Code Black at Wal-Mart
By Nikki Pelezo / Dirt Roads
Tuesday November 8, 2011 found me shopping at the Gilmer Wal-Mart and attempting to checkout, as I was the next in line. I had ice cream, hamburger meat, frozen rolls and a box of those wonderful sinful Dove Ice Cream Bars along with a cart full of assorted items. I glanced out the door (The Gilmer Wal-Mart is so small they only have one door) and noticed the skies had turned dark and foreboding. Just as the cashier reached for my three Halloween T-shirts (on sale for $1.25 each!!!! What a deal) the alarm came over the loud speaker regarding CODE BLACK.
The US Weather Bureau just issued a Tornado touchdown only 10 miles from Gilmer. This necessitated a CODE BLACK. Out of nowhere seventy-five associates gathered me and my groceries up and shuffled me off to the very back of Wal-Mart. One associate grabbed up my ice cream and returned it to the freezer section. The other frozen items were forgotten in my panic to see so many associates in Wal-Mart.
Who knew? Back behind the restrooms is a swinging set of double doors, containing a narrow hallway spanning the entire width of the store. In this narrow labyrinth you find break rooms, Site to Store merchandise, conference rooms, offices, and all kinds of hidey holes for the Associates to hang out. Who knew?
About 200 Wal-Mart customers were herded into this narrow labyrinth leaving our carts in Electronics. Some of the customers had just braved the torrential downpour only to be herded to the back of Wal-Mart. Therefore, some of us had the odor of wet puppy dogs. Most of the Wal-Mart customers were reluctant to abandon hard gotten groceries which brought about some heavy shouting.
You know the shy little cashier that will hardly make eye contact with you when you check out of Wal-Mart? During CODE BLACK she becomes a power to be reckoned with. She was shouting orders that would make a drill sergeant blush. Who knew?
That back labyrinth became hot and stifling, but good old Wal-Mart brought out the bottled water. Next time they need to furnish us with those little quiche tarts from the freezer department.
Evidently, the ALL IS WELL call came out and we were turned out. There was a mass exodus to the check-outs causing mass confusion. Even the self check-outs were in use and functioning just fine. Who knew? Just as the shy cashier was putting the limp bag of frozen rolls in my white Wal-Mart bag, CODE BLACK was issued once again. We were ushered to the back of the store, but this time the Wal-Mart customers were kicking and screaming. Not a pleasant sight.
I demanded a guard be placed with my cart of PAID for groceries and one poor associate was sacrificed to watch the carts full of PAID groceries. Who knew Wal-Mart would do that? The ALL IS WELL call came once again and there was a mass exodus for the DOOR.
It was dog eat dog trying to get out of Wal-Mart. I grabbed my three T-shirts and put them over my head because of the rain. Once inside my car I had to eat the entire box of Dove ice cream bars as they were almost in liquid form and we had to eat 8 hamburger patties and the 30 rolls for supper because I couldn’t refreeze the leaky mass of defrosted goop.
Oh, I forgot to mention the color of my face, it is bright orange. Wal-Mart Halloween t-shirts bleed orange when wet. Who knew?