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Firstly, I should mention that I'm not the first person to make the discovery I've chronicled below. After some research, I believe the people at phonelosers.org were probably the first in a long line of many to do it.

When battling bar-code plastic monsters of consumerism is your style, you're almost required to go head to head with Sam Walton's legendary Wal-mart at some point in time. While abusing Wal-mart's announcement system from within the store is a time-honored tradition, it almost always results in being removed from the store - In essence, you've won a battle, but lost the war.

However, even the tiniest foray into the inner depths of the P.A. system will uncover the fact that while the phones in the store have grey buttons on them for use with the paging system, all those buttons really do is transfer one to the paging extension. This is the same in most other department stores, including at least the K-mart and Fred Meyers chains. In cases of ambiguity, the simplest route to obtaining the extension number for the system is to call the phone number listed in the phone book for your Wal-mart, ask the receptionist to be transferred to a specific department, and ask questions. (Originally, I called the Electronics department and claimed to be an employee in the Automotive section, complaining that my paging button was broken. Tim, Electronics department guru, politely informed me that all Wal-mart paging systems can be reached through extension #96.)

To put this in the simplest terms possible:

1) Call a Wal-mart store from any phone.

2) Ask to be transferred to #96, or ask to be transferred to another department, and then convince the employee there to transfer you there.

3) Speak. Everything you say into the phone will echo throughout the bubble-wrapped innards of your friendly neighborhood Wal-mart.

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