Sunday, April 03, 2005

Underinformed Wal*Mart Exec Says"Ooops!", followed closely by "Br-r-r-r."

Attempted Hostile Buyout Has Serious Repercussions

By Frater Bovious
9th Level Adept, THOOTR
Waldo Marmaduke, a high ranking executive at Wal*Mart suffered a serious career setback recently. The Global Exclaimer caught up with him at his new post, a Neighborhood Store in Yakutsk, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic of Siberia. He agreed to answer a few questions.

Glob: "So, tell us how you got here."

Waldo: "I was just doing my duty, identifying potential revenue streams that it appeared offered Wal*Mart serious penetration opportunities. We sacked and burned the Grocery Industry, effectively owning the stomachs of North America. At first glance, it didn't seem there was much left to acquire. Then it hit me. We owned their stomachs, their hygiene needs, their kitschy crap needs, etc. So, what's left? Exactly. Their souls." Stops talking, stares wistfully out the window at the featureless white snowstorm currently raging.

Glob: "Waldo - Waldo, I have a deadline..."

Waldo: "Oh! Sorry. Well, anyway, Religion seemed an obvious target. Seriously, (eyes glowing) this religion thing had huge potential. I mean, the revenue stream is Tax Free!!! Our survey team then began to look at likely targets, finally narrowing on the Mormons, and Scientologists. We set aside the Mormons for later, as they are rather high profile, and it was not clear that their faithful would swallow this new direction. Ahh, but Scientology looked primed and ready for the picking." Heavy sigh. "No one told me that my target for takeover actually owned Wal*Mart."

Glob: "Yes, that was quite the oversight, wasn't it. So, then?"

Waldo: "So, here I am, Store Manager here in this Godforsaken backwater town. I don't know if this proves there is a God, or disproves it. - Look, I got work to do. I'm done talking. Get out of here."

The Glob next found Security Chief Terl, of The Church of Scientology, for comment.

Glob: "Security Chief Terl, tell us about Waldo."

Terl: (Laughing dismissively) "Stupid human."

The Glob was then hustled out of the room without ceremony.

1 comment:

Buck said...

This whole “giganto-mart” phenomenon has my capitalist brain spinning.

The “cheap-is-a-good-thing” part of me loves wally mart and its ilk. They’ve got most of what you need, at a tolerable quality, and a pretty fair price. That is hard to beat. It is a free-market dream, born of free-market forces.

I share in the sentimental sadness of the demise of the town square, but that has always been tempered by the reality that the town square with its grandfatherly shop keepers has always been a bit of a myth. If you’ve lived in a small town you know what I’m talking about. It is good to know the storekeepers, but they don’t always have what you need, and it’s often more expensive, and they lock all the doors and roll the sidewalks up by 8:00 PM at the latest.

The convenience of these mega-marts comes at a steep price. They have regional staying power that allows them to wipe out local competition. They are multi-state empires; they have buying power that dominates their vendors. It’s the capitalist ideal taken to an extreme. I think it’s doing weird things (unintended consequences?) to the free market.

I want to believe this is self correcting, that when it gets bad enough “the people” will rise up against these faceless bureaucracies and do the right thing. How likely is that? The only answer I have that could actually work involves “the Government”!

Is this the lowly estate to which I have fallen?!?!