Relief reigned in the head offices at Wal-Mart in Billings , Montana today when management finally nailed down a contract with it’s most popular greeter, Merle Endinturfton. “We were nervous for awhile,” admitted Human Resources manager Cliff Benekey, ”We knew Target was after him, but we were negotiating in good faith, and we knew Merle was doing the same. When you have an employee as good at his job and as popular as he is, you don’t play games when it comes to holding on to them.” In addition to the salary, vacation days, sick days, free cable and on site buffet lunches were riders attached to his new deal.
Customers reacted with unbridled joy, on hearing that their favorite greeter would be staying around for a guaranteed 3 more years. “Merle makes you want to shop at WalMart,” said Doris Kurdelinger as she tossed a family pack of Slim Jims into her already overflowing cart. “His smile is like the sun, and his cheeks, like two big ripe tomatoes! He makes my day every time I shop here!” Another Walmartian, obviously elated to hear the good news, fairly glowed with excitement. “He is worth every penny of that $17.5 million! Just this morning he pointed me directly to the hardware department when I arrived. I had no idea where it was and he nailed it. He is that good, and if they gotta raise the prices a bit to pay for that contract, I will understand. Wal-Mart needs Merle!”
Benekey agreed with that sentiment and believes most customers will understand the need for price increases. “That money’s gotta come from somewhere! It’s not like the Waltons are going to take less profits,” he chuckled. “You know, we got lucky with Merle. I just hope we can reach a successful deal with our top cashier Deedee Mosier. She is one tough negotiator and we can’t afford to lose her. She has too many fans. Wish me luck!”