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A couple years ago, I received an angry email from the CEO of Walmart. Yes, you heard that right. But was this email really from the CEO of Walmart, or was it an impostor eager to wreak havoc by submitting support tickets? This question has bothered me ever since I received this message from the "CEO of Walmart", and looking back at it, it seems unlikely that this email was sent from the actual CEO of the world's largest superstore. However, until anyone offers to step forward as the sender of this email, I will continue to attribute the ambiguity and hilarity that ensued after reading this email to him,
Why did I receive an email from the CEO of Walmart? A few years ago when I offered local services through a local school, I decided to create a webpage dedicated to some of the products that we sold. On it, I included something along the lines of 'Although we will become nothing like Walmart, we promise to offer the highest quality products available in your local area'. Does that statement put Walmart in a negative light? You decide. Regardless, a few weeks after this was posted, I received the following email from what appeared to be the CEO of Walmart, threatening to file a lawsuit against me:
As you can imagine, I immediately took down what I written about Walmart, and I never heard back from whoever sent this message. However, although it could very well have come from the CEO of Walmart, I have good reason to believe that it did not in fact originate there. For one thing, if you look closely, you'll see the email address provided was [email protected], but Walmart's website is www.walmart.com. Secondly, the first name provided in this form is "Mr.". If he had in fact been looking to seriously file a lawsuit, I think he would have provided his actual first-name. Thirdly, what are the chances of the CEO of a company instigating a lawsuit? A search for Mr. Walden online warrants nothing, but a search for Sam Walden returns search results for Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart (and the namesake of Sam's Club), who could be the victim of the impostor Mr. Walden. And finally, a reverse IP address lookup returns not Walmart, but a Wisconsin school district. So was it the CEO of Walmart on the other end? Nope, probably just pranksters.
Today, whenever I look back at this I laugh just at the sheer nature of the potential legal threat I faced. But just in case the corporate heir of almighty Sam Walton decides to knock on your door, leave Walmart out of your blog. You just might get an email from the CEO of Walmart.