Friday, April 11, 2008

On Monopolies and Ignorance

I overheard something on the bus today. Something that made me laugh out loud.

The two ladies in the seat in front of me were discussing their shopping philosophies. One was going on and on (and on) about the great deals she found at Wal-Mart.

The other lady started spewing anti-Wal-Mart rhetoric - from the crowds, their unfair business practices, unfair labour practices, and their near monopoly on consumer goods, driving local business under, etc.

"I shop", she said with a sort of arrogant snobbery, "at The Bay".

I just about spewed my coffee all over them. Oh, the irony!

The Bay, also known as The Hudson's Bay Company, is the ORIGINAL corporate monopoly! It was THE Wal-Mart of the Seventeenth through early Twentieth centuries in North America - well, the (good) part that became Canada, anyway - before anyone knew what a retail giant was.

But, speaking of customer service, the phones are ringing off the hook again here at work, so if you want more of the Bay's storied history/checkered past, check out this link for starters.