Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wal-Mart baby spew

I found a tiny news brief about someone suing Wal-Mart after slipping in a puddle of vomit on Yahoo's "Odd News" section and then looked up the original at the Iowa newspaper's Web site - here is the article, complete with the usual comments from the readers on how insane the situation is. I feel compelled to comment.

I've had my own versions of Wal-Mart vomit horror stories.

Once, I had to physically walk an senile old woman back to the Electronics section to help her find some phone she wants to exchange because she was literally too stupid to understand the instructions "Go to the jewelry counter, turn right and go till you see pillows, then turn left."

Once I got her to Electronics she asked a frillion questions about the phone. I mean - this is the Wal-Mart. If you want quality electroncs - you need anywhere else. At Best Buy. Or Circuit City. Anywhere but Wal-Mart. Still, I tried to help as best I could.

Anyway. This old bird is nattering on when the girl who works at the fabric table comes running over to me. I get a whole string of shrieks in Creole and finally understand "THIS LADY SHE FELL DOWN."

OK. Generally not a good thing. Not for any reason. Especially when no one around can understand you. I go over and the woman who had fallen down is standing up and looking around.

I ask her "Ma'am, are you all right? I need to get someone to fill out an accident report." Every customer "oopsie" is supposed to get an accident report, whether they want one or not - to prevent future lawsuit incidents. Don't let them walk away and then sue later.

She's not the lawsuit type - or else just doesn't want to waste an hour of her time - so she repeatedly tells me she's fine. She's more worried about finding what made her fall down - she thinks it is her new tennis shoes.

She looks around for a second and then goes "What is that?" and points to a big splotch of something yellow and runny on the floor.

I look at it. The woman who fell looks at it. The girl from the fabric table looks at it. We're at a loss. It could be pee. It could be poo. It has chunks in it. It's baby spew.


No one wants to clean it up. I can't find one of the orange cone things to put there so no one else will fall - although how you could miss a patch of baby puke a foot wide is beyond me. The woman who fell goes "Gross. I really need to learn to watch where I'm going." And she walks off.

I make the fabric table girl stand there while I go get paper towels. As I return, a fat man in plaid shorts and a white T-shirt tries to push past her. Dude - she's standing in the middle of the aisle with her hands out FOR A REASON. If she don't move - don't you think you MIGHT NEED TO GO AROUND? Really - take the Kevin Bacon-tractor-driver-in-Footloose fantasy somewhere else.

So I put enough paper towels on this baby puke to stop up the toilets in Yankee Stadium. I couldn't find the bio-hazard gloves or I would have put them on too. It stank. It stank like dog farts.

About the time I was finished mopping this up - the maintenance girl sailed by - "Somebody call for Maintenance?" No. We called for a martini with two olives. Shaken. Not stirred. And dancing girls. Of course we called for Maintenance. Ten minutes ago.

So that's my baby puke story.

No associate would knowingly allow something treacherous to remain on the sales floor. However, there are hundreds and hundreds of ill-bred and worse-mannered shoppers and precious few of us. The workers will never win. I've seen everything from human feces to blood to banana peels just lying around on the floor at my store.

In my book, if you decide you're going to stroll through a Wal-Mart pasture, you ought to know ahead of time to watch out for the cow pies.


David said...

Yep, been there, smelled that. I work for Lowes and a week or so ago someone bled out in one of the bathroom stalls. It was eerywhere, walls, bowl, seat and floor.

NOBODY cleaned it up for at least 24 hours. Especially the people paid to do it.

DolfanDad said...

As a parent of two young children this can easily happen. But most of us "normal" peope would either clean it up ourselves (we usually are supplied with a cornucopia of wipes, napkins, etc.) or we would let someone know. Its could defiantely be dangerous but more importantly its just gross. Although having to clean it up off the floor is much better than cleaning it up off your face, not fun, but the baby usually thinks its funny.

Anonymous said...

I used to work at a major pet store where people were allowed to bring in their pets... that's a bad idea and a half. I mean, it's great for the customers. They can bring their precious little babies with them to go shopping for them, but oh man, what a mess. And most of the time, when the dogs peed or pood in the store, the owners would be afraid to tell us, so we would either have to discover it on our own or have another customer let us know. Sometimes, the dog would be in the middle of a dump, and the owner would drag them along as if dragging them from the back of the store, mid crap, is going to get them out of the door before the s*it hits the ... floor. That's especially fun to pick up a trail of logs. Then there were the products near the floor that male dogs would mark their territory on... yech. On really busy days, we would have someone go around when it was somewhat calm and check for accidents within the store. And while I actually miss working at the store, I do not miss cleaning up after people's precious pets, but on the plus side (I think?) I know have the strongest stomach in the world!

Anonymous said...

Ack, that's just disgusting and there's absolutely no reason any responsible parent should leave that mess for someone else to clean up (there's a reason most parents carry around a bag of wipes/etc.).

....although, I keep forgetting how "ghetto" your WM is BTC. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

((The woman who fell goes "Gross. I really need to learn to watch where I'm going." And she walks off.))

Wow.. I must say I'm impressed. Not only did she take full responsibility for her mishap, but she strives to learn from the experience! Most people would just want to lay blame on someone else.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the parent of the kid who puked and then left it there works with me.

They came in with their kid to grab some work to take home...told us that their kid had thrown up in the middle of our office...and then they just left to go home...without cleaning it up themselves.

One of my co-workers was stuck cleaning it up.

Nice. Nothing like manners.

And they wonder why their kid is a brat and talks back...gee, I dunno.

Anonymous said...

why not quit if you hate it so much?

Mercedes Lopez said...

I remember cleaning up after a baby after it spewed up some milk and some other pink stuff. The mom said to me, "can you clean that up?" as she walks away. What else could I say but "sure" I want to clean up after your mess you sow! Sorry, but I've cleaned up after people dropping stuff up front and they usually say "I'm sorry, can I help clean that up", I then tell them "it's not a problem we'll take care of it"; politeness people; it goes a long way. Oddly enough that wasn't the first time either the previous lady had apologized and offered to help me.

Grumpy Housewife said...

Oh man....I remember the days of having a baby.

I remember when my daughter was about six months old, and I had to do some shopping, and apparently her tummy wasn't feeling well. And she pooped. EVERYWHERE.

Oh my GOD, I was so embarrassed. I was in Wal Mart (go figure!), and I had to take the baby to the bathroom, strip her down, wipe her off (I had tons of baby wipes, fortunately), change her diaper, change her clothes, and start wiping the baby poo out of the baby seat on the cart. You know those carts with the built-in baby seats, right?

A very lovely employee came up to me and said, "Oh, looks like somebody's tummy got a little upset! You need a little help cleaning it up, Mama?"

I gratefully accepted her help. After all, I did not have antibacterial cleaner in my diaper bag, and she had access to it. We finished cleaning out the seat together, and my daughter just cooed away happily the whole time.

So, the moral of the story? RESPONSIBLE parents clean up after their children. Irresponsible redneck assholes don't. Don't be an irresponsible redneck asshole, people!

contessa said...

If it's the smallest consolation to you, it doesn't happen only at WalMart (where one naturally expects the average shopper to have shanty town manners). I worked for a spell at an upscale department store - starts with a B, ends with an 's, and has an oomingdale somewhere in the middle - and I regularly found baby poops, used tampons, whole filled diapers - you name it! - in the fitting rooms. I hate to say this, but it's not just where you work. It's everywhere. People are pigs.

AmyD said...

I just gotta say that, having three kids of my own, I never leave a mess was pointed out by previous posters, it's no big deal to clean it up yourself. Whenever one of my kids made a mess in a store, I would use whatever I had handy (sometimes even dipping into the cleaning supplies at the stores' own little stations). It's something you do ten million times a day anyway, so it's not a big thing....I would hate to see the perp's house. I wonder if they let shit like that go at home, too.

And "anonymous" with the "Quit if you don't like" comment...shut the hell up. This blog is about a veeeery hard worker finding a place to vent about the shitty job they work at, so they don't have to snap on those who REALLY deserve it. DON'T READ IT IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT... I must say, however, that I was impressed by the time you took to actually post a comment. I've been reading this blog for months now, chuckling to myself, and not until now actually wrote back. Wow, you must have been really moved. I'll bet you'll be back for more, though...

Library Rat said...

We used to get crap like this in the sporting goods store I worked in.

We had some little kid leave about a gallon of piss in one of the display model paddleboats.

Somebody else just whipped it out and pissed in the corner of our changing booths. It was bad enough we had to take it off the floor and store it out back because we couldn't get the smell out.

All I can say is they were damned lucky I didn't catch them. The kid would've been used as a mop, and the pisser would've gotten it cut off. Well, probably not, but I sure as hell would've made them pay for the items since the booth was in the computer for inventory purposes and had a price listed in there...

I'm really starting to hate kids...

Anonymous said...

I must agree with library rat. I am really starting to hate kids and the bulls**t they pull and the parents don't care. I work retail, and we get these people who open stuff up, and don't even try to put it back. Heck, there was a bubble gun they cut the ties so it was off the packaging. I really get tired of having to clean up after them. Good thing it won't be for much longer.

X_LA_Native said...

Part of my job is Customer Service/Tech Support for a software product (yes, "any key" people DO exist). And oh, I can relate with a WHOLE lot of your stories

I found your blog courtesy of a friend of mine who likes to hit "next blog". The girl comes up with gold!

Great posts! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 18 now, when she was very young, I let her throw up all over the entrance (inside) of a Friendly's resteraunt because both potty's were too pooped in and nasty to even let her throw up in. I tried to get her to the bathroom, and when I saw how horrible it was, I let her just GO and vomit. I'm sorry she was sick everywhere, I'm also sorry a CHAIN like Friendly's had two stopped up toilets. Kids vomit. I would have cleaned it up other than we were regular customers and my daughter didnt even have a decent place to vomit in that place. I went back later in the week to complain to the manager, he said, he couldn't get financing to clean up his potties. I begged him to give me the name of his management, he wouldn't do it. These are people that make your food. Can't flush, won't wash. Friendly's isn't the only company that does that. Slip on that, don't blame the parents.

BrSpiritus said...

I used to work at walmart... with emphasis on "used". One time when I was shoe department manager I was witness to a cutomer in accessories who had an oops. Picture 400lb gettolicious black woman crammed into a white dress 4 sizes too small so she looked like a sausage the Jimmy Dean factory rejected. Well, said woman cut the cheese and then shit herself, liquid, runny, staining up that cheap white dress. Her reply was "OH MY! I guess my laxative worked!" and proceeded to waddle to the restroom depositing a trail of poo the whole way. We laughed so hard at that episode, after we were done gagging cuz it stank like Gettysburg the day after the battle.