Wednesday, August 19, 2015

An Open Letter To WalMart

Let me start by saying that I love to explore. Whether it's the terrain around the next curve, some topic under the letter K in the encyclopedia, or the source of that creaking sound emanating from some unseen portion of my home at 4:47 AM, I want to know what it's about.

It was that passion for exploration which led me to apply for work at WalMart online recently. Well, that, plus I'd like to earn a little more money.

Online job applications are typically straightforward. Questions such as, "Where have you worked most recently?", "What skills do you have which best suit you for the position you seek?", or even "How many years has it been since that last bottle rocket incident led to four thousand hours of community service?" are pretty routine. In fact, the sense of exploration has long since evaporated regarding filling out applications for Barney's Jigsaw Emporium's stockroom.

And then there's WalMart.

Allow me to correct and qualify that. And then there was WalMart. My application experience was, in a word, traumatic.

First of all, WalMart assumed, on page two of the process, that I'm a woman. Not that I'd necessarily mind, assuming that the company's sales associates get employee discounts on clothing which must surely be inexpensive, if of a very low quality. And it would have to be inexpensive since I'd need a whole new wardrobe to cover up my huge, hairy back.

Then there's the issue regarding my numerical identity. Having finally convinced WalMart Online that I am, in fact, a man, the next step involved contorting myself in order to enter my oh-so-lengthy social security number. My electric bill's account number is even longer than that. WalMart, apparently, has questionable bandwidth issues for any number exceeding 1. In a mere fifteen minutes I was finally able to sway WalMart into believing that, as a US citizen, I do in fact have a social security number. Thank you, WalMart. I appreciate your willingness to accept the obvious.

The following step in this exploration was to list my work experience. Specifically, this step didn't include glitches, frustration, and wasted time listing my employment history. Within mere moments of having entered Habitat For Humanity as my most recent employer, WalMart rewarded my efforts with "WalMart web page expired during application process". Having shared this on WalMart's Facebook page, someone in IT was kind enough to issue a "so sorry" response which fell on the deaf ears of perhaps a thousand or so disgruntled customers, which equates to approximately two thousand ears if my public education hasn't completely failed me.

In the end, I have a little more fodder to include in an upcoming column. For that I'd like to thank WalMart for providing me with some very rich material. My frustration with WalMart will likely lead to rewards for me later. I look forward to that.

When you're finished reading this, WalMart, please press the forward button at the bottom of the screen.

Thank you for reading.


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