Wal-Mart, famous for its friendly employees and savvy community relations, caught a little bad press recently when employees at the discount chain's Geneseo, Ill., store left a
73-year-old woman trapped by a newspaper vending machine on the store's premises. The woman had purchased her newspaper when the machine snapped closed, catching the strings of
her jacket hood. Not flexible enough to remove the jacket, the woman called on Wal-Mart employees to help her out of the machine. A rule-abiding staffer advised the woman that
because the vending machine was owned by the newspaper, she could not tamper with it. The employee then spent more than 20 minutes attempting to contact the newspaper to come
release its reader. The trapped woman finally was able to persuade employees to feed 50 cents into the machine in order to free her. Spokespeople for the company say employees
erred in following the rules a little too closely in this situation.