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This Week in Walmart: Better than fast food

S*** went down at U.S. Walmarts this week.

 

Jack Alban

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It’s hard to imagine that American entrepreneur Sam Walton envisioned Walmart becoming the global phenomenon it is today while he was hopping on a small plane from region to region growing his retail empire. The brand is quickly growing its online presence to the point where analysts believe its making a dent in Amazon’s sales, and the store is constantly being referenced in social media, for better or worse, just by virtue of the sheer number of customers it serves and workers it employs.

And since so many people inevitably spend their time throughout the store’s many retail locations all over the world, there’s going to be a ton of Walmart-themed content circulating the internet: Here are this week’s best Walmart stories.

Recovery day

TikToker @linthakidd posted a viral TikTok clip that raised questions about Walmart overworking its employees. In his post, he writes: “Me when they worked me too hard so it’s time to call out the next day.” The video shows him pacing around the store, visibly stressed out, with throngs of other users stating that they too have felt the need to take a personal day after a particularly grueling shift.

Daily Dot writer Parks Kugle detailed how the brand’s “points system” and accusations of “understaffing” may compound these workplace gripes employees have with the chain as a whole. The U.S. Sun also penned a personal piece from a Walmart employee who explained just how overworked they felt while on shift for the company.

Walmart pay > fast food pay

A Walmart employee pushed back against the criticism they said they receive for working for the company, highlighting what they deem a good pay for a 16-year-old. @moldy_gremlin said that they earn nearly $1,000 every two weeks for their time at Walmart, but some there were some commenters who appeared to disagree with her assessment of working for the chain, with one stating that they could make more at rival retailer, Target.

There were some others, however, who said that they couldn’t understand why anyone would criticize someone for working a job so that they could support themselves financially, and another who stated that it’s better than working a fast food job. @moldy_gremlin went on to say in the comments section her video that there are other perks for working for Walmart that extend beyond pay: “u get so many benefits, long lunches, hella breaks, free healthcare, and it’s so chill.”

Thought pollution?

TikToker @jonastsy said that if you’re ever feeling bummed out after shopping at Walmart, it may have less to do with the folks walking around with snuggies, and more with the vibrations of the store.

He claims that due to “low vibration” frequencies present in Walmart retail locations, shoppers’ mental health inevitably take a toll. He speculates that this “bad” vibe can be attributed to “thought pollution” which is caused by a collective groupthink energy that manifests itself into a bad energy, which saps’ people’s enthusiasm from them.

Hypothetically, the TikToker is talking about a mass thought-form manifestation that is occurring in a space where, let’s say, there are throngs of underpaid and perhaps understaffed employees dissatisfied with their jobs and who would rather not be there, “polluting” the store to such a degree that it’s bringing the vibe down. Or maybe it’s just the lighting.

Trapped

A Walmart customer criticized a store employee for allegedly “locking” them in the store when they wouldn’t present their receipt upon exiting the premises.

Jackie (@lifeewithjackiee) posted about the incident on TikTok, which they deleted afterward. That decision may’ve been spurred on by the fact that users on the platform came to the defense of the worker, who Jackie was berating and cursing out. There were commenters who thought that her attitude towards an employee they saw as “special needs” was deplorable.

Free TV

Baron, a former Walmart employee, detailed how he was fired for accidentally giving a customer a $400 TV for free. He expressed that he felt he was being “taken advantage of” at his job at 18 years of age, and showed photos of him stacking TVs up on a shelf in a viral TikTok. In the same video, however, he delineated how he accidentally gave the customer a TV set at no charge, stating that his manager showed him handing the customer the TV, which they paid for with cash.

He then handed the shopper not just the change from the purchase, but the cash that they had handed to him for the television set as well. Baron says he doesn’t know why he did that, stating that it was an “accident” and he had no idea who the man was. It’s a cautionary tale as to why relying on the kindness of strangers is probably a bad idea.

The all-knowing employee

@linthakidd posted another clip highlighting a grievance that many other retail store workers seemed to identify with: Customers who think that employees have all knowledge of every product in a story, no matter how large its offerings.

This is especially troubling for a retailer like Walmart, which offers a whopping 160 million products, according to Zippia. Some commenters remarked that they were quick to tell customers that they work in a different department, while others remarked that they couldn’t understand why some folks didn’t just Google the answers to their questions instead of expecting someone in Toys to know if a specific lotion will irritate their baby’s skin. Good help is so hard to find these days, which is why there’s smartphone voice assistants.

 
The Daily Dot