Dec 9 2014
“That’s it, I’m done with Walmart.”
Hopelessly Sane Blogspot Seriously, I’m done.
I went to pick up a few toiletries at lunch and came up against a lesson in immigration and entitlement.
So rounding the corner to head down the lotions aisle, I see hree Somali women, dressed head to toe in native garb (burqas), laughing and talking in Somali and blocking the whole aisle. I saw two shoppers head down the aisle, see the shrouded Muslims and back out; I’m not that timid. I walk up to them, politely ask to get what I need, and start to reach for my body lotion.
That’s when they turn, proudly displaying their Walmart employee badges, and shift to block my access. One of them tells me, “No English, no English.” WTF?! Seriously?!
So I pantomime that I need to get past them and get my lotion, they giggle, chatter and turn their backs to me, not ceding an inch. Don’t mess with a redheaded Texan, bitches; I gently pressed past them and grabbed my lotion. I decided I’d shopped enough and headed straight to Customer Service where I waited for 25 minutes while the service rep tried to explain to the non-English speaking Hispanic woman why she couldn’t return used panties.
When I finally got up there, my blood pressure was pounding behind my eyes and I had a massive migraine starting, but I used my polite reasonable words. I explained that I had been treated rudely and dismissively by three employees who were taking a break in the lotions aisle. I explained they pretended to not speak or understand English, and refused to allow me access to the products they were blocking. Since I couldn’t pronounce or even spell the names on their tags, I described them as closely as possible considering I could only see fabric, the tips of their shoes and their faces.
And that’s when I was told that they were NOT required to speak English, that they were hired to interact with Amarillo’s Somali community, and not English speaking customers. Furthermore, I was being unreasonable to expect them to act a certain way. I was basically treated as a redneck bigot and told if I didn’t like interacting with other cultures, I shouldn’t shop there. Absolutely fine with me.
No surprise here, this is the same suburban Walmart that was featured in my back to school entitlement post. This is the store the farthest from the Somali community (there are two others within a couple of miles of their neighborhoods), it is in the upscale Southwest area where homes range from $250K to $750K, and one million-plus dollar gated community.
Not a lot of Somali refugees. So one wonders, just how much work do they do? How often are they called upon to translate or interact? Are these some of those jobs we’re told Americans won’t do? How many qualified American applicants were turned down so these women could have these jobs?
So yeah, I’m done with Walmart; and I left the lotion on the Customer Service desk, not another penny.