Reach Out And Touch Someone


It was a light-hearted conversation. I don’t even remember whom the person was I was talking with, but the jest of the conversation related to our perceived need to keep working. He made the statement, if I left my job and subsequently determined I wasn’t done, I don’t want to find myself working at Wal-Mart.

Actually working at Wal-Mart might be both interesting and potentially dangerous. Of course, the danger could simply be in the imagination of those working, but doesn’t perception become one’s reality?

I’m still a little hacked that someone made over $800 worth of purchases at a Wal-Mart store using the account number of my agency credit card. When I talked with the store manager, he assured me not to feel singled out. He said, “I can’t share much information with you, but a group of people came into the store at the same time. We suspect someone strategically let them out and they were all using stolen credit card numbers”. He said, “Law enforcement really should investigate because I suspect they are going from place to place”. Duh! So why didn’t the store call the police and make a report?

The thought of a group of people targeting Wal-Mart for some planned covert activity is enough to fuel one’s imagination. That sounds like a little more excitement than your usual, “Welcome to Wal-Mart” greeting. What about you? Would you like a job with the potential excitement of something as clandestine of rubbing shoulders with would-be terrorists? At some level, I guess folks have to sort out if their fear is founded or if it is simply the result of an over active imagination.

Wal-Mart is back in the news again. Because of the nature of the purchases and the time of day the purchases were made, I probably would have thought it strange had I been working at Wal-Mart in Lebanon, Missouri. Reportedly, at 3:40 a.m. one morning last week, “three men with accents purchased 59 cell phones”. At another Wal-Mart location in Columbia, MO, two hours away, five men made a similar purchase. The same was true in Macon, MO.

The news report gave me pause to wonder a couple of things. For one, I now really want to know what was purchased with my agency credit card number. You’d think I’d be entitled to that information. I understand confidentiality issues; however, since it was my credit card number, you’d think I’d have some kind of entitlement to information. After all, they should have at least provided me an itemized receipt.

My second question is mostly off the wall, but is it possible that the rush on cell phones could be tied to advertising? Do you remember the “Reach Out And Touch Someone” commercial from 1979? It was effective! Do you remember the scene of the toddler holding the phone to her ear while talking with a grandmother? It was a catalyst for using the phone. Could it be possible that the ad is back in play? You know things have a way of coming back in style.

To show you how an over-active imagination can make a mountain out of a mole-hill, wasn’t it about six-to-eight months ago that six Wal-Mart stores located across the country all closed without notice on the same day and for the same reason: plumbing issues? What do you make of that? People with an overactive imagination could mull that over for quite some time. In fact, many did. Do you remember the rumors of the Marshall Law conspiracy and Operation Jade Helm? Reportedly, the U.S. Military was going to use those locations for specialized military training.

Did you hear about the recent shooting at a Wal-Mart in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania? It, too, was earlier this week. A man wielding two handguns was shot and killed by officers at the scene. Reportedly, the man walked into the store in Stroudsburg late Saturday night and started pointing a gun at people. When law enforcement officers arrived, he opted not to drop his gun when told to do so and pointed his weapon at police. He was killed at the scene.

Wal-Mart may be a little too active and dangerous to perk my interest in a late-life job opportunity. It sounds more like the potential for an end-of-life experience. The issue and concern regarding the multiple purchases of cell phones has to do with their potential in the hands of terrorists. For one thing, prepaid phones are difficult to trace. They can also be used as a tool to detonate bombs.

Are you tracking where I’m going with this? What if?…What if?… What if folks with the intent of using them as a tool to orchestrate harm purchase cell phones? Can you imagine the red tape and governmental regulations that could surface overnight to deal with this very serious threat? Think this through? Should a purchaser of a prepaid cell phone have to substantiate his/her identify through at least two or three different sources? What about a criminal background check? Of course, if the phone were being illegally purchased with food stamps, someone would want a random drug test. Trust me, it short order, this list could be exhaustive. You might even have to walk through a metal detector before you can get clearance to get near a phone.

This issue has the potential for becoming big. I can adhere to the words of the country song: “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town Son”, but I’m going nowhere without my phone. What’s true for me is probably true for you. This could become a crisis!

All My Best!






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