Can I vent? I don’t usually do a whole lot of complaining or expressing my frustrations on my blog but how my day ended definitely needs to be noted for future reminders of why I don’t shop at Walmart. I’m still shaken up about their horrible customer service. I don’t know what it is, but everytime I enter into that store it’s always a bad experience.
So, the reason for this adventure was to get a prescription. And Walmart happened to be the only store with the medicine we needed. My luck, of course. It was suppose to be an in-and-out trip. Get it and go. But no. Their pharmacy pick-up window told me I needed to go to the drop-off window for missing information. Next I know I’m at the drop-off window for about 30 minutes (no joke!) talking to the pharmacy lady who didn’t seem to know what she was doing and kept repeating the same questions after questions about twenty times! During this time, the meltdowns happen. First it’s Lucas. Screaming. He’s tired; it’s naptime. Then Jackson. He is hungry. Very, very hungry. Crying and crying until his little face was bright red. Then it’s Stella. She is bored, and she has loudly made it known to me. A long line started to form behind me. People stood there in amazement as they listen to the bloody screaming of my children.
Finally I’m given the okay to leave the line, but have to wait another 20 minutes to pick up the medicine. If I leave the store, I know I’m not going to come back with three crying children. So, I head to the customer service area to nurse my screaming little baby. I bribe Stella and Lucas with a donut to quit their crying. As I start to plop down on the bench and relieve my baby’s hunger pains I get barked at by one of Walmart’s employees that I’m absolutely not allowed to nurse in public. She orders me to leave the bench and that I can only nurse in a bathroom stall…with my two other kids. And a disguising tiolet in my face. I was completely caught off guard. Told her I had a nursing cover and that no one would see. Not acceptable. I was shaking with anger, but my main focus was this screaming baby who needed me. So we all somehow fit in this bathroom stall and I feed Jackson. And I completely lost it along with Lucas and Stella. All three of us crying. It was horrible. But finally Jackson was happy.
I came from the bathroom and made a complaint. Talked to a manager and got an apology. But I’m still mad. Mad that I didn’t stand up for myself or my child. Mad that nursing a child is looked down on. Mad that I got yelled at and practically banned from Walmart because I choose to breastfeed my child. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day breastfeeding is banned from public property. It’s just sad how some people preceive breastfeeding. So, that’s my reason why I choose not to shop at Walmart. I know the prices are cheap. But it’s not worth the headache.
Update: I found out that Connecticut (and most states) has a law to protect a mother’s right for breastfeeding a child in public. I did write to Walmart’s corporate office and received an apology. Also the head manager at that particular Walmart contacted me and apologize and addressed the employee who discriminated against me. She also said her other employees have been notify the right of a nursing mother. That’s all I needed was an apology and public awareness. What I learned from this experience was that I need to be more vocal and stand up for my rights and beliefs.
I am so sorry. I can just imagine how angry and frustrated you must have been and probably still are. I am totally with you on this. I tell you that Walmart employee would certainly have gotten a piece of my mind. There is no way I would have been nursing in a bathroom stall. They would have had to forcibly removed me and I would have called a press conference to highlight how unfriendly there were to a poor mother with 3 kids trying to feed her child in a perfectly decent way. Where are the news people when you need them?
I think I will boycott Walmart with you.
Ooh, I think you’re a way better person than me. I would definitely have decked her.
You should make a formal complaint to Walmart headquarters, that is ridiculous. I have discreetly nursed in some crazy places (while pumping gas, walking down the streets of Manhattan, at Jo-Ann fabrics) and have never been banned or told to go into a bathroom stall, how upsetting.
Sleepless In St. George says
I too only shop at Walmart when I have no other choice. I know it’s cheap…but like they say you get what you pay for! Sorry you had a rough day….and it is such a cute nursing cover!
I too would have given her a piece of my mind. And I agree with Thayer, you should make a formal complaint to the headquarters.
As for boycotting walmart, I have been for years. That store is trash.
PS… Adam just told me that walmart has a community Mom page. Found that kind of Ironic. Being that he’s the PR man, he said you should log onto the site and tell them what happened. As well as twitter! Here is the link…
So frustrating! I’m so sorry you had such a rough day. (and no thanks to WalMart for their ‘help’.)
WOW! I can’t believe that…we’ll I kinda can coming from Walmart, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I am so sorry…that is awful! What a dissapointment. I’m really sorry! My heart goes out to you and like others said…I would definately file a complaint.
Jen Haereiti says
Grrrrr. Not good, not good at all! The nursing issue gets my blood boiling. So sorry you had this experience.
Amy H says
I don’t know your state laws, but in most states, that is ILLEGAL. A woman has the right to nurse in public. Don’t you remember the case of the woman who was asked to leave Denny’s because she was nursing?
IT IS NUTS that we don’t get more support. Nursing is the hardest thing for us to do but we do it for our children. (or maybe I should speak for myself. nursing for me is tough but I am determined!) If someone had told me that I couldn’t nurse my baby I would have been just as mad as you were.
Sorry to hear about your experience.
I can’t stand Walmart! Thank goodness we don’t have one within 100 miles of us. I’m so sorry that happened to you and can totally imagine how frustrated/embarrassed you must have felt. Proud of you for saying something to the manager!
Ok so now I am all fired up! That is awful! I have nothing nice to say about this I am totally on your side.
The Cowan Family says
Funny, I had to get some baby things today and thought about going to Walmart because of the prices – thought about it again and decided on Target. Really agree about the headache. I am so sorry they were so rude and proud of you for keeping it together (in public at least)! I want to catch up with you – I will call you soon!
you are amazing. This is so horrible to me- it’s one of those things that gets me all riled up. Way to take care of your kids then deal with the lameness of the store. (Logan doesn’t have a target, so I’m sorta a victim of wal-mart, I’m sorry to admit. I’ll veto them from now on!)
MCMULLIN FAMILY says
Would have made a great news story. My heart goes out to you and the frustration of it all.
Darleen!!! Holy Mackerel. I am SO MAD for you. I would love to give them a piece of my mind for you. How absolutely rude and ridiculous of Walmart and that employee. I am so sorry that happened.
The Checketts Glue says
I am so sorry that you and your kids had to go through that. It’s just not right, they should have been more understanding. Shopping with kids can be a juggle anyway. I am glad you posted this experience. You definitely should make a formal complaint.
That is so frustrating! I am glad that you made it through. Hopefully you don’t have to go back soon.
Lisa R.D. says
Darleen… Ashely’s SIL here… I’ve been working with the Utah Breastfeeding Coalition for many years (I’m a lactation educator) and I’m horrified at what happened to you at Walmart. I checked your state’s coalition page (do a google search for your state with the words breastfeeding coalition after your state name) and there are laws there that protect breastfeeding in public… it might be worth contacting your coalition (who may or may not choose to involve the media… depends on how much you want to raise a fuss). Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby and I find it appalling that it is such a struggle to have it be accepted in our society. By the way, I think you are amazing for nursing your baby in the horrible circumstances you were put in… I wonder if the Walmart employee would like to take HER lunch break in that restroom stall? Not likely. Your babe is a lucky guy to have you for a mama, way to go.
Yikes! I was racially discriminated against in Walmart once. True story.
Just as Lisa R.D. said, CT has passed laws that make it possible to not have the scene you did in Walmart. The same thing happened to me in Target 10 years ago while nursing Elijah. Although I received no apology and no explanations.
We have a regional rep for Walmart in our Ward, David Hogan and I am forwarding this post to him. That employee should be ordered to sensitivity classes. It does not matter what the store is for the most part, plenty of people are ignorant to nursing mothers rights. They are idiots and need to be “outed” and educated.
Oh, man! That would have put me over the edge… and I would have cried, too.
I would write a letter. There is absolutely NO reason that employee should have said that to you and they need to be educated that it’s perfectly acceptable to NIP. Does s/he eat in a bathroom stall? Doubt it. Why should your baby? Even if you wanted to whip out the tata, uncovered, its your right to feed your child as you see fit. But you already konw that. This just really boils my blood.
And for the record, I don’t remember the last time I stepped foot in any WalMart company.
now i’m mad after hearing about Wali world debacle.
i wonder what penalty,if any, results from violation of the nursing in public law?
i suspect a fine would be paid to ensure compliance next time.
Wal Mart obviously has little concern re. nursing mothers or that employee would have known the law.
just off the top of my head, having violated the law and then forced you into a bathroom to add insult to injury, a fine of $1,000.00 would be cheap and they would pay it in a heartbeat vs. letting this go public.
i plan to research this matter and let u know the results.
so far as i’m concerned Wal Mart is not yet finished repairing this damage.
this violation is too egregious and over the top that i plan to look into it further.
now, IF they had put you and my grandkids in a clean private managers office or similar location i could live with the violation.
but not after what they did.
i will be in touch after i check into the law.
they at least should prove that they have notified ALL their store workers, nationwide.
this should never ever happen again.
not even after hell freezes over.