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AlterNet: What It's Like to Work in Walmart Hell

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 07:04 AM
Original message
AlterNet: What It's Like to Work in Walmart Hell

AlterNet / By John Olympic

What It's Like to Work in Walmart Hell
Thanks to recent teacher layoffs and the miserable job market, I've gone from substitute high-school teacher to Walmart associate.

October 29, 2010 |


Thanks to recent teacher layoffs and the miserable job market, I've gone from substitute high-school teacher to Wal-Mart associate.

Teaching gave me weekends off for more pleasurable activities like annoying the roommate's cat or plucking my nipple hair. But this Sunday, I spent eight hours playing Avoid the Customer. It's a challenging game in which, at the end of the day, I reward myself by not committing suicide.

Why do I play this game? Sanity. Last week, for example, I walked behind a middle-aged mother who, after ordering her kid to drop a toy in the hardware section, told him, "Don't worry, they'll pick it up."

Customers may be the worst part of my job, but they're not the only part of this gig that sucks.

See, like millions of Americans, I'm underemployed. The government doesn't count people like me in its official unemployment numbers. ............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.alternet.org/story/148640/what_it%27s_like_t... /



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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. A few times I've heard what sounds like a cheer or chant
coming from the employee section of the building, usually followed by employees coming through the door and migrating to their workstations. It's unnerving and uncomfortable to hear that.
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 07:59 AM
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2. i loathe walmart. but i end up there. i feel sorry for the employees.
my sister and brother in law used to work there. they used to like it when they had a decent manager. but barbie was basically the manager back in layaway even though they did not have one and her husband was almost like a manager in electronics but that was because he did not want to be a manager there. they worked there for like 8 years and were full time employees. barbie ended up refusing to work in layaway anymore and ended up at the service desk. boy would she tell me stories! i admit i will take toys and remove them from my cart when the kids aren't looking, but generally i make them put them back where they found them or give them to the cashier to put in the cart to go back.

I have tried when i can to frequent small local stores. it's not always possible. and i admit i end up at walmart because i can get everything i need at the same place instead of dragging my kids all over. i don't blame you for avoiding customers though.... i think i detest the customers there more than anything! they block the aisles and will run you over just as soon look at you. i try to go right after the kids are on the bus so it's not busy... like 8 or 9am. go to aldis and then to walmart. i detest having to go on the weekend because that is the worst time. my poor husband works for NCR and they fix the cash registers and stuff at walmart and he has to go in there everyday. i don't blame him for not wanting to go there when he isn't working.
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nunyabidness Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 12:09 PM
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3. There is absolutely NO reason to shop at Wal-Mart.
They do not put Wal-Marts in places where there are no other stores. If you are poor you would be better served to go to another store and pay the extra ten cents for the whatever you are buying because if you are poor you need to get the better deal (more product per container, better built product so it lasts longer, product less likely to cause health problems,etc.) and to avoid exposure to the troglodytes that wander around those stores infecting others with new and exiting strains of treatment-resistant illnesses. Besides, if no one shops at Wal-Mart there would be no Chinese importing of things that we could be making here. Then there could be jobs in manufacturing and such. And maybe you could have a job teaching the children of the people that work at the factory. But no. People here would rather buy sub-standard products made by government subsidized factories and complain about how bad they have it. As far as my life goes, if there is something I don`t like, I fix it. I could care less if the government does`nt count me or does count me in this or that. Quit sitting on your hands and take control of your life. If it`s broke,fix it.
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nunyabidness Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. And one more reason
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 05:17 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. they're the only store open when I get off work at 05:30 AM
Edited on Sat Oct-30-10 05:17 AM by Skittles
if I plan purchases, I make them elsewhere but if I have to have something, it's Wal-mart; while I hate the store (dirty and ugly), I do like a lot of the employees there
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 06:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. You must live in the city.
Here, the choices are one local grocery store which is better than Wal Mart in quite a few respects mostly because WalMart is cutting variety of choice of grocery products and starting the flunk the grocery store contest. There are two hardware stores. And there is a 24 hour Wal Mart or there is the prospect of using extra gas and time spent driving a hour to shop elsewhere. Those are the facts and that's why people shop at Wal Mart.
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MH1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. just a bit overstated
No Wal-Mart defender here, but come on. "if no one shops at Wal-Mart there would be no Chinese importing of things that we could be making here." There are many other stores that import from China. And not all of it is cheap junk. Although I've found that for the most part, what is at Wal-Mart does tend to be cheap junk. My info is rather dated though - it's been years since I stepped inside one.

Point being, if Wal-Mart were suddenly to vanish, there would still be lots of people buying cheap junk from China, they'd just be buying it in other stores.

Why the hell do people buy so much useless junk anyway?
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denpat1 Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. I empathise
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
9. This "article" is a totally piece of shit. I worked for walmart and would do
so again. I made a very good wage for my area, way better than the "mom & pop" stores who came to walmart to get their product mark it up and under pay high school kids to stock it. Say what you will about walmart, but don't be like repugs and make up lies to try to "prove" your point. FWIW I enjoyed my job at walmart.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 09:53 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Umm, perhaps the author didn't have the same experience you did.....

.....n'est-ce pas? :think:


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Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
11. Quite a few members of my family work at Walmart....
And they love their jobs. They are paid decent wages, have received promotions faster than anywhere else they worked and have decent benefits compared to other places.

For a couple of them, this is the ONLY place they can work. If not for WalMart, they would not be able to be employed anywhere.

Compare that to my good friend that works at Target. he has been in the same job for ten years with no promotion or even a hint at a promotion. Neither he nor his family has healthcare, and was screwed out of a workman's comp claim a few years back. He also makes about 3 dollars an hour less than the people that work at WalMart.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-30-10 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Ya better duck, people on here love to hate walmart and won't believe anything
anybody says that's good about them. Because of course nothing ever changes for the better. :shrug:
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-31-10 03:03 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. Could it be WalMarts in different locations / regions are run slightly differently?
I remember a discussion about the produce section. About 3 or 4 people said the WalMart produce sections were lousy. I know that the one by my house where I used to live in the Seattle area is just as good as the other supermarkets nearby.
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Bennyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-31-10 07:18 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. Some in New York, Missouri, Montana and Sacramento...
so my extended family pretty much has the country covered. And the produce section sucks ass as does the meat department.(and my brother is the head of the meat department at a store in Montana!).
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