former Walmart employee speaking (l) Walmart reserved pickup sign in parking lot (c) former Walmart employee speaking making air quotes with hand (r)

Tada Images/Shutterstock @almondmilkzo/TikTok (Licensed)

‘It’s like the picker Olympics’: Ex-Walmart employee calls out customers who complain about grocery pickup workers

'I respect the pick up shoppers SO much.'

 

Sarah Kester

IRL

Posted on Feb 9, 2023

Everyone’s in a rush these days—including Walmart pickup workers. It’s basically a requirement when your job is to fulfill online grocery orders as fast as you can. 

When customers began complaining about this, a TikToker who said she’s a former Walmart worker rushed to the others’ defense and shared her insight. 

In a now-deleted video, Zoë (@almondmilkzo) shared a response to TikToker @natalynnd complaining about Walmart pickup workers being too pushy. 

“Ik [I know] they’re just doing their job but I feel like such an inconvenience to Walmart to go shoppers,” she began in her text overlay. “They will not hesitate to run you over with those big ass carts.” 

She stated that she’ll be looking at tomato sauce and they’re be “huffing and puffing” behind her. “Like I’m a customer too so wait your turn???” she concluded her post. 

Being an ex-employee, Zoë understands why employees are always in a rush. She wished “no hate” on the other TikToker before explaining that she was hired as a pickup employee at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Her position was called OGP, she said, but most people referred to them as “pickers.” Their duties are to grocery shop for customers who ordered their groceries online. 

Zoë explained that much like a fast food drive-thru, pickers only have an allotted amount of time to pack the grocery order before the customer comes to pick it up. To add to this stress, a single day could see hundreds of orders. 

“The goal was to have as little as a ‘pick time’ as possible,” she explained, adding that she worked with two girls who were always super fast. They had the “lowest pick average” in their store. 

“So when these people are barrelling through the aisles, I always chuckled to myself because these poor people are trying to do this or they’re not going to get scheduled.” 

In other words, if they don’t pick fast enough, they won’t be picked for another shift. 

Zoë concluded her video by defending the workers. “Let them grab the tomato sauce,” she said. She also shared some tips for Walmart that might mediate these issues. This includes removing same-day grocery pickup and creating stores that are exclusive for online grocery orders. 

In the comments, many viewers sided with Zoë. “I respect the pick up shoppers SO much. I typically have the same person every time (small town) and he’s the best,” one wrote. 

“I realize they are working so I just love out their way and wait. idk.. just what I personally do,” another added. 

“It’s like the picker Olympics omg,” joked a third. 

Both former and current “pickers” even shared their own experiences. “Yea as someone who does this: it’s a nightmare for us. We have strict time limits and weeks I go without breaks,” a user commented. 

“And customers walk, so goddamn slow and take up the entire. Goddamn aisle. I’m not allowed to use a basket or a cart so I have to carry all these items,” wrote a second. 

Another employee stated that it’s the managers who apply pressure on the pickers to move quickly. “And the managers in the back are always getting mad that you’re not going fast enough no matter how fast you’re going.”

Despite these explanations and first-hand experiences, some customers still want Walmart employees to be conscientious of them. “Employers aren’t handling this well, but asking politely ‘hey, can i reach past you? im in a bit of a rush’ would go a long way rushed≠rude,” one wrote. 

“While I fully understand the time restraints they need to at least watch where they’re going cause I’ve gotten hit by so many of their carts while,” another commented. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Zoë via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Feb 9, 2023, 4:47 pm CST