Last night, Prime and I stopped by my old Wal-Mart. After grabbing a few items, Prime and I went our separate ways and I managed to chat with one of my former co-workers for a bit.
I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Wal-Mart did me a huge favor. Considering what I now know, it’s pretty safe to say that I would have quit a long time ago.
Linda, the cashier who works in the Liquor Store, will get off some nights at 20:00. The CSM will then close down the liquor department for the night, even though it should stay open an additional hour. Management has no idea that this is happening and nothing can be done about it, as the schedule is now completely computerized and can’t be overridden. There’s also no one around who could possibly take over, as most of the other registers are closed. After 19:00, there’s only one regular register open in the main store. Yes, lines get long and back up, but according to corporate, the store doesn’t need “that many” cashiers. Bentonville doesn’t think that my old Wal-Mart is busy enough to be staffed worth a damn.
It gets better. Because this is Wal-Mart and no one fucks things up like Wal-Mart.
When deer season started last year, there was only one associate covering both Hardware and Sporting Goods, and he kept getting called up front to back-up cashier. (I already knew who it was: poor Jim in Hardware. Because that crap happens to him constantly.) Photo has been combined with Electronics, meaning that there’s only one or two people covering that area. The store got remodeled, which means every department–except liquor–has been rearranged. Fine Jewelry is gone. Staff throughout the store is bare bones. The fitting rooms have been moved and the associates who answer the phones are tasked to do only that: they answer the phones. That’s all. Customers have approached them, asking for help, only to be rebuffed. Sure, they’ll point the customers in the direction of the floor associates, but the floor associates are busy helping three other people. It’s a mess and no one is particularly happy.
Had I stayed, I would have been miserable. My hours would have been cut. I would have been stressed to the point of breaking. I probably would have been forced to change my availability in order to pick up a few more shifts and most of them would have been second shift. If I had gotten out of there before 21:00, I would have been damned lucky. I can’t even begin to imagine how depressed I would have been. The place was stressful to start with, but it would have been unbearable by this point.
They did me a favor. They farted me out the doors before it got to be too much. Yes, I went through some absolute garbage–glaring at you, Target and Subway!–before I landed something better, but I’m better off now than I was at Wal-Mart. And I enjoy my job. Kids don’t irritate me like they did while I cashiered at Wal-Mart. Most members are pretty cheerful, not like the customers I dealt with on a daily basis. And don’t get me started on the pay! Kissing tail is not required for a raise. Just come to work!
Or to put it another way:
I ain’t missing you at all (missing you)
Since you’ve been gone away (missing you),
I ain’t missing you (missing you)
No matter what I might say (missing you)