Boxlike megastore Walmart is reaping a good deal of positive PR today after a gaudy event showcasing the company's intentions to spend more money on American-made products. We'd like to take this opportunity to remind you what kind of employer Walmart is.
It's one of the world's biggest employers. It's also one of most stringently anti-union employers you'll find in this country. Walmart is a company that is singularly committed to making the most common American job as unrewarding as possible.
Having published many behind-the-scenes stories by and about the unfortunate employees of Walmart, we continue to receive emails from Walmart workers to this very day. Today, as the company is ostentatiously touting its patriotism, we bring you a couple of thoughts from those who have actually worked there. First, from someone who has worked as a stocker at Walmart for nearly a decade:
I lived in a small isolated community where everyone knew each other. When you work at a store in a community like that there is no chance at moving up if your an outsider. Everyone was family in this store, even if it was by their third cousin twice removed they had some connection with each other giving the store a cult like mentality. Bottom level management and upper management in this store seemed to be all in it together as they enforced task manager coaching anyone who was a second over their stocking time. I had a manager who stood at the end of the aisles of the people he didn't like time them with a stop watch and if they didn't throw a case a minute he would pull them in the office and write them up. I didn't matter if you were a csm, support, or an assistant in this store if you had a management title to your name it meant that you didn't have to do any work whatsoever. They would come up excuses for their lack of productivity on an already short handed skeleton crew by saying that they would get coached if they touched freight or zoned, yet in the other breath they paced up and down the action alleys hazing and harassing the associates who were working with their daunting task times. I had often compared this store to bootcamp. Management would yell and scream obscenity after obscenity at their associates taunting them with the possible coaching if they didn't get finished task hours before the stock time was up. This place sucked, no one was allowed to talk to one another even if it was work related...
The truth of the matter is Walmart is a horrible place to work. These experiences happen to everyone who work for this company on a store level. It doesn't matter if your management or an associate you are always going to have to deal with these types of situations because life like this is the true Walmart culture. The managers who harass you are most likely in the same situations as you regarding the verbal and psychological abuse that they are forced to swallow on a daily basis and you can't blame them for wanting to dish it out even worse to someone else. Most of them were associates before they moved up and you can't tell me at some point in their Walmart career that they didn't suffer at the hands of some relentless asshole. It's a vicious cycle and it's going to take everyone to stop it. There is to much stress involved with this dead end job and the people who run this company need to learn how to let up. They don't make it easy on us with their selfish attempts to raise their bonuses by cutting hours and demanding more work out of the already on edge associates in the stores that are only half staffed. This company is at the end of it's reign. Stores don't run smoothly anymore because any of the talent they had is long gone due to termination or quitting. All they're left with now is a newer generation of people who simply don't care about anything. The bar is dropping at an alarming speed and I can't wait to see what happens when it hits the ground.
And a tip for employees from a former Walmart department manager:
My comment comes in the form of a warning to current Wal-Mart employees. Along with the "productivity" issue used to terminate people and deny them unemployment rights, management seems to have a new weapon in their arsenal in the form of "Gross Misconduct/Ethics". They pull this out like a cheap pistol and use it for any reason you can imagine to circumvent federal labor laws. Once a statement is written and approved by store management, you are terminated with no recourse. Don't believe the "open door" policy will do you any good. It's a farce. You will be left to fight through the state unemployment insurance system to prove your case. Wal-Mart did that to me, but because I saw it coming and documented everything that happened between myself and management over a period of months, I was successfully able to appeal my denial of benefits and vindicate myself.
The point I would like to make is if you feel threatened or that you are being treated unfairly, write everything down. Names, dates, events and conversations. Record it all and keep copies of everything. Secondly, don't tell anyone what you are doing. You will be your own worst enemy. There are always those who will talk to management behind your back.
A great American employer. God bless the Walton family.