Walmart to Install Self-Greet Technology
Updated: Apr 8, 2019
“Welcome to Walmart.”
That’s the famous greeting Trudy Yakmore has used for nearly a decade, giving Walmart shoppers a warm and loving welcome.
But pretty soon, she’ll be saying “goodbye to Walmart,” as the company plans to eliminate greeters, a longstanding staple of the American megastore.
Company executives are paving the way for a self-greeting system — a plan that could save millions in operating costs.
Trudy used a megaphone to express her candid thoughts before a sparse crowd of protesters earlier in the day: “I never thought they’d throw me out like this. Walmart greeters are the backbone of America. How the hell can they get rid of us? ‘Welcome to Walmart.’ It’s not just any greeting. It’s poetry. A taste of the American dream. It’s the Statue of Liberty welcoming legal immigrants. Greeters are to Walmart as red, white and blue are to the flag.”
Sadly, the American dream is turning into a nightmare for Yakmore and her colleagues.
“People drive all the way across town to see us. Men from the finest prisons write me beautiful letters. I’ve been asked for autographs and selfies. I’ve got more Instagram followers than Alice Walton. And it all stems from those four words. No, wait — three words. Welcome to Walmart… People love greeters. They complain to managers and cashiers. But not to us. We’re always on the customer’s side. We’re the first thing they see when they walk through that door.
…Every now and then a shopper turns their head away in shame when I greet them. But really, that’s just their body rejecting my joy.”
Trudy then exclaimed George William Cooke’s famous lyrics “I’ve got the joy joy joy joy
down in my heart! Down in my heart to stay!”
Upon refocusing her attention on the matter at hand, she added, "The angry shoppers eventually crack and smile back. And that’s when you know you’ve made a difference in their life. It feels good.”
She then gave a big smile before lightly tapping the loose ashes from her smoldering menthol.
The new self-greet technology is based on
a series of strategically placed devices that consist of reflective glass surfaces coated with a metal amalgam.
Chief Operating Officer, Jude Mackey, is very excited about the new system:
“This technology allows customers to greet themselves. We save time and money that way. The best thing is that it provides choice. Customers will be able to choose the level of emotion they want in the greeting — whether it’s a warm smile, a brief welcome, or maybe they don’t want any greeting at all. They finally get to choose. Now THAT’S the American dream. The freedom to create your own Walmart greeting. We made it come true. Did you hear that, Miss Trudy? …She gets on my nerves.”
Trudy’s fellow greeter, Stanley Johnson, is not impressed with the new technology.
“It’s a mirror! That’s all it is! A mirror with Walmart colors and logo. Anybody who can’t see that doesn’t deserve to work here. Much less a brain.”
Other employees expressed concerns over maintenance, worried that the self-greeting devices might shatter or be laced with an assortment of red and pink lipstick kisses — which will have to be removed nightly using a streak-free glass cleaner.
Little by little, Walmart and its customers are saying goodbye to the company’s old ways. This decision falls in line with similar actions, like self-checkout lanes.
However, there are some compromises being set. For example, a new bill introduced in California will allow local Walmart greeters to maintain their role, with the exception that greetings be made optional with a 10-cent fee if requested (much like California’s 10-cent grocery bag law). The revenue produced by this statewide fee will go towards fighting climate change, since the breath required for such greeting increases carbon dioxide emissions.
Although the plans are established, no effective date has been given for the self-greet system. Walmart hopes to polish out the fine details over the next year or so. Until then,
our lovable little greeters aren’t going anywhere.
Welcome to Walmart.
(this story is satire)