Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A little slice of documentary history

I've just discovered that my teenaged ramblings did not survive the great computer theft of 2004. Up until that time, I had, in a sub-sub-folder, wordperfect documents that predated my junior high school career.

So, though it is a consolation prise, here is a violently articulate protest letter I wrote to Wal-Mart in 1997. I sure lied a lot about how much I liked working there. And Mike Ferchoff? What a putz.
Also, store standards are the guys who clean the bathrooms and push the shopping carts.


June 20, 1997
First, I will not lie to you about this. Yesterday, I skipped work, knowing that I was scheduled to work from four to ten. Through some accidental misunderstanding, I was also scheduled in the garden centre for six to ten. Yesterday, I was told I would not be needed in the garden centre. I assumed that I could get off by pretending I had not seen the new schedule for store standards, and stay home.
I am using this opportunity to voice my disenchantment with certain parts of what is, for the most part, a very trim and efficient system. These are some of the things I would like to see, and know would improve, the productivity of the store, especially in receiving/store standard areas. I realize that is not my place to demand anything from my employers, since in most cases, the squeaky wheel gets the pink slip. But circumstances call me to break my silence. My frustration is affecting the quality of my work.
The schedule was changed on Wednesday. That gave me no time to reschedule with my other employer. It is both degrading and disenchanting to find that you consider your employees unworthy of at least a week’s notice for schedule changes, especially when a large percentage of them are working more than one job, and depend on this dual income to support a family. I do not support a family, but would like to have this small bit of courtesy extended to me. I realize that skipping work is not the most effective form of protest, since it inconveniences you immensely. But for the most part, I am at a loss as to how to communicate the magnitude of problems with you.
I enjoy working with Wal-Mart immensely. The people (including management) are tolerant, friendly, and for the most part, very patient. But there is also an element of indifference to the needs of the store standards. Last week, while working a four to close shift, I was asked to bring two skids of stock from the east stockroom. This, in itself, was not a problem. The problem was, I was told at 8:30. I was unable to complete the pull, since I had to collect carts from the mall. This too was done incompletely. There is no time to do that amount of work at that time. From 8:30 on, all of a store standard’s time is divided between carts, carry-outs, and pulling skids to the floor. This lack of consideration frustrated me immensely, but as has been the case lately, my protests fell on deaf ears. My inability to complete my assigned tasks also left more work for the night crew to catch up on, and I don’t enjoy leaving work for others due to someone else’s indifference and inconsideration. And on the topic of indifference, why is there an air conditioning unit blowing hot air into the stockroom, while cooling the assistant managers’ office? Are we being punished?
And on the topic of ‘catching up’, Mike Ferchoff. To work after Mike is to catch up on an entire day’s work. I say, with no exaggeration, that I spent 3 hours doing the work he “couldn’t find time to do” one day last week. Although this is not the median, it is a fair example of what store standards have to put up with. When he is called to do carts, he brings in four or five. Ten minutes later, whoever is working with him
has to go fill up the corral again. I am hardly saying that I am a model employee, but for the most part, I take what is given to me and do what I am told, but there is only so long one can keep quiet. I work very hard to make sure that everything is clean, full and organized in the time I’m allotted, but there is only so much I can do when I’m also doing eight hours worth of work from a day shift. I can’t see the logic in paying someone like Mike three dollars an hour more for one-third the work, especially when he spends most of the time hiding in the back. If you were to ask any of the greeters or store standards what kind of worker he was, you would get unfavorable comments. He also sneaks out early from zoning at night, while I have to stay until 10:45. I have brought up his performance with him with varying degrees of diplomacy, (at one point telling him to “pull his head out of his ass,” after a particularly slack day), but to no avail. What can be done?
The cart corrals are unsafe. While bringing carts into the mall checkouts, I ran into the Doritos rack parked at the back of it. It toppled onto a small boy. Luckily, the mother was very forgiving. What if the oil-change sign had fallen on him? He could have been much more seriously injured. Even so, this will have waves of reprocussions. If a rack or stand had fallen on my child at a department store, I would tell many people how unsafe this location was, or even how unsafe Wal-Mart in general was. Would this discourage people from shopping here? Is there a tool or method to hold the carts together? Or could we put the blockers back at the back of the corrals? The last thing I want to do is go home knowing I injured a small child by my own fault.
Although you may feel that these issues are minor in the whole scheme of running a monsterous department store, I ask you to consider them. I’m not going to send a copy of this letter to Paul Mather, or any management outside of the store. That would cause more animosity by going over your heads, and that is the last thing I want to do. I feel that this can all be resolved easily through discussion and mutual cooperation. Until then, I will continue to work to the best of my ability, if you see fit.


Blogger Kristine said...

"While bringing carts into the mall checkouts, I ran into the Doritos rack parked at the back of it. It toppled onto a small boy. Luckily, the mother was very forgiving. What if the oil-change sign had fallen on him? He could have been much more seriously injured."

I don't even know what to say about this. I think "Wow" will suffice.

6:19 PM


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