Lions, Tigers, and Bears, OH MY! Liars, Cheaters, and Fears, OH MY!

Julie Pierce

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It’s, The Walmart TV Network. . . look up!

When my grandson had just started to talk this was one of the first things he sung. Probably because there were so many days that he came to one of the stores while I was at work or someone else in the family was at work he heard it over and over.

There was a time during my employ with Walmart that I would not stand for anyone saying anything negative about the company.

I would defend the company in every way possible and as sick as it seems I still do. I must still be in denial.

There are many things about this “eight hundred pound gorilla" that are controversial and even though my roots go back to a family that was democrat to the bone even now I have to defend the company as far as some of it goes.

At this time of my life I seriously believe in capitalism. I believe that the company was originally good and have to make exception to the rhetoric that say it is evil or bad.

The company as it was founded by Sam Walton was good and I am sure if I came upon a store where the culture would still be followed that store would also be good. The problem is too many stores, too many managers and too many of the corporate officers have lost Sam’s Culture.

There is no “Respect for the individual. " Sam’s culture is nothing more than propaganda in the worst form.

As a Christian would follow the Ten Commandments, Walmart had its own piece of Christianity within it when Sam founded it.

You didn’t have to be a Christian to appreciate working in an environment that treated you with dignity. You didn’t have to be anything other than someone who appreciated going to work in an atmosphere where your work was appreciated and you were treated with respect.

Lions, tigers and bears, OH MY! Liars, cheaters and fears, OH MY!

As the years passed by and I became more involved in the back offices I found that my pro associate way of managing was not good for my career. A few times along the way I was told that I had to hold myself above them. The associates, the hourly associates that were not only what I once was but where the same as the people in my family who were hourly and working in the stores.

Many, many associates are the main reason that this behemoth became a behemoth. These workers took a wonderful system and made Walmart what it was yesterday.

Today I lose faith in the company’s ability to do anything other than flounder on Wall Street because the associate base that made it so wonderful is retiring or being fired one by one.

The company originally had an overall pro associate atmosphere that has been tarnished by the corporate officers so badly that anyone can see that nothing but the bottom line prevails.

Eventually the associate base that made the company what it was will be gone and when Walmart is left with associates that work the way they are treated it will fall to ruins like many others.

It is a shame.

I know that the company as it was founded would continue to grow and achieve great things and if the culture that Sam had started was followed it might go on to more.

Always controversial, but never looked at as the dictatorship that it has become.

Always under scrutiny, but always defended by an associate base that was proud to be a part of it.

The open door worked for some time. I have been told by numerous associates that Sam would actually meet with them. Contact them if they presented an issue. I imagine it was because he loved what he did and had a personal touch that has been lost with the corporate offices forever trying to squeeze growing stores to profit.

Sam’s family is not interested in the associate base from what I can see. Rob’s email is returned if it does not contain the right words in the subject line. If you do get through he does not respond. His office calls and truly after talking to a woman at the offices I see a week later there is no response from him. I imagine that he is just too busy. Amazing that Sam wasn’t. Then again, Walmart has grown so big no one has time for associates anymore. They will be just fine taking care of themselves.

Ethical is whatever you want it to be. An ethics policy can be changed at will Sam’s culture took a while to die.

When the company goes the way of Kmart and others it will make no difference to the Waltons because they will, their families will be alright.

But what about the associates who will they turn to, Sam is gone.

I hope the Walton family realizes that their father knew what was right and that they are not following his lead. I hope they start to really look at the people that they put in charge.

Walmart associates in this day that hold Walmart stock have not the time or the experience to realize that because they do not use the proxies that are sent to them the company does whatever it wants without regard to if it is good for them. Because they do not look into the statements and the actual way that the offices are run the company is running away with corporate America rules that do not include their well being.

It has nothing to do with the unions or with the Democratic Party. It has to do with Sam’s culture being driven out of the corporate offices and the bottom line is now the monster that makes all decisions for everyone.

Job code changes and pay scales mean nothing. It looks good on paper and paper is running the company, not Sam Walton.

All of the company policies are or are not followed according to what is going to look good on paper. It doesn’t even have to be real or the truth.

All of it, in some form has been going on for some time. The main problem is that Sam is gone and no one has taken the helm to continue the legacy.

About the Author

Julie Pierce has worked in the retail sector for more than thirty years. She has been a union member of the UCFW Union and the afl-cio more than once and has worked for more than one large retailer during the course of her career.

She attended Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City Beach, Florida, in the nineties in the pursuit of a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. Some of her work has been published during the eighties and nineties in various editorial pages of newspapers in the state of New Jersey and Florida.


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