Also, I think those associates in our company who believe in our ideals and our goals and get with theprogram have felt some spiritual satisfactionin the psychological rather than the religious senseout of thewhole experience. They learn to stand up tall and look people in the eye and speak to them, and they feelbetter about themselves, and once they start gaining confidence there's no reason they can't keep onimproving themselves. Many of them decide they want to go to college, or to manage a store, or takewhat they've learned and start their own business, or do a good job and take pride in that. Wal-Mart hashelped their pocketbooks and their self-esteem. There are certainly some union folks and somemiddlemen out there who wouldn't agree with me, but I believe that millions of people are better offtoday than they would have been if Wal-Mart had never existed. So I am just awfully proud of the wholedeal, and I feel good about how I chose to expend my energies in this life. 鈥淣ot at all,鈥?said he; 鈥渂ut I have boundless confidence in my brother-in-law.鈥? 鈥淭hen wait for me outside. I鈥檒l get ready and come with you.鈥? 偷偷鲁青春草原视频_中文中幕a在线_草逼 Aside from training the dogs, I like being outdoors in all kinds of weather. When I'm out there, I'm notthinking about Wal-Mart or Sam's or anything but where the next covey might be. Also, some of my bestfriends are people who like to hunt quail. I'm extremely prejudiced, but I feel like quail hunters aregenerally good sportsmen who've got a balanced respect for conservation and wildlife: things that Icertainly value. "Bill Fields was running the Rogers store, Dean Sanders was running Siloam Springs, and I was runningSpringdaleall close to Bentonvilleso we were all on the tour. These guysthe presidents of all thesecompaniesthey just ripped our stores apart, telling us how poorly we dideverything. The signing isn'tworth a damn.' 'You've got your prices too high on this.' This stuff isn't even priced.' 'You've got toomuch of this and not enough of that.' I mean, it was really critical."That was really a turning point in our business. We listened to everything they had to say, and made hugeadjustments based on those critiques. It helped us gear up for any competition, especially Kmart, whoseattack on us was probably the best single external event in Wal-Mart's history. We pulled ourselvestogether and designed a big plana promotional program and a people program and a merchandisingprogramfor how we were going to react. Since our run on Kmart in Hot Springs had turned out well,we were confident we could compete. "Saturdays around the Bentonville square were really something special. Dad always had somethinggoing on out on the sidewalks or even in the streets, and there was always a crowd. That's where SantaClaus would come, and that's where we had all the parades. To me, as a kid, it seemed like we had acircus or a carnival going on almost every weekend. I loved Saturdays. I had my popcorn machine outon the sidewalk, and I was covered up in business. Everybody wanted some of that popcorn, and ofcourse a lot of my customers would go on into the store. It was a great way to grow up."As you recall, Fayetteville was where we opened our second store after Bentonville. And it was alsowhere we encountered our first discounter competition Gibson's. We knew from then on that the retailbusiness was going to be changing in major ways for years to come, and we wanted to be part of it. Weknew early on that variety stores weren't going to be as big a factor in the future as they had been in thepast, and we were heavily invested in them. The important thing to recognize, though, is that none of thiswas taking place in a vacuum. In the fifties and sixties, everything about America was changing rapidly. "She reminds me more of mother than any woman I have ever met," he mused, as he turned over the leaves of the hymn-book carelessly. "Another time, the chairman decided I was going to have to stand up there and sing 'Red River Valley' ata meeting three weeks away. He knew I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket but he made a bigger andbigger deal out of it every week until finally I had to put a group together to sing it so nobody would hearonly me. I always figured he just wanted to force me into doing something in public that I wasn't so goodat, and that way I had to eat a little humble pie. Anyway, I believe those meetings are managed fun, and Ithink the chairman manages them very discreetly. He knows when he wants it to be serious, and heknows when he wants it to be fun. Sometimes it's very democratic, and sometimes it's very dictatorial.