I hate Walmart -- and if you don't, you haven't been there lately and tried to give them $2,500...
It is crunch time for the CPD Toy Drive. The icy weather in Dallas put us back a little, but our timing cannot be extended. The CPS caseworkers must have a few days to deliver the toys to the kids and for some caseworkers "deliver" means dropping off to more than 50 different houses all over Dallas County, packing and unpacking their cars each time.
Anyway, this morning Natalie and I were over at our Peacock Alley Toy Drive warehouse (the kind people at Peacock Alley let us produce the toy drive from their warehouse every year -- I don't know what we'd do with out them) meeting with some great donors from Princess House. Princess House gave us the most darling children's kitchen stuff -- it is professional quality, but made for children's hands -- fantastic stuff.
Here's a photo of me with the Princess House CEO Connie Tang and a few of their top organizers: Luz Balderas, Marilu Rodriguez, and Graciela Montes. We cannot wait to hear about the children who are going to be inspired by this generous gift -- made possible by The Today Show Holiday Toy Drive.
The Peacock Alley warehouse was hopping with donations flowing in from individuals like Mary Taylor, companies like Carrington, Coleman, Sloman, and Blumenthal (who also had a team of employees there volunteering), to big groups like Highland Park United Methodist Church. Yay, Dallas -- you are doing it for the kiddos!
Anyway, back to Walmart.
As Natalie and I are leaving to head back to the office we get a call from Corinne with an SOS.
Getting all of the toys in to serve 5,000+ kids with 2 toys each is multi-faceted. Some people fill wishes, some people just bring in undesignated toys, and some people give money and let us do the shopping. One of the items we're always short on are bikes.
There are several reasons for this. First, they're expensive. Second, they're bulky and don't fit in your car. Third, donors don't want to put them together (we have volunteers to do this, so don't let that stop you next year, friends!). Fourth, the helmet is an additional expense.
But, we always have lots of requests for bikes. A bike gives a child a little independence -- and for abused and neglected kids that is super-important. Believe me, if it wasn't we wouldn't have so many requests for them -- remember, the caseworkers are the ones who make the requests on behalf of the children, and just think about that caseworker having to personally deliver 1 or 2 or 10 or 20 bikes! If they are willing to go to the trouble, we want to be sure that those kids get bikes if they want one.
So, the SOS from Corinne (who manages our drive and all of our corporate relations) was that the bikes she ordered with Walmart could not be released to the drivers who were picking them up and bringing them to the warehouse because Walmart would not take our credit card over the phone. STRIKE ONE.
NOTE: Now I understand this -- it was a $2,500 bike order, but seriously, Corinne had already talked with several managers to get this set up, get our tax ID ready, etc.
Next, we find Natalie and me waiting in the Customer Service line at Walmart. It is noon. One person is helping people in the long line. One person. STRIKE TWO.
All we need is someone to page our contact person to tell her we're there so we can pay, but we are waiting in line. We finally stop someone who looks like a manager (he's wearing a headphone communication set) and I ask him if he can let our person know that we're there. He does contact her and pass along the message without once looking me in the eye or even responding to anything I've said. STRIKE THREE.
We then wait 30 more minutes waiting for our contact to come -- finally even busy staff people ask us as they keep walking past what we're waiting on -- another manager calls her again -- and finally someone who our person sent to TAKE MY F-ING $2,500+ shows up. Instead of just running the amount on my credit card and letting us leave this person has to ring each bike up individually. It is a nightmare and she even had to start over once. STRIKE ONE MILLION.
Why, Oh Why?
The problem with Walmart is that not a single employee cares whether or not they make a sale -- a 10 dollar one, a two thousand dollar one or a fifty thousand dollar one.
It is no way to run a company, but they sure seem successful. And we want to buy as many bikes as we can for the kids.
Yes, I hate Walmart, but I know that I'll be back there next year to buy the bikes.
But I'm spending my money at Target.