Indeed. There comes a time where you simply have to say, “To Hell with the consequences. This needs to be said.”
Today is THAT day.
You see, I work for Walmart. And yes I know the company has an issue with whatever it deems to be “Negative Publicity.” Trust me, in only three years there I can honestly say if they want to avoid “negative publicity” they should stop doing stupid stuff.
In case you have been in a cave, or maybe under a rock, or possibly walkabout in the outback for the last four plus months, we have a little pandemic going. Indeed this COVID-19 is here, and it’s here to stay.
Some stuff happened this year that hasn’t happened before. Well okay technically that is always the case. But you know what I mean.
- Walt Disney World and Disneyland as well as all related parks closed to the public. Not reduced hours, closed. They were joined by Universal Studios and all the other amusement parks.
- The cruise industry ran aground. No sailing for fun and leisure. Ports closed and as of this writing, many still are. Crew members were stuck on the ships as well as some passengers. No one would let them dock to get off. While passengers went home, the crews were not so fortunate.
- Whole companies went out of business or closed a large number of stores. Chain restaurants were very hard hit.
- Schools closed and the children went to a distance learning program. Parents lost jobs because someone had to be home with them.
- Sporting events at all levels were canceled. As of this writing we still do not have a Stanley Cup Champion in the NHL. Other places, teams played in empty stadiums.
- Stores and medical centers ran out of masks and gloves and well, just about everything else. Imagine your doctor can’t see you, at a time like this, because he can’t buy the masks and gloves his staff needs.
- The list goes on.
“Okay. So what does this have to do with Walmart?”
Great question. Why not ruminate, while I illuminate the issue.
First. Walmart took quiet a while to decide that it should not keep it’s stores open twenty four hours a day in this climate. The delay in closing early is understandable to a degree. After all this has never happened before in the modern age. So being a little slow on the decision is understandable.
Around the same time, Walmart made it possible for the Associates and Managers at the stores to take a short term Leave of Absence (LOA) if they had concerns about the virus and the spread of it. This is no small step. From the long term people I talked with, it has not always been easy to get an approved LOA.
They allowed an initial two weeks, which based on what we knew then was a prudent amount of time. I know this, because I myself took the 2 weeks.
Walmart mandated that under the CDC guidelines all Associates had to wear a face covering while on the clock and preforming their duties.
Then came the “Social Distancing” followed by one directional shopping. You know, go up this aisle and down the next. Keep space between you and others.
They even suggested that customers wear a face covering when in the store.
They forgot one little issue that many of the store Associates company wide could have told them.
A lot of our customers either can not read, or simply do not care.
Some wore masks. Some followed the arrows. The majority, did not.
Now here we are in the middle of July. Walmart has announced that as to the 20th of July all customers must have a face covering to enter one of our stores.
Yipee! They are finally doing something to help keep their associates and other customers safe from this. Right?
The answer is, no. Not really they aren’t.
“If the customer refuses to wear a mask, let them continue to shop.” – Walmart Health Ambassador and Management Talking Points.
So wear one through the door, and just take it off. That’s it.
So the question becomes, why bother at all. If they don’t need to keep them on, there is no point to wearing them at all.
Hard to take Walmart seriously when they say they are keeping people safe.