You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

The Wal-Mart Workplace Experience

Rich Lowry, responding to an anti-Walmart documentary in 2005:

What the company’s executives are now encountering is the high cost of progress. The political reaction against Wal-Mart is the latest iteration of the fear and loathing that greets any major innovation in American retailing.

This past week, Gawker has been collecting stories about life at the retail giant. Here's a sample:

"We had a very nice elderly woman working in the crafts department and had been with the company and in that one store for more than 25 years. A box fell off a high shelf, hit her in the head and left her dizzy and possibly concussed. The store manager tasks me with interviewing her to fill out an incident report, and this woman is nauseous, dizzy and exhibiting all the classic signs of a concussion. I ask, Shouldn't we take her to the hospital? Nope, let her fill out this form first, she's fine. Then the store manager pulls me aside and starts asking me if she said anything weird, if I thought she was covering her tracks and if I thought she smoked weed. Seriously? A box fell off a shelf in the stock room, it's on tape, there were three witnesses and she's about 75 years old. The store manager then has me take her to the company's drug-testing lab on the way to the hospital. The whole time this lady is complaining about feeling sick and having a headache, and then we have to wait almost two hours at the lab. The doctor at the lab even chews me out about taking her there first. Then I take her to the hospital where it's another two hours to get checked out. It comes back she has a mild concussion and can go home. When we get back to the parking lot, I ask her if I can drive her home or do anything to help her out. She's feeling a bit better at this point, says she'll be fine and just asks if I can drop her off directly at her car so she can go straight home. I oblige, go back in the store, log into the computer system and clock her out. The store manager finds out I did that after she was discharged from the hospital with "just a concussion" and rips me for it, saying she was fine to go back to work. Looking back, probably the only thing I regret about my time at Walmart was that I didn't just take that lady straight to the hospital or call an ambulance for her when she first got hit and couldn't stand up rather than listening to the store manager."

It takes some effort for a store manager to be more casual about concussions  than the NFL.