I love working at Walmart because…

I've been reading Bethany Moreton's To Serve God and Wal-Mart, which is an absolutely amazing piece of scholarship. It's full of stories of early Walmart employees who were treated in a dignified manner by their employer and who made hundreds of thousands of dollars on their Walmart stock. It's easy to see why they loved Walmart. I've also been engaged in a long dust-up in the comments with Bob (sorry Robert, but sometimes I can't help myself) and others over the question of whether there are lower-level workers today who are willing to stand up and say "I love Walmart!" Frankly, I don't see them. However, I recognize that I live far away from Arkansas, I don't shop at Walmart and that this might not be the best online location for Walmart lovers (even though they seem to dominate our regular commentators). Therefore, I'd like to issue the following challenge: Tell us why you love working at Walmart. As I often tell my students, I want you to be specific. Don't tell us how your employer makes you feel, tell us what they actually do for you. Unlike the pro-union workers who visited Capitol Hill a few weeks back, you aren't risking your job by offering up a love song to your employer. Therefore, to prove you're not an Edelman operative writing in your pajamas from your lavish den in the DC suburbs, please include your real name, store location and store number. As far as I'm concerned, I win either way here. If this post leads to chirping crickets, I've proved my point. If it gets interesting responses, then I learn something new about Walmart and probably attract new commentators for this blog. So here's your golden opportunity Walmart lovers...bring on the love!

15 Responses to “I love working at Walmart because…”

  1. UncleBob says:

    How would a lack of comments prove your point?

    Would it really surprise you if people who like working for Walmart don’t visit an anti-Walmart site on a regular basis?

  2. You do, Bob, so where’s your essay?

  3. UncleBob says:

    I could spend an hour or so, writing up a nice little essay about how I like working for Walmart, despite their flaws (and there are many). But you’d dismiss it in seconds. So I’m not sure what that would really accomplish.

    You should just take me up on my offer. :)

  4. PattyP says:

    I think JR’s point was, as long as you or anyone else can prove you really work at Walmart and have positive experiences to share, he won’t dismiss it.

  5. I love Wal-Mart because they have provided me with an opportunity to move up the ranks (though a degree helped), and because they have always treated me well and paid me a fair wage.

    There you go, JR. Now proceed to say it doesn’t count.

  6. Well Someone,

    You didn’t offer up your real name or location as I requested. That either tells us something about you or Walmart (I’m not sure which; perhaps both). Perhaps I’d hide too if I offered up such a weak endorsement of my employer.

    McDonald’s offers an opportunity to move up to management too, so why don’t you go flip burgers for a living? At least you’d be selling better meat.

  7. See. I was right.

    And if you thought I would come out of “hiding,” you are insane.

  8. Chirp, chirp, chirp.

    Doesn’t anyone have the guts to explain why they love working at Walmart without hiding behind the cloak of anonymity? What exactly are all of you afraid of?

  9. UncleBob says:

    >”What exactly are all of you afraid of?”

    Your condescending attitude? :D

  10. Chirp, chirp, chirp.

  11. You are being ridiculous, JR. It doesn’t matter what I write because you will simply dismiss it as the words of a sellout. I don’t see how this proves anything, my friend, except that you are desperate to “prove” your point.

    My identity is of no concern to you, either, and you told me as much via e-mail. However, I would think that I am someone you would want to be reaching out to with your message rather than alienating.

  12. Actually Someone,

    I had no intention of attacking your decision to be anonymous, but now that I think of it I should have anticipated that it would turn out this way. As more and more unhappy Walmart workers risk their jobs by making their complaints in open forums, it seemed ironic to me that I hadn’t heard anything from the other side. Even at the annual meeting, the workers there are simply cheering on cue. I began to wonder, why exactly are they cheering on cue? What is it about Walmart that they love so much or are they just doing what they’re told?

    Fair wages and the possibility of upward mobility are not the stuff of love, my friend. That is the stuff of economic survival. Your “essay” will not convince anyone to go apply for a job in Bentonville if they don’t already live there. While you obviously made your decision to become anonymous long before I asked this question, the fact that you feel the need to stay anonymous says an awful lot about Walmart: The company is so tight on message control that even people who are happy there fear for their job if they talk about Walmart, even when it’s someone like you who has devoted so much time over the years to combating anti-Walmart hostility on this blog and many others.

    I only care about your anonymous identity in the sense that it illustrates that your employer is a dictator. Even the happy citizens of Wally World are scared to talk about their fearless leader. I never expected you to “come out” in the comments to this post, my friend, because this post wasn’t really directed at you. I was actually hoping that some lurker might tell me more about what it’s like to work at Walmart other than what I already know from reading “Wal-Mart Workers Speak Out” at Wal-Mart Watch or even the comments to the old posts on this blog. I hope someone (note the small “s”) still does, but I can’t say I’m expecting anything.

  13. I have a challenge for you, JR. Instead of simply attacking my employer, why don’t you tell me what we are doing wrong and how you propose we fix it. I don’t mean “pay your employees more” or “offer better benefits.” What are we doing wrong? Why is it wrong? How can we fix it without taking a bite out of the bottom line? What are the advantages of fixing it? These are the real questions. Unless you can offer up a solution that is at least cost neutral, you can’t exactly expect me to go running back to my “masters” with your side of the story.

    This is the kind of dialogue I am interested in; not “Wal-Mart is evil and here’s why.” The company pays consultants to manage its image. I have better things to do than point out how this stunt proves nothing no matter how many people respond. Who knows, maybe you can come up with something that will actually change what you feel is wrong with the company.

  14. Yeah, I can answer those questions. It’s going to require me to pull out a few books on industrial relations and a fair bit of time. I’ll probably get to it on Friday.

  15. I have always been willing to listen to the other side and, if I think they have something to offer, take it back and do what I can to enact it. I’m not asking you to do my job for me (I’m perfectly capable of designing a program), but a lot of these issues are more complex than the anti-Wal-Mart side seems to think. We need practical solutions to the issues.

    That’s why I always liked this blog. It was far less fanatical in its treatment of the company than WMW and the like, more of a thinking blog with no union-backed agenda. That’s why I’m still around.

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