Sam's Club—which is owned by Wal-Mart, which is basically one of the more awful corporations in America—just announced 11,200 job cuts. What's surprising is that those cuts are coming from an essential Sam's Club experience: samples.
Sam's Club is just a big warehouse where you can buy lots of shit, mostly shit you don't need, and mostly shit that's mostly bad for you or someone else: big TVs, sweatshop-manufactured clothing, flash-frozen junk food, drinks of every carbonated and non-carbonated stripe, things that will make you lazier, that will be outdated in a few weeks, that you don't really need to buy in bulk from those people. There's only one thing I can think of that Sam's Club is good for buying: dog food. Can't really argue with dog food. Then again, it's not a very far stretch from the rest of the shit they sell.
Anyway! If you happen to be somewhere in America near a Sam's Club, and you get dragged to one, you'll note the only somewhat pleasurable part of the Sam's Club experience: very, very nice, knowledgeable people who are distributing samples. Yes: samples. More often than not, these are samples of food, food that is awful for you, food like Pizza Rolls and Pizza Bagels and various other Pizza Foodstuffs. But they know that you're in a giant, drab, atmosphere-lacking warehouse, spending your hard-earned money away on stuff that you'll eventually use or that will expire, and you're going to use it on the office you hate managing or the family who is currently driving you to early baldness. These people almost always seem to intuit this kind of existential pain, and are more often than not glad to give you extra snacks, because as we all know, Pizza Rolls come from corporations, and the reason they're so goddamn good is because there're chemicals in them designed to make you feel like you're on a small paint high.
Well, now, those people are gone. They're being outsourced. Now, the Blackwater of samples—Shopper Events—are going to come in and run the sample game for Sam's Club:
Sam's Club, the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc is cutting roughly 11,200 jobs, or about 10 percent of its workforce, as it outsources in-store product demonstrations and eliminates new business membership representative jobs. Sam's Club said it will use Shopper Events, a third-party company, to run its in-store product demonstrations, and 10,000 jobs primarily held by part-time workers will be cut as a result of the change. Sam's Club said its current demo employees will have the opportunity to apply for new positions with Shopper Events. Cornell declined to disclose terms of its deal with Shopper Events.
So, there you go: the only thing about Sam's Club that wasn't spirit-crushing just became a reminder than anything—anything—can become outsourced, that your desperation is real, and that the Pizza Roll is a metaphor for everything within the parameters of your existence: something you don't need to be offered, that you're programmed to take, that will make you want another, that is bad for you regardless.