Dear Wal Mart,
My how you have grown! I remember when you were new to my area and had lots of things in your stores. Your employees knew the stores well. They were helpful. They were clean and well-groomed. Your customers knew how to wear their pants properly and that slippers were for home use only.
Just this morning I had run in to get a couple of things before I headed off to work. Even at that early hour, I could see things were amiss! Wal Mart, you really need to take a step back and take a good, loooong, look at what you have become.
The first thing I encountered was an employee standing in the aisle texting. He didn’t seem to be doing anything else. Just standing in the aisle texting at 90 miles an hour. Wow. I wish I could a paycheck for standing about texting. I may not be as fast as he is, but then; do you pay by the hour or number of words texted in an hour? You must make this clear. Perhaps add a spot for WTPH (words texted per hour) on your applications is in order.
Then the shelves. They were bare. Were all the stockers off today? Did the night shift not show up? Was the truck late? Perhaps the young man texting his fingers off was supposed to be stocking. I don’t know. I do know all the aisles I walked down had large areas of emptiness to show me. I can’t really purchase emptiness, now can I? Unless you consider yourself Neverland and you are selling Never Products, this is not going to work out well. For either of us.
The employees. Well, the other employees. The ones not texting. You know, the ones who have forgotten how to dress in clean clothes and brush their hair before showing up for work. One apparently forgot to shower. But at least my watering eyes got the nasty eyelash flushed out. It had been bugging me for two days now. I suppose a thank-you is order for that small favor.
Wal Mart, dear Wal Mart. You are now the butt of jokes. The subject of labor disputes. Your employee selection has gone from ‘equality in hiring’ to ‘We’ll hire you if you have a pulse’. You don’t seem to train them after you hire them. I watch your cashiers struggle with how to ring someone out and how to bag items every time I pop in for something. They are often rumbled and unclean. The employees, not the items.
Your customers have forgotten that flannel pajama bottoms and slippers are not for shopping. And why should your customers care about their appearance when your employees do not?
Seriously Wal Mart, back up. Look at yourself. You need to get grip here. TRAIN your employees. Treat them fairly and with respect. Teach them that they need to be well-groomed and clean when they show up for work. Hire managers who MANAGE (as in not brow beat, yell and condescend). Make sure your shelves are stocked and clean and your employees know where things are in your stores and can actually HELP your customers.
Then maybe, just maybe, your customers will follow suit.
** I would like add that I have seen some wonderful employees at Wal Mart. People who are very good at what they do. This is humor folks. Humor.