April 16th we are at home watching the entire county plus the surrounding ones light up with warnings and watches on the TV screen. I did wait an hour or so for My tornado. I got nothing. It was also my son's Bday and as a tradition in my home, birthday boy or gal chooses dinner for the evening. Marlon chose grilled cheese and french frys. I had not gotten his cake yet so I needed to head out to Walmart. I wasn't sure if it was a good idea but after hours of all the threats and then nothing I decided to take Mason and Marlon and head on over to Walmart.
As we were getting our last items, the sky darkened and the power went out. The entire Walmart gasped at once but again I did not see the big deal, The generators kicked in and although it was dim in there, one could still see. I headed to the checkout and as my turn came up I realized I had forgotten the cheese! I cannot make grilled cheese without the cheese so I sent the boys to quickly fetch the cheese while I checked out.
All of a sudden mass chaos ensued. People were screaming and the patrons were all pushed to the front of the store. The Walmart staff were on walkie talkies and yelling at people to get out of the store immediately. "Everyone leave your carts where they are and exit the store" They screamed at us. I began to worry about my boys,so I headed back for them. I was met halfway by security who told me I could not go to the back of the store I needed to exit. "My kids are back there" I begin to say. But he busied himself with forcing other people out. Just when I was about to panic I saw them running towards me with the cheese! I went to pay and the security people were yelling "Everyone out! Now!" They were not nice either.
For the life of me I could not understand what the big deal was. So the freaking power is out? Okay, can we nicely be told to leave? I mean seriously Walmart screaming at people and pushing the crowd towards the exit is not very good customer service. People were panicked because trust me when Walmart forces all the patrons to the front at once you would be amazed how many people are actually there. Hundreds of them all confused, frustrated, panicked, etc. Kids were crying, people were yelling for their loved ones, people were bitching, all the while the Walmart staff was yelling "out! everyone out!" I still had the cheese in my hand. I was tryna pay but the cashiers were instructed to not ring anyone out. So what did I do? I put the cheese in my cart with the other items I had already paid for and headed for the exit. Fuck It! I had to have my cheese. And I wasn't leaving without it. If they did not want my money who was I to argue? Damned cheese is too high anyways.
We joined the crowd headed to the door only to find that the doors had locked. No power no open. I ain't gonna lie that part scared me. I sure did not want to be trapped in Walmart with a panicked and angry crowd. We had to go out a side door. Once we got outside the sky was dark and the winds were whipping. Me and the boys ran to our van. And in that moment I realized maybe there was a tornado coming and that's why they wanted us out? I loaded up the kids truly scared now and hauled ass outta there. We made it home and had a small storm and a power outage that lasted an hour or so. But apparently at that same moment there were two tornadoes on either side of us wreaking hell on the town. We were safe and we had our cheese and that's all that mattered to me.
I was pissed at Walmart. I thought they handled people so wrongly. Why would you think if there was a tornado you should make people go out in it??????? They must have thought one was coming because I have been in a store when the power went out before and they generally do not panic like that? I was pissed. So if there had been a tornado we would be kicked from the shelter of Walmart and sent out to fend for ourselves? Well ......
*F*U Walmart! Were they that worried that people would steal something? Who the hell would do that in a tornado? (ahem, I intended to pay for my cheese) As a matter of fact the guilt inspired this fb post...
I later heard from another friend who was in Walmart in Raleigh that the securty there actually put there hands on people and pushed them outta of the store. Including a senior citizen who was totally confused, they were yelling at her and such. Come on Walmart seriously?? This is your emergency plan?Here is yet another fb post a bit later.
Raquel Zakerski Reed
I tried to look up their power outage procedures but was unsucessful (okay I googled it and gave up after 3 minutes) That sounds like a job for Mike. A local Lowes store saw the storm and took all the customers to the back of the store to keep them safe. Lowes was demolished but everyone made it out okay. See that here. If anyone reading this blog works for Walmart you seriously need to read this link and maybe bring it up at the next staff meeting. I'm just saying..... This is what you should do when your customers are in danger. I wonder what would have happened if Walmart threw the people out into the storm and someone died. Himmmm?