Augusta, ME. Employee “Infiltrates” Wal-Mart & Lives To Tell About It
Josh Smith worked for Wal-Mart, and now he's talking about the experience. Here's his communiqué to Sprawl-Busters: "On October 10th, 2005 I infiltrated Wal-Mart Supercenter #2046 in Augusta, Maine as a temporary hire cashier. A 23 year-old who is very concerned about the direction that Wal-Mart is leading our world, I wanted to
experience for myself the difficulties faced by low-wage workers at the largest corporation in the world. It was my hope that by working in solidarity with the poor I would gain a story and perspective with which I could reform the company for the better. Four months later, after slipping through the store's screening process, transforming myself into a submissive worker, climbing the company ladder, and befriending hundreds of associates along the way, I am confident that I'm finally in a position to do this. As you may imagine, working undercover at Wal-Mart has been a very powerful experience. I quickly learned that being an associate is not an easy job, but rather a very stressful one, due to the culture of pressure and fear passed down straight from Bentonville, Arkansas. Working for the retailing Goliath becomes not just difficult, but nearly impossible when you consider that this dead-end job must be done for little pay, poor benefits, and an utter lack of respect. Most importantly, I came to realize that Wal-Mart is a soul-less, profit-generating machine, which will only change (and it will change) when we as consumers present a direct threat to its bottom line by boycotting the company.
What you can do: Readers who want to learn more about Josh Smith's descent into Wal-Mart, and back again, should go to his blog at http://workingatwal-mart.blogspot.com/. Smith adds, "For my project to be a success, I need your help in spreading my story and encouraging those in your community to seek change by also standing up to Wal-Mart."