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The 7 - CRZ's World - STORY MY COUSIN FORWARDED ME OF THE DAY
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CRZ
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#1 Posted on 28.3.06 2327.10
Reposted on: 28.3.13 2327.24
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060329/ap_on_re_us/spring_break_at_wal_mart


    College Student in Wal-Mart for 41 Hours

    By DAVID PITT
    Associated Press Writer


    DES MOINES, Iowa - Some students set out for sun-drenched beaches and tropical party bars for spring break. Skyler Bartels, a 20-year-old Drake University sophomore, headed for the local Wal-Mart.

    Bartels, an aspiring writer from Harvard, Neb., thought he'd spend a week in the store as a test of endurance, using it as the premise for a magazine article. He called his adviser and she liked the idea.

    "I just intuitively thought, 'This is brilliant!'" said Carol Spaulding-Kruse, a Drake associate professor of English. "I wasn't quite sure why, but it just sounded like a really good idea."

    For 41 hours, Bartels wandered the aisles of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Windsor Heights. He watched shoppers, read magazines, watched movies on the DVD display and played video games.

    He bought meals at the in-store Subway sandwich shop, but was able to catch only brief naps in a restroom stall or on lawn chairs in the garden department.

    Other shoppers and employees didn't pay much attention until the end of his stay, he said, when it appeared some store greeters began to take notice pointing at him and whispering.

    A shift manager approached him and asked him if he was finding everything he needed.

    "He said, 'Didn't I see you over by the magazines, like, five hours ago?' I told him, 'Maybe,'" Bartels said.

    Tiring to the point of hallucinating, Bartels said he decided to go home before he was thrown out.

    He considered the project a failure.

    Then, The Des Moines Register, which had been contacted by Spaulding-Kruse, called to ask him about the experience. Once the story ran, ABC and other networks began calling.

    He started his day Tuesday talking with Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" and told The Associated Press he had decided the stunt wasn't such a failure after all.

    He's talked with a book agent after a Penguin books author saw the story on the Internet. He also has been contacted by New Line Cinema about a movie concept.

    Tuesday afternoon he did a radio interview with National Public Radio, and CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman" was arranging a flight to New York for an appearance later in the week.

    Bartels said he's surprised by the attention, but it's like a dream for anyone with hopes of ever becoming a writer.

    "Whereas, I think the project itself is a failure, I could use this media stuff as a third leg of a book if I wrote it, about how America eats this stuff up," he said. "I'm incredibly happy with the press coverage. It would be kind of silly not to accept it with open arms."

    The manager of the Windsor Heights Wal-Mart referred questions to company headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., where spokesman Kevin Thornton said Bartels neither violated store policy nor broke the law.

    "We were unaware of his presence and if we were aware of it we certainly wouldn't have condoned it," Thornton said. "We're a retailer, not a hotel."

    Thornton said the story has taken off because of Wal-Mart's stature.

    "We have 3,800 locations in the U.S. One-hundred million people go through our stores every week," he said. "Wal-Mart is part of the fabric of life and this kind of reiterates that."
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Guru Zim
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#2 Posted on 29.3.06 1028.36
Reposted on: 29.3.13 1028.55
The big question is which cousin, and why don't they like me?
dunkndollaz
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#3 Posted on 29.3.06 1039.04
Reposted on: 29.3.13 1048.08
Sounds an awful lot like last week's episode of "My Name is Earl"
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#4 Posted on 29.3.06 1146.13
Reposted on: 29.3.13 1148.04
    Originally posted by dunkndollaz
    Sounds an awful lot like last week's episode of "My Name is Earl"


Yes, it does and they seemed to adapt pretty easily to spending a day or two in a department store, didn't they?

By the way, do you think they should change the title to "My Name is Carl" now that we know Earl was a mistake name?
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#5 Posted on 29.3.06 1517.25
Reposted on: 29.3.13 1517.40
I had this idea years ago...but it was to spend 24 hours in a Denny's and film a documentary about it. Kinda sad I didn't do it now.
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#6 Posted on 29.3.06 2138.38
Reposted on: 29.3.13 2139.09
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    The big question is which cousin, and why don't they like me?


Good question, did you remember them at Christmas?

Hmm...this story sounds like something my Dad's already done cosidering everytime I stop at my local Wally world I continue to run into my Dad shopping. Like, Dad out and about again? Uh huh. Only reason I can think of for this always happening is small town.
Cerebus
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#7 Posted on 30.3.06 1621.19
Reposted on: 30.3.13 1621.49
I can honestly say that '41 hours' in a Walmart is NOTHING.

I've been in stores for, easily, 3 days straight, multiple times.

...then again, I was getting paid to be there.

On another note, there's no way in hell that he wasn't noticed. When a customer is in the store for over 1 hour, you are followed around like white on rice.
kwik
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#8 Posted on 30.3.06 2025.25
Reposted on: 30.3.13 2025.40
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    I can honestly say that '41 hours' in a Walmart is NOTHING.

    I've been in stores for, easily, 3 days straight, multiple times.

    ...then again, I was getting paid to be there.

    On another note, there's no way in hell that he wasn't noticed. When a customer is in the store for over 1 hour, you are followed around like white on rice.


Ignoring that...he was wandering around at all hours of the morning, and wasn't noticed? A Walmart in Des Moines have a huge amount of foot traffic at 3 in the morning, does it?
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#9 Posted on 6.4.06 1548.41
Reposted on: 6.4.13 1551.51
I've read whole books and taken naps in any kind of store that has something comfy to sit on. Target's summer outdoor patio furniture displays are awesome for this. I've never been asked to leave. I have no idea why he wasn't able to get sleep.

Mr Heel II
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#10 Posted on 6.4.06 1812.31
Reposted on: 6.4.13 1812.44
    Originally posted by kwik
    When a customer is in the store for over 1 hour, you are followed around like white on rice. Ignoring that...he was wandering around at all hours of the morning, and wasn't noticed?
That particular Wal-Mart is a whole different animal.

It is the only Wal-Mart on the west side of the metro. It's a supercenter remodeled from a regular store...and poorly at that. It has lower ceilings than a typical supercenter and is cramped. And it has to be one of the most profitable stores in the chain. In the day, it's busy like Christmas. The customers are...uh...interesting.

It also has an inattentive staff. It is the worst run Wal-Mart I have ever seen. This store is the poster child example for the anti-Wal-Mart crowd.

No, I'm not surprised at all.
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