008
WAL-MART MYSTERY SOLVED
AND IT’S GREAT NEWS FOR SHOPPERS
I spent three days at Wal-Mart in Kingman while searching for a Mormon Bishop to confront. I did not find one so that little drama will have to wait. (though I’m loaded for bear)
Instead, I found myself entranced with a mystery. Something is very different about this store–I could feel it but couldn’t see it. So I went in and out 20 times over 3 days trying to get a grip on it. Physically the store looks exactly like all super wal-marts, but SOMETHING about it was dramatically better–more appealing. On the third day I flashed on an old Sherlock Holmes mystery: The Hounds of the Baskervilles-----and INSTANTLY I got it! Just like the solution in that case, it was SOMETHING THAT WASN’T THERE. THE ANNOYING LOUD SPEAKER ANNOUNCEMENTS WERE NOT THERE. No arcane store jabber to pollute my shopping experience.
I quickly found the manager and got the story. He was pleased as punch to show off Wal-Mart’s new technology. All store management now wears the devices shown above and each is connected to all instantly. Now the ones that need to talk to each other do so without involving us.
Bless my soul–I love the quiet and I told him so. He grinned with pride and told me the practice was going nationwide. And he let me in on a secret. He personally has extended the idea and will soon initiate a pilot program in that store to electronically notify customers when their cars are ready. Customers for lube and tire work will be given a device which will sound or vibrate when their car is ready. Nobody else is disturbed. Again–Hurray and Hallelujah. Good news on a day the stock market is crashing. I got a stash of cash and a 20 pound bag of rice and left town.