Wal-Mart Tales Part 3.5 (The Last Store South Georgia) 🍑 🙃

Wal-Mart had taken it’s toll on me by the end of the first inventory but the truth of the matter was, I needed the distraction now! It seemed with everything else going on in my life aka: unstable marriage, dad being diagnosed with leukemia and moving three times in two years, the only thing I felt I actually knew at this point was WAL-MART. Even the ever changing customers and employees seemed to be more stable than I felt inside. This was the LAST STORE but by far to me the BEST STORE. Same Drama, Same chaos but a BLESSING in the end.

Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.

I had recently ended an abusive relationship with a great friend of mine in Greensboro named Graham when I decided to move back to Georgia. I had become intimate with him during my separation from my spouse and dealing with the many other emotions that were running a current through my body at all times. I began to lean on him and allowed myself to be comforted by him sense I had known him for over 5 years as a friend. Graham was attractive, intelligent, stable (financially) and made me feel good by listening to me and accepting my flaws…..or so I thought. If you read my blog entitled “ The Boy is Mine” you will read in detail about how cute flirtatious aggression can quickly escalate to a full on stalker and fatal attraction.

Graham went from a supportive friend to a whimsical lover to a crazed lunatic that would threaten to find me at work and do me bodily harm or be waiting for me at my apartment downtown. I remember one afternoon in particular, I had decided to break things off with him and attempt to rekindle whatever friendship was left instead. He became highly upset and accused me of wanting other people or better yet my ex back. He felt played and betrayed and decided “I needed to pay for what I had done to him emotionally”. He was waiting for me in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Greensboro that afternoon, I spotted him immediately since he was not parked too far away from my car. He attempted to get out and talk to me. I had nothing more to say due to the numerous threats and slanders he had thrown over text and phone the past 12 hours!

I got in my car, locked the doors and took off! Graham took off behind me and it became a high speed car chase down Bemiss, Summit and I40 for my life! I lost him at the NCA&T exit and made a quick dip for my apartment. I had just took a deep breath and held a sigh of relief before seeing his bright red car turn the corner only two streets behind me, and his light had JUST TURNED GREEN! I raced to the parking lot of my apartment, jumped out of my car, slammed the door and locked my car all while racing to my front door clutching my keys and book bag! I fumbled to open my apartment before Graham was able to gain on me, I watched in terror as he JUMPED THE CURVE and came to a screeching halt in front of my door. He jumped out of his car just as I turned the key and slammed my apartment door closed shut! He persisted to kick my DOOR until he realized someone would see him and took off. I felt like I was in a real life HORROR FLICK! I had to file a form 50B restraining order as well as take him to small claims court for repairs of which he never paid. The last time I saw Graham it was his mugshot taken in Mecklenburg County for charges of Cyber Stalking and Failure to Appear, he has attempted to reach out several times via FB to rekindle a friendship or conversation. I saw he was currently dating a well known R&B singer’s daughter and they are also in a domestic partnership of violence.

After all I had went through with my spouse I was ready to end it and not look back, hence putting my brand new home I bought 6 months prior up for rent and moving to NC in the first place. However, the options I had explored during our separation seemed to be ALOT WORST especially the latest addition! My spouse and I began talking and visiting one another again and we decided I should move BACK to Georgia to give our marriage one last chance. I assumed I would be working for the same Wal-Mart I worked at previously but instead I was assigned to a store across town.

I was happy about this since I had wanted to work for this store originally anyway, when I found out they had an African American store manager and several other black managers. I was warned about the store manager Mr. Kelly’s stern and sarcastic personality. I had met him once before at the previous Georgia store after an extremely botched inventory. He and some of his associates came to assist. He seemed like a pretty down to earth guy that had managed to retain some humor, in spite of Wal-Mart’s daily floggings. Never woulda thought he was picking up pxssy in “pick-up today”. Rumor was floating throughout the store that Mr. Kelly had the hots for several Pick-up today and overnight girls. Upon findings of an investigation and verbal confirmation of a participant, he would lure them with money to hotels and have his way with them. This did not shock me for the first time being that I was no stranger to hours of sexual harassment CBT’s, only to still be asked if I’d “like my nipples sucked in the claims cage or family restroom”. It was confirmed when Kelly stopped coming to work and a chunky Hispanic fellow resumed his position.

This store had a happy little Indian woman at the door that could have been related to the guy that plays “Mr. Beane”. She was always over zealous about seeing me walk in. It was like sitting in a paper dress awaiting a Pap appointment and your nurse coming in singing and dancing with the speculum in hand. Nothing could bring her down, rain, sleight or snow she was always SO VERY FXCKIN “HAPPY TO HELP”!! Soon as I walked in she’d start crooning and swaying as if Oshun herself had just graced her with her presence! At first it was flattering then it became down right nerve wracking, especially since most days I wanted to slip into the store UNNOTICED and go straight to the managers office to atleast try to get emails, plans and meeting notes situated before I was taken to the ground in key turns, questions or other random disasters. I began going through the grocery entrance since she was always at the home goods entrance, until one day she had switched doors! I began going through lawn and garden, always she would rotate between the three doors until I felt the need to drive by all the doors to see which one she was at before entering or if I didn’t see her I would rather walk through the auto care center located all the way on the back of the store.

Overall, I admit it felt more like a family than any other store because it seemed everyone knew everyone outside of work. You seriously had to watch what you said about anyone because it was very possible you were talking about their uncle, aunt, cousin, niece, nephew, brother, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, grandma, grandaddy, baby mama, baby daddy, momma or daddy! Especially if they were Haitian! This store was over ran with them, meaning that at any given point one of them could have gotten pissed off for being held accountable, terminated or just been having a bad day and decided to set the entire store on fire or hurt some folks!

Any given day you could potentially get ran over crossing the parking lot to the entrance of sliding doors by a mixed paint colored box impala, containing one of the Haitian men that worked in the auto care center named Valentine. He was 80% cocoa black skinned with small pink pouty lips like you’d find on a doll, locs to his behind and a gold oral grill. You could hear him coming a mile away but could not figure out from where until he was on your heels…LITERALLY! He would speed through the parking lot blasting something Kodak Black.

Your last sight: The grill of Valentines Impala

Last sound: 🎶📻“LIL KODAK, THEY DONT LIKE TO SEE YOU WINNNNNNINNN, THEY WANNA SEE YOU IN THE PENITENTIARY.

Last thought: OH SHXT!!!!! Well.. atleast I have enough FMLA & Sick time accrued 🤷🏾‍♀️*shrug*

*Car screeches* 🎶📻 “I NEED ME UH LUL BABY WHO GON LISTENNNNNNN, 👀👀👀 GIRL I DONT WANNA BE THE ONE YOU IGGIN!! 🧎🏿🚙 💥💥💥💥

My time in apparel will forever be remembered fondly for the many personalities I met. One girl named Natasha was Haitian as well and worked in the fitting room of apparel. She too had dark mahogany skin and baby doll lips. She was a petite girl and usually pleasant to be around…….when she was around! She called out every other weekend and spontaneously throughout the week as if she only worked to say she had a job and see her homegirls Shalita and Brittany (The Mink Lash Sisters). One faithful day she must had miscalculated her points (since it was often a game played among the apparel and overnight associates “Get a point, Use a point”) and called out. It was her last write up and we were to the point of termination. I called her to the office with the write-up prepared. It always amazed me when I wrote someone up or terminated them for absences because part of the conversation is showing them the exact days they called out; they would stare at the computer screen dumbfounded as if a victim of identity theft reviewing false charges on their credit card for the first time! As if someone called out for them and they simply didn’t come to work for some other reason!

The Mink Lash Sisters (Shalita & Brittany) would not be caught dead without atleast 3ft of lashes and somewhere chewing and popping bubble gum. They took turns answering the phone at the fitting room, putting away returns and running the jewelry counter. Shalita was good for making 1 cart of returns last 8 hours. Brittany ran the jewelry counter and shoes and would often threaten to quit based on quarrels with another jewelry/shoe associate named Rita with long waist length locs. The department managers where the best part! Especially the one over ladiesware that had gold on the teeth that were left, wore colorful weaves daily and several gold chains at different layers all roped and tangled around her neck. She had a huge butt and liked to show it off but it was lumpy and extremely high like a botched booty shot job done in a back alley.

Ever so often managers would rotate responsibilities and resume programs and directions for a new department other than the one they had previously been in charge of which was genius to utilize as an excuse to give people that worked hard, shxtty departments to FIX! Overnights was one of those departments, the backroom continued to overflow until pallets were LITERALLY coming out of the doors near shoes, because freight was not getting worked in time. I was moved to overnights and couldn’t complain since I had a 4 on 3 off schedule and could actually have a piece of a LIFE.

I recall an overnight associate by the name of Reggie that decided he WASN’T FIRED! I was forced to terminate him due to excess no call no shows. However, the following day to my surprise I see him in the evening planning meeting amongst the other associates. I thought he was there to attempt to plead for his job back but he hadn’t bothered! He simply went to the lawn and garden area and began unloading boxes!

Manager Jan: 👀Reggie….Hi…whatcha dewin?

Reggie: Just workin hard boss lady 🥵

Manager Jan: 👀👀👀

Reggie:….

Manager Jan: Do you remember our conversation last night Reggie? You were terminated…..

Reggie: Yea, I remember…I understand…Imma do better.

Manager Jan: I’m sorry but you aren’t eligible for rehire before 6 months…

Reggie:……..nah….I can’t wait that long ma’am😪

Manager Jan: 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀 Then you should have thought of that when you kept calling out!

Reggie: TRUUUU you right..I was bullshxttin but I get it now. *starts stocking again*

Manager Jan: 👀👀👀👀👀👀😂😂😂 I am short tonight 🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ smh whatever!

I was able to hire Reggie back and he refrained from calling out as much but still did every other weekend so I learned to accept Reggie for who he was and plan for it…the alternative was to allow myself to be short staffed night after night and hear a lecture from the morning manager’s when their inventory was not on the shelves, zoned and ready for them to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the next day, while talking to me about productivity. The only way to make the overnight stock employees work faster was to threaten a shorter lunch break, stock the inventory yourself or TRY TO HIDE IT (In the crates in the backroom or in an empty slot in the steel, you could also attempt to find a spot on the action alley to place a huge pallet of OVERSTOCKED SHOES which would only end up back in the backroom the following night for you to stock all over again!!

One particular manager that I liked on a personal level was named Shelby (Code Name: Peaches), she had a huge Georgia peach booty, with shoulder length black hair that she would either have styled in some braided do or straightened to hang down her back. She was one of those down to earth managers that also did her job by the book. She showed just enough concern for her associates personally to allow them to feel supported and cared for, just before she hit them with the whammy of a write-up, termination or final discussion. To be honest she was my first observation of a black woman that could manage both, being attractive AND in charge. Before meeting Shelby, I had assumed all black women in South Georgia with education or rank under their belt’s were either total bxtch’s or got ran through by just about every support manager, assistant manager, co-manager, so on and so forth. Even the store manager Kelly had attempted to flirt with her here and there between young Pick-Up-Today girls, but she seemed uninterested in a flirtatious way that said “You want me, so I’mma use it to my advantage and you STILL will never hit” (Well except for a rumor of her dating another manager that was about 10ft tall). Male associates in the store hated to see her coming, especially if they knew they were playing around or not working to their full potential, but they loved to see her walk away 🍑.

The entire time I had been working for Wal-Mart I had taken SPECIAL care not to get drawn into the “work husband/ work wife” junk some of the associates called each other as a slick way of claiming each other as DLF buddies. Several support managers tried to no avail, even an overweight assistant manager with short locs that must have thought we would connect on a deeper level both being greek affiliated……nah. Even though my marriage hadn’t worked out I still had no intentions of dating someone I worked with, as this would be extremely overwhelming not to mention if it didn’t work out. I’d have to continue to see them every day!! How I ended up engaged and the mother of the child of an EX HARDWARE/AUTOCARE associate is beyond me!!!😅 but eh 🤷🏾‍♀️ life 😘.

THE END

Wal-Mart Tales Part 3 🍑🙃

*Sings* Georgia!…….GEORGIAAAAA!! Never knew I could be blessed and cussed out at the same time, until I moved to Georgia. I had only visited the state once in my life at 14 years old before moving there in 2016. The trip was to Atlanta and based off the short three night stay, I had assumed the whole state was a black history riot all the time. However, this town was much more slower and drawn out. Even if you hit the highway you’d see acres upon acres of cotton fields and boarded up wooden one bedroom shacks in the middle of them. Clearly retired “Uncle Tom Cabins”, or several billboards advertising their WORLD CLASS BOILED PEANUTS!!! I instantly noticed the difference in everyone’s demeanor and priorities. This store was located in South Georgia in a town known for nothing more than their highschool football teams. In fact the city was pretty much split depending on who you, more than likely were a fan of. People literally relocated from one side of the city to the other for their child to play for a certain highschool!

Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.

The first store I worked at had a female store manager that took off for every single one of her son’s games. It did not matter if the store was on fire! She would have called 911 on her way to the game and hoped the inventory trucks still got unloaded on time. She could have played football herself seeing that she stood nearly 6 ft 6 and 4ft wide. I’m sure if she did play her name would have been “icebox”. Anyways, as a store manager she was extremely emotionless. Nothing ever startled her or caught her off guard! Someone could scream suddenly behind her and still she’d turn as naturally as if someone had said “madame, May I have a word”. Looking back I realize Wal-Mart had probably made her dead inside like so many others! There were times I too could have been being held at gunpoint and still been thinking about what I’d have for dinner when this whole armed robbery thing was over. Being at the store breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend, morning, afternoon, night, overnight, Christmas Eve, Easter, New Years, Black Friday and thanksgiving had that affect on ya, go figure. Nothing begins to mean anything if it doesn’t deal with putting a MOD together or INVENTORY!

I stood out like a sore thumb being new and an assistant manager already coming to the store. When I arrived I did not have an ACTUAL department to be over! Therefore I ended up being a “floating” assistant manager aka “the salary managers trash bin for miscellaneous shxt they didn’t want to do or have time to do”. I seemed to be a bit of a threat even still, this I picked up instantly being that I was often asked by other black managers and department managers about my education with side eye glances up and down and how long I had been with the company. It was clear that while there were a lot more BLACK employees there were not as many BLACK managers. They were few and far in between so me dropping out of the sky was the talk, up until I decided to leave for Greensboro, NC six months later.

I appreciated working with a few more African Americans than I had at my previous store in North Dakota. (Remember I came to Georgia RIGHT AFTER North Dakota, then moved to greensboro, then moved back to Georgia…..yea….I know….EXTRA ASF!!!). Anywho, so I’m looking at all my “brothers” and “sisters” and it’s clear that I’m from out of town. Every woman within 100 miles it seemed wore a gold grill with lashes as long as whole hair extensions (They had Leslie in Wal-Mart 2.5 BEAT by at-least a yard).

One of the Co-managers in particular by the name of Sandra was a sista but had a vibe like she would look out for you best she could however, “wasn’t about to let a freshman take her spot”. She was married to a store manager at another store which made her almost DOUBLE the “Wal-Mart Status” of a black woman in leadership. It had never occurred to me that my education was such a sought after and valuable accomplishment until I realized so many DIDN’T HAVE IT!

Sandra was a dope educated black woman, she stood tall and bold around 5’7, with short natural hair, brown shiny skin with her make-up beat at all times and round pouty lips. Many of the white managers seemed intimidated by her, since her husband was a store manager and she knew her stuff. I looked up to her because I saw the power she held simply being a black woman with education. She didn’t take no stuff, but she also played the game. The game caught up with her right before I left for NC. She was under investigation for allegations that she had went off on staff members proclaiming herself to be the “head nigga in charge” which offended them a great deal and they thought was racist….imagine that.

I saw her storm out of the office one afternoon after two hours of talking to three other supervisors of some sort and she never came back. The next time I met Sandra she had invited me and my partner to her church. They welcomed us being a same sex couple and this made me feel comfortable worshipping while being who I wanted to be. From the outside looking in she seemed like a very stern high and mighty person but I learned that she truly was caring and a woman of God. I appreciate her friendship even still and recently surprised her and mailed her a necklace I wore in one of my photos on FB, because she said she liked it.

Many managers at this location had become managers due to YEARS UPON YEARS of experience and working their way up from a cart pusher to a cashier, to a CSM, to a department manager, to a support manager to an assistant and because I waltzed in on the higher tier of the food chain based on education alone I was often seen as “fake manager”. It was strange how I received more help and guidance from my white counterparts at the first store I was at in North Dakota and now here at a store where I thought BLACKS would be more successful because they weren’t the “minority”.

One assistant manager named Sarah was extremely helpful but this poor girl had the body of a 75 year old woman! It seemed each step pained her and she often walked as if the very tips of her toes were on fire. Every other week she would come in with some new brace on her leg, arm, neck or wrist. Every time she would say it had something to do with an immune deficiency type disorder that basically made her body depreciate faster……. I had never heard of this but it seemed serious and Wal-Mart gave no fxcks. She was held accountable for coming in tardy during inventory even though she was in a full back brace connected to a helmet and waist length hand grips to keep her spine straight. She was only coming to do computer work due to her condition but she was still late.

Brenda the personnel coordinator was the plug when it came to the T on ANYONE in the store just about, but it always came with a fee. You would have to exchange drama for drama with her so you always left feeling like you had the upper hand on someone else but Brenda still had the upper hand on you! The “reach around” is what one manager called it named Chad (a 45 year old, alcoholic emo that often sat in the managers office playing games on the computer instead of planning for the overnight shift). Brenda was a dark skinned ghoulish looking woman that often wore waist length corn rows that spread like tree roots from the crease of her neck over and down her mole splattered hunchback. She had a body shape of “penguin” from Batman under her clothing. She would plan Sunday meetings with us managers to all sit down with her and have breakfast. A demented and tortuous act she often got pleasure from as I could tell from the way her eyes bulged from her head as she looked at us all knowingly from the head of the table. The tension was always as thick as the scene on soul food when they had the first Sunday dinner after “Faith fxcked Terry’s husband Miles).

Everyone would know what they had said and the unnerving possibility that someone else knew about them too, if they had talked to Brenda. So it was like a last supper breakfast every Sunday with a communion of fakeness and lies. Trying to encourage a conversation was like getting distant relatives to agree upon the distribution of a will. It always ended in all the managers fighting about what the other managers weren’t getting done that was affecting what they had to do!

Chad the emo was the fatal victim of one of the last supper breakfast hunger games. A overnight manager by the name of Bobby was extremely pissed off due to never being able to get his stock on the shelves before morning due to the trucks not being fully placed on the floor at the start of shift. Chad had not been planning this due to more important space alien invasions to conquer via Microsoft, therefore he quickly got defensive.

Bobby: Man if you wanna play damn video games all day you can sit at home with my son

Chad: YOU DONT KNOW WHAT MY LIFE IS LIKE BRO!!! I HATE IT HERE!!!!!!

All the other managers: 👀👀👀👀👀👀👀

Chad:😪 guys this place literally sucks the soul out of me….and I can’t go anymore…..I quit. I truly felt Chad on that. At the time I had been fighting to maintain my marriage and tell myself I was content being in Georgia alone with my spouse’s homophobic family working a never ending rat wheel of task. I felt like CHAD!!! I HATED IT!!! So the day Chad quit was the day I decided I did too, I agreed to obtain the marital separation put in my transfer to Greensboro leaving GEORGIA far, far behind me…or so I thought….Wal-Mart tales Part 3.5 (South Georgia part 2) “The Last Store”.

Lady Luck 📸 (Galleria)

Original photography by: Some Dope Black Girl “Lady Luck” Some Dope Black Girl Writes, copyright 2021 (Visit Some Dope Black Girls Galleria✨)

Wal-Mart Tales Part 2.5 🙃

By audience DEMAND I could not leave Greensboro without adding a bit of finality to my last blog. I received several phone calls and inbox messages asking who certain individuals were and if it was THEM! Each time I responded often smirking at their stabs at names and positions with “I don’t know what you are talking about!” The purpose of my blogs are to entertain and offer humor to real life situations with real life people, while also respecting their confidentiality.

My original plan was to dedicate a post for each store but Greensboro, holds a special place in my heart and always will. It was there I feel I truly became a WOMAN. I learned valuable lessons, this time not at the University of A&T but the university of LIFE. So here goes…

Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.

I will never forget a conversation I had with one of the managers there named Larry, God rest his soul. I recently heard he passed due to Covid-19. I confided in him often due to his candor and realistic advice, yet often had to cut the convo short before his advice turned to flirts or cheap pick up lines. He was a heavy weight fellow with a sharp chin strap and line up. He had a vibe of an uncle that would be at the cook-out making everyone laugh. While also asking which females were his blood relatives because he saw a few he wanted to “marry” into the family. Larry and the flight attendant manager from Wal-Mart Part 2 often schemed on which cashier or front end attendant they would try to run game on next.

We were standing on the front line of the registers in front of apparel (where he would usually fish for young cashiers and CSM’s looking to score an old man they believed to have money because he was a manager). I was speaking to him about my marriage and why it wasn’t working out no matter how hard I tried. He placed his heavy hand on my shoulder and said “ you know, nothing will ever be perfect, my marriage is going down the drain but I’m happy as hell! I got some lil booty coming over DAILY and couldn’t be better” (by lil booty he meant a cashier from the store). He went on to say “we made each other miserable and hung on to the years until even those didn’t matter compared to the years I have ahead!”

I thought about this deeply as he walked on towards the Lawn & Garden department. He really did look genuinely happy. Many times I had tried to look the same, never quit could being that so many other things were going down hill at the time besides my marriage. As Larry hobbled down the walk way he smiled and waved at fellow employees stopping periodically to watch some “lil booty” walk past him. I couldn’t ponder Larry’s “words of wisdom” long because at this store if it wasn’t one thing it was always another. I would get called to the customer service counter for assistance with a customers return almost every 30 minutes, either for customer returns or returns that needed to get put back on the floor. When I reached the counter the line for people wishing to return everything from spoiled fruit to items bought years ago with no receipt awaited me.

Thinking back, I would never look at the line of customers in the eye as I walked past them to the counter. In some way it made me feel invisible like I truly wished I was. I recall an employee named Leslie being behind the counter under the mounds of folks in line, she only stood around 4 ft tall but had 10ft of Brazilian bundles, 1ft of acrylic nails and another 5 ft of eyelashes! She stood behind the counter clearly frustrated. She wore her hands crossed in front of her on the counter displaying her freshly polished nails as if taking a senior pic; as a middle aged woman with three girl children yelled to speak to a manager.

Leslie: Manager Jan, this lady would like to return these.

Manager Jan: opens Walmart bag to find soiled children’s underwear. (Looks at lady)

Lady: I mean….they didn’t fit….

Leslie: 👀

Manager Jan: 👀

Lady: 👀

Manager Jan: Ma’am do you have the receipt.

Lady: yes I do!

Leslie: 👀

I turned the key on the return handed the lady her cash and let her watch me throw the draws in the trash and yell “NEXT”! Because that’s WTF THEY WANT YOU TO DO AT WALMART! I mean what the hell did she expect me to do WASH THEM IN THE FRONT END BATHROOM SINK AND PUT THEM BACK ON THE SHELF?! Wal-Mart had no standards when it came to returns! I recall almost losing my job when a man came to the front counter with a lawn mower with grass and gas still in it asking for a refund over the summer. From that point forward it didn’t matter. If they had a receipt and even if they didn’t, worked or didn’t recently bought or passed down generation to generation just TAKE THE SHXT AND PUT IT IN A BIN!!! ANY FXCKIN BIN!!!!!!!!! Overall working for Wal-Mart was like applying for a career in “never ending busy work”! Lay-away during the holidays was one of these things. People were specifically hired for this purpose however, would still somehow end up working in DIFFERENT DEPARTMENTS! Like electronics, toys or as a front end cashier.

Often I had to depend on a somewhat socially awkward and quiet woman named Madison that mostly worked in electronics. I was surprised to learn Madison was married with three children. She had a substantial amount of chin hair, wore glasses and had a slumped posture at all times. She wore a navy blue polo shirt that was never buttoned and hung around her neck line loosely as if she’d stretched it out and stepped into it. General conversation with her in passing quickly escalated to her divulging that she was an unhappy mother, wife and wanting to walk on the “wild side” as in participate in a same sex relationship…..WITH ME!!! I assured her I wasn’t interested and began diving in racks of clothes like a child hiding from their mother when I’d see her coming. Several times I have accepted her friend request on social media out of the goodness in my heart only to unfriend her again after awkward small talk through messenger. Seemingly the next day I’d get a notification and see her friend request waiting again amongst the jumble of others….even now it sits. I finally decided simply to leave it there. Like so many other things….but the memories came with me….to Georgia Part 3.

Wal-Mart Tales Part 2 👩🏾‍🎓

I worked at my first Wal-Mart for nearly a year before my spouse and I were relocated due to the military to south Georgia. I worked for a Walmart store there before my partner and I decided to get a separation. For the sake of not going back and forth I will speak about Greensboro in this post then the two stores in Georgia in Wal-Mart Tales part 3; one I worked before Greensboro and one after.

Anyways, It was a disaster to leave my recently purchased home in Georgia and estranged spouse at the time however, I thought being back in my old stomping grounds of Greensboro, NC, where I had attended undergrad at NCA&T would do me some good. The Wal-Mart store I was given was only minutes away from the school and one I had frequented during my wild years as a college student, suffering endless papers, finals, greek parties and fast nights. I felt at home, finally for the first time in six years since joining the military and being stationed in North Dakota away from everyone and everything I knew. However, at 26 years old, I felt like an old timer. My hay days of pledging, sitting on the plot and practicing a routine for the step-show were sadly long gone. It felt like sitting on a swing at your old elementary school, nostalgic and magical but distant and lacking substance for the here and now.

This particular store was were you could find every college student in the city along with every drug dealer, prostitute and pimp, literally! Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE.

The store manager in Greensboro at the time was named Raynard. He shared a story with me once about how he had to hustle a pimp off the front end of the store that was trying to solicit new help. Raynard was a chill boss to work for. He was as laid back as the grease he must have slicked over his balding scalp daily to attempt to minimize the large gaping hole in the back. He was a white man married to a black woman and therefore somehow thought that this should have allowed him automatic acceptance into the black community as a “brother”. However, I was never too sure about him, he seemed shady in a way as if he would lowkey utilize the pimps services especially since he had a relentless itch south of the border and chain smoked between every meeting.

I kid you not, half way between the morning walk-through briefing with other managers he would attempt to scratch his pelvis on the low, unnoticed. Me being the “attention to detail” worker I am I always noticed! Then one day the itch must have been unforgivable becuase he full throttle scratched! No inhibitions and no worries, full hand, full grab, full scratch as if his loins depended on it and whatever was in his pants had latched on to his balls! When he had finished he continued to go along with the direction of the day as if he had not just had a total meltdown; when he was done he walked briskly to the side exit through the auto department to begin his first pack of Newport’s for the day and possibly check his underwear.

Since the store was teeming with young post puberty college students, exploring their education, possibilities and SEXUALITY, love was ALWAYS in the air! Or something like that….I recall a particular AP by the name of Vick that was “too hot to trot” he was seriously the freshest thing walking and it was dope to see his kid and play 90’s swag at times, but the dude obviously did not realize HE WORKED AT WAL-MART. There was no need to be that fresh to walk around Wal-Mart for 8hrs! He must have been trying to pick up babes as well as catch cold hard cases of make-up or clothing theft. One day this AP associate decided he was sexy enough to sport some new, fresh and perky UGG BOOTS to work!! I had already suspected this young man to be homosexual based on his particular care and concern for his appearance above all things but this was the icing on the cake. Like the men that tried to make male rompers a thing, this too should have been left to the ladies in my opinion. Several women held secret and public crushes on him and his social media CONSTANTLY reiterated that he was single but to this day I have never seen him with a woman…p.s. he’s still fly.

Ironically the AP that dressed to the teeth had a side kick that did everything in his power to say “Fxck THAT system”. The purpose of an AP or Asset Protection employee is to be as incognito as possible. They are to blend with regular customers to attempt to conceal the fact that they are tracking shoplifters. This AP individual was a heavy set gentleman named Earl. Earl would wear the same striped shirt EVERY DAY he worked with a pair of jeans, busted white tennis shoes and corn rows in his hair.

Maybe this guy had several of the same shirt, maybe he took it home and washed it daily but never the less if I were a shoplifter I would have been able to pick him out of a Wal-Mart Black Friday Crowd if he had that shirt on and I had seen him before! Gentle fellow and very well mannered…..but that shirt was like his super hero costume. It stood out like “Where’s Waldo” and he refused to retire it. Even his Boyz II Men/ Kid & Play/ GQ magazine, potentially “DL” AP counterpart Vick couldn’t talk him out of wearing the shirt. When I left six months later I recall walking through those sliding doors one last time into the world, looking back to wave my final good bye and catching a glimpse of Earl going into the AP office. I only saw the tail of his shirt before the solid metal door closed shut, but I knew it was him.

Back to the Wal-Mart “love” anybody who was anybody was having sex with SOMEONE or WANTED to have sex with someone at the store! It was an endless thirst trap for cashiers and back room stock boys. Like trying to keep a dog in heat from breaking the chain, working a backroom full of young men was RIDICULOUS! If I could not find them they were more than likely outside smoking a cigarette waiting for cashiers to take breaks or on the front end behind registers with cashiers!

It was a joy to be moved to the front end assistant manager position, “if you can’t beat um WHY NOT JOIN UM”. I never exactly loved being in charge of large sums of money especially for a company like Wal-Mart that demanded every dollar of “Save Money Live Better”, but it was better than working in a back room with hot, sweaty, musty, horny men for 12 hours trying to get a truck of 3,000 pieces cleared and on the floor for overnight stock crew in 2 hours. The front end taught me many things, such as WHY THERE ARE ONLY TWO LANES OPEN AT ANY GIVEN TIME!!! It’s because the cashiers DONT COME TO WORK OR HAVE BEEN FIRED FOR NOT COMING TO WORK. P.S. they could also be in the parking lot on the clock making out and rounding second base with a cart pusher.

Never the less wherever they are, it didn’t matter because 8 out of 12 registers had no receipt paper, bags or money anyway! Tried as one of the co-managers named Carrie did to assist me in learning how the front end worked she couldn’t quit figure it out even for herself! Organized chaos was what it was AT ALL TIMES however, she had pull with the front end supports and customer service managers. Carrie was a joy to work with, she was androgenous meaning she often wore male suits and attire, as if she had just been a groomsmen at a wedding. Sometimes she would bop into the store with full suspenders attached to her neatly pressed slacks and dress shoes as if she planned to be the store manager that day…..most days she WAS, due to Raynard needing to smoke or scratch in peace.

She too was a chain smoker and utilized the auto care smoke area to conduct her “off the record” counseling sessions and pep rally’s with numerous employees that had been with the company for years and now threatened to quit. I had decided Carrie was homosexual way before I met her wife that also managed a retail store. I confided in Carrie often when my spouse and I continued to have disagreements, being that my spouse was also a female at the time. I assumed she would understand and give logical advice so it shocked me when she stated she had been having an affair!

My eyes jumped from my sockets since she had literally just had her wife with her in the store that day! She often came to sit in the office and parlay with Carrie and the rest of the managers. She was a nice lady and seemed fun, but Carrie thought their mutual friend was funner. I remember walking to the front end one evening, feet swollen, back aching and mind in knots about how I will get the registers dropped, keep a cashier till we close and get the returns back when I see Carrie, her wife and their friend all smiling gayly, walking together as if nothing is going on. At that moment my life changed, don’t know for the better or worst but I learned a valuable detail about life. “Love truly isn’t everything”.

Same thought I validated when ANOTHER one of the managers admitted to me that he would “bend me over in the backroom had he the chance”. This manager was a nice looking gentleman and often resembled a flight attendant how clean pressed he was with phenomenal posture. I guess I had amazing titts back then because he was the SECOND manager to ask if he could suck my breast! Also a married man it seemed odd that he would even find me attractive in this way being he often referred to me as his “lil sis” in a genuine and sincere way. The last time I heard from him I was pregnant with my son last year, he reached out asking if I was in the area or would ever return. I assured him it was possible however, I was deeply involved as well as PREGNANT! He congratulated me dryly and persisted to remind me of how attracted he was to me and what he would love to do. I allowed the conversation to end.

Many rumors went around about who was sleeping with who, yet it always amazed me when it was confirmed. A manager by the name of Laura was a holy roller. If anyone knew that God was real it was she. A pleasantly plump woman in charge of apparel, I vaguely remember her being the subject of discussion of whether or not she was sleeping with another manager at the store by name of Ricki. Another manager named Marie was from New York and always had her 9 inch nails done in some new ghetto design. She had a large booty and was often the topic of conversation for the backroom boys and other male managers. The flight attendant that had a “hankering for breast milk” often flirted with her and eyed her figure. Their jokes seemed innocent until I realized he WAS THAT TYPE OF DUDE. If they ever actually messed around only they know.

I did not think things could get worst until my father was diagnosed with Leukemia and my world seemed to come crashing to the ground. Nothing and no one made sense but I continued to function out of pure adrenaline. The front end continued to be my biggest burden being that I had no form of training or assistance but then the Devil decided to pile a gaggle of ghetto, immature CSM’s (customer care managers) on my head as a glistening crown of thorns. I distinctly remember three CSM’s that drove me several nights to drink wine and smoke blunt after blunt in my downtown loft. Three in particular by the name of Erica, Samantha and Kimberly made me want to scream.

Kimberly was a goon from jersey, or so she thought. She held a crooked tooth in the bottom front of her mouth and often thought nothing more of her long flowing hair and best feature than to throw it into a ponytail at the crown of her head. Erica had a large butt she often twisted side to side while stroking her latest red lacefront and brightly colored/designer nails. There were others but they for the most part simply worked if they wanted to get paid and called out for homecoming when their PTO was denied. One a bus driver with an affinity for Mickey Mouse, another that adored lime green and often threatened to leave us all high and dry. This I endured along with the knowing that everything I believed I needed was coming to an end.

Samantha was the nino brown of the “wal-mart mafia”, nobody got change or got on a register unless it went through her and she often was the plug when it came to which way the front ends loyalty would move. She was a stocky girl with thick bowed legs and a shoulder length bob. It seemed Samantha and the manager Carrie had to work out deals of some sort for her to do her dang job FOR ME. Samantha clearly had the store on lock from the cash registers to the parking lot, because when I needed someone to come in due to someone else calling out it always seemed to have to go through her, I was convinced she was pissed she wasn’t the front end assistant manager and I had seemingly fell from the sky. This was often the look I received at the stores I worked for in Georgia as well that left me dumbfounded. I guess it was my fault I obtained a degree and applied to Walmart of all damn places!!! Did I look HAPPY TO HELP FOR REAL?! I didn’t shxt on anyones 10 years of service Wal-Mart did! Anyways more of that will be in Part 3.

Even still my determination to be “o.k.” Drove me to great heights. At one point I even began to believe I was trippin and perhaps DID have it together. Things happen and nobody can do a thing about it but suck it up and live. Just when I had come to a new found glory and revaluation that THINGS WERENT SO BAD AFTERALL, a support manager perhaps 19 years old approached me as a teacher would a problem student. Her name was Abby, she dated another support manager at the store by the name of Roger and she and I had usually had decent conversations. “May I have a word with you missy” she stated. Her bleached and colored golden curls bounced joyfully over her shoulders and her studious glasses sat daintily upon the rib of her nose bringing her hazel orbs into focus.

She led me inconspicuously to the customer service area and came to a jolted stop. “I heard you got a little touchy with Roger in the backroom” she started. I couldn’t believe I was now the one being accused of sexual misconduct, I should have known after hearing all the other rumors my day was not far out. I remembered offering Roger a hug one shift after he had asked about the status of my father and his condition while battling cancer. I told her this still aw struck at my luck. Roger was a very black skinned guy with lips that could cipher molasses through a straw! In my opinion she was too pretty for him but never the less they made a cute couple and I have never been the sloppy seconds type. Let alone steal this young girls boyfriend, no matter how out of it I felt. She tapped me on the shoulder as an adult would after listening to my explanations, the way an old man would do a young lad and requested “We keep our hands to ourselves eh?” It was at that moment of getting soned by a college freshman and several moments of re-evaluation after, that I realized perhaps retail just isn’t for me…

Wal-Mart Tales Part 1 ⛄️

I remember my days working at Wally World. I look back fondly and with a sense of humor at some of the circumstances and learnings I discovered within my two years employed as a salaried member of management! I had the pleasure of working at four different locations. One in North Dakota upon exiting the Air Force then relocated to South Georgia then Greensboro and back to South Georgia. Every store was different as well as the individuals that thrived there.

Names have been changed within this post to protect the character and individuals I will be discussing. However, I am sure that if they were to read this they would most clearly know who they are and perhaps others. I do not write this post with the intentions of demoralizing or shaming any person, especially since most are still currently people I would not mind knowing again. These stories are REAL and TRUE, some I speak of still giggling as I jot them here and others remind me why retail is simply NOT for me!

At my first location in North Dakota I was a bit nervous to be embarking upon a new career as a retail manager seeing that I had never worked a retail job in the past! I picked the job based on the salary that was offered which was roughly $76,000. Even though the city I was in had absolutely nothing worth doing, it was amazing to have that kind of cash to catch a flight OUT to some place else. The managers and employees were pretty down to earth and overall helpful. Except for the one that ASKED TO SEE MY BREAST IN THE BACKROOM! He was a married man and a well respected overnight supervisor. He was known to be stern while also approachable and sincere.

I remember like yesterday sitting in the office and him coming in and cutting the lights off!!! “WTF”. He cuts them back on then goes on to tell me how incredibly attractive I am and how he’d love to see my titts!! Now I can’t pretend I did not pick up on some of his looks and gestures beforehand but never took them seriously until then!! I quickly reminded him that he was married and at the time SO WAS I! He never approached me in this way again, but it was DEFINITLY awkward to see him at morning meetings and after hours shifts. I later found out he had been fired based on accusations of raping a young employee in his hotel room!

Another manager by the name of myesha ( remember names have been changed) had the most drama I had ever seen! She was married but her husband was a recovering PTSD veteran that often resulted in domestic violence to get his point across. Myesha would come in day after day with a bruised eyes or fatigue demeanor. This went on for several months until she did not show up for work. We called, texted, another manager even rode by her house. We later found out that she had been hospitalized due to her husband shooting her!

Myesha returned to work several months later and seemed in much better shape. She seemed a lot more energetic and happy go lucky than when she had worked there previously. A month later it was discovered that she was dating a guy in asset protection at the same store. This was labeled as fraternization and not allowed. However they continued to talk, until myesha began seeing her husband again. The drama continued six months before Myesha stopped coming to work again. Nobody heard a thing about her, assuming she had simply quit or her husband had finally killed her. About a year ago I was contacted by another staff member that worked with us at the store to learn she had been arrested for murder! Apparently she had murdered, chopped up and buried two people in Oklahoma with a male accomplice. The victims were Myesha’s NEW BOYFRIEND’S EX and HER LOVER! If that’s not spooky enough, I searched for her on google and she had her accomplice’s child in June of last year and currently awaiting trial with the potential of the death penalty in Texas.

Many of the employees were half hearted about their jobs and truly didn’t see the point in their positions besides gaining a check. Then there were some that took their jobs EXTREMELY SERIOUSLY! As if their shares in Wal-Mart depended on it! The front end and grocery departments were ALWAYS a war zone if you didn’t lose your mind trying to staff the front end, you would surely die in the freezer attempting to find the dairy that should have been delivered the night before!

Even in NORTH DAKOTA there was this tiny support manager named Joseph that would rather be in the Wal-Mart freezer than at home with his wife and kids. He resembled a leprechaun as he walked briskly to the freezer every morning to deliver the morning dairy to the freezers for customers. And by GOD IF ANYTHING WAS WRONG he damn near would want to call the dairy truck companies supervisor personally! Sam Walton himself would have told this guy to loosen up!

I earned some genuine friends from this store, some I still keep in touch with and think of as great folks. There are many other stories I’m sure I could tell about this location but the best has been delivered! Stay tuned for my Walmart tales part 2. It will be about my Greensboro location!!! SAVE MONEY LIVE BETTER FOLKS!

I’d Glady Drink Your Poison ☠️

Recently I wrote a blog entitled “Judgey Judy” and it explained how imperative it is to be careful the energy, vibes and overall aura’s you keep around you. How toxic environments and people can change you for the worst and continue to drain you of positive energy which is needed to live your own best life. I spoke on how it is naive to live your life based on stigmas however, NOT to judge a tree by the fruit it bares could result in even worst settings. It was not until I read a post from a fellow blogger, counselor and follower, entitled “ Toxic Relationship” by Laura Grigoruta that I realized EVERYONE IS TOXIC to SOMEONE, even YOU!

Some of the examples she offered as insight for characteristics to look for in individuals in our personal lives were:

  • The toxic person is always talking about themselves and their latest drama
  • The unhealthy person is always the victim of something/the ultimate pessimist
  • Toxic people are manipulative and judgmental
  • They are inconsistent, disrespectful and embarrassing at times
  • They never apologize for their actions (it’s always someone else’s fault)
  • An unhealthy person will make you feel like defending yourself
  • They are exhausting to be around (when you leave them you are extremely mentally over it)
  • Toxic people are not caring and selfish.
  • They lack empathy.

(Grigoruta, Toxic Relationships, 2020, https://lauragrigoruta.com/2021/01/10/toxic-relationship/ , accessed: January 14,2021). As I read each bullet it ironically felt almost like a shot fired PERSONALLY! I noticed as I read some of the characteristics to look for that most I PERSONALLY IDENTIFIED WITH at some point in my life. Has it ever occurred to you that while you are pruning your life of everyone that contains toxic traits TO YOU, you also contain TOXIC TRAITS for SOMEONE ELSE? Not all toxins are meant to mix, some can become combustible, I would equate this to a domestic violence type situation. However, some play very well. Some can become medicines to heal others or even one another. Just because someone is “toxic” for you does not necessarily mean they would be toxic for someone else….lessons learned.

Original Photography: Some Dope Black Girl Writes, “But Really”, copyright 2021

Where “FOREVER” Ends. 🪡

When someone says “I will love you forever”, “I will want you forever” or “we will forever be” what generally comes to mind is an extensive amount of time. Forever has been synonymous and interchangeably utilized to signify a permanence that only exist for the person making the statement. My forever and your forever may be two different things. “Forever more” is actually nothing more than a tinker bell effect rendering value to a word that is comparable to American money in China, if time does not agree. I have had the pleasure of experiencing several forevers in my lifetime, some are over and some I am still within. Some I adored and some I am thrilled are no more.

Forever could mean to the end of the lifetime of the individual, forever could mean until one finds something greater or forever could mean a sunken place or moment that seems to drone on forever and ever until it doesn’t. Meaning THAT particular forever is now over. Also meaning that forever, forever will, can and shall one day end.

Original Photography: Some Dope Black Girl Writes, Spine, Copyright 2020 (View Galleria)

Adult Musical Chairs… 🪑

As a child you may have played the game “musical chairs”. The teacher assembled one less chair than the participants to ensure someone would be left without a seat when she stopped the music. This game would go on until the players were down to two and there was only one chair left. The winner was awarded a lollipop and sticker then class was dismissed.

In Adult Musical Chairs: All participants walk slowly around the ANSWER, the elephant in the room or the negative energy, darting nervous looks, sneakily pointing their toe in its direction or pretending not to see it at all. Until the music finally ends and someone must pull the plug. The twist on this game for adults is whoever is so lucky to be the FIRST to state the FACTS is an ASSHOLE. I guess this would be comparable to the child winning a time-out. I guess that’s why nobody is in a rush to tell the TRUTH anymore.

Picture collected from:
https://cafemom.com/parenting/173414-8_timeout_mistakes_youre_probably

Judgey Judy… 👃🏾

My sister and I had an interesting conversation at the brim of the new year, right before passing into 2021 and seemingly only pushing the door too with our foot. Not slamming it closed as we usually would with full force and permanence. But instead leaving just a small gap right where the door and the crown molding meet. The conversation was about my candor and extreme honesty in regards to things, people, places and actions of others that I do not approve of or find to be suitable for me or my presence. She sat in my car for nearly two hours, half exhausted with trying to drive her explanation home and half truly feeling she was reaching a new peak she had never reached previously with me, in the sense that I was even taking the time to listen to her thoughts regarding my outlook on life.

She lit her herbal concoction and inhaled deeply, searching the horizon for the next statement, unsure of how to make me “understand” that “the way I am” is simply “wrong”. I too searched for better explanations for “why I am the way I am” and not changing anytime soon. She exhaled slowly before starting again “Like…you just cant simply cut someone off because of what they are doing in their personal life that has nothing to do with you, especially if they have something of value that means more to your success or outcome mentally, physically, emotionally or financially”. I listened to what she said and thought deeply to myself before asking her “what could someone I do not agree with in how they live have that I could find so valuable, that I would not be able to get it elsewhere without the negative vibe or energy?”. “Are they the only person in the world with ANYTHING I could possibly need, that I must subject myself to them and their actions endlessly to obtain it?” She sat and thought before responding with a deep breath, “No, it’s not that you cant get it from somewhere else but why go through the hassle when you already have someone with it?”. Whether it be friendship, affection, love or support it should NEVER come with a side dish of grief or disrespect.

To me this is the same example as sticking your hand in a bee hive for natural honey when you could simply buy it from the store. No stings, no bites, no hassle and less mess! My energy is not for everyone and never has been, for this I am unapologetic. Some take me to be extremely judgmental and over-confident. This is often the critic thrown by those less confident and often feeling like the object of judgment either by myself or others. THIS AGAIN HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!! The best take away in the year of 2020 was to “take nothing personally”. Even those that wrong you or take you for granted, it is simply NOT YOUR FAULT and has nothing to do with you! However, not to judge a tree by the fruit it bares would be going against not only my spirituality and relationship with the most high, but my own personal laws and truths I have found throughout the years through the suffering of trials, tribulations and circumstances that could have possibly been avoided by standing on this one idea that YOU DONT HAVE TO LIKE EVERYONE OR DEAL WITH THEM FOR ANYONES SAKE!

While I agree it is dangerous and naive to live one’s life purely based on stigma’s, it is also more ignorant not too. It does not make me a “Judgey Judy” because I have chosen to cut individuals out of my life whether they have something I find valuable or not due to the fact that I find MORE value in MYSELF! I do not need to play nice, deal with, tolerate messiness, moodiness, inconsistency, instability, negativity or bad vibes for ANYONE. I apologize that this comes off as finite and unfeeling however, it should in fact mean just the opposite. I care very much and feel extremely deeply, meaning I must preserve my emotions and spiritual well-being at all cost. Not just for myself but for my loved ones and friends that do not drive me to choose.

Before ending this post I must admit whole heartedly that it is NOT ALWAYS THE OTHER PERSONS FAULT we do not click or get along the same. Sometimes it could very well be MINE! I accept full fault and still make the decision to dismiss myself from the scene. The reality is it DOESNT MATTER! We are obviously not the same KIND of people and that is o.k. What isn’t is continuing to try to be when I have worked so hard to be THE KIND OF PERSON I AM.