My, how time changes things.

I would have scoffed at this once upon a time, but now I am not so sure.

Granted, I’ll admit that working on holidays is pretty much a given if you’re working in retail. Even on Thanksgiving people are gonna come for last-minute stuff they need, from  stuffing to wine. So griping about that I can’t understand so much, even if I might agree that Sam Walton would not have approved of such.

But the pay issue — these days I can completely grok their gripes over that. I worked for Walmart once upon a time, and it was great. I was getting full-time hours and raises every year. I might have mentioned here before that by the time I left Walmart I was making good money — more money than I ended up making at the job I took in the field I studied after I graduated college. In fact, I took an almost $3 per hour pay cut.

But I went back to work at Walmart for a time when I moved to San Antonio — and this time around it was not so good. Oh, there were still raises every year — but the hours were abysmal. There were some weeks that I only got 20 hours a week, and any week that I got 30 hours I considered myself lucky. But that wasn’t the worst of it.

No, the worst of it was seeing whatever slack that was left by hiring only part-timers, be pulled by temporary staffing services. Yeah. Instead of hiring full-timers, that’s what they did. I asked myself every damn day why they didn’t hire more full-timers instead. And every day I walked in and heard management mention the particular firm they were using, it just pissed me off even more. After I left, almost every time we drove past that particular Walmart I almost literally physically shuddered because of all the memories it brought back of the things I constantly had to worry about because of the fact I wasn’t getting paid enough. I did what I had to do, but damn was it ever a pain in the ass. You talk to some people and they’ll tell you about how great Walmart is to work for. But while I didn’t have any qualms about the way I was treated per se, I would vehemently argue that Walmart is damn sure not the way to go these days if you want to raise a family.

But on the other hand…what did I do, instead of staging a walkout or something like that? As Sabra put it: “You took the approved conservative path…you got another fucking job.”

I don’t know if that’s an option for many of those Walmart workers, but it’s certainly something for them to think about.



2 Responses to “My, how time changes things.”

  1. Sabra Morse Onstott Says:

    It took you some time to find another job here in SA, which has a much stronger economy than most major metro areas.

  2. mattexian Says:

    Wally-World is a special case, with all their instances of employee maltreatment. Thankfully, Target isn’t *that* bad, tho there was the news item this last week of an employee in Cali starting a petition, protesting the Thanksgiving night/ Black Friday opening at 9 PM. While I can sympathize, I also understand that the company’s main objective is to make money for its shareholders, and if that means opening at crazy hours to complete with Sam Walton’s monster, then so be it. If you don’t like that policy, you can vote with your feet and take your labor elsewhere, or refuse to shop there until they change that policy. (I kinda wish they would, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon; as we’ve seen in this election, for half of the country wanting a return to economic sanity, there’s the other half wanting their gimme prizes NOW!).

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