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!

18 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.

  16. Davis says:

    I know this thread is 5 years old, but I would still love to put my two cents in. I started working at Walmart around age 16 as a cashier. Base pay, $7.65 per hour. Nothing spectacular, but I was making more than my friends who were working as a floor “model” at Abercrombie for $7.25 an hour. As a part-time 16 year old cashier, I received a bonus every four months. Tell me what other job available to a 16 year old in high school would offer a bonus, very few. I also receive 10% off general merchandise on already extremely low merchandise, and 20% off my cell phone bill as a Walmart employee.

    On my 18th birthday, a senior in high school, I was promoted to CSM, Customer Service Manager at $9.05 per hour. Yes, not even graduated from high school and in a management position. I am in charge of running the front end. Assuring cashiers get breaks and lunches, performing register overrides and price checks. and of course speaking to customer’s regarding concerns, complaints, and the rare associate compliments.

    Other than the benefits, why do I love my job? I love my job because I manage people and support fellow co-workers. I am the direct supervisor of over 50 cashiers. I am one of the first managers that cashiers come to with concerns. I love that I get to work with associates and customers to solve their problems. I love my job because I work for a company where the possibilities are endless. I can keep climbing the ladder as however high I want. I love my job because I know coming out of college with a degree in business I have a very, very high chance of walking into an Assistant Manager position with a base salary of around $40,000. For a 24 year old fresh out of college, that is a very, very nice feeling to have job security.

    For those who spit on Walmart for their low wages, you only see the base pay for a cashier. I am sorry, but if you are 30, 40, or 50 years old and have a job that a 16 year old in high school can have and complain of living in poverty, that is your own fault. Work hard, and you can work your way into management positions that pay lots of money. It’s all up to the associate to decide how far they want to go with the company they are working for. I mean sure, A McDonald’s cashier makes $7.25 an hour, but a Walmart Franchise director can make up to $80,000 a year. And did you know, neither of them require a college degree?

    Oh, and I work at Walmart store #4450 in Louisville, Ky.

  17. Carrie Bowen says:

    I have worked on and off for FOUR different Walmarts…one in PA, TWO in NC and NOW in Indiana. Walmart does many things that people don’t agree with and sometimes, YES, smaller businesses can close in a smaller town that doesn’t have other big box stores to compete. However the 24 hour operation gives us (me) and my store in Indiana…a flexibility that other stores can’t always match. Example..my husband has an astronomy thing to go to…schedule isn’t yet up for that date…I called personnel and asked if I could work 10am-6pm that day instead of my normal 2-10pm. Since I wasn’t asking off, they were MORE then glad to do that. I can say that I have yet to have my days off denied since I follow policy and tend to give them four weeks or more when I know four weeks in advance. WAlmart tends to take previous experience into account and pay higher as a result. You are only required to remain in the hired position for 6 months before you can apply for something else, which means after 6 months you can transfer stores if you don’t like yours, departments, or even apply for a management position at that point. I have only been at my current Indiana store 6 months, and they have offered me a customer service/money position after cashier for 6 months..and it comes with more $$.

  18. A A Patrick says:

    I have been an employee with Walmart for 16 yrs. I put in for a vacation request five weeks in advance although it was not approved till the week before the schedule was posted. When the schedule became available for viewing I had out of an 8-day vacation first two days denied, third and fourth days approved, fifth day denied, sixth and seventh days approved, eighth day denied. What a wonderful vacation. Thank you Walmart..

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