I'm no Wal-Mart fan.
And it's not because of how they treat employees (I worked at Sam's Club for three years while in college and I was treated wonderfully) or sweatshops or because they seemingly monopolize markets or any of that other anti-Wal-Mart rhetoric.
It's because the store brings out the worst in people. Bargain shoppers at Wal-Mart will run over your feet with their shopping cart to make sure they get the last Tickle Me Elmo at Christmastime. Or, their baby offspring will spend their Wal-Mart experience crying loudly or falling out in the floor--kicking and screaming.
I associate Wal-Mart with cookies, chaos and kids.
And it all just came to my front door. Literally.
I live in Shreve City and the new Wal-Mart there just opened last Wednesday. It was built directly in front of my apartment complex. It's so close I could walk there without being tired.
Of course, like half of Shreveport, I visited the store during its opening week because I wanted to see what this one looked like. I wanted to see all of the ins and outs of the new store. I was very pleased with its appearance, but the atmosphere was just like any other Wal-Mart: crazy.
And I knew it would be. I knew that the new anchor to the Shreve City Shopping Center was going to cause a bottleneck of traffic on Knight Street. I knew the Parkway Service Road was going to be backed up all the way to the Wendy's store and I knew that I'd have a hard time trying to get to my apartment complex. I KNEW it!!!!!!
When everyone was excited about this Wal-Mart I sensed it was going to bring a headache to my traveling life, but I even wanted the store built in its spot because I get tired of going to the one in Southeast Shreveport. But I knew I'd never be able to get out of the parking lot.
Boy, was I right. If there is one thing in life I know about it has to be this chain. Like I said, I worked for the company for years and in Nashville there's a Wal-Mart or two or three in every suburb and they are scattered all over the city. In my suburban neighborhood, there are three Wal-Marts within a less than 10-mile radius. At each store in Nashville, the parking lots are packed--just like the brand-new parking lot here.
Still, I visited the Shreve City store three times: Thursday, Friday and Sunday. All three times I had a very, very hard time getting out of the lot. Every time I thought I could turn left onto Knight Street, another car would swoop in front of me. It took me about 15 minutes to get home from Wal-Mart on Friday, when it should take less than three minutes.
I guess this is the price us Shreve City residents are going to have to pay for our added convenience. I'm just waiting on the Wal-Mart shopping carts to take over the parking lot in my apartment complex.