I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I used to work for Wal-Mart. I want share a few of the inner workings of this completely out of control mega-corporation with you, things you may already know but should if you don't. Now don't get me wrong...I still shop at Wal-Mart simply because they have such a large selection of the items that I need so I don't have to spend the extra gasoline to visit more than one place. Sort of a backhanded trade off, buying imported items in order to save on imported gasoline (actually only the oil is imported and then the gasoline is made, but you already knew that, right?). Some trade off, huh?
First of all, did you know that the average markup on nearly all merchandise at WallyWorld is 33%? That's the average that they shoot for. Not a bad profit margin, is it? Do the wages match the profits? No! It's true that they do award raises to people that stay for a while and that perform in an acceptable and professional manner. However, the quickest way to find yourself out of work in this world wide barn of bargains is to succumb to the one thing none of us can escape ...becoming older.
I can't tell you how many fellow employees I knew that had a spotless record suddenly were dismissed for various reasons, although age was never listed as a reason. Funny though how so many of those long term employees were close to the same age. That meant that health might become an issue and retirement benefits were just around the corner and that is not an acceptable option for the people in charge of watching the bottom line.
However, the other side of this coin is that there are plenty of out of work young folks ready to take over for the missing "old guys"! Trouble is, when the long time people are lost, so is the knowledge that was gained over years and years of working with the merchandise and the operations. Lost also is the art of customer service that used to be the trademark of Wal-Mart.
I have to admit that working for a large and profitable company, you can learn a great deal . If you can work yourself into a department manager's position, you can learn all sorts of things about how to control people. For instance, when the department manager leaves for the day he is supposed to leave a list of duties for the employees to complete before closing time. The secret is to always leave more on the list than they can possibly get finished. That way, if you ever need to get rid of them, you just have to produce the list of incomplete work assignments to show that the employee in question is not following the directions of his immediate boss. Instant dismissal! There are many, many others, but you get the idea.
I learned some things that turned out to be quite useful, in all honesty. Did you know that at any given time, there is only 3 days worth of food on the store shelves? Why do you think that you always see the trucks unloading at the stockroom docks? Why do you think Wal-Mart owns their own transportation company and fleet of trucks? What do you think is going to happen when the gasoline shortage starts to affect the transportation industry in general? Wars are won and lost on the principle of destroying the supply line and not the troops.
The point I'm trying to make is that every experience in life, whether good or bad, is full of lessons to be learned. Some are useful and others are useless. It's up to the individual to make the most of whatever they learn, and to decide for themselves how to apply this knowledge.
Remember that the most important rule to follow in your life is The Golden Rule...and also remember that "what goes around, comes around" so try and act accordingly.
Now I think it's time for a fresh cup of coffee...don't you?