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WalMart, a Christian company
March 29, 2006 11:07 AM   Subscribe

WalMart Manager: We feel that as a Christian Company it was inappropriate to carry things associated with morally corrupt themes.
posted by skwm (228 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
There's only one thing to do. Flash your tits at Wal-Mart!

(but they'll use it as an excuse for a new line of brasseires or something, probably)
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on March 29, 2006


Ah, Wal-Mart, what ridiculous comment won't one of your managers spew out?
posted by mephron at 11:11 AM on March 29, 2006


So... you can't get green or yellow ribbon at WalMart? Or just at this WalMart?

(She should re-gift the card to someone who would appreciate it more. Maybe someone needier. Give it to the next beggar that appraches her. They could get clothing or something to eat.)
posted by raedyn at 11:13 AM on March 29, 2006


Oh! It was a jazz evening targeted towards African Americans! It's all so clear.
posted by xmutex at 11:14 AM on March 29, 2006


Am I missing something or are we really supposed to believe that Wal Mart doesn't carry green yellow and purple ribbons? Does this guy own stock in Costco or something?
posted by loquax at 11:14 AM on March 29, 2006


All right, this is ridiculous. Except along a few blocks of Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras in New Orleans has always been primarily a family holiday. Unless there is something essentially morally corrupt about 10-year-olds wearing costumes, watching high school marching bands, and eating king cake, the WalMart manager is just being idiotic.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2006


It could have been worse.
posted by brain_drain at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2006


Unless there is something essentially morally corrupt about 10-year-olds wearing costumes, watching high school marching bands, and eating king cake,

No, you don't get it, she was doing a jazz evening for African Americans. They go nuts for that sort of thing.
posted by xmutex at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2006


a) Build massive retail network with sophisticated, cost-cutting distribution planning and imposing megastores.
c) Profit!
b) Drive out local business.
c) Profit!
e) Impose your personal beliefs on your customers by limiting their access to goods.
f) Profit... in the eyes of the Lord!

Drawing upon my readings about the decline of public spaces and community in America, from such books as Bowling Alone, this seems to be the ultimate result of said decline.

The rise of these corporations has led to few alternatives and puts them in such a position of prominence that they can now exercise their own unchecked will upon their customers.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:18 AM on March 29, 2006


I simply don't believe this story. Sorry.
posted by Decani at 11:18 AM on March 29, 2006


What happens if a troop-supporting type needs some yellow ribbon to tie around a tree. Secret stash under the counter, available only to card-carrying Church members?

I wonder what this manager would make of Walmart-owned Asda shops in the UK. They sell Nuts and Zoo (soft porn mags aimed at teenage boys), many DVDs featuring ladies and gentlemen kissing each other, compact discs featuring profane language, the lot.
posted by jack_mo at 11:18 AM on March 29, 2006


Wait a minute, does this strike anyone as a bit fishy?

Me: I try to never shop at WM, but thought I’d spend this gift card since I can’t use it anywhere else.

The manager actually walked me through the self checkout line and to the door. Where the door greeter knows my face and told me to have a wonderful day. I told him to have a great day too. The door greeter said to me “You’re always so nice to me!”


So she never shops at WalMart, but the door greeter knows her face and says she's always nice to him? Hmmm....
posted by gurple at 11:20 AM on March 29, 2006


eating king cake

There are little plastic fetuses in that kind of cake.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:20 AM on March 29, 2006


Oh please, I hate Walmart as much as the next reactionary upper middle class liberal, but one ubsubstantiated blog post does not the front page make.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:20 AM on March 29, 2006


I'm a little confused as to why at the top, it's "I try to avoid Wal Mart at all costs" and at the bottom, "the door greeter knows my face and ... said to me 'You’re always so nice to me!'"

It must be quite hard to avoid WalMart there, I guess. That, or she knows the greeter from somewhere else, but it isn't really clear.

I'm with Decani in not believing this.
posted by Godbert at 11:21 AM on March 29, 2006


But as a Christian company, carrying the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and relating Planet of the Apes to black folks is A-OK, praise Jesus.
posted by CRM114 at 11:21 AM on March 29, 2006


As loquax points out, it seems unlikely that Wal Mart would ban the sale of three colors of ribbon because those colors were associated with Mardi Gras. I mean, couldn't you cover a Mardi Gras chair with crepe paper or construction paper or, for that matter, novelty color duct tape? (Admittedly the duct tape idea doesn't sound particularly festive, but if you were really hell-bent on debauchery, I don't think you would let bad taste get in your way.)

This sounds like an invention or at best an urban legend.
posted by La Cieca at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2006


Wal Mart immorality!

Can we delete this post yet?
posted by loquax at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2006


I'm with the bullshit-calling group. It doesn't make any sense at all.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:22 AM on March 29, 2006


Mardi Gras==Planet of the Rapes
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:23 AM on March 29, 2006


I could see this happening, in a single store, based on the decision of a particularly wing-nut manager. But even with Wal Mart's track record, there is simply no way this is "policy".
posted by chudmonkey at 11:28 AM on March 29, 2006


Shennanigans!

Move along, people. There are enough reasons to hate Wal-Mart without making them up.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 11:29 AM on March 29, 2006


Hmmm loquax is on to something
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 11:30 AM on March 29, 2006


Sounds fake. It's been a few years since I've been there but the Wal-Marts in Biloxi and along the coast used to carry Mardis Gras beads, decorations, hats, cards and even decorated the store in purple, gold and green.

Of course those wal-marts were knocked down by Katrina, but they're probably being rebuilt by now. I'll ask my cajun cousins.
posted by nyxxxx at 11:30 AM on March 29, 2006


::gets out broom::
posted by drezdn at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2006


I call shenanigans!

I've never had trouble buying my morally corrupt items at a Wal-Mart.
posted by drstein at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2006


I can only think of one circumstance in which this could occur: a mall-based Walmart. Used to be one at the neighbourhood mall that has now been demolished, and a zelous greeter would greet people walking by, also – presumably her friendliness might draw you into the store, I don’t know. A stretch, but possible. Single outlet? No.
posted by dreamsign at 11:31 AM on March 29, 2006


And just another example, here's some search results for Mardis Gras on the wal-mart website.
posted by nyxxxx at 11:32 AM on March 29, 2006


Can we delete this post yet?

Only if you wish hard enough (and you're pure of heart).
posted by gigawhat? at 11:34 AM on March 29, 2006


The Wal-mart in question is the Liberty Wal-Mart Supercenter. Their phone number is (816) 792-4644.

Anyone in the 816 area code wanna hassle a Walmart Manager and put this thing to bed?
posted by Hanover Phist at 11:34 AM on March 29, 2006


There's a phone number on the blog post. Why doesn't someone try to verify it?
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on March 29, 2006


eating king cake

There are little plastic fetuses in that kind of cake.


Those are BABIES!
posted by dersins at 11:36 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jerk.
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on March 29, 2006


Why does Wal-Mart hate America, uh, New Orleans, uh, Mardis Gras?
posted by OmieWise at 11:38 AM on March 29, 2006


Just called. Bullshit. They carry those colors, though not as one single ribbon. Can we delete this now?
posted by klangklangston at 11:40 AM on March 29, 2006


Welcome to Metafilter, a choose-your-own-adventure web site! Somebody has just posted a story.

If you call fake, go to PAGE 5.
If you think the post sucks, go to PAGE 9.
If you're inclined to take people at their word and thank them for an interesting story, go to ANOTHER WEBSITE.
posted by kevspace at 11:40 AM on March 29, 2006


Sorry, Kevspace, if you want to be the credulous simp, that's fine, but don't ask adults with a bullshit detector to go along with it.
posted by klangklangston at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2006


There are little plastic fetuses in that kind of cake.

Those are BABIES!


Boy, you Pro-Lifers never quit, do you?
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:41 AM on March 29, 2006


I hate Wal-Mart as much as the next guy, but the wording sounds...Odd.
posted by rollbiz at 11:42 AM on March 29, 2006


Just for the halibut, because this seems kind of fishy -

Post time on the blog -

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 29th, 2006 at 10:54 am

Post time here...

March 29, 2006 11:07 AM PST

Man, I hate those long delays before stuff of interest gets noticed, verified, and posted here. I think Kansas City's in the CST zone, so it might have been as much as two hours and 13 minutes!

I'm thinkin' we been scrod here.

On preview - what klangklangston said.
posted by JB71 at 11:42 AM on March 29, 2006


Y'know, it's unsubstantiated, confusing stuff like this that detracts from the substantiated, clearly stated horrifying crap Wal-Mart pulls on a regular basis.

"Um, I didn't get any names, and I don't usually shop here although they know my face, but my Wal-Mart doesn't sell three kinds of colored ribbon because they're anti-Mardi Gras! Here's their phone number!"

Get names, get dates, get information, get a statement, then repost it - I like my outrage to be clearly defined and focused, instead of vague and muddled.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:43 AM on March 29, 2006


Next time you go to that store, ask for body parts from China.
posted by Postroad at 11:43 AM on March 29, 2006


This post is great because it can help reinforce _all_ of my stereotypes

1) wal-mart is evil
2) Christians are fucktards who can't get their own holidays straight
3) everyone who writes on the internet is lying
4) metafilter is full of dismissive cranks who talk past each other
posted by Space Coyote at 11:45 AM on March 29, 2006


"Why doesn't someone try to verify it?"

Because it's easier to assume it's fake.
posted by graventy at 11:45 AM on March 29, 2006


"Just called. Bullshit."

heh. Nice work, klangklangston!
posted by graventy at 11:46 AM on March 29, 2006


Of course those wal-marts were knocked down by Katrina

I suppose that was a coincidence.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:49 AM on March 29, 2006


Wal-Mart did 9/11.
posted by dhartung at 11:50 AM on March 29, 2006


Thank you for insulting me, klangklangston, but I happen to be pretty familiar with the person who told this story in the first place, and it's hard for me to imagine them making it all up just to get attention. The store can claim it didn't happen just as easily as somebody can claim that it did. I have no doubt that two crazy employees in a big store could autonomously act crazy to one customer without the rest of the store even finding out. When I worked at Borders, I knew a guy who would always tell customers that they had no more copies of a certain item if it was in the back, just so he didn't have to go find it; if you'd called the store, they'd say it was in stock, which would not prove that the employee hadn't pretended it wasn't.

But I'll put Metafilter one notch above the Scooby Doo Gang in my rolodex, next time I need a mystery solved.
posted by kevspace at 11:53 AM on March 29, 2006


Wal-Mart told me I have AIDS.
posted by interrobang at 11:54 AM on March 29, 2006


Mardi Gras is a Christian party! It’s a last hurrah before Lent.

Actually, it's a Catholic holiday, and a lot of American evangelicals view Catholics as satan's minions. That's why (I think) the Bible-thumpers show up at Mardi Gras in such force. That said, this does seem fishy.
posted by brundlefly at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2006


Klangklangston is a journalist, and I don't mean that in a bad way.

Way to verify!

Now the question becomes: is klangklangston a frickin' liar screwing further with us? We need a volunteer to call again. Preferably one whose life we can tear apart in a ravenous need to know whether or not they're trustworthy.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 11:55 AM on March 29, 2006


no, they'd have hired underpaid Vietnamese hijackers, Saudis cost way too much
posted by matteo at 11:56 AM on March 29, 2006


the wording sounds...Odd

Agreed. BS sense tingling.

Just called. Bullshit. They carry those colors

Commented as such for clarification, thanks KlKl. I hate this kind of sophmoric sensationalism.
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:57 AM on March 29, 2006


I tried posting a link to this thread in the comments on that page but kept getting error messages.
posted by puke & cry at 11:59 AM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


further to what kevspace is saying:

I believe there's a chance that one or two WalMart employees said approximately what is quoted in the link. I don't believe that you can't buy those colours of ribbon at all. There is such thing as employees refusing to help a customer for their own reasons (whatever they may be). We already know that WalMart supports pharmacists who, for religious reasons, refuse to fill birth control 'scipts to unmarried women or emergency contraception to any women. So it's reasonable to think they might back up an employee who won't help a customer with other things for religious reasons.
posted by raedyn at 12:01 PM on March 29, 2006


My above link may not reveal my comment to that blog until it passes moderation.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:01 PM on March 29, 2006


Hey Internet super-sleuths: why would they have posted a phone number if they'd made the whole thing up? It's just their word against Wal-Mart's, and you're falling all over yourselves to be the first person to have believed Wal-Mart?
posted by kevspace at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2006


She should have just ordered the ribbon from the Wal-Mart website. What's even better is they'll personalize it for you. She could have made chairs that say "Wal-Mart Sucks!"
posted by blue_beetle at 12:05 PM on March 29, 2006


Here's a fellow who spent spring break at Wal-Mart.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:05 PM on March 29, 2006


If one or two employees in one store went against corporate policy and made up some nonsense and hassled a patron, and the experience was briefly detailed on a random personal blog, it's hardly newsworthy, let alone metafilter worthy. Right? I had a yelling match with a Visa employee the other day and he said some rude things. Should I post about it? I even got an official apology.
posted by loquax at 12:07 PM on March 29, 2006


I am also familiar with the person making the claim, and it was discussed in another forum before the blog post was made. I do believe the conversation took place; I don't believe it was company policy.
posted by 2sheets at 12:08 PM on March 29, 2006


"The store can claim it didn't happen just as easily as somebody can claim that it did."

Yeah, but the nice women in the craft department were already asking how many feet I needed so that they could have it ready for me to pick up.

What's more plausible? That they do carry those colors and that the random blog post (without any corroborating evidence) is full of it, or that they were planning to ream me out when I drove down there to buy my godless ribbons? I don't really give a shit if you know these bloggers, since their story strains credibility at the best and is an outright lie at the worst. All I did was express my skepticism, then call and verify. Your anecdotal evidence of bad service at Borders doesn't really stack up against just calling the goddamned store.

And if anyone else doesn't believe me, they're free to call too.
posted by klangklangston at 12:08 PM on March 29, 2006


But I'll put Metafilter one notch above the Scooby Doo Gang in my rolodex, next time I need a mystery solved.

Ha ha! Eat it Scoob! Metafilter pwned yer dogass!
posted by jefbla at 12:09 PM on March 29, 2006


Why include the phone number?
a) Gives tale credibility
b) Most folks willing to call will be more interested in hassling whomever answers the phone than in finding out what's going on (Good job, klangklangston!).

There is something going on here, but the inconsistencies in the story leads me to doubt it's all about ribbons.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:10 PM on March 29, 2006


"Hey Internet super-sleuths: why would they have posted a phone number if they'd made the whole thing up? "

They're idiots and thought no one would call? They're misrepresenting what happened to increase their own sense of importance and outrage? They're UN Owen and Airnex?
posted by klangklangston at 12:11 PM on March 29, 2006


Image hosting by Photobucket
posted by ND¢ at 12:14 PM on March 29, 2006


It seems a bit incredulous but aside from that I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this story. It's not like it claims that this is official Walmart corporate policy, but more like a clueless manager. Most of the "I had awful treatment at this retailer" stories are due to local employees not corporate policy. Why couldn't it be true? I am certainly not getting too outraged without further proof, but to flatly state it as false without further proof seems premature also. The more interesting question is what caused a 3 1/2 year lull in posting by skwm?
posted by caddis at 12:15 PM on March 29, 2006


This is my blog. It is not a made up story. It is what happened. Please understand that the point of the blog is how life is different here from the life on the coasts, so obviously, your mileage may vary, especially if you live in a blue state.

In chat just now with my wife:

Me: Specifically, you could not locate what kind of ribbon?
Me: Several people called the liberty store and they say they carry the ribbon.
My wife: Also, they do have light orchid, like sea moss green and yellow ribbon.
My wife: They do not have real green or real purple.

We were looking for the bright, cheery colors that are typically associated with Mardis Gras. They do not carry those specific colors.
posted by urlnotfound at 12:15 PM on March 29, 2006


a) Build massive retail network with sophisticated, cost-cutting distribution planning and imposing megastores.
c) Profit!
b) Drive out local business.
c) Profit!
e) Impose your personal beliefs on your customers by limiting their access to goods.
f) Profit... in the eyes of the Lord!


If I may add a few points.

g) Close down when economy collapses.
h) Leave large empty building in place.
h) Reopen doors as conveniently located internment camp for local citizens.
posted by chowder at 12:16 PM on March 29, 2006


Apparently, because Jezus told them not too.
posted by urlnotfound at 12:16 PM on March 29, 2006


why would they have posted a phone number if they'd made the whole thing up?

Why do people create chain email about Bill Gates paying recipients to bulk-forward? Attempts to use the internet as a harrassment tool need to be carefully examined - that branch will no doubt get a lot of calls. If the conversation actually occurred, then fine. If not, then a lawsuit may be in order.
As the audience we must always question before acting. The postee should have followed up further by making the call himself, going to the store to find the now supposedly available ribbon, and adding the outcome of those events to the post before making it.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:17 PM on March 29, 2006


klangklangston, all you did was verify that they do indeed sell ribbon. You have in no way proven that employees did not refuse to sell it. Although your tough-as-nails, no-nonsense online persona does have a certain authority. Perhaps you could take over a certain show when Penn & Teller retire. It's on Showtime, so you could even keep swearing.

The Internet is such a bizarro world sometimes. I'm not stuffed with immediate world-weary cynicism and so I'm automatically the odd man out, playing devil's advocate because I'd rather believe a storyteller than a huge corporation.
posted by kevspace at 12:17 PM on March 29, 2006


Uhm, people. It's Wal-Mart. They'd sell their grandmothers if they could make 20% margin.

Fake.
posted by AspectRatio at 12:20 PM on March 29, 2006


This is clearly a Walmart sponsored viral marketing ploy to sell more mardi gras ribbons.
posted by jeffmik at 12:21 PM on March 29, 2006


This is ridiculous, I live in KC and well I haven't been to that Wal-Mart, I doubt the underpaid workers at every other Wal-Mart have been quite apathetic. I've lived in KC forever, and while it may be more conservative than the coasts I've never, ever experience the kind of Bible thumping shown here or the amount I've experience when visiting the deep South. Of course look at this post:

# Consumerist.com Says:
March 29th, 2006 at 12:43 pm

I just called that Wal-Mart you gave the phone number for. They transferred me to the crafts department. I asked if they had ribbon, they said yes. I asked if they had purple ribbon, they said yes.
posted by geoff. at 12:21 PM on March 29, 2006


They can do whatever the hell they want.
posted by HTuttle at 12:22 PM on March 29, 2006


Yes, keep confirming that the store stocks ribbons. That completely proves that this incident could not have happened.
posted by kevspace at 12:24 PM on March 29, 2006


jeffmik wins
posted by ClanvidHorse at 12:24 PM on March 29, 2006


I bet they're wondering why all these people are calling up for ribbon, and then not coming in and buying it.

Accursed devil-worshipping internet heathens!
posted by crunchland at 12:24 PM on March 29, 2006


Someone ought to call the store, and ask if they have red and black ribbon for a satan-worshipping party. And then report back here.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:25 PM on March 29, 2006


Ha ha! Eat it Scoob! Metafilter pwned yer dogass!

Zoinks!
posted by gompa at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2006


Support Our Ribbons!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:27 PM on March 29, 2006


This is clearly a Walmart sponsored viral marketing ploy to sell more mardi gras ribbons.

Don't be silly: the ribbon manufacturers' cabal founded Wal Mart years ago as a Hegelian opposition, to cement their industry's position in the culture once and for all.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:30 PM on March 29, 2006


http://www.thenocoastblog.com/blog/?p=11#comment-20
posted by urlnotfound at 12:34 PM on March 29, 2006


I would have succeeded in defaming that multi-national mega-company if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!
posted by crunchland at 12:34 PM on March 29, 2006


Whether or not this happened, if it's not store policy, if it's not Wal Mart policy, if it's not verifiable and if it's just some nutty employees, it's neither important nor post-worthy. It definitely belongs on the personal blog, not on metafilter. Or are local consumer relations issues a real hot button issue these days? Just call the BBB and deal with it, or better still, shop somewhere else. There's nothing to "prove" here, unless anyone believes that Wal Mart will come out and say they don't sell ribbon in Mardi Gras colours because they're a Christian store and people get raped on fat tuesday, or whatever.
posted by loquax at 12:42 PM on March 29, 2006


No this is totally true. I went to WalMart once and asked for some WD40.

Clerk: "Why you want that fer?"

ME: "Uh. I have these bolts and the nuts are rusted on to them..."

Clerk: "WHAT?"

ME: "To clean rust off my nuts"

Clerk: "Git outta here faggot! We are Christians here."

Then he chased me out of the store with pitch fork in one hand and a torch in the other. Then all the employees lined up in the parking lot kinda zombie-like, pointed their fingers and me, rolled their eyes back till just the whites showed and did this weird screeching noise thing.

I got outta there.

Though. I have to admit he had me. I was REALLY going to use it as lube to fuck my satanist boyfriend up the ass and then light us both on fire in service of Satan.

I'm putting it all in my blog tonight!
posted by tkchrist at 12:45 PM on March 29, 2006


Now that's more like the Metafilter I used to know! Used to be you'd just complain that the post wasn't worthy, argue about its worth for a while, then move on. Now you have to PROVE stuff.
posted by kevspace at 12:45 PM on March 29, 2006


http://www.thenocoastblog.com/blog/?p=11#comment-20

That's some of the clarification we need, thanks. I concede this is a well intentioned post that needed more followup before publishing. Our lesson for today - treat every blogged injustice like a day in court.


jeffmik wins

But Cosmo 7 wins harder.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:46 PM on March 29, 2006


Cosmo 7 wins harder.

Aw. Damn. He may have been first but mine was way more outrageous.
posted by tkchrist at 12:50 PM on March 29, 2006


Okay, I just called. I was transferred to Arts & Crafts, whereupon a harrassed-sounding woman answered the phone. Here's the conversation:

Wal-Mart Woman: Hello, Arts & Crafts, yes we have ribbon.

ME: Hello, yes, I need some ribbon.

WMW: Well, we have purple ribbon. All colors. Everyone's been callin' about the ribbon, sayin' we don't sell it 'cause it's blasphemous. We have ribbon.

ME: I see. Actually, um, I need some red and black ribbon. Do you have that? I need it for a Satan-worshipping party.

WMW: A what?

ME: A satan-worshipping party. We're having a Satan-worshipping party, and we're going to praise Satan, worship at the altar of Satan, and reject Jesus, so we need decorations, and I need some red and black ribbon to, you know, honor the Prince of Darkness.

WMW: Well it ain't up to me what you do with the ribbon, it's up to the person buying it.

ME: So it's okay with you if I buy ribbon for a satanic festival?

WMW: Like I said it ain't up to me what you do with it. But we got red and black ribbon.

ME: Great, okay, thank you.

WMW: Thank yew for callin' Wal-Mart.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:50 PM on March 29, 2006


Well, at least we made somebody's work shift a little more interesting.
posted by kevspace at 12:52 PM on March 29, 2006


Someone should at least buy some ribbon from them.
posted by horsewithnoname at 12:53 PM on March 29, 2006


"It seems a bit incredulous but aside from that I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this story."

Other reasons -

- Why would a store in *Kansas* have even the tiniest care about whether some colors of ribbon are used to celebrate a holiday Kansas doesn't celebrate? Seriously, how many people in Kansas come to Wall-Mart looking to make Mardi Gras props?

- The wife said here that they had colors of ribbon that were very close to the "banned" colors. So..... They pull three colors from the shelves, but leave other colors which are certainly close enough for a Mardi Gras prop in Kansas?

- The story has a glaring contradiction. She doesn't shop there. But the greeter knows her from all the times she's come in. One of these is a lie. Straight up. A lie.

- We've called the store. They sell Mardi Gras ribbon. Doesn't prove anything, but it's certainly damning.

- As others have said, other Wall-Marts sell Mardi Gras beads. So clearly this has nothing to do with Wall-Mart. This specific manager would have to be batshit insane. Again, doesn't prove anything, but it paints any reality this has in a different light.

- So we're expected to believe the store pulled *everything* from the shelves that might have any association with Mardi Gras? Plastic babies? Masks? Beads? Gold candy coins?
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:53 PM on March 29, 2006


I have a sudden urge to shop at WalMart.

I hear they have ribbon even.
posted by birdie birdington at 1:01 PM on March 29, 2006


Turns out they have alchohol there, too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:04 PM on March 29, 2006


The story has a glaring contradiction. She doesn't shop there. But the greeter knows her from all the times she's come in. One of these is a lie. Straight up. A lie. - y6y6y6

As CynicalKnight linked to upthread, apparently she takes her mother-in-law there, but doesn't usually spend her own money there. Keep up. ;-)
posted by raedyn at 1:04 PM on March 29, 2006


Plastic babies?

Nah, they need them for the pro-life vigils.
posted by NationalKato at 1:06 PM on March 29, 2006


"As CynicalKnight linked to upthread, apparently she takes her mother-in-law there, but doesn't usually spend her own money there."

And........ considering the source...... you find this plausable?
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:07 PM on March 29, 2006


I heard that klingklangston is actually a walmart stooge.
posted by stx23 at 1:09 PM on March 29, 2006


Also.....

She wants some ribbon. And she hates shopping at Wal-Mart. So the first place she goes for craft supplies is Wall-Mart. ??? I've never been to KC, but in every other place I've been there are more craft stores than Wal-Marts.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:10 PM on March 29, 2006


- Why would a store in *Kansas* have even the tiniest care about whether some colors of ribbon are used to celebrate a holiday Kansas doesn't celebrate? Seriously, how many people in Kansas come to Wall-Mart looking to make Mardi Gras props?

This was in Missouri, silly. There is a Kansas City Missouri, and a Kansas City Kansas. We live on the east side of the river. If you want to point out untruths, at least get your facts straight first.

- The wife said here that they had colors of ribbon that were very close to the "banned" colors. So..... They pull three colors from the shelves, but leave other colors which are certainly close enough for a Mardi Gras prop in Kansas?

No the colors weren't very close, and exactly why would the state we live in (MISSOURI) make any difference in weather the ribbon they had matched the ribbon, beads, fabric, and glitter we already had? She did not bring up Mardis Gras when asking about the ribbon. The "associate" did first.

- The story has a glaring contradiction. She doesn't shop there. But the greeter knows her from all the times she's come in. One of these is a lie. Straight up. A lie.

We rarely ever spend money in Wal-Mart. My mother is 73 years old and does not drive. My wife, being the honest (ahem) housewife she is, drives her to shop 2 or 3 times a week. My mother can't get enough Wal-Mart.

- We've called the store. They sell Mardi Gras ribbon. Doesn't prove anything, but it's certainly damning.

No, they didn't sell the ribbon we were looking for. You are stuck on that "in backwards Kansas" they don't need the right colors thing.

- As others have said, other Wall-Marts sell Mardi Gras beads. So clearly this has nothing to do with Wall-Mart. This specific manager would have to be batshit insane. Again, doesn't prove anything, but it paints any reality this has in a different light.

Yes. I am certain that in other Wal-Marts around the country, you will find Mardis Gras related items. No claim to the contrary was made by anyone other than the Wal-Mart employees.

- So we're expected to believe the store pulled *everything* from the shelves that might have any association with Mardi Gras? Plastic babies? Masks? Beads? Gold candy coins?

Again, the Wal-Mart employees made the claim. Not us.
posted by urlnotfound at 1:11 PM on March 29, 2006


close enough for a Mardi Gras prop in Kansas

This is a very useful expression, I think.

"Ted, there are a couple of errors in those sales projections..."

"Ahhh, it's close enough for a Mardi Gras prop in Kansas!"
posted by La Cieca at 1:11 PM on March 29, 2006


from the original blog:

# thenocoastblog Says:
March 29th, 2006 at 2:29 pm

They do carry “light orchid and I believe “light sage” ribbon. The yellow they carry is also a lighter version of the one I bought there several years ago.

The reason the door greeter knows my face is because I take my mother in law there to shop pretty frequently. I have tried to dissuade her from this but she insists. I informed her today that from now on she will have to find another way to get to wal mart.

On the way to pick up Jon from work tonight I will go back into wal mart and take a picture of their rack of ribbons. I wanted indivual ribbons so I could tie them in different spots.


Seems at least a little plausible, though I can still see how it looks fishy.
posted by thekilgore at 1:12 PM on March 29, 2006


She wants some ribbon. And she hates shopping at Wal-Mart. So the first place she goes for craft supplies is Wall-Mart. ??? I've never been to KC, but in every other place I've been there are more craft stores than Wal-Marts.

We received a $10 gift card. They don't exchange them for cash, or we would have done that instead.
posted by urlnotfound at 1:12 PM on March 29, 2006


sotty - didn't see the comment above that explains some of that already.
posted by thekilgore at 1:13 PM on March 29, 2006


Did you even read anybody else's comments y6y6y6?

I have absolutely no problem whatsoever believing that urlnotfound's wife went into Wal*Mart, asked for ribbons, and was lectured on ungodliness. Here's how it probably happened:

urlnotfoundwife: I'm looking for purple, green and yellow ribbon.
WalMart drone: I don't have purple, but I have orchid. And I don't have green but I do have sage.
urlnotfoundwife: No, I need deep purple and bright green because this is for a Mardi Gras project.
WalMart drone: begins religious tirade in which she ironically imputes her own Christian values to the soulless, evil MegaCorp for which she slaves
posted by ereshkigal45 at 1:14 PM on March 29, 2006


Also, those of you are calling this story bullshit are basically saying that urlnotfound is a baldfaced liar.

Comfortable with that?
posted by ereshkigal45 at 1:15 PM on March 29, 2006


"Again, the Wal-Mart employees made the claim. Not us."

No. We called. They claim yer full of it. You made the claim first. Call them yourself. Ask for Mardi Gras supplies. Go ahead.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:15 PM on March 29, 2006


Did you even read anybody else's comments y6y6y6?

obviously not, at least not before posting a couple already-answered objections.

Everyone else must be having a slow work day, too.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:17 PM on March 29, 2006


No. We called. They claim yer full of it.

Because Wal*Mart is full of truthiness, right? They would never, ever lie.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 1:17 PM on March 29, 2006


"Also, those of you are calling this story bullshit are basically saying that urlnotfound is a baldfaced liar."

Actually I'm calling his wife a liar. Yes, I'm comfortable with that. I think I've made my case rather extensively. She's saying that the store refuses to ribbon which is associated with Mardi Gras, and that the manager confirmed this and physically escorted her out of the store.

I think she's lying.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:19 PM on March 29, 2006


"Because Wal*Mart is full of truthiness, right? They would never, ever lie."

Beats me. And I don't care. Personally I think they're scum and I don't shop there.

But the claim is that this store doesn't sell those colors. We called. They sell the colors. It would be hard to lie about that. "Hi. I called earlier about the purple ribbon? Can I have it now?"

The claim is that they don't sell it on moral grounds. We called and asked for ribbon to be used in a Satanic ritual. They don't seem to care one bit. I find it wildly implausible that a clerk who is so tight with the Lord that she'll lecture customers about the evils of Mardi Gras would then shrug off Satanic rituals.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:26 PM on March 29, 2006


I believe the poster's wife went to Walmart and had some issue with some employee(s) concerning buying ribbon. She wrote it up in a "And the he said..." recollection and it got posted to the web.

Did she have some problems with Walmart's staff? Probably.
Do I think it happened exactly as described? No.
Does Walmart really ban things due to being associated with mardi gras? obviously not.
Does a second hand recounting of poor customer service at a major retailer qualify as FPP? Well, here we are 100 comments later, so apparently yes.

Does Walmart carry mushrooms?
posted by justkevin at 1:28 PM on March 29, 2006


Moral of the story: get NAMES. If you're shopping or on the phone with a rep, get their name so things can be verified.
posted by dobbs at 1:29 PM on March 29, 2006


But the claim is that this store doesn't sell those colors. We called. They sell the colors.

They sell "orchid" and "sage". It really is helpful to read all of the posts.

I find it wildly implausible that a clerk who is so tight with the Lord that she'll lecture customers about the evils of Mardi Gras would then shrug off Satanic rituals.

Because there's only one clerk ever at WalMart, right? They're open 24 hours a day, and clerks may be assigned to many different departments, but the person who answered the phone is absolutely, without a doubt, the same clerk that urlnotfound's wife spoke with.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 1:33 PM on March 29, 2006


I just spent my lunch hour and stopped by that very Wal*Mart on the way back to my office. They indeed have ribbon of all sorts of colors there, including green, yellow and purple.

The story is pure fabrication or the original poster is color-blind, couldn't find the place where ribbon was sold, and/or neither could the unhelpful employees.


That is the email my brother sent me after I sent this link to him earlier. Very lame posting.
posted by Qubit at 1:33 PM on March 29, 2006


Wal-Mart is teh Stoopit. And I can totally see some over zealous ignoramus pulling this crap. That they've since learned and are saying it never happened doesn't discount the possibility of this happening. I'm not saying it did or didn't but I can definitely see it happening. Nothing Wal-Mart does would surprise me anymore, except an across the board $5 raise and free healthcare for everyone.

I just found out the mayor of my town wrote a letter to a neighboring town asking them to deny a Wal-Mart request to dump one of their colossal hellholes about fifty feet from the town line with my town.

My mayor got the two thumbs up from me.

Also, its entirely possible that the associate found out what the ribbon was to be used for and decided that it was inappropriate to sell them to her for Mardi Gras.
posted by fenriq at 1:34 PM on March 29, 2006


"Yes, keep confirming that the store stocks ribbons. That completely proves that this incident could not have happened."

Thank you, Kev. Would you like to lecture us on how finding dinosaur bones doesn't mean that God didn't just create them to fool us?

Christ.
posted by klangklangston at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2006


I find it wildly implausible that a clerk who is so tight with the Lord that she'll lecture customers about the evils of Mardi Gras would then shrug off Satanic rituals. - y6y6y6

Me too. I also find it wildly plausible, even likely, that the person who answered the satanic ritual ribbon call is NOT the same person who had the encounter described in the link. Since you don't shop at there perhaps you don't realize that WalMart has more than one employee working in each department.

I don't think there's a way for us to verify if the original encounter went as described in the blog post. I imagine the truth is (as usual) somewhere between the two extremes of "it happened exactly as described" and "the entire thing is fabricated".
posted by raedyn at 1:36 PM on March 29, 2006


"They sell "orchid" and "sage". It really is helpful to read all of the posts."

They sell purple. It really is helpful to read all of the posts.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:37 PM on March 29, 2006


What I find most interesting about this FPP (what the heck does that abbreviation mean anyway?) is that so many people called Wal-Mart, I bet they have changed their ways and probably have done some needed training. If my lowly, ego-blog made some change, then that is good, even if it was only a change at the fabric counter at a podunk store in a city whose state isn't important enough to even name correctly. I am fabulously pleased and will try to get out there tonight to get a photo or two of the ribbon in question, and pictures of the ribbon we were trying to match, if only to "complete the circle".

I honestly don't care that y6^3 doesn't believe, it is healthy to have a skeptical attitude about things.
posted by urlnotfound at 1:39 PM on March 29, 2006


Has anyone called that WalMart to see if they carry 'Prince Albert in a Can?'
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on March 29, 2006


Best to get Bart to call them.
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on March 29, 2006


It makes me slightly pleased that the crafts department of that one walmart is getting phonecall after phonecall asking about ribbon. Making someone's day interesting.
posted by puke & cry at 1:43 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


What seems likely to me is that one Wal-Mart clerk went off on some weird religious Mardi Gras ribbon diatribe to this woman, and then someone higher up realized "Damn, we are going to get flack for that-- better pretend it never happened, and tell the employees not to be so damn dumb in the future, and stock some purple & green ribbon for pete's sake." Maybe the clerk in question just didn't want to go in the back and get the purple & green ribbon. I get the impression the manager escorted her out because she was upset with the employee, not because she asked for certain colors of ribbon. Unless we get access to the security cam footage, no one can prove this did or didn't happen. I don't know why some people are being such asses about it.

(Oh, and FPP means Front Page Post.)
posted by Shoeburyness at 1:44 PM on March 29, 2006


"Because there's only one clerk ever at WalMart, right?"

How can you keep holding on to the idea that the store doesn't sell purple ribbon due to Mardi Gras?

- Someone stopped by that store. They have purple, yellow, and green ribbon.

- Several people called, and they all seem to be getting the same person. In the crafts department. You really believe that the manager told one of the clerks in the crafts department about the anti-Mardi Gras policy, but no one else?

- Someone called and asked for stuff for a Satanic ritual. No problem. So you think that one employee is such a holy roller she's willing to go off on customers about purple ribbon. But a coworker in the same department has no idea about that?

Seriously. I'm asking. You think the store is true? You think the store has a policy against purple ribbon (as she claims was confirmed by the manager)?
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:47 PM on March 29, 2006


Laura siad right in the orginal story that she was very loud and that the manager told her "Ma’am, I’m going to have to ask you to leave until you can be calm." This supports Shoeburyness' suspicion that the manager removed her because of the scene she was making, and not because of her desire for Mardi Gras themed ribbon. When telling stories like this, the person telling the story generally likes to paint themselves in a favourable light, so it's possible that Laura was making quite a scene that suggested excorting her out was an appropriate course of action. Or maybe not. But it's certainly plausible.
posted by raedyn at 1:50 PM on March 29, 2006


posted by urlnotfound What I find most interesting about this FPP (what the heck does that abbreviation mean anyway?)

Finding
Purple
Pageantry

If my lowly, ego-blog made some change, then that is good, even if it was only a change at the fabric counter at a podunk store in a city whose state isn't important enough to even name correctly.

Indeed. Change begins at home, or the Wal-Mart fabric counter. Think globally, act local-yokely.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:52 PM on March 29, 2006


They sell purple. It really is helpful to read all of the posts.

Because they told klangklangklangston they sell purple ribbon, therefore it must be true? And we know this ribbon is purple, and not some variant that might be similar to purple because what?

y6y6y6, I have so many things I want to sell you, I don't even know where to begin. You have a credit card, right?

How can you keep holding on to the idea that the store doesn't sell purple ribbon due to Mardi Gras?

My God. You really don't read anybody else's posts, do you? As should be quite evident from my first post, I don't think WalMart has a policy about not selling purple ribbon due to Mardi Gras. I don't even necessarily believe that they don't have purple ribbon. I do, however, find it completely believable that an employee, after discovering the purpose for the ribbon, made claims about what the store would or would not sell. Those claims may, and probably are, completely unfounded. That doesn't mean the incident didn't happen.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2006


Also, those of you are calling this story bullshit are basically saying that urlnotfound is a baldfaced liar.

Comfortable with that?


Well, yeah, actually. What? It's on a blog so it MUST be true?
posted by AspectRatio at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2006


A few family members and myself tried to buy hunting licenses at a walmart once but they flat out refused to give them out because they insisted we needed additional paperwork. My cousin, being a hunting enthusiast, was positive we didn't. We talked to two different employees and the manager, all gave the same story. The manager eventually kicked us out of the story after my cousin called him a dumbass. We then drove 30 minutes away to hunting supply shop and got the licenses.

I'm willing to bet if we went to walmart the next day and talked to someone else they would have gave us the licenses without any fuss. The point is that walmart is full of dumbasses and most of them don't know what's going on. So the story sounds pretty plausible to me.
posted by puke & cry at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Maybe the clerk in question just didn't want to go in the back and get the purple & green ribbon."

This is certainly plausible. But Mr & Mrs urlnotfound are explicitly claiming that it's the store policy to not sell purple, yellow, or green ribbon on moral grounds. And that the manager confirmed that.

That's the part I have a problem with. Someone is accused of being a stupid bigot. A manager is accused of refusing to sell to us on religious grounds. People could get fired over this. We already have on store employee being badgered on the phone.

If the clerk got fired, and it appears Mrs urlnotfound may have lied, what then? Anyone have a problem with that?
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:57 PM on March 29, 2006


Tie a purple ribbon
'round the FPP
It's been over a hundred comments
will you be-lieve me,
If I can't get some ribbon in Missouri
I'll shut the fuck up
forget about us
and pin the blame on me!
If I don't see a ribbon as an FPP.
posted by Floydd at 2:00 PM on March 29, 2006


Floydd wins... a blue ribbon!!! Anybody got any blue ribbon? Anyone? No?

*heads out to Baal-Mart to buy ribbon*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2006


"Because they told klangklangklangston they sell purple ribbon, therefore it must be true?"

Right. Because they were lying to me in order to lure me to the shop, club me over the head, and make a pagan effigy of me?
posted by klangklangston at 2:06 PM on March 29, 2006


Well, yeah, actually. What? It's on a blog so it MUST be true?

No, but apparently the onus is on everyone but the blogger to prove that it is.
posted by glenwood at 2:08 PM on March 29, 2006


Are purple ribbons the new mushrooms?
posted by ooga_booga at 2:08 PM on March 29, 2006


Trying to imagine all the possibly scenarios of what really did happen is mind-boggling.

Hell, trying to imagine even the possibilities of what the blogger claimed happened is mind-boggling.

Could the shopper not find ANY ribbon, or just the ribbon colors she was looking for, before she asked the employee? Did the employee actually hide the ribbon in question without other employees noticing, for his own personal reasons? Did he just lie about there not being those colored ribbons, since the shopper hadn't yet found the ribbon section and got escorted out before ever being able to verify that fact? The fabrics employee on the phone--was she covering for the employee? Had the mysterious ribbons returned by the time her shift started? Was she trying to hide behind "orchid and sage," claiming they were purple and green, just to sell some non-Mardi-ribbon, or get us off her back? And what of this manager? He seems to have backed up the original employee. The blog makes it seem like he or someone above him implemented this ribbon ban. But the woman on the phone seems to know nothing of it. So.......

It's very confusing. That's probably why few people believe it.
posted by lampoil at 2:14 PM on March 29, 2006


Have none of you worked retail before? The important issue isn't whether or not Wal-Mart stocks ribbons. The story is about an employee who had some interesting beliefs about Mardi Gras, and chose to share them rather than help her customer, which turned into a confrontation instead of a sales transaction. There's really nothing unbelievable about that.

Whoever keeps getting all of our phone calls is almost certainly not the employee in question, although I'm sure by now the store has figured out that something happened.

I realize it's a strange story, but if it wasn't, it wouldn't have been interesting enough to even relate. I still never thought I'd see the day that Metafilter gets all worked up in a hurry to defend Wal-Mart.
posted by kevspace at 2:19 PM on March 29, 2006


You know who else wanted ribbon to make a Marti Gras chair?
posted by puke & cry at 2:23 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hitler?
posted by klangklangston at 2:30 PM on March 29, 2006


"The story is about an employee who had some interesting beliefs about Mardi Gras"

It might have been. But the claim was that the manager confirmed the policy. Which makes the story about a store policy rather than just a wacky clerk.

Ask yourself this - If the manager asks, "Is there a problem?", and you say, "Yes, I want to buy some ribbon. And I was told you won't sell it because Mardi Gras is immoral." What would motivate the manager to confirm that if it wasn't true? Especially when they have the ribbon in stock? The only reason would be that it is indeed policy.

And if that's the case it means the ribbon (and all possible Mardi Gras stuff in the store) was pulled from the shelves. Which means all the employees would have to be told about the policy. Which will make it impossible to cover up. In fact if the store as big as Wal-Mart is trying to keep a board category of mundane items off the shelves (but in stock) there would have to be a memo, or even an employee meeting. Should be easy to confirm then.

Remember - The claim is that the manger confirmed the policy.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:33 PM on March 29, 2006


I don't think WalMart has a policy about not selling purple ribbon due to Mardi Gras. I don't even necessarily believe that they don't have purple ribbon. I do, however, find it completely believable that an employee, after discovering the purpose for the ribbon, made claims about what the store would or would not sell. Those claims may, and probably are, completely unfounded. That doesn't mean the incident didn't happen. - ereshkigal45

Well said.
posted by raedyn at 2:47 PM on March 29, 2006


According to the blog, this happened today. So I called the store, and asked to speak to the manager.

MANAGER: Hi, this is Alan, may I help you?

ME: Hi there, Alan. You're the store manager?

ALAN: Yep.

ME: Say, I'm trying to verify a story someone told me--do you remember a dispute with a woman today, or yesterday, over Mardi Gras, and ribbon?

ALAN: Uh . . . nope, not that I can recall.

ME: Were you on duty both days?

ALAN: Yes, yes I was.

ME: Okay, so did you have to escort someone out of the store? Someone who was upset about ribbons, or Mardi Gras?

ALAN: No, nothing like that.

ME: Great, thanks Alan.

ALAN: Sure thing.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:47 PM on March 29, 2006


I can't wait for the relevation that the listed phone number is actually for the wrong Wal-Mart.
posted by aaronetc at 2:49 PM on March 29, 2006


I can't wait to see the pictures of ribbon later tonight.
posted by chococat at 2:51 PM on March 29, 2006


Wow. This is the weirdest post and resulting comments in a long time.
posted by agregoli at 2:52 PM on March 29, 2006


Remember - The claim is that the manger confirmed the policy. - y6y6y6

No. The claim is the Manager said
We feel that as a Christian Company it was inappropriate to carry things associated with morally corrupt themes.
That's different than saying they don't carry particular colous because of the Mardi Gras connection. What the manager (supposedly) said is retty much true. WalMart won't carry cds with explicit lyrics, video games with adult ratings, wouldn't carry the morning after pill until several states forced them to, etc. I doubt this translates to WalMart not carrying the ribbon in its stores, but it is true that WalMart avoids carrying 'morally' questionable items.
posted by raedyn at 2:54 PM on March 29, 2006


I can't wait to see the pictures of ribbon later tonight.

I can't wait for the accusation of Photoshopping.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:57 PM on March 29, 2006


Wal Mart's Global Ethics office - give 'em a call! They have an open door policy!
posted by loquax at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2006


I doubt this translates to WalMart not carrying the ribbon in its stores, but it is true that WalMart avoids carrying 'morally' questionable items.

But the statement was referring to the ribbons, which would make it store policy not to sell them.
posted by puke & cry at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


It says "her manager," not "the manager." She probably meant "the supervisor on duty."

Let me put it this way: I worked at a movie theater where the slacker projectionist would frequently set the projector to the wrong aspect ratio. If anyone complained, the manager would just claim that it wasn't wrong. Similarly, the soda was never flat, if you talked to the manager.
posted by kevspace at 3:00 PM on March 29, 2006


when i used to work at a retail store, and a customer would ask for the manager...we would tell a coworker to pretend they were the manager.
posted by goldism at 3:19 PM on March 29, 2006


Nah. To believe that the story is true involves too many complicated explanations. Occam's Razor says the story is false, if not a deliberate lie.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:20 PM on March 29, 2006


Because Occam's Razor is the theory that if something is complicated to explain, it must not have happened.
posted by kevspace at 3:24 PM on March 29, 2006


Can't... resist... being involved in pointless debate (possibly due to recently watching an episode of scrubs about conflict resolution)

Here is a plausible scenario which means no-one is lying,

-------

Mrs urlnotfound: I want Mardi Gras ribbon

Zealous/foolish employee: Mardi Gras is bad

Mrs urlnotfound: This is outrageous, MANAGER!

*manager arrives*

Mrs urlnotfound: I can't believe you refuse to sell things because of religion

Manager (not really listening,): Wal-mart policy is not to sell bad things. Please stop shouting and leave now.

------

Simple case of commnunication error. The manager/supervisor probably barely took notice of what she was saying, whilst she may have easily misconstrued store policy on 'immoral' goods as being about Mardi Gras, in the heat of the moment.

The existence and availability of ribbons, the store's acutal policy and whatever the manager says after the fact are not really pertinent.
posted by MetaMonkey at 3:30 PM on March 29, 2006


No, Occam's Razor is about simplicity, and it's not a theory at all, it's a principle, see here.
posted by Vaska at 3:32 PM on March 29, 2006


I honestly don't care that y6^3 doesn't believe, it is healthy to have a skeptical attitude about things

As the second person to question the validity of the accusation, I appreciate this aquiescence.

Tell you what - when you photograph the ribbon display tonight, let's send this post to it's proper climax by purchasing said roll(s) of ribbon, tying them to a large mushroom, dumping a pic of said splendorified fungoid into photobucket.com and doing an [img] tag here.

We must then bow down to our screens in reverence for the Tasmanian Blazecock Pileon this FPP has become.
posted by CynicalKnight at 3:36 PM on March 29, 2006


"Simple case of commnunication error. The manager/supervisor probably barely took notice of what she was saying, whilst she may have easily misconstrued store policy on 'immoral' goods as being about Mardi Gras, in the heat of the moment."

Doesn't account for the fact that the store has purple, green, and yellow ribbon on the shelf. Or the fact that the manager claims he never threw anyone out of the store. Or the fact that the clerk in the craft department doesn't seem to give a rat's ass what people might do with ribbon.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2006


Well, what I've learned today is that even though the person who posted this to their weblog did not post this to mefi itself, people at a certain other website (not the blog in question) ARE MUCH NICER AND MORE AGREEABLE THAN MEFI FOLK.

But then I'm prejudiced. I know the folks involved too.

Oh well. Initiate witty retort to the above now...
posted by E_B_A at 3:41 PM on March 29, 2006


I can only imagine Mrs. Urlnotfound preparing for her wedding. "Where are the ribbons?! I WANT RIBBONS! And where are the Portobello mushrooms for the dinner?"
posted by fandango_matt at 3:42 PM on March 29, 2006


More of the story -

"I was looking for very specific ribbon. The associate I asked and I were standing in front of the specific ribbon. I asked about true green, purple and yellow. She brought up Mardi Gras first. I called my husband frustrated that somebody pushed their beliefs off on me.

I was VERY loud. The manager guy wanted me to leave so I didn't make any more of a scene. Yes, they have some ribbon in the colors I wanted. Nothing that would have been useful for what I needed it for."


Again, it was a lie. The clerk wouldn't have said they don't stock the colors due to Mardi Gras being immoral when they did indeed have the colors. Unless of course the clerk claimed that only certain styles of ribbon used for Mardi Gras props is evil.

To recap, this -

"We don't carry those colors because we found they were being used for Mardi Gras."

Was a lie.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:51 PM on March 29, 2006


Porto-whatto mushrooms?
posted by arcticwoman at 3:53 PM on March 29, 2006


I'm just waiting for a post to show up on Evil Customers or some other Livejournal group talking about how an employee's Walmart was out of ribbon and when someone asked for a specific color, the employee made up a store about how evil Mardi Gras is to amuse themselves.
posted by drezdn at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2006


"We don't carry those colors because we found they were being used for Mardi Gras" was a lie, but why are you so sure it wasn't the employee's lie? Why do you think it's so impossible that an employee would incorrectly say they didn't have something in stock? I go into a comic shop to buy "Emo Boy" comics every other month, and every single time they tell me they don't have it while they're standing right in front of it, and I have to point it out to them.

What do you all think is the motivation behind making up a story about a crazy Wal-Mart employee in the first place?

Hell, how do any of you ever do anything when "distrust" is your default mode of operation? Calling "bullshit" on everything doesn't make you worldly and wise.
posted by kevspace at 4:02 PM on March 29, 2006


I was looking for a possible confusion, and just asked this:
Clarification:
"I was looking for very specific ribbon. The associate I asked and I were standing in front of the specific ribbon. I asked about true green, purple and yellow."

Does this mean you (a) wanted one ribbon in a three colour design? And (b) that they carried three ribbons with [almost] appropriate shades?
Maybe that's where it could be resolved.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2006


Better than believing everything you read on the internet.
posted by puke & cry at 4:13 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, according to Occam's Cleaver, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, stuff it with a small hen and stick it up a turkey's butt.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:14 PM on March 29, 2006


I'm not asking anybody to "believe everything you read on the internet." Mostly I just can't understand why they think they can prove anything one way or the other. Without a magic flux-capacitor telescope, there is NO WAY to know what actually happened. And rather than discuss the implications of the incident in hypothetical terms or relate similar stories or have a real conversation, they're all pretending to be Snopes.

I don't mind skeptics, I just think it's weird that you ALL think it's completely unbelievable bullshit. I must be the most naive person ever because I don't think there's anything unbelievable about the original story. Maybe because I have so many similar stories of my own from the other side of the customer service desk.
posted by kevspace at 4:18 PM on March 29, 2006


Kevspace: First, you've done nothing but badmouth people here for investigating the claims laid forth without doing any work on your own to support the blog entry. Second, you've argued poorly (Many, many, many times in this FFP so far) in favor of the allegations with a lot of recursive logic that falls down if one looks at it sideways. Third, distrust is a good mode of operation because the world is full of lies (See current American Administration). The idea that we should accept as gospel anything put down without evidence is absurd. Might I gently suggest you stop while you are behind?
posted by Vaska at 4:23 PM on March 29, 2006


Well, as I said above, I don't doubt this actually happened in some way. I don't think it means anything though. It doesn't reflect walmarts official policy, just what some dumbass thinks.
posted by puke & cry at 4:24 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


Kev, you are asking us to believe everything on the internet, about this case, despite verifiable evidence to the contrary. That doesn't sound naive, that sounds fishy.
posted by nomisxid at 4:26 PM on March 29, 2006


"was a lie, but why are you so sure it wasn't the employee's lie?"

Because they had the colors. Just not one specific style. Do you really think the clerk would say they didn't have the particular style because of mardi Gras?

The point of the blog post was that Wal-Mart thinks Mardi Gras is immoral. I don't think anyone read that post originally and thought the blogger was trying to poke fun at a certain clerk. The store and the company was pretty clearly the focus. To go back now and pretend it was just about a wacky clerk isn't being honest.

Again, the blogger was accusing a store of religious bigotry. It's not a stretch to think the manager will get yelled at. But it's starting to look like the main driver behind this is Mrs urlnotfound having a chip on her shoulder about Wal-Mart. And good for her. But that doesn't justify lying about bigotry.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:37 PM on March 29, 2006


What's "fishy" about taking my friend at her word? How is it "badmouthing" to ask why you are all so keen on proving that this didn't happen?

Anyway, I just remembered that I stopped posting in Metafilter because it inevitably devolves into people trying to prove that they're the smartest person in the thread. I already know I'm not the smartest, so I'll shut up. I just moved and I really didn't feel like unpacking the last few boxes and this thread was a nice distraction.

But: I still don't think patting yourself on the back for finding things that don't add up makes you the authority on the truth. To me this is a story about a crazy employee who started a fight by saying some dumb things, and a customer who got kicked out for raising her voice afterwards. If it really makes you happier to poke holes in a story than to actually discuss it or be entertained by it, then whatever. If you really think it's impossible that the crazy employee and the person on the other end of that phone are different people, then we live in different worlds. I'm still inclined to believe the person to whom this actually happened, whose story, by the way, has stayed consistent in all three forums I've seen it discussed.

But if I do invent a magic flux-capacitor telescope and find out it WAS all a big lie to get a lot of traffic and make a lot of random usernames mad, then I'll track down everyone in this thread and bake you each a cookie.
posted by kevspace at 4:39 PM on March 29, 2006


Possible scenario:

Things go down as in blog.
Wal*Mart internet stooge reads blog, reports to upper management.
Upper management tells store management that they're idiots, and that this never happened.
Klangklangston rings store.
It never happened.
Numerous mefites ring store.
It really definately never happened.

How much you wanna bet that there isn't a paid Wal*Mart stooge continually scanning the internet for stuff about Wal*Mart? What if I told you a couple of good friends of mine used to make a living doing that sort of thing (although admittedly not for Wal*Mart specifically, at least AFAIK)?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:40 PM on March 29, 2006


"Mostly I just can't understand why they think they can prove anything one way or the other. "

Existential solipsism much?
posted by klangklangston at 4:42 PM on March 29, 2006


Or, to put it another way, Kev— Can you prove that we're not all the same person just endlessly logging out and logging back in, commenting to taunt you? It doesn't make sense, but you can't prove that it's not happening.

The story DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. Aside from the vague and likely bogus data of the blog people, NOTHING SUBSTANTIATES.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM on March 29, 2006


Since I'm being addressed directly despite my promising to shut up, I'll say this:

I meant "prove anything about this particular story." You still can't do that. If you want me to think my friend is a liar, you'll have to do better than "I don't think it adds up." That's all I'm saying. My wanting to know why everyone cares so much about being king debunker is just sociological curiosity about Metafilter specifically.
posted by kevspace at 4:53 PM on March 29, 2006


How much you wanna bet that there isn't a paid Wal*Mart stooge continually scanning the internet for stuff about Wal*Mart?

wal*mart blogger outreach program
posted by crunchland at 4:55 PM on March 29, 2006


"I still don't think patting yourself on the back for finding things that don't add up makes you the authority on the truth."

Authority on the truth? Where? I'm a liar and an asshole. Ask anyone. But this whole thing could have been handled by the blogger just saying, "Well, yeah, I embelished sort of a bit." But they decided to stick to the script. And when we found out that the script wasn't holding up, they just kept caiming it was *all* true.

And it was pretty obvious. No one is claiming to be an uber sleuth. People just did the obvious stuff.
posted by y6y6y6 at 5:00 PM on March 29, 2006


You know, I heard that a guy named Dave at corporate has the incident on videotape.
posted by E_B_A at 5:03 PM on March 29, 2006


*searches youtube*
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:05 PM on March 29, 2006


It doesn't take a lot of imagination to envision this:

Manager: "Okay, I heard about what you said earlier. You as an employee should keep your personal views to yourself when helping customers. Don't do that again, and let's just pretend this never happened."

(Or "Lord help us if the bloggers get wind of this," heh heh.)

That makes every single detail make complete sense. It all adds up, and the best part is that I get to presume that a Wal-Mart manager is being untruthful instead of my friend. I'm happy with that version of events and I'll stick with it. Because after all, you can't prove that the Wal-Mart staff is telling the truth any more than I can prove my friend is telling the truth. So I choose to give the benefit of the doubt, because I am in no way harmed by that.

I'm also not scared of being wrong. If Dave at corporate really does have a tape and it turns out I've been duped, I am fine with saying "damn, guess I was wrong."
posted by kevspace at 5:08 PM on March 29, 2006


MANAGER: Hi, this is Alan, may I help you?

ME: Hi there, Alan. You're the store manager?

ALAN: Yep.

ME: Say, I'm trying to verify a story someone told me--do you remember a dispute with a woman today, or yesterday, over Mardi Gras, and ribbon?

ALAN: Uh . . . nope, not that I can recall.

ME: Were you on duty both days?

ALAN: Yes, yes I was.

ME: Okay, so Alan, do you think the world was created in 6 days?

ALAN: yes, my bible tells me so.

ME: Yeah, and do you think jews go to heaven?

ALAN: Well they must be washed in the blood of jesus christ to enter the kingdom of heaven.

ME: How about catholics, Alan? Do they get into heaven?

ALAN: They have been led astray byt the great deciever of Rome, the whore of babylon, and willl not enter the kingdom of my lord.

ME: Great, thanks Alan.

ALAN: Sure thing.
posted by 2sheets at 5:22 PM on March 29, 2006


Assuming the blogger's entry is true, from what I can tell, Walmart's "conscientious objection policy" only seems to apply to pharmacists who don't want to dispense certain drugs. I can't seem to find any reference to where it applies to the arts & crafts or any other department.
posted by crunchland at 5:30 PM on March 29, 2006


Has anyone called that WalMart to see if they carry 'Prince Albert in a Can?'

"When I get ahold of you, I’ll take two zigs outa your two cheeks. You’ll remember me for the rest of your life.…"
posted by Opposite George at 5:30 PM on March 29, 2006


How many average Americans -- let alone WalMart workers -- know the traditional color scheme for New Orlean's Mardi Gras?
posted by ericb at 5:40 PM on March 29, 2006


kev... I only mention Dave at corporate because 'myd brought it up at a certain other place. Read about it there for more details.
posted by E_B_A at 5:42 PM on March 29, 2006


Small nit -- but the referenced blog states: "I went to buy green, yellow and purple ribbon." The actual Mardi Gras colors are "green, gold and purple."
posted by ericb at 5:44 PM on March 29, 2006


http://thenocoastblog.com/gallery/v/mart/

Yeah, gold is probably a better word to describe the color of yellow we were looking for.

If this isn't good enough, nothing short of god herself coming down from the mountain and turning you into a goat will convince you.
posted by urlnotfound at 6:17 PM on March 29, 2006


It isn't good enough. If you want to dispell all doupts you have to show that the reason why wal-mart didn't have the ribbons was that they don't sell Mardi Gras colors.
posted by sexymofo at 6:22 PM on March 29, 2006


What, exactly, is this supposed to prove? And if you can reach the ribbon yourself, why did your wife need a clerk?
posted by fandango_matt at 6:34 PM on March 29, 2006


That proves that walmart sells ribbon I guess.
posted by puke & cry at 6:49 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


I got better.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:00 PM on March 29, 2006


I've tried to refrain from participating in this mudfest, but...

I've smelled a rat since my early comment. I still do. Someone long above (forgive me for not linking but digging this thread is ridiculous) talked about the slight melding of facts to portray one (the writer, or his wife) in a better light upon retelling. The "I'll refrain from naming employees" argument rings hollow, especially after all of this fact checking. If she ever knew the names, or if it happened like it's supposed to have happened, the names would've come out by now. This is MetaFilter. They'd crack. They all crack.

What I suspect is something along the lines of most people that walk into a situation expecting and hoping for a conflict. One walks into Wal-Mart, intending to see if one could ask for Mardi-Gras ribbon (without looking for oneself) and perhaps create a religious/ignorance/whatever issue with some $7/hour employee. Or, the ribbon is out of stock. Or the employee just doesn't feel like trudging over to show the customer where it is. Employee says it isn't there, for whatever reason...Customer flips, a manager is called, customer makes a scene and is asked to leave/escorted out.

For those making the "I know this person, I'm insulted you don't believe this...Why are people so cynical of blogs" argument: That you know them makes me more suspicious. If I knew the Wal-Mart employees involved and had a Metafilter account, do you not think I'd be here defending them? Why...? Because I know them.

Bottom line, as stated by the wiser of the argument: We can't prove or disprove this. But we can each hold an opinion, and it's amusing to me that those who are calling out Wal-Mart and chastising the skeptical because of their personal beliefs don't seem to realize that they're acting no better than the employees in question, if the story is even true.

*I hate Wal-Mart and don't shop there.*
posted by rollbiz at 7:09 PM on March 29, 2006


the kaycee nicole memorial ribbon thread.
posted by quonsar at 7:15 PM on March 29, 2006


Mrs. urlnotfound here.

The whole point of my griping to my husband on the phone was that some woman in WalMart tried to tell me I was a bad person for wanting to do someting associated with Mardi Gras. I couldn't care less what WalMart does or doesn't do. This whole thing was blown way out of the water. I didn't pay attention to the associates names. It really wasn't that important at the time. We went back. We took some pictures of the ribbon that is availible.

Even though we are near Kansas the colors they had weren't close enough. I happen to know that we have a bunch of transplanted New Orlean people in Kansas City and felt it should be pretty close for their sakes.

I really would appreciate it if this simply went away. It's not a big deal to anyone but the people who want to argue. Personally I think some people would argue about anything.
posted by urlnotfound at 7:29 PM on March 29, 2006


Mrs. urlnotfound:

Thanks for showing up. I'd be interested in a recounting of the story. I don't want to stretch a wild thread, but I'm honestly interested in anything you might be able to add which might put this to rest.
posted by rollbiz at 7:51 PM on March 29, 2006


Personally I think some people would argue about anything.

That's pretty much why most of these people paid their $5. The "Why should I believe this, anyway?" line can be autogenerated for every single post that involves a personal account of an event.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:52 PM on March 29, 2006


Walmart's "conscientious objection policy" only seems to apply to pharmacists who don't want to dispense certain drugs. I can't seem to find any reference to where it applies to the arts & crafts or any other department.
posted by crunchland at 8:30 PM EST on March 29 [!]

Just try and buy a Pentagram pattern in the quilting department!

--or a crocheting pattern for a cock sock

--or a voodoo doll pattern in the stuffed animal section

--or a picture of Neandrathal Man in the paint by numbers section!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:53 PM on March 29, 2006


I stopped shopping at Wal-Mart for a stupid reason, but it was a final *stupid* straw-

Went to buy a keychain for my car keys. Found the section, flipped through. What I wanted was a Volkswagen keychain, but I had no hopes for this even in New England. No biggie, but what I found was:

-Budweiser
-Jesus is my Copilot
-Have Jesus?
-Miller
-Natural Ice
-Obligatory cross

Rinse and repeat.

Says something about the Christian organization, eh?
posted by rollbiz at 7:58 PM on March 29, 2006


I'm going to start wearing an Awareness Ribbon to raise Awareness that Wal-Mart carries Ribbon.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:17 PM on March 29, 2006


The Awareness Ribbon of Ribbon Awareness...Ribbon.

Coming soon to a Wally-Mart near you.
posted by rollbiz at 8:19 PM on March 29, 2006


This just in: Some Christians Drink Beer!!!
I almost stopped shopping at Wal-Mart because they don't stock Krug's Clos du Mesnil '95, or those plushie Richard Dawkinses with the suction cups on the hands and feet.
But damn if they don't got good prices on jeans and ham.
Everyday!!!

This was a great thread.
I'd like to thank La Cieca for the brilliant "Ahhh, it's close enough for a Mardi Gras prop in Kansas!" catchphrase, and horsewithnoname for channelling the spirit of my grandmother.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:34 PM on March 29, 2006


Alvy, in case your last comment addressed me...My point was that alternating beer, god, and Chevy/Fod gave me an idea of what the place is really all about that I should've realized sooner.

It's worth mentioning that this was 6+ years ago.
posted by rollbiz at 9:00 PM on March 29, 2006


No!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:23 PM on March 29, 2006


I am dumber for having read these 200+ comments and I earnestly wish a pox on all of you. (And, to a lesser degree, upon myself for reading all of them.)
posted by Pontius Pilate at 11:33 PM on March 29, 2006


Ah, brings back memories of my father trying to buy me Finnegan's Wake as a present. The little old ladies in parson's Bookshop in Baggott Street (now sadly defunct) did not approve! Try finding smut in Finnegan's Wake, I dare you....
posted by fcummins at 3:51 AM on March 30, 2006


Is it too late to get in on the cookie offer?
posted by Otis at 5:27 AM on March 30, 2006


"This whole thing was blown way out of the water. "
Yes, yes it was. (That doesn't mean what you think it means.)
posted by klangklangston at 5:49 AM on March 30, 2006


I don't mind skeptics, I just think it's weird that you ALL think it's completely unbelievable bullshit. - kevspace

Fuck, are you even reading the same thread I am? Many people have suggested that the story could be approximately true, or that portions of it probably are, or they doubt it's official WalMart policy, but they believe that the employee said those things, etc. There's not ALL of us anything.

I understand that you feel attacked or feel that your friend is being attacked. But it is not everyone. Even many of the people that don't believe the story aren't being jerks about it. If you don't believe me, go back and read the thread again.
posted by raedyn at 6:33 AM on March 30, 2006


Hey... Dogs dressed in Bee Outfits!!

Those always make me feel better.

If you've ever worked in a Wal-Mart as an associate or a vendor, or visited the corporate offices, or gone to the docks to see the billions of dollars of merchandise from China being shipped to stores, you will know that Wal-Mart will sell anything.

It's a corporation. It has no soul. It has no morality other than "Everyday Low Price... Always." That's it.

So what if an associate said that. Who cares. Take your business elsewhere. Vote with your dollar. Wal-Mart doesn't need to answer to anyone but its stockholders. Hell, it could sell nothing but white robes and crucifixes and force everyone to be saved before walking in the door.

Wal-Mart isn't a government entity and it doesn't need to bow down to anyone's beliefs or non-beliefs. So, if the associate did do everything mentioned in the story... it doesn't matter. There's no legal or ethical reason, really, preventing a Wal-Mart associate from doing that.
posted by AspectRatio at 7:27 AM on March 30, 2006


Calling "bullshit" on everything doesn't make you worldly and wise.

This statement challenges some people's fundamental belief systems.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2006


Late to the party and all, but personally I don't believe half the shit my friends tell me. I know their perceptions of the world are skewed.

And yeah, I did just read the whole thing. What the fuck.
posted by sohcahtoa at 8:27 AM on March 30, 2006


you will know that Wal-Mart will sell anything.

It's a corporation. It has no soul. It has no morality other than "Everyday Low Price... Always." That's it.


Um. No.

There are all sorts of things Walmart won't sell.

They wouldn't sell the Daily Show book because it had cartoon figures of the Supreme Court Justices without clothes for Christ's sake.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 8:29 AM on March 30, 2006



They wouldn't sell the Daily Show book because it had cartoon figures of the Supreme Court Justices without clothes for Christ's sake.


Point taken... still, if the company had a soul it wouldn't sell guns? Damn. I've got nuthin'.
posted by AspectRatio at 11:03 AM on March 30, 2006


Assuming the blogger's entry is true, from what I can tell, Walmart's "conscientious objection policy" only seems to apply to pharmacists who don't want to dispense certain drugs. I can't seem to find any reference to where it applies to the arts & crafts or any other department.

Maybe officially, but I work in children's publishing, and there are certain things we have to be careful about if we want a book placed in WalMart. A halloween themed book, for instance, cannot feature a witch or a vampire.

raedyn does make a good point that the manager's statement taken out of context doesn't seem that strange. It's the fact that they're talking about ribbon, and that the details of the story are confusing, that make it harder to believe.
posted by lampoil at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2006


A halloween themed book, for instance, cannot feature a witch or a vampire.

My next children's book is *so* going to be about a 8 year old vampire witch who can't find Mardi Gras Ribbon.
posted by dejah420 at 12:38 PM on March 30, 2006


This is only tangentially related, but I find the attitude of the employee and manager to be believable enough, even if the rest of the story is a lie. Recently I went to Walmart to buy 25 yards of muslin for a project I was working on, and I practically had to demand that the slacker behind the counter (a woman probably in her 50s, but a slacker nonetheless) sell it to me. She was just lazy and didn't want to measure out 25 yards, didn't even want to try, just whined and whined-- there's not 25 yards here (on this uncut 50-yard bolt), I don't think you can buy that much etc etc. I hate whining uncooperative retail employees.

The story may be BS but the fact remains that a lot of these vast cheap chain stores hire people with no customer-relations/service skills and it makes people angry and bitter.

/rant, derail, etc
posted by Hal Mumkin at 1:17 PM on March 30, 2006


Please note that the consumerist.com has since apologized for their "facetious" and "tongue in cheek" reporting.
posted by urlnotfound at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2006


urlnotfound I am sorry about the way you were treated here. We have a bunch of members who just think they are just too cool and too smart. They are never wrong. Don't try to argue with folks like that. A healthy degree of skepticism in such matters is one thing, but their rude behavior goes way beyond that.
posted by caddis at 1:13 PM on March 31, 2006


We were looking for 1/8th-inch wide, cloth ribbon in THREE different colors (not just purple).

As I suspected: folks have found ribbons in the three different colours, but not one ribbon with three appropriate colours in one. Poor writing and poor comprehension got in the way of what now seems to me to be a quite plausible story.
I guess the facts will never be settled, but loads of people here have egg on their faces, it seems to me.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:42 PM on March 31, 2006


Wow, now I get it. Big-time miscommunication. That does make the story much more plausible. I re-read the original post on the blog, and it really doesn't indicate that multicolour ribbon was at issue (the wal mart person says "we don't carry those colors").
posted by loquax at 5:40 PM on March 31, 2006


To clarify, no, that's not it.

The buyer wanted three spools of ribbon, with one colour each: deep purple, bright green and bright yellow/gold. (At one point she specified that she wanted to tie each colour to different places on the chair). I had a similar problem when buying ribbon once, when I wanted rainbow colours, and I just couldn't get an orange to match the rest. Basically, bright coloured ribbon (as opposed to sickly pastels) doesn't seem to be that popular and is hard to find. What makes this story sound worse than my own (that the craft company just didn't bother with orange, because it isn't girly enough or something) was what she says the employee said to her about Mardi Gras.

I don't have anything else to add, except it seems to me that some people seem to have a great deal of passion staked out in not believing what sounds like a very simple story. I don't really understand why.
posted by jb at 3:17 PM on April 1, 2006


I looked at the photos of the ribbon selection - they have bright red, and dark blue - but no, they had no deep purple or bright green.

Mostly just really tacky pastels. That's the most important reason not to shop at Walmart - they have bad taste.
posted by jb at 3:19 PM on April 1, 2006


Oh - the reason she stressed the three colours was that consumerist.com kept saying "they have purple". Whereas they didn't actually have any decent purple, and they didn't have bright green or bright yellow either.
posted by jb at 3:22 PM on April 1, 2006


(Incidentally, having read more of the comments and stuff now, I wasn't saying that the story really is BS... Just wanted to focus on the fact that Walmart has some employees who are disproportionately uppity with respect to their level of competence, so that part of the story, at the very least, rang true.)
posted by Hal Mumkin at 12:08 PM on April 2, 2006


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