I may not make it as a novelist, but I can’t imagine not being a writer. So if the novelist thing doesn’t work out, I have a plan. I will apply at Walmart as a technical writer and create an official Walmart code of conduct manual.
For now, I’ll skip all the boring stuff like employee expectations and give you a preview of the good parts, the section dealing with customer conduct during the last two weeks of May.
EVERYBODY knows the last two weeks of May are the most stressful times in a teacher’s life—testing, grading, averaging, sorting, filing, failing, passing, cleaning. It’s nerve racking. For these reasons, Walmart should be especially sensitive to the needs of the stressed-out teacher. Here are a few ideas.
Every customer who enters Walmart during the last two weeks of May should be dutifully informed that the store is most likely packed with intense teachers doing their last-minute, end-of-the-year school shopping.
Therefore, every male customer over six feet tall must agree to never, ever run down the aisles motioning and waving both hands in the air—especially when he is running head on into a short blond female teacher who has no clue who he is.
Granted the man may be trying to get the attention of his wife, who is ten feet behind the teacher, but the man’s actions could lead to an awkward confrontation. Should she be confronted by a large waving man, the frazzled teacner may snap and execute a martial arts take down maneuver. Better hope she’s not packing. There are those who do.
Keeping in mind the highly agitated state of these teachers, Walmart shelf stockers should make readily available only the most fattening, high calorie, sugar-laden snack foods, especially chocolate. Under no circumstance should they ever place the 100-calorie snack items within reach of a frazzled teacher because once the teacher sees just how few chips or nuts are in the pre-packaged 100-calorie snack bags, she will immediately resort to her math skills—even if she is an English teacher—and calculate how many hundreds of calories she consumed earlier that morning after receiving one more memo about something else to do.
Of course, there is the possibility of a positive outcome here. Once the teacher makes the realization that she has already consumed her allotted calorie intake for the next two weeks, she may then resort to violence and clear the shelves, making the job easier for the next guy to stock the shelves with the most fattening, high calorie, sugar-laden snack foods.
Keeping with the weight theme…the Walmart greeter should confiscate the cell phone of every frazzled female teacher entering the store so that she does not get a call from home that says, “Hey, the dogs are out of chow. Can you pick up one of those mega-pound bags of dog food, you know, the ones that are literally over half your size?”
If the phone is not confiscated and the teacher receives such a call, she may then attempt to load the dog food into her own cart without any help. In frustration, she may look for the actual weight of the said dog food bag and discover that it is only 15.5 pounds, which ironically is quite close to the number of pounds she would like to lose this summer.
As these events unfold, the teacher will then drift off to a dream world and picture herself with a 15-pound bag of dog food strapped around her belly. She will then fall into a deep funk, which could result in danger to the well-being of the individual(s) who called her and asked her to bring home the dog food in the first place.
During the last two weeks of May, Walmart should hire a special alert team for parking lot patrol. They should be on the look out for any customer with a weird ring tone: laughing cats, singing chickens, rapping babies, rambling auctioneers, and halleluiah choirs.
After hearing the ringtone and then realizing the rapture hasn’t come, the teacher may forget where she is and yank that bad boy cell phone out of the other customer’s hands, pull out her yellow referrall form to write him up, and remind him he can pick up his phone in the office at the end of a day.
It could get ugly.
So…what do you think? Do I have a future with Walmart? Or should I keep on plugging away at my writing dream?