Confessions Of A Former Walmart Manager

The recent wage caps on veteran employees are supposed to encourage employees to advance through the ranks rather than staying in the same job, year after year.

Well, this gut-spilling from a fromer Wal-Mart manager tells us what fun stuff they would have to look forward to: forcing a mother just back from maternity leave to work 22 hours straight, missing your son’s birthday party, and more!

Read it, after the jump.

Valli A. writes in the PaperBack Swap forums (free registration required):

    “I worked upper management for two years at Wal-Mart. You would not believe the horrific things I’ve seen.

    I was once reamed out for hiring a deaf guy. I was told that once I start hiring handicapped people, then they would force Wal-Mart to provide all kinds of expensive equipment for them to use. I once had to force a brand new mother into working 22 hours straight because her department was not quite ready for inventory when I could easily have pulled other department managers from their ready departments to help her. Her department wasn’t ready because she’d JUST come back from maternity leave. She did not get paid extra for all those hours. I was once asked to put off my own son’s birthday party because some district manager was unexpectedly coming. They called me at home the morning of the party and demanded that I be there in an hour. Needless to say, I became a stay at home Mom that very day!

    The main store manager gets a huge yearly bonus if his yearly wages are under the mark. I was constantly lowering the amount of employees on the floor for him to get this bonus. Then, I’d have to make the salaried department managers work extra hours to do things they should have had employees to do for them. So, next time you can’t find an employee to help you there, don’t get aggravated. Just think how nice it will be for the store manager to get that fat bonus check!

    There are lots of things that even the regular, hourly employees of Wal-Mart don’t know. I’m not naive, I know that all companies operate for profit, but Wal-Mart goes overboard to present itself as a friend to the community. In reality, they are a community’s worst enemy.”

Guess they skipped over Valli’s store on the Wal-Marting Across America tour.

(Thanks to Jenny!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. alicetheowl says:

    This seems pretty consistent with everything I’ve heard from people who’ve worked there.

  2. Uurp says:

    I worked at Wal-Mart’s Home Office back in the early ’90s, and took store trips regularly. There were two distinct Wal-Marts: the official one that existed in the minds of blithely ignorant executives in Bentonville, a happy land were Associates came first…and then there was the reality in the field, where tyrannical store managers needed to be regularly retrained at the Walton Institute of Retailing (yes, it really existed, and that’s where I heard the kind of stories realted here, all too often).

  3. The veins bulge upon the shining forehead of our dear Krempasky.

  4. I used to work at a Target store and they did the same crap only the employees knew about it. I personally gave the manager hell on a nightly basis because I work over night unloading trucks, stocking shelves and pulling merch to replenish the shelves I was stocking.

    I have a feeling wallyworld employees know whats up too and that’s why they act an ass if you ask them to help with something.

  5. RandomHookup says:

    Gee, this is exactly the system Wal-Mart had in place back in the 70’s. Way to progress, folks. It is amazing when sales driven org’s manage on costs rather than profit.

  6. d0x says:

    “I personally gave the manager hell on a nightly basis because I work over night unloading trucks, stocking shelves and pulling merch to replenish the shelves I was stocking.”

    Thats what every overnight employee at target does, its not like they sprung that on you one day.. Overnight is the highest pay grade in the store plus they get an extra $2 an hour shift diff…

    So what are you complaining about because from your posts I cant find a good reason.

  7. Smashville says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how Walmart has salaried employees. There are federal pay regulations involving minimum pay, job requirements, etc. If you’re working on the floor, you don’t fall into those regulations.

    I know Wally World has been busted before for not paying overtime, but they don’t learn…and it’s scary that the Department of Labor does nothing to curb this behavior that is not only unethical, it’s illegal.

  8. catsav says:

    I am a regular shopper at Walmart. I like Walmart.

  9. Hotsuma (秀真) says:

    I am an intermediate shopper at Wal mart. I like ramen.

  10. etinterrapax says:

    This all sounds consistent with my experience working there. You knew you were working for the management, not the company. And you did know, unless you were willfully ignorant, that the management would screw with anyone to look good to the next level of management. There is a certain mentality among people who want to stay with the company long-term that this is okay, you put on the happy face and keep your trap shut and this is how you get ahead, and maybe they’re right, but it’s not how I would want to be successful, or the environment in which I would want to achieve.

  11. crankymediaguy says:

    “I am a regular shopper at Walmart. I like Walmart.”

    I think it’s great that the short bus you ride lets you get off at Wal-Mart.

  12. AngusMcMurphy says:

    “I think it’s great that the short bus you ride lets you get off at Wal-Mart.”

    Yes, because it’s obvious your high horse wouldn’t condescend.

  13. RE: Dox

    Actually, Dox I’m not complaining about anything really. Just recanting my nightmares of retail hell. It sounds like you either work at a Target store or used to work at one.

    Anyway, it was never really the work that would bother me, it was always the double standards. I would be scheduled to work until 6 am and I’d have classes at 8 am. Naturally, I’d get stuck working until 8:30 whereas someone else with the same situation would get to leave after their scheduled shift or they would just take off anyway and if I did that someone would be handing me some kind of reprimand.


  14. Jess A. says:

    Smashville: I’m still trying to figure out how Walmart has salaried employees. There are federal pay regulations involving minimum pay, job requirements, etc. If you’re working on the floor, you don’t fall into those regulations.

    This is pretty standard practice in retail management — at least, it was always my experience working in retail management that I was salaried and that part of my job expectation was (mandatory) overtime to pick up the slack and keep payroll hours down. Retail management always has a “working on the floor” component as a result; they manage to keep you classified as salaried because the written job descriptions put the focus on paperwork/employee management/cash handling (and so on). On paper, you’re not on the floor that much, but the reality of the situation is something else altogether.

    As much as I think this sucks (and this is a big reason why I got out of retail), I don’t see Walmart’s practices in this one respect as being significantly different from a lot of other big box retail situations.

  15. Triteon says:

    I am a regular shopper at Walmart. I like Walmart.
    Though I won’t personally attack you for shopping there (it’s more fun doing that in person!) I will direct you to the WalMart tag– read up!
    I’m still trying to figure out how WM lost the Worst Company in America poll.

  16. conformco says:

    Uurp has it nailed I think. I worked at a small town Wal-Mart for many years and I had a good experience for the most part. We had really great managers that took care of us. I was even able to take a leave of absence for a few months during college, and come back at the same high hourly rate I left at, versus being replaced by someone at minimum wage. But I have been to other stores that were obviously under the control of asshead managers. I think these days that the asshead managers probably outweigh the nice guys.

  17. sparky9 says:

    WalMarti s not the only retailer who does this. I worked for General Nutrition and they treated the managers and regionals like pieces of trash. The men treat the very mangers (who are for the most part female) who run the stores and produce all the profits like dirt. They raked in the bonus money and large salaries and paid us a pitiful wage. They wanted us to push selling multi-vitamins and their discount card besides the million other things they wanted us to do in the store and would threaten to fire us if we didn’t. Sad way to run a business.

  18. Donna405 says:

    Perhaps, it might be a good idea for Wal-Mart, Target, Sears/K-Mart and other retailers to implement the employees’ ranking of management. This would be anonymous, of course. I worked at an establishment that did this, and, believe you me, the management, knowing they would be rated by the employees, were on their “p’s and q’s”.

  19. kimmu says:

    The Wal Mart store in Bend, Oregon is a disgrace. Every time I go in there I find shelves that are empty. When I ask the clerks when the item will be back in stock they tell me, “We probably have it, we just don’t have any people here to move the stuff off the pallets you see here in the aisles to the shelves”.

  20. sherryberry says:

    Wal-Mart is a dump filled with freak-show stars! no-one speaks english or knows where anything is or wether or not they will be getting, have, or are out of an item..HOWEVER, you can use wal-mart to your advantage AS SUCH..Wal-Mart sold “talking big bird on clearance for $15 while at Toys rus he was a cool $50. I bought every damn bird I could, returned them all to Toysrus and ya know what? BEST CHRISTMAS EVER KIDS! used the credit to buy everything..SOOOOO even though shopping there makes me want to stick my finger down my can be worth it!


    Ya WM may have great prices. Look what it took to accomplish that. Degrading the American people. Low paying jobs, no Insurance, part time, people with BD lowering themselves just for a paycheck. WM takes advantage of low econmy. So much for AMERICAN PRIDE. I had a manager approach me at work with a job proposal I called to set up a interview. The job was for part time. Why would that person think I would leave my job for that?

  22. lesjoe says:

    ok all u so called assoiates. look guitm b——-. u have a job that dose not require a lot of intelligence. or the ones like me, that dont want a lot of responcabulity. however u spell it. walmart is there 4 the stupid employees. period they need laborers, not much thinkers. thats why iam there,ican get there with a hangover,ponder my way around.if i want to. nobody knows what ur doing at given times. if u want to critize walmart.rember u.r. self when u were hired. they do what they need to. we are only a conally of ants building an empiere,no one ant gets reconigation that they deserve. just like me iam a non spelling, on education person. and getting paid top dollar for it. the truth been known, people start out atb walmart, give the back bone, trying to become something that we (wished we could be) it aiant going to happen, because walmart dose not need your stupid remarks about how dume they are, just because u are there 4 a while,hee hee, (dont forget that we are ants,hee hee . ima glad that i can even work for walmart, and get paid for what i do , its a joke. that is the most easiest job, ive ever had. i see employees, goofing off so bad that tis pothetic (if thats how u spell it) Quit, condeming a place that hires u, and pots food on your table. dont for get where u came from. when u were hired. i havent. walmart has done me good, because, they keep up with me, and tell me that iam going to get fired, if ido not do what they ask (with in reason) i do have my boundries. I ant smart just a dum hilliebillie) hee hee

  23. niteflytes says:

    It’s all good and well to tell people they shouldn’t shop at Wal-Mart but where do you suggest we shop when the only stores out there are” X-Marts” that have goods that us po’ folks can afford.

  24. nakoff says:

    I would like to say I used to work for Wal-Mart and last I checked Department Managers were not salaried there were hourly supervisors. I stay in touch with my friends there and none of them that are department managers have told me of such a wage change.

  25. hananian says:

    My mother works at Walmart. She’d love to get out. I was a faithful Walmart shopper until they opened the new one in my town. We were so excited to get one closer. But as time goes on, we see what they’re like. It’s the largest non-supercenter in the US, and should have approx 350-400 employees. They have 112. They get by w/o headquarters catching them, by having the same people on the employee list 3 and 4 times. They move departments and are never taken off the roster. This enable the store manager, who’s a right ass, to keep wages down. He also told the entire store their christmas bonus would be $1700. Then told them nevermind they were getting nothing, with no legitimate reason. HE meanwhile, pocked a $37,000 yearly bonus.

    Between crooked management like that, and Walmart getting rid of FT employees so they can get PT and not have to pay as much or benefits, I won’t shop there anymore. Sam Walton would roll over in his grave if he knew what his dumbass heirs were doing to his company.

    Remember when Walmart HELPED a community??

  26. sparrownightmare says:

    Okay second try here. Walmarts problems as I see them are.

    1. Unscrupulus business practices in general.
    2. Treats employees like cow dung.
    3. Forces themselces into communities they are
    not welcome in, like ours.
    4. Prices are not all that good. They only
    have really good prices until they have put
    all competitors out of business.
    5. Routinely violates labor laws but no one
    does anything serious about it.

    Here are some solutions.

    1. Stop shopping at Walmart, I mean everyone.
    2. All general workers and low suupervisors
    etc. go on a general strike.
    3. Start federal investigations into their
    business practices and policies.

    Oh well. maybe we will get lucky and twenty tons of flaming horse manure will fall from a plane and land on their CEOs car or something. After all, when justice turns a blind eye, vengeance is sometimes the only option.

    NightFlights, I am sure there are plenty of other places to shop. We still have Miejers, despite Wally’s best tries at putting them under.

  27. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Someone buy a majority stake in Walmart and put the company out of business. Anyone with a majority stake in the company can easily break it up. In the meanwhile, shop at Costco.

  28. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    By the way, I only shop at Albertson’s, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s.

  29. Bobsyouruncleagain says:

    So whats the point of forcing people to go to that paperback site, which is about as invasive into peoples privacy as a site can get, all to read this prose only to find nothing such as the above exists? Or at least nothing i could see, I end up in an empty forum. I expected to read a story and got zero for my efforts. Especially after going through that invasive log in..Please warn people ahead of time that the site is INVASIVE. It may be free but that dont mean I want to gove up details about myself to some site like that to read what amounts to zero.

  30. Lindalu says:

    1. I worked at Kmart. Very fair to employees, and good environment in my particular store. Sticklers about NOT working if not on the clock.
    They had to sign a deal to let WalMart price image items lower when KMart came into a WalMart town. Not binding in court, yes, but if they didn’t sign, WalMart promised to use their corporate might to sell EVERYTHING below cost until KMart would close. Customer’s shop price, not future.
    2. Where else to shop? Good question. I now live 30 minutesin any direction from any WalMart, but 60 minutes from ANY other national chain store! Rural America has become WalMartville, not Hicksville. So, I drive the hour to get quality for the price – even with $3.00 a gallon gas. We just plan our trips accordingly. I will not contribute to the WalMart takeover of Smalltown, America. I would rather see WalMart close and local entrpreneurs be able to fill back in the gap.
    3. If you are poor, WalMart will make you poorer. As soon are competition is gone, prices go up to match the competition – or lack thereof. So, in essence, you are saving money short-term in the few cents range to be raped in the long term in the dollar range. Make sense?

  31. LadyArmand2000 says:

    I hate to say it, but this is what the retail industry is all about. Hell, this is what most businesses are about that are not in retail. Bottom line, they don’t care about your personal problems or your personal life as long as it doesn’t effect your ability to make them more money. That’s all these people care about is money, boosting revenue by driving sales, and keeping down the cost of labor and materials. If you can’t be the one to make this happen then they will replace you and find someone else who can get the job done. That’s why, I don’t miss a thing about management period because most company’s are greedy and they expect you to devote your whole entire life to making them money, and helping them get fat bonuses, and making sure that you don’t cut into their margins, and as soon as you can’t meet your goals for any reason you are out the door. No excuses or reasoning is accepted by Corporate headquarters, and nevermind the fact that these are the people you rarely see when it’s time to put in work or put forth the man hours to help you be successful. They just get the numbers at the end of the day. They really don’t care how you do it, but they expect it to be done on a weekly basis in some industries. I learned a long time ago that these people will fire the chief long before they fire the players. I have worked in the retail industry as well as the staffing/recruiting industry for temporary day laborers as well as direct hire employees. It’s the same thing. They basically want us to pay these people slave wages to keep the cost of labor down, and meanwhile taxes and the cost of living is being raised with every passing year. Plus, these company’s aren’t hurting for any money because they put these workers in the work oportunity tax credit programs (WOTC) so they can get back tax credits for these workers. That’s the way this country is, it’s based on greed and capitalism, and everyone wants to get something for nothing. Why hire more people to do what one person is willing to do all the work? That’s why there are certain company’s I will work for these days, and if I do work for them I take into account my position with that company. I know a lot of people don’t have that luxury to be as picky, but these people should know they we aren’t stupid, we know what’s going on, and know that before we became laborers and professionals we were consumers first. We know the game, but we are rarely in a position to do anything about it if we wanna keep food on our families table. It sucks, but it’s life which has never been fair to many, and that includes me.