Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Wal-Mart, Politics & Drive By Truckers

So I am up at 2:30 this morning because I can't sleep thru the night anymore due to working graveyard at Wal-Mart. I'm cooking a roast, drinking coffee and the urge to write a little came over me.

About two weeks ago I wrote my first article on what working at Wal-Mart has been like for me. My main gripe was a couple of time-clock breeders who did everything they could to get out of working while at work. I complained to the manager, who then called them to the office and apparently explained the rules about sexual intercourse in the parking lot and in various places about the store being expressly forbidden. They came back to work one night after that and no one has seen them since. I don't miss them. I don't think they have quit or been fired. I heard that the girl took medical leave and the boy called in and said he was in the hospital. Whatever. I hope that if they come back they will not be on my shift.

Then about a week ago my manager on 3rd told me he needed to see me for some paperwork before the night was over. I didn't know what it would be. My supervisor said it might be my first evaluation or maybe something to do with insurance. It turns out it was an evaluation...but not one of them evaluating me, but rather one of me evaluating them. I found it very odd. It was one page of questions related to my experiences working for Wal-Mart thus far. Did I like it? Did I feel I had been properly trained? Did I feel I could approach any of my mgrs/sups with problems? What did I like least? Most?

I filled it out, signed it and handed it back to the night manager who looked at it and said, "What the hell is that anyway?"
"I don't know", I told him. "You're the manager...don't you know what it is?"
"No", he said. "I have been here 15 years and I have never seen one of those."

I can still only specutlate as to what the purpose was. Maybe the store manager wanted to gauge my feelings after our little discussion. Or perhaps, as one friend offered, they are considering me for a PR position at some future date and wanted to experience my shit talkin' skills first hand. Either way, it was very weird.


Due to various goings-on in my personal life I have not been as active in drug policy reform in the last few months as I would have liked to have been. Things are starting to settle down now and I am proud to announce that I have been awarded another grant to continue my work here in the state on behalf of medical marijuana patients and this year as an advocate for pot smokers who are sentenced to drug court. I'll be doing an official news release on this new program within the next few weeks and it will include the locations in Alabama with drug courts that I intend to monitor.

Court officials in Alabama are not accustomed to being moitored and held accountable so this should be an infinitely fascinating project loaded with drama, fireworks and great media. If there is a drug court in your neighborhood and you or osmeone you know are interested in being a monitor then please get in touch with me via email.

Drive By Truckers

My friend Phil Smith at DRCNet and senior editor of Stop the Drug War has been after me for years to check out the Drive By Truckers and I never did. Then recently another friend of mine invited me to see them in Birmingham last weekend and I was able to go. I was really impressed with the authenticity of their music. It isn't really country...but it ain't rock either. It's just Alabama music and that's about all I can say. If you've never heard them before check them out at Drive By Truckers .com

Here are a few pics I took. Have better ones but haven't uploaded them yet.


Bitter Old Punk said...

Just wait'll you see 'em do a rock show. It's rock, no doubt!

I have a suspicion that such an opportunity may be arriving sometime around, oh, let's say...New Years Eve...

Christie said...

Sounds like a party in The Ham!

Dennis said...

It reminds me of Kentucky Blue Grass music. Kind of like "Fire on the mountains, lightening in the air, gold in them hills and it's wiating for me there."