Dear Corporate Walmart,

I know you probably won’t reply to my letter but that’s not going to prevent me from expressing a few concerns I have about a recent stint I had as a Walmart Lawn & Garden Seasonal Sales Associate. I know that I’m not the only one who has ever experienced concerns, I found that out easily by Googling “working at Walmart,” as you can see by the very first search result.

Firstly, I knew the chance I was taking before being hired, so I wasn’t going into this completely blindfolded. I knew I would probably not be making much over minimum wage ($7.35/hr here in PA), I also knew that as a L&G associate I would be lifting heavy bags of mulch, garden soil, landscaping timbers, etc. I knew there would be times when things would be hectic as early spring is a very busy time for gardeners looking to buy plants and other things needed for gardening.

Secondly, I realize there are some things associated with retail sales that all employees of any particular retail business have no control over, i.e., angry customers, shipments of goods arriving unexpected, cash registers freezing up, etc. Many things can go awry that are not expected. I’ve worked retail before so I know these types of things cannot be controlled by employees, there is no blame here, I’m making a point about working conditions that can or cannot be attributed to employee actions.

Third, and this is probably what you’re not going to like hearing about; low wages for work that one person shouldn’t be doing by themselves. For example, on some occasions during my employment I was the only sales associate in lawn and garden and two surrounding departments. Trying to find assistance for customers I couldn’t help (because I was helping two or more at the same time) was all but impossible. I had difficulty grasping Walmart’s work ethics, be they bad or good, and when I was told by a member of management that this was “the way our generation does things” it made it even more exasperating.

Lastly, I offer a word of thanks to you, Walmart, for hiring me in the first place. I honestly thought that as a lover of plants and people I’d be able to make a difference, and perhaps even change an attitude or two about how you’re viewed by a large majority of your customers. Unfortunately, that view is not a pleasant one. But as I stated earlier, I had an idea of how it might be before I was hired. I chose not to continue as an employee because I felt it was a detriment to my health, both physically and mentally.

On the day I decided to leave you asked if there were anything you could do to change my mind, and when I replied that I would consider staying if my pay were raised to between $10 – $15 an hour, you laughed. For me, and thousands of your employees, that’s not something to laugh about.

Sincerely,

TC Conner

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7 Comments

  1. I too, worked at The Wal Mark (how many southerners say it) and I have to say it wasn’t the best job ever. I started off stocking groceries and then moved on to produce. The produce job was better than grocery but it was still, The Wal Mark. This was in early 2000 and I hated it; I hated every minute of it. I was working 5 am – 130 pm and by the end of the day I was beat. I was a spring chicken back then and it still drained the life out of me by the end of the day. I didn’t like management and I didn’t like Wal Mark. To this day, I try to avoid the corporate whore with everything that I have in me. I hate giving money to a business that puts said money into the pockets for upper management instead of the pockets of its front line employees. I would rather spend the extra money driving and paying a little more for the product at Target. There is a Wal Mark 10 minutes from where I live and Target is 45 minutes. This is how much I hate this corporate magnate. So I do not blame you for quitting and I know that you go all in on something to make sure that it’s not for you. There is no since in killing yourself for minimum wage.

  2. well the truth is that this is the “way our generation does things” – and while the pay may not be better – working at Home Depot may find some similar customer satisfaction values that you have – well at least a few years ago I noticed that Home Depot was on a mission to “over please – and over serve” customers and it was almost too much pursuit by employees while trying to shop.

    anyhow, your letter has such a nice tone – to complain with such niceness is an art – and well, I am sorry that it did not work out – and I hope things change – because a “woke is worth a decent wage” – and hopefully things will change – and awl-mart’s profits make me sick when I think about the low wages they pay – wrong, wrong, wrong….

    and best wishes to you. 🙂

    1. Thanks y. prior. Wouldn’t it be awesome if all Walmart and other big box store employees refused to go to work unless they were payed a decent living wage? Like that will ever happen! I don’t see how unions are kept out of those stores.

      1. and another sad part is that society is missing out on the fun and joy of having seasoned experts working in stores like these – very sad – and I was just at the garden center and really could have used someone with your skill and knowledge – but there was nada – just industrious and blah…..

  3. Good for you for writing this. Unfortunately, I think what you wrote in your opening paragraph, they won’t reply to your letter (or maybe won’t even read it) is the sad truth. The job market is so bad that people have become interchangeable parts. If you walk away from a minimum wage job, there are probably two or three waiting in line to take your place. Not much of an incentive for Walmart to change its employment practices.

    Sorry that things didn’t work out for you.

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