Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Buy Local, and a contemplation of those I've left behind

Yesterday was my last day.

I can't say I'll miss working at Walmart, but I will miss the people. Truly, some of the best folks I've known. Cheri, Shawna, Sandra, Karen, DJ, Kirt and Jeff, Tom...many I haven't named. Leanna who inspired Leanna's Favourite Milk Bath (lavender, chamomile and powdered milk). Peg, who tried my Long Day Working salts when I gave her some for a hurt back and asked why I wasn't selling the stuff -- then gave me an idea for how to lay out my labels. Louis, one of the first to actually buy my things -- from a mere description.

Good folks, all.

I've joked that one day I hope to be big enough that I can hire most of my former co-workers, for better salaries, better working conditions, better benefits than they get where they are. I'm not sure I'll ever get that big and I'm not sure I ever want to get that big but if I do, I will enjoy hiring them. They all deserve better than they get where they are now.

Just as I did...and just as everyone who works at Walmart does (save for those high up who perpetuate the system). Please, if you can afford to, if you can get there, if they're still there, if they haven't been driven out of business...shop local. Those little corner stores, the guy who fixes vacuums and lawn mowers, the kids selling lemonade on the side of the road for a quarter. Buy from them. Support them. Every little bit counts.

Because the money you spend is not just a purchase, it's an investment. If you buy at Walmart, you're supporting what they do, their business practices, the way they treat their employees. All of that money you spend there goes right back into building a world the way they want it to be. Not a pretty thought.

Note that I do not condemn those who must shop there, for reasons of finances or simple distance to another option. You're a victim of them as much as anything else! As am I, alas. Money's going to be very, very tight for a while. Once things are better, though...

But if there's another option, please take it. You won't only be helping the little corner store you're shopping at, you'll be helping me, and Cheri and Lewis, and Peg and Karen, Chris and Josh, Adam and Elizabeth, Anna and Tom, Max and Dorrain, Charlotte and Joe...all wonderful, worthy folks.

Please, do what you can.

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