Sam Walton, the originator of Wal-mart, had the honor of earning the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. It wasn’t easy. Sam believed in family, country, straightforward honesty, and hard work. He hoped, I’m sure, that when he was gone, his family would follow his lead and continue to grow his organization in the same spirit in which he started it. Sam was good to his employees, wanting to give each of them the opportunity to rise up and shine. To let them be proud of who they were. Things have changed.
Sam would be SO disappointed. Thousands of Wal-mart stores dot the landscape of this great country, and if you watch, you will see the same scenario at most if not all of them. Go on a day when you’re not hurried, and just mill around a bit, close to the central alley that leads back to the time clock. The employees park as far away as possible so they won’t get written up, and you can see their body language start to speak as soon as their car door slams. Their shoulders slump, their eyes go dull, and their expression just seems to hang there as they trudge through the doors and back to clock in. You’ll hear them greet their co-workers, in a hangdog way, knowing they’re all in the same boat and they might as well make the most of it. As they near the double doors and close in on the time clock, their body seems to collapse in on itself in defeat. Sad. Many of them look as though they’re headed for their doom, and truly, they probably feel they are. I know, because I worked there, and I dreaded every day. I don’t think that’s what Sam had in mind.
Believe me – black folks shouldn’t feel they’re the only ones being discriminated against or being treated any differently than other people who make the sad decision of passing through those doors. Right now there is a colorlblind discrimination occurring across the board at all Wal-mart stores. If you have worked there over twenty-some years, look out. I personally know three people – all devoted career Wal-mart employees in different capacities, whose careers ended abruptly and shamefully recently. At least two were accused of acts that they did not commit, but when they asked to see the video, they were not allowed to. In this country I thought you were innocent until proven guilty, but at Wal-mart, you are convicted without a trial. Hmmm. Anything to say, Sam? You, the Distinguished Eagle Scout? Anything to say, Sam’s family??? Even the MANAGER of the store of which I speak, who had been there since the store opened YEARS and YEARS ago, was forced to leave. He had had to carry out the same sentence on faithful employees, and Wal-mart showed their appreciation appropriately. By the way, all of these folks were white, for those who think Wal-mart only discriminates against blacks. They had devoted their adult lives to Wal-mart. They were there at every early morning rally cheering Wal-mart on, because they started the job years before with the intention of making a career in a place they could be proud of. In the end, they didn’t get a gold watch, no, they were falsely accused and made to look like criminals to their fellow workers and the community. Wal-mart affected them. After years of loyalty, this is the thanks they got, and Wal-mart should have to pay for the counseling they’ll need but won’t get, to rebuild their self-esteem and their image of themselves as a person. They gave their adult lives to a company who survives on greed.
I no longer shop at Wal-mart. Believe me, they made it difficult – they came in all gangbusters and ran every other little business or grocery store out. About the only things left in our area are one small independent grocery store, Aldi, and Dollar General. But I’ll pay a bit higher prices just to avoid Wal-mart like the plague.
I have a lot of pride, and I know most of the folks who work at Wal-mart would like to take pride in their job. There is no excuse for the way it has evolved – the only excuse I can see is pure greed. Upper management is only concerned with the bottom line and their bonus. Gotta take that cruise every year or build that multi-million dollar home, while the lowly employees are hovering just above the poverty line. And Wal-mart doesn’t quit with just firing people, either. After they’re fired, they’ll use them as an example to newbies during their new hire orientation and mark their Social Security number as a no rehire for life. Wal-mart touts morality and even has a division at the home office for that, but where are their morals? You just can’t treat other human beings like that here in America and get away with it…..not unless you’re Wal-mart.