Author Topic: My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there  (Read 405 times)

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Offline mystery-ak

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http://www.salon.com/2014/05/08/my_personal_wal_mart_nightmare_you_wont_believe_what_life_is_like_working_there/

 Thursday, May 8, 2014 12:23 PM CST
My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there
The president's visiting my store Friday. He won't see how I sleep on my son's floor and eat potato chips for lunch
Pam Ramos


Pam Ramos

When I woke up to see the news, I could hardly believe it: President Obama is planning a visit to the Mountain View Wal-Mart where I work.

But the excitement quickly passed when I found out the store would be shutting down hours in advance of his visit. I wouldn’t be able to tell the president what it’s like to work at Wal-Mart and what it’s like to struggle on low wages, without the hours I need. I am living at the center of the income inequality that he speaks about so often, and I wanted to talk to him about how to change this problem.

My situation is not unlike that of many of the 825,000 Wal-Mart associates – and many other Americans – who are working hard, but just can’t keep up. Most of us aren’t even paid $25,000 a year even though we work at the largest employer in the country and one that makes $16 billion in profits.

I wanted to tell the president what it’s like working – and living – like this.

Things have always been tight. After four years working at Wal-Mart in Mountain View, I am bringing home about $400 every two weeks (I’d like to get more hours, but I’m lucky if I work 32 hours a week). That’s not enough to pay for bills, gas and food.  All I can afford to eat for lunch is a cup of coffee and a bag of potato chips. I’ve always done everything possible to stretch paychecks and scrape by. Sometimes it means not getting enough to eat.

But then I got some bad news that made stretching my budget impossible.

Two months ago, I started feeling ill. My doctor told me I needed to take a week off to have a series of medical tests. Every day for a week I went to the hospital and had to pay $30, $60 or $100 in co-pays for each appointment, test and X-ray.

With these additional expenses and without a paycheck for the week I was out, it pushed me over the edge. I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent.

Right now, I don’t have a place to call home.

I sleep on the floor of my son’s living room because I can’t afford my own place. All of my belongings are in my car. I don’t know where to send my mail.

I used to think, “At least I have my health and my family.” But my doctor thinks I may have colon cancer, and with all of the money I still owe the hospital, I’m not sure how to finish the tests and get treatment. Even though I do have insurance through Wal-Mart, the co-pays are more than I can afford with only $400 every two weeks.

I wanted to tell the president I am scared. I am scared for my health. I am scared for the future for my grandkids. And I am scared and sad about the direction that companies like Wal-Mart are taking our country.

I don’t wish the struggle I’m facing onto anyone. But sadly, my situation isn’t unique. I know that I am one of many living in the Wal-Mart economy who has no financial stability. We expect to work until our deaths because we don’t have any retirement savings and are concerned about the future in front of our children and grandchildren.

There are so many of us who have it so hard – trying to live paycheck to paycheck. While the president is here visiting my store, I want him to look inside at what is really happening at Wal-Mart.

I want the president to help us and tell Wal-Mart to pay us enough to cover the bills and take care of our families. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask from such a profitable company, a company that sets the standard for jobs in this country. And I hope it’s not too much to ask from a president who believes that income inequality is the defining challenge of our time.

Pam Ramos has worked for four years at the Walmart in Mountain View, California. President Obama is visiting this Walmart on Friday. Ramos is also a member of OUR Walmart, the worker organization calling on Walmart to publicly commit to paying workers $25,000 a year, providing full-time work and ending illegal retaliation.


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Offline flowers

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You have job lady. shut up


Offline massadvj

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Here is an idea, lady.  Rather than bitch and groan at the employer you do have, take your anger and channel it into something positive.  Go to work every day and suck up to your superiors, massage the hell out of the customers and exceed the expectations of everyone who evaluates your work.  It won't be hard.  The rarest commodity on the face of the earth is human competence.

Once you do that, take your skill set to another employer and get paid more.  Or better yet, take what you have learned and start your own little retail store.  Move yourself up the ladder and then be thankful to Walmart for giving you a free education and paying you to boot.

PS: A makeover might help.  The Hillbilly look was never in, and it's not coming back.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 11:53:39 AM by massadvj »
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline AbaraXas

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The part about how they chained her up and force her to work there and never let her quit or find something different is the part that got me...

Oh wait, they didn't do that? 

Based on the tone of her article, her circumstances are very much a part of her own making from her own attitude and outlook on life. I know people with much more difficult lives who make the best of it and overcome their circumstances.
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Online DCPatriot

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I guess she can't afford a haircut/hairstyle either...... :whistle:
"It aint what you don't know that kills you.  It's what you know that aint so!" ...Theodore Sturgeon

"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family".    ...Mother Teresa

Offline massadvj

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The part about how they chained her up and force her to work there and never let her quit or find something different is the part that got me...

Oh wait, they didn't do that? 

Based on the tone of her article, her circumstances are very much a part of her own making from her own attitude and outlook on life. I know people with much more difficult lives who make the best of it and overcome their circumstances.

I have students who come into work every day.  They attend classes, do homework, study and live in rooms the size of closets, which they share.  And they go into debt and pay US to treat them that way.  In many respects, this lady is getting a better education than my students are, and she is getting paid to get it.   
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline raml

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She is a democrat. She whines all the time that is all they do. I stayed home for 22 yrs was then divorced and had to go get a job. I choose sales because you control what you earn and was making almost as much as my ex husband who was a buyer for Ford Motor company for 20 yrs in just a few months. If I can do it so can anyone else. I have supported myself for the past 30 yrs since my divorce and bought my own home and helped my adult children when ever I could. Quit your damn whining and go and show your bosses how good an employee you can be and you will soon be on a different path.  Only you can help yourself we the taxpayers owe you nothing.

Offline PzLdr

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Step 1: Resign

Step 2: Find yourself a job that merits your self-esteem

Step3: Shut your pie hole.
Hillary's Self-announced Qualifications: She Stood Up To Putin...She Sits to Pee

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Every day for a week I went to the hospital and had to pay $30, $60 or $100 in co-pays for each appointment, test and X-ray.
Those frequent X-rays may be part of the problem. They are known carcinogens.

That being said, 1) she has a car and could move to greener pastures at any time. 2) Mountain View is smack-dab in the middle of Silicon Valley and is home to a very large number of companies, many of which I am sure have entry level positions somewhere. (Besides, what is a woman like her doing in a high-tech town like Mountain View, anyway?) I have had a similar job with similar pay for several years. I don't have a car. I don't have dozens of high-tech companies in my hometown. Yet I, and others like me, get by. We're not rich, but we don't bellyache about how our employers (of much lesser means than Wal-Mart) are treating us like doo-doo. She has time for a second job, considering what she has said. Perhaps the problem here is not that she isn't making enough for a relatively menial job, but that she isn't working enough to make it worthwhile.

Of course, her complaint of not getting over 30 hours a week very often could very well be a direct result of Obamacare's still-pending employer mandate.
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Offline mountaineer

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her complaint of not getting over 30 hours a week very often could very well be a direct result of Obamacare's still-pending employer mandate.
Probably. It also probably is true that she isn't highly paid and gets fewer hours because she demonstrates no initiative and has mediocre skills. Walmart is one place you really can start at the bottom and work your way up to highly-paid management positions - if you're willing to work for them, that is.
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Offline Chieftain

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A thread like this is useless without pictures and a music video......

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