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The Devil doesn't take your soul all at once
03 February, 2003 :: 7:53 a.m.

This entry is to address something that's been going on for nearly seven years now...the chipping away of my soul and any shred of decency I've ever possessed...damage done on a near daily basis to my karma and possibly part of the answer to the question I ask myself--"I try to be a good and honest person, why if there is such a thing as karma, does it not feel like I'm getting anywhere?" The answer? I work at walmart. A fucking giant corporation that destroys part of each and every town it enters. They aren't just the largest retailer in the world, they are the largest employer in the United States with the exception (and hell, maybe this has changed since last I knew) of the Federal Government.

Walmart who pride themselves on being a "family oriented store" but laid off Heather a month ago...Heather who has a college degree and wanted to find something better, but who in the meantime was working at walmart to put food on the table for her 4 year old daughter. Heather who they gave her 90 day evaluation and told her that she was an excellent cashier and they were keeping her on. Heather who later asked management to their face if they were letting her go because she'd heard rumors. Heather who was told, "No, absolutely not," by management and then several days later told that the next week would be the last for her...(we're expected to give 2 weeks notice, they apparently don't have to extend that courtesy; they can apparently look you straight in the eye and lie to you and let you pass up another job because you've just been told you're being kept on, getting a raise and will soon be available for benefits).

Walmart who forces small businesses to close, who despite claims of enjoying competition with other merchants goes out of their way to keep out the competition and who find ways to weasel into towns where the majority of the citizens are protesting and demanding that they be kept out.

Walmart who forces recording artists to censor their music because apparently when you get as big as walmart, only your opinion counts on what is decent and what is not--apparently it's okay to sell gory or sexual movies, it's okay to sell magazines such as Cosmo and Maxim with nearly naked women, it's okay to sell romance novels and kid who can read can pick up and flip through for the sex scenes, it's okay to sell sex and violence, just not music that has any of that in it. Especially if you happen to be black...ain't no way your album is making it to shelves without being checked for content first...if you're a white band, you might be able to slip your first album least until there is an angry letter from a parent. No, I'm not encouraging walmart to censor more things, I'm saying it's hypocritical to say you can't say this or this, but you can show scenes depicting it. Images aren't harmful, apparently only words are.

If you ever want to see terror, go to an associate meeting at walmart (listen for the mindless masses doing the walmart cheer...often the morning and afternoon meetings are held on the floor) and yell, "Unions in walmart!" These people are scared shitless of unions. Now I'm not necessarily pro-union either because there are plenty of worthless and corrupt unions out there...but there are good ones as well and then at least the workers have a offers the "Open Door Policy" where you go to a member of management and bitch about something that is wrong (favoritism, piss-poor wages and benefits, being treated like a fucking third world citizen--that's not going to get you sympathy from a company that buys a bunch of their shit from places who use sweat shops--whatever you happen to want to complain about), then nothing is done. Your options? Go to the next level of management. Nothing will be done. Your options? Go to the next level of management. Hopefully soon you tire of nothing getting done and stop bitching. And of course, no matter what, you get labeled a troublemaker to be watched. No, that's not written anywhere, in fact they stress that it won't happen...bullshit. They can't fire you for voicing your opinion, they can make your life miserable though or they can sit back and wait and then nail you for some stupid, petty thing that everyone else does too, but technically is against walmart policy. Think that doesn't happen? You obviously know no one that's ever worked for the giant cancer posing as a success of capitalism.

And the thing about Heather? That's just one recent example...they are a family store...a family store that has destroyed the marriages of I don't know how many managers who've come through the door of store 1945 in Mansfield, Pa due to the 50, 60, 70 hour work weeks they have to put in (you're salary, baby! think they aren't going to suck as much out of you for the $30,000 or more they are paying you? think again.) I've seen managers step down to try to save marriages, managers leave their spouses for people that they see a hell of a lot more often at work than they see their family, managers who basically want to blow their brains out but have to keep that fake smile painted on. It's not just managers though, it takes a toll on anyone. Try working third shift and rarely getting a weekend off to spend with your family. Try having to work all the holidays because walmart stays open every damn day of the year with the exception of Christmas Eve where they close at 6 and reopen at 6 a.m. the day after Christmas. Try making shit wages and trying to pay for the benefits walmart offers you...figure probably an average paycheck for someone full-time to be (probably generous) $450 every two weeks...then take $100+ out for family insurance...doesn't leave a lot of money to put food on the table, a roof over the head and clothes on the backs of your family, does it? Better hope your spouse works somewhere better...somewhere that offers medical as part of their package so you can save that extra $200 a month.

Try going to school to better yourself, or climbing the ladder from within? Walmart shits on college can be full-time like me and then they tell you that no, despite what some other manager told you, you can't leave early because you have classes and homework; despite what you worked out with another manager, here is your new schedule, so what if you have to work seven days in a row. Try busting your ass to become a manager (I don't know why you'd want to, but some people do), and no, they push for someone they are buddy-buddy with even though management is supposed to be buddy-buddy with no one or walmart themselves will step out and hire some fresh out of college reject with no experience in retail and make him your what if you've got five years of experience and know more than half the managers already there.

Why do I stay? Necessity. I look forward to the day I graduate college and can begin looking for a job elsewhere (another giant company I can loathe while I work if I'm lucky--but at least it'll be a new experience in loathing). For now, I'm a college student with bills and there aren't many jobs in the area. I make a little over $9/hour (yes, that's coming up on seven years--it's taken me that long to reach that amount) for walmart, if I quit to work elsewhere I won't get the hours I need and I'll end up back at minimum wage...I have rent, credit card debt from early stupidity, a car always near death to try to keep running, a loan payment from my first year of school, food, and whatever other expenses each month...I get by on what I make, but no, I'm not gonna be able to cut it working elsewhere without drastic changes. So for now I'm stuck, stuck feeling bits of my dignity, humanity and whatever else they can strip from me being taken away little by little.

If you have options, which people in Mansfield, Pa don't, shop elsewhere. That's all I'm saying. Sure you might pay a few cents more, but walmart is sucking that money out of your community when you give it to them...they don't keep it there and spend it in your hometown like a local merchant would. Down with walmart.

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