Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wal-Mart and the Wacky World

You may be familiar with the story of Debbie Shanks. Some of you may have read about the Wal-Mart employee who was trampled to death in New York. Are people so empty these days that they would do something so senseless just to get their hands on a piece of plastic? Is it any wonder why I don't follow the crowd?

I've been working at this Wal-Mart in Knoxville for about a year and a half. If the economy wasn't in such bad shape, I would be doing something that I really enjoy. Of course, I would love to be an NFL talent scout or directing/writing movies. At least I'm working on getting there slowly but surely.

To make a long story short, they terminated me last night. Of course, I have an incredible knack for when things are going to go down, so I saw this coming from a mile away. They claimed that I didn't notify them that I was going to take last Saturday off for my hiking trip even though I had put my request into the system over a month ago. They didn't tell me they had a problem with it until after the fact. They certainly didn't notify me that my request had been declined. Then again, communications have always been a issue with some of them. It is like I'm supposed to read minds.

Basically, they tried to get me to sign a document related to this matter that was inherently false. I rebuffed them. I supposed they weren't used to employees standing up for themselves, but the fact of the matter is that I don't allow anyone to bully me around. I don't care if it is a boss, police officer, the President of the United States, etc... I can wear that uniform just as well and carry the title even better.

I enjoy the co-workers very much, but a number of the people in the management ranks are arrogant and rude. I don't know if this is due to their training or that is just how they are in dealing with people. Sometimes being number 1 can breed a sense of superiority and inflated ego. After reading similar accounts, I'm inclined to believe it is mostly due to how managers are trained to interact with employees.

Basically what has been happening as of late is that because of the economy, it has cut into retail sales. So, as a way to reduce payroll without employees being able to file for unemployment, (not to mention increase their already hefty bonuses for increased store profits), Wal-Mart is just firing them outright over "reading a magazine in the break room" (it never was an issue before), not putting up the entire case of stock when it is already understood that we only put the entire case of stock up when it will actually all go up, etc...

They will eliminate part-timers first, then trim from there. The departments that will be hit in the coming weeks and months will be Lawn and Garden, pets, and Electronics as people spend less on these and foreclosures continue to rise.

Wal-Mart will do better than the majority of businesses this year. But even they will have to buckle down as the economy continues to get worse. I have it on good authority that about a year from now, particularly after what is sure to be a dismal holiday season, they will officially announce layoffs that could number as high as 100,000 in addition to what is going on now. Of course, only time will tell.

Aside from that, a little over a week ago, I was told of an interesting incident where two co-workers were looking at an air soft rifle that was in one of the co-worker's car. Apparently some customer just assumed it was a rifle and called the police while relying on false information even if it was mistaken. In a nutshell, one of the police officers took his air soft rifle away and threatened to shoot him on the spot the next time he has it. So much for protecting and serving.

Don't fret over me. I saw this recession (or depression) coming years ago. Therefore, I prepared myself as best I can. I have enough money saved up to hold me over for around a year. I'm going to take it easy this weekend, catch up on my sleep, enjoy the Super Bowl party and go from there. I already am working on some potential job leads. At least now I will have time to work on that screenplay I've been meaning to write.


Denae said...

Sorry to hear about your job.

Chris F. said...

I'm working on a few leads at this time. Fortunately, for me, I've been through job changes and a layoff once, so I'm adept at handling these kind of situations.

I saw this thing coming from a mile away. I have an instinct for knowing what is coming down the road, so I don't freak out when it gets here. Unfortunately, more people are going to endure the brunt of these rather strange endeavors as the retail market continues to get worse in addition to the rest of the economy.