Monday, January 7, 2008

Yes, I Used to Work at Wal-Mart

I just got back from the post office and a trip to the local Wal-mart to get some more mailing envelopes. The cashier was one that I used to work with and of course she asked if I'm ever coming back to work there. Um, NO!
It's kind of embarrassing to admit that you work or have worked at Wal-mart because of the connotations that only the truly desperate unemployable people work there, which is partly true. I had a good paying, but incredibly stressful office job that I quit to move inland where housing is cheaper. I tried the usual temp agencies and applying for jobs in the paper with dismal results, and went to Wal-mart since it's right around the corner and any job is better than no job. I started out as a cashier making 7 something an hour. The job really isn't that bad except the being on your feet all day and then the after the store closes jobs that they make cashiers do. All the merchandise that customers would leave at the checkouts or around the store when they decided that they really didn't want to buy it had to be put back on the shelf by the cashiers. That's hard when you really don't know where everything goes or even what department it goes in. One night I had to put away a huge basket of women's clothing that I had absolutely no clue where it went or what rack it went on. I was so tired and nearly in tears and then just thought 'F*ck it, they're getting stuffed wherever I can find a spot!'
I was a cashier for almost a year and then was offered a position at the service desk, which was a lot better than cashiering, at least you could go to the bathroom when you needed to instead of them telling you that you should have gone on your break and you'll need to wait. Utter bullshit there-great way to get a urinary tract infection. The service desk led to a position in the cash office which was a little more money but way more stress. There were some in the office that were a little difficult to work with and very immature-the office manager to be exact. If you made a mistake she would become very angry and not talk to you all day-to 'punish' you I guess. After about 9 months of that, Wal-mart decided to revamp the departments and get rid of positions that really weren't a necessity. They decided to have one person in the cash office from 6am to 3pm and then one person overnight from 10pm to 7am to handle all the posting of the receipts and counting all the cash overnight. You were allowed to choose one of these positions based on your seniority and me being the latest hired was left with an overnight shift of 2 nights in the cash office and 3 nights on the floor as a stocker, complete with a pay cut. So, for about 9 months I worked overnights, stocking and cash officing, and that was the worst employment experience I've ever had. Trying to sleep in the day is really hard and I never got enough sleep, so I was always exhausted and cranky.
So, when my etsy shop started really taking off I discussed the possibility of quitting Wal-mart and trying crafting full time with Keith. It's worked out pretty well and basically I make about the same amount of money. Would I ever go back to Wal-mart? Again, a huge NO-I'd go work at Taco Bell or McDonalds first.
That's not to say that working for Wal-mart is always horrible-they do employ a lot of otherwise unemployable people and do offer some pretty good benefits and experience. But, the thought of working there again makes me feel a little nauseated.

1 comment:

Jim & Heather on catamaran "Meerkat" said...

I had to go into the Oxnard WalMart the other day. What a nightmare. Of course the "13 1/4 x 9" cookie sheets are actually "15 x 10" overall and won't fit in my oven...
So do I go back to hell for $7 or just give them away?
If I send them to you will you take them back for me?
Hey - I once worked at "Toys r Us" for about 3 weeks!