A Guy Walks into a Wal-Mart…

In case you missed the barrage of press attention given to Drake University writing major Skyler Bartels this week, here’s a rundown. Beth Callas writes about this dubious piece of news on Courtv.com.

“With the encouragement of his college advisor, he set out to spend his spring break in a Wal-Mart Supercenter which never closes. He ate Subway sandwiches and prepackaged food, entertaining himself in the electronics department and taking cat naps in bathroom stalls and the home and garden section.

He admits that he didn’t have a clear idea of what he hoped to accomplish other than to see if he could do it and determine whether Wal-Mart could meet his every need for seven days. Was this so-called experiment a success? Depends on how you look at it. He only lasted 41 hours. Did Wal-Mart meet his every need? Sort of. He found clothing, food, shelter and even high-tech entertainment. But this begs the question: who cares? Apparently a number of media outlets including “Good Morning America,” CNN, the Associated Press and NPR. But I’m still confused about what the story is.

I have yet to find anything remotely interesting about the time Bartels spent in the store. Perhaps the fact that the Wal-Mart staff didn’t even notice his presence for almost two days is slightly noteworthy from a customer service standpoint. You can hardly blame them, as anyone who’s spent time in a Wal-Mart would probably agree that all the glazed-over shoppers who plod through the aisles look as if they’ve been there for days.

Eating only Subway sandwiches for a week could be an interesting angle, but oh, guess what, Jared already did it. Skyler bought a jacket, he got a haircut, he talked to a nun and an Army recruiter…I’m getting bored just writing this. Apparently at one point he filled out a job application. Finally, a step in the right direction.