Dear Walmart

August 7, 2014

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Last night I was inspired to send out a couple of Walmart-related Tweets:

Today, my unhinged outburst prompted a mildly disapproving message from one Mr. Inferior Walmart Employee:

[Note: I edited this email by breaking it up into smaller paragraphs, adding some punctuation, and removing a few extraneous sentences that accomplished nothing except further communicating the author’s contempt for me.]

Hey Matt!

First of all, f**k you very much. I happened to see your Tweets hating on Walmart employees and sucking corporate Walmart’s c**k so I thought I’d get in touch and tell you what a f**kstick you are.

I work at Walmart because there aren’t very many options. If there was something else for me to do I’d do it, but Walmart comes in and eats up all of the other jobs and leaves you no choice.

I have no problem admitting that I put very little effort into my job because I have ZERO incentive. The pay is sh*t. You’re treated like sh*t. I have to supplement my income by being on government assistance because the corporation I work for would rather buy PRIVATE JETS for its CEO then provide a DECENT WAGE to its employees. Awesome! Thanks Walmart!

Its hilarious that you feel superior to Walmart employees when I have MORE EDUCATION THAN YOU and am more skilled than you. Instead of worshipping greedy corporations like Walmart why don’t you write something exposing the fact that Walmart exploits tax loopholes and refuses to pay its employees a liveable wage?

Hey you always like to talk about how much you love families… well why don’t you put pressure on Walmart to pay its employees enough so we can start families and support them? I would marry my girlfriend if I had the financial means instead of these poverty wages. Why don’t you write a blog post about that? Oh but that doesn’t fit into your whole act I guess, does it?

F**k Walmart and f**k Matt Walsh.

Sincerely,

“Inferior” Walmart employee

Dear Inferior Walmart Employee,

Hi. Can I call you Bob? The name you gave me is kind of a mouthful.

Thank you for your insightful reflections, Bob. You raise some interesting points, yet I can’t help but feel slightly confused by your hatred for one of the only organizations in the world that would actually pay a salary to someone like you.

I should explain that when I say “someone like you,” I mean someone with an abysmal, self-entitled attitude, who is proud of making no effort and providing subpar service to customers. You seem to think that you should only perform well if you’re paid well, but the unfortunate reality is that you will only be paid well when you perform well. This is a concept called “earning.” To “earn” literally means “to receive as return for effort.” So, if Merriam-Webster is any judge, you haven’t earned anything. You confess to your lack of effort, which means you confess to the fact that you aren’t even earning the minimal salary which you’re currently collecting. You are one of Walmart’s charity cases, and you should be thanking them, not sobbing about those villainous CEOs who “buy private jets.”

I don’t know much about the CEO of your company, Doug McMillon, but a quick Google search tells me he’s a relatively young man who started at Walmart as a seasonal employee in one their distribution warehouses. Now, I’m not saying that you can become the Big Cheese of Walmart one day, but I am saying that you work for a company with lots of money, lots of different kinds of available positions, and lots of opportunities for advancement. An ambitious person would take advantage of that fact. A small, pathetic person would sit on the bottom of the food chain and wallow in envy as better men and women surpass him. What kind of person would you like to be?

Oh, but this is all a pipe dream, isn’t it? Fine, prove me wrong, Bob. Go to work for the next, say, six months, and absolutely pour your heart and soul into your admittedly minor duties. Go in there clean shaven, shirt tucked in, eager and willing to work. Take on extra hours when you can. Fill in for people when they’re sick. Contribute during staff meetings. Smile at customers. Just do these extraordinarily basic things for a few months and then come back and tell me what sort of promotion you’ve been offered — because I guarantee they’ll offer you one.

The great thing about working retail or fast food is that it’s exceedingly easy to separate yourself from the pack. I was almost always an assistant manager or shift leader at all of my customer service jobs as a teenager, purely because I came to work sober, I rarely called out, and I displayed a moderate level of competency. What I’m saying, Bob, is that you are currently at the bottom only because you choose to be there. Sorry.

No company on Earth, no matter how much you whine or cry, will ever say, “Hey, look at this salty, lethargic, mean spirited non-contributor! Let’s pay him a six figure income and hope that he repays our generosity by magically becoming a decent employee!”

That will never happen. Well, unless you get a job in government.

But Walmart is at least paying you something — and something is infinitely more than you appear to deserve right now.

Of course, Walmart isn’t the be all and end all, Bob. You say that “there aren’t very many options” and “Walmart eats up all the jobs,” but have you ever actually, you know, looked? I take it from your email that you have a college degree (which doesn’t necessarily make you more educated than me, or even more educated than your average woodland squirrel, but that’s beside the point) and, although you wish to start a family, you are currently unmarried and without any dependents?

If this is true, then you’re golden, Bob. For goodness sake, man, you can go anywhere and do anything. No jobs? NO JOBS? Are you kidding me? That’s crazy talk.

I suspect that by “no jobs” you mean “no jobs that will send a recruiter to my front door, hand me an enormous salary to do nothing, and physically pick me up and carry me to the office every day.” Yes, that kind of job might not exist (again, unless you work for the government) but that still leaves, like, thousands and thousands of other options.

In the past when I’ve fielded emails very similar to yours, I usually just present a few counterarguments and leave it at that. This time, though, I want to try something different. I want to offer some actual help:

(CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)

I went to Monster.com and did a bit of research for you. My very focused search for any job, in any category, anywhere in the US, yielded a veritable buffet of employment options.

From the first page alone I can see that they’re hiring production supervisors in Iowa, general sales associates in California, tire salesmen in Ohio, and maintenance workers in Florida, among other things. So that’s at least four jobs right there.

I did a little more digging and found this interactive map detailing the fastest growing industries in the nation’s most populous metro areas. Have you thought about Salt Lake? Beautiful city, gorgeous landscapes, low cost of living, and they’ve got job growth coming out the wazoo (to use a very technical economic term).

Forbes.com has an interesting write-up on US industries with the most job growth in the past year. Have you thought about getting into the wholesale lumber supply game?

Bob, have you even paid attention to what’s happening in North Dakota? They have so many jobs over there, they can hardly give them away fast enough. Just this past March they stood up and said, “Attention, America. We have 20,000 unfilled jobs out here. Who wants one? You can have two, if you like. Anyone want two? Two jobs a piece. Anyone?”

You might not like the average salary of a Walmart employee, but you should check out the average salary of an oil rig worker. I’m talking about 100 grand, dude. Yeah, it’s physically demanding, but you’re a young guy, aren’t you? Go let off some steam, drill some oil, and make some serious bank.

Get it together, Bob. The world is your oyster. If I was single, childless, and working low level retail in a shopping mall somewhere, you better believe I’d blow this popsicle stand and go wherever the opportunities are. Seriously, Bob, what are you doing? This is no way to live. Sleep walking through your Walmart shifts then coming home and trolling bloggers on the internet while you stew in jealousy and whisper curses at phantom rich people? You’re better than that. I’m glad that you want to get married, but I’m pretty sure your girlfriend wants a man who has a slightly more comprehensive five year plan.

I don’t know about Walmart’s devious exploitation of these tax loopholes, and I don’t care. The government collects about 3.5 trillion dollars a year in taxes, so excuse me if I don’t stay awake at night worrying that they’re losing a few bucks here and there. At some point we have to elect people who can figure out how to run a country on, oh, I don’t know, say a cool trillion or so. If we don’t then we will continue on this unsustainable path until our glorious American empire collapses into rubble, like so many before it. When that happens, I can guarantee you that historians 500 years from now will not look back on the ancient USA and say that we were ultimately undone by “tax loopholes.”

Now, as far as livable wages, I’m happy to report that Walmart does provide thousands of them. But not everything can be a living. You can’t make a living scowling at customers and angrily punching things into a cash register because that kind of performance just isn’t worth very much to your employer. Be more valuable to them, make more money.

Pretty simple.

Or think outside the box, Bob. Take a chance. Sweat a little. Pursue a different path. Invest your time and energy into something worthwhile.

Now get off my website and go make it happen. Next time I’m vacationing in North Dakota maybe we’ll cross paths on the street. You can tell me about all the dough you’re raking in and I can tell you about how ticked off my wife is that I forced her to vacation in North Dakota.

Then I’ll tell you that it’s been a long trip and we need food, some toiletries that we forgot to pack, oil for our car, a bottle of Advil, a case of beer, and access to a wide selection of every other item we might possibly require at prices that can’t be beat.

And you’ll, of course, point me to the nearest Walmart.

See you then.

Sincerely,

Matt

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