My experience as an Asst Store Manager at Walmart

We need new management at Walmart.  Many of you don't know the story.  I'm new management at Walmart.  I started training on Dec 4.  So much has happened already with my mess of a store that it is laughable.  I'm having a field day with this shit show but I'm making money.  Basically, I got a phone call back in November from a WMT recruiter asking if I wanted be an Asst Store Manager.  OK.  That led to three interviews and I was offered the position and that is when I found out how much WMT actually pays their management.  The compensation is way better you think.  I accept and start the training but then we had Xmas/quanzaa where I worked in the store.  Just before Christmas, our not-white female store manager from the south took a leave of absence.  I met somebody by pure serendipity who has a lawsuit against said manager and WMT and it lawyer-ed up.  Every he has told me has come true so far. 


Right after New Year, I was called to the front office wit the co-managers and was told that I need to take a drug test for reasonable suspicion.  I could deny and be terminated or go through with the test.  I chose the latter option because I was not doing anything wrong.  I was told I was suspended with pay. 


Two weeks go by and the drug test come back inconclusive.(negative)  So I am reinstated and asked if I can come back the next day.  No, I can't do that because I made all of these appointments so I made them pay for an extra day off.  I got paid for just generally fucking off.  It was unreasonable to begin with.  I could have said that I had a job interview in Idaho or something like that but I didn't go that far.  Just not cool.  To were kissing my ass after that fiasco.


Now another week later and we had one Co-manager walked out of the store this morning and the other we don't know about.  I never said a word about that drug test fail to anyone.  I was hired by corporate.  It's about more than that though.  I was told they could both be gone and the position eliminated.  That leave the rest of us in a situation where the only management left are assistant managers.  I found myself running a Walmart by myself a few times in the last week.  I don't even have full access to every system yet but I managed to do it.  I sure as hell don't know everything.  It's a business so the tenets of running a business apply.  I love the damn job and I love what it pays.  The chaos is awesome. 


I requested the store am at for a reason and I have one guy hired and I am looking for more.  It is time for a change.  You might have heard that two days ago WMT fired a shitload of people from corporate.  WMT is cleaning house.  There is management that has been taking advantage of the situation for far too long.  


My whole suspension caused me to miss the rest of my training so now I have to start all over.  That costs me money and benefits.  There is a legal issue yet.  I'll pick my battles.


Interesting that one of my fellow Assistants was a licensed securities broker for Wells Fargo but he couldn't stand it he said.  He didn't elaborate as to why other than being bored but he still talks about it.  I have to keep my eye on him.  I don't say shit about what I know.


This is the world we live in.  


I wish I would have never went to university and just started with WMT right out of high school.  I would be retired by now.  One thing I do know for sure is that you will always have customers at Walmart.  Who wants glamorous?  Merica shops at Walmart and so do you so keep the snide comments to a minimum.      


Leroy Added Feb 9, 2018 - 8:58pm
Sounds like you are living the dream.  That's great.  I'm surprised to learn that Walmart pays so well.
I always liked Walmart.  I can't really explain the difference between Target and K-Mart, but I can't stand either of those.
I was a Sam's member for decades.  This year, I gave it up.  Costco is eating their lunch.  I can see why they are closing stores.  They can't compete with Costco. 
Interesting article.
John Minehan Added Feb 10, 2018 - 10:16am
My understanding is management positions and some skilled positions (people who do the warehouse functions, etc.)  pay well but the hourly positions are not what they were 20 years ago or so.  (Wal-mart was known as a good employer just before they became so large.) 
Manipuflation Added Feb 10, 2018 - 12:53pm
Actually, Walmart does pay management well.  It's high turnover so you really have to love what you are doing and it isn't for the faint of heart.  I'm not faint of heart and I really like it.  I actually like helping people and no "God-complex".  I'm positive with the customer even when I don't feel positive.  The customer doesn't care what is going on in my life and why should they? 
I have one job and that is to make sure that product gets to the shelves and is accurately priced.  You wouldn't think that would be hard but it is more complex than one might think.  I don't care, I'll go work freight and stock and anything else that comes up.  You get some management types that think they have to walk around and issue orders.  That is bullshit.  You don't lead people that way I don't care who you work for.
You see, when someone external comes in and actually DOES do customer service properly it upsets the apple cart so to speak.  I made them look bad so they retaliated and lost.  
I've work for other large corporations before and I'll have to say that Walmart actually does care about it's customers.  You get some management in store and all of a sudden it turns a shit show.  I requested the store that I am at because I knew it was a mess.  I could have taken an easy store but what fun would that be.  Our numbers are already up.
You aren't coming into my Walmart and not getting service on the GM side.  I'm really good at sneaking up on associates and finding them slacking off and avoiding customers.  That just not OK.
As for the associates, Walmart spell it out quite clearly right away.  You are going to be part time A or B with a max of 38 hours a week.  $11 an hour is not that bad where I live for a young person.  I hired the neighbor kid and he likes it.  Two paychecks now and he's flush.  He could become a DM if he wants to and make $20 an hour.  That's not bad for a 22 year old kid.
Working at Walmart is not a job for everyone.  You feel the burn for sure but as management those paychecks are solid.  You really have to love helping people that may or may not be lucid.  You have to deal with people that get angry because of whatever reason.  You have to be a psychologist sometimes.  They just want to vent and you take it.
I have the keys and the codes to every register with override numbers.  I'll make it right with you.       
John Minehan Added Feb 10, 2018 - 1:37pm
The hard jobs are often the most rewarding.   
George N Romey Added Feb 10, 2018 - 3:07pm
Yes for a 22 year old kid living at home and most of his living expenses paid for $11 an hour "ain't bad." Let him try to rent an apartment, pay utilities, cover transportation and food and see how far $11 an hour goes. 
Leroy Added Feb 10, 2018 - 3:35pm
You have my vote for store manager.  We need more managers with that attitude.
Flying Junior Added Feb 11, 2018 - 2:14am
I guess it's about $1,000 a week or maybe closer to $25/hour.  Except for the fact that an assistant manager is a salaried position.  I'm guessing you are lucky if you put in less than 50 hours every week.  Twelve hour days?  Living the life.
I have put in my time.  My last hourly job was paying $13.50/hour in 2013.  You don't make ends meet without something else going for you.
But I can dig it.  Some of the happiest days of my life were at my first hourly job at the Mission Beach Burger King.  I closed it down every night I worked.  I cleaned the grill with a hot water hose.  I scrubbed the floors with Formula 409 and mopped up with bleach.  I met some really beautiful people that I have never forgotten.  I learned a great deal about how life works.  I can still scrub a floor like nobody's business.  I bought a big yellow bucket with a mop wringer for my own home.
One thing that I have learned is that people who really put in long hours working their asses off tend to be some of the happiest people you will ever know.  But, it's not universal.  I have seen hourly employees that would probably be happier being hunted like animals than working their telephone jobs in an electronic sweat shop.
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 11, 2018 - 2:41am
Manipuflation, glad to see someone, as aforementioned, living the dream.  I love the damn job and I love what it pays.  The chaos is awesome.  If you are doing what you love, it isn't work. As for cleaning house, I have seen that sort of thing before, and I understand why companies do it. Nice to see someone at WMT enjoying the job.
Thomas Sutrina Added Feb 11, 2018 - 7:52am
Seems that every corporation act alike.  You would think that you have to be good to get into upper management.  That isn't the case or at least you do not have to be good at the job you have in management.  You have to be good at climbing the ladder to it.  The bell cure is the same at every level.  Lots of good day to day people, few exceptional and few self centered.   The grass isn't green anywhere.  Good story. 
Stephen Hunter Added Feb 11, 2018 - 8:20am
imo the drug tests have one underlying objective; to eliminate those bad pot smoking employees. 
Leroy Added Feb 11, 2018 - 8:32am
Speaking of drug tests, my former company said it was required in order to get government contracts.  Since it upset the sensibilities of the Europeans working in the US, they didn't have to take it.  Other than wasting my time and trying to force me to sign documentation to hold the testing company harmless, I didn't care.  If a test ever came back positive, I sure as hell was going to sue the crap out of the testing company and refused to give up that right.
Jeff Jackson Added Feb 11, 2018 - 8:56am
Leroy-On many of the drug tests that I have taken, I asked the accuracy of the test, you know, like 95% or better. Never, and one of them went and produced the doctor on duty, but when asked, none of them could tell the the percentage of accuracy- none.  Nice to know that your career is jeopardy on a test that is of an accuracy that they cannot even tell you. Lose your job on a false positive? Call your lawyer, its lawsuit time.
Manipuflation Added Feb 11, 2018 - 6:36pm
11$ an hour is pretty good when you are living with your parents and and can't get a job anywhere else for some reason or another.  He was the one that was complaining about no jobs so I gave him a job a job.  Take the boxes of the truck, open them and put the products on the shelf for customers to buy.  It's not hard.   
wsucram15 Added Feb 11, 2018 - 7:58pm
Walmart Managers do not make 11.00 an hour, oh I see.. My daughter was an assistant manager quite some time ago and made more than that.
She did well because of the system Walmart uses, she knew it very well and she often trained others on it, even in other stores.
But it is a complicated and often backwards company to work for.
Best of Luck for your least when my daughter worked there, they had some good employee benefits for people willing to work.
Mark Hunter Added Feb 12, 2018 - 6:06am
Better you than me. I'll be very happy if I never end up in another management position, no matter what the pay.
mark henry smith Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:25pm
Nice to know that this is why I like Walmart. I have found their people to be approachable, but I've known lots of people in my life who would never shop at Walmart for fear of being accosted by the riff raff. I personally like the riff raff.
I worked in a convenience store and I have to say it was a small scale version of your Walmart experience. I was just a clerk, but was told I could go places in the company. When I said a joke to my boss about what he made in income, that night all of the cigarettes in the store got stolen after I left my closing shift and I was accused. When I was called in to defend myself, my explanation that I didn't even smoke, was seen as sufficient exculpatory evidence. 
George N Romey Added Feb 12, 2018 - 3:46pm
I’ve done merchandise support in Wal Marts and found the service lacking and employee moral as low as one could go. OTH retailers like Best Buy and Costco I find very positive. But both provide FT jobs, better pay and more support.
Dave Volek Added Feb 12, 2018 - 4:44pm
I've gotten to know a few "managers" at Wallmart. Their raise in pay was not worth the extra responsibility. But if one wants to get some management experience on their resume, then maybe it's OK.
Costco is a much better store than Wallmart (in my opinion). Costco pays a living wage, which eventually attracts the better workers.
Manipuflation Added Feb 12, 2018 - 8:17pm
I really never even considered working at Wallmart[sic] and they called me after finding my resume on Indeed so I gave it a shot.  You can see from my original article that it's no perfect world.  You have to remember that I came from Sears and if you want to talk about a messed up company then I have stories.
Here is what happened today that was messed up with Wallmart.  I was looking at scheduling on TMAT and noticed CAP2 only had four people scheduled.  I looked at incoming trucks and found that there was a large grocery/cold chain truck coming AND a very large GM(general merchandise) truck.  My academy was done early today and since some of the things I did on the first attempt carried over I called my store and asked if they needed help.  Of course they needed help so I went to my store and helped for a couple of hours. 
I was no formal obligation to call and even ask.  It turns that the truck were not scheduled for today but showed up anyway.  I find this hard to believe but no matter.  So now you are really short staffed and that just stresses everyone out and leads to poor customer service.  It leads to empty shelves and terrible morale.  I'm management, I could have just went home and never even asked or offered to help but I did.  What do you think that does for employee/associate morale?  How you think the other managers felt about that?  What message did I send?  I was actually thanked for helping out and I almost fell over. 
I spent 15 years in golf course management, that line of work is far more stressful and requires far more hours and technical knowledge than Wallymart.
Everyone's experience will be different at any job but really it is all about management.  I've never had to fire anyone in 19 years of managing various endeavors and that might change now but it is a good track record.  Don't hire morons to begin with.
I have work some very managers before and I know how frustrating that can be.  I think have bad immediate management now at my WMT.  That does not mean that I have to be like that.  Actions speak far louder than words do is often the axiom that is mentioned.  It is true.  If I allow my associates to struggle and fail without supporting them then that is what will happen to me as well. 
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 12, 2018 - 9:11pm
Welcome to Writerbeat, Manipuflation (love the name). It's always good to get a perspective from someone in the trenches. On your description of the drug testing, I worked for a chemical company for 38+ years and was subject to drug testing for much of that time. Back when I started, I would have tested positive, but had been clean for more than 25 years. About 1 year before I retired, my number got called and I went off on the phone about how stupid it was. But I went in, apologized to the person who called, and was surprised when someone in HR came and scolded me for not respecting the person who called me. That was just one more factor that led to my retiring early.
wsucram15 Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:45am
EABC..they were doing what they were told to do. not about the people, there are rules to protect the company and THATS the job.  Its about the rules, that girl was just doing her job.. I have bunches of stories where I really had to fight corporate over things they wanted me to do. Drug testing became a big thing in 2008 for us or for any accidents. Man I hated that.
Leroy Added Feb 13, 2018 - 10:32am
"Nice to know that this is why I like Walmart. I have found their people to be approachable, but I've known lots of people in my life who would never shop at Walmart for fear of being accosted by the riff raff. I personally like the riff raff."
Mark, that is pretty much my experience.  I've never know one to complain about working at Walmart.  Working at Walmart as a greeter during retirement is the dream job.  I used to have an older sister who wouldn't be caught dead in a Walmart.  She was used to the high life.  She still buys the expensive designer stuff, even though she is now dirt poor.  She still has to impress people that she is doing well.  I once asked her at a party if she bought her floor clock at Sam's.  They were selling it there.  She became indignant that I would imply such a thing in front of other people.  She's fallen on hard times now.  The IRS has a way of catching up to you.  I even saw her at Walmart one day.  She was embarrassed.  Heck, I even go to thrift shops.  
Dave Volek Added Feb 13, 2018 - 12:15pm
The crises you described should be expected when you pay low wages. True problem solvers will tend to move to greener pastures.
I'm not knocking Wallmart. They make a lot more money than I do. They just have a different business model. Maybe some MBA has set up a spreadsheet that the savings in lower wages is greater than the messes these wages cause.
mark henry smith Added Feb 13, 2018 - 3:18pm
Very nice story Manipuflation, and a nice moniker. The environment we live in is never an environment of our own making. We accept the world as we find it. Walmart is a capitalist creation based on the idea of shaving everything down to its competitive limit. It's the same with McDonald's. The model has flaws in that it's virtually impossible to find low-wage workers who will be dedicated to fulfilling their obligations long term. There are some, but most are constantly making their own, personal economic decisions and sometimes work just doesn't measure up. And they know how desperate the company is, so they take even more slack.
The reason managers get paid decently is because they're expected to step in and fill the slack whenever there is slack. They aren't forced to, they aren't asked to, but they know anyway. As you talk about in your last comment, the store is often bedlam and all participants suffer when that happens. You know this, and a making today a little better can make tomorrow a lot easier. That's an attitude we should all take into our environments.
Good on ya.   
Manipuflation Added Feb 15, 2018 - 8:35pm
"The crises you described should be expected when you pay low wages. True problem solvers will tend to move to greener pastures."
I disagree with you on this point.  I have always enjoyed trying to teach low skill people because university is not for everyone.  I have a four year degree in applied science and so what?  All that ended up in was me having to pay off student loans.  You are going to end up in sales or customer service at some point no matter what you choose. 
I am my own brand and I always stay true to it.  Would you believe that I am a biker?  The patch wearing kind.  I don't belong to a gang of thugs perse.  I am nomad.  The idiots that tried to do what they did had no idea that this is my mindset.  Not only that, I am experienced in politics.  They didn't know that either.  They tried to intimidate me when they figured out that I like looking at financials.  Bad move on their part.  I always play dumb.  I never show my cards to people in power.  
All anyone needs to know about me is that I don't owe anyone anything and I am not desperate.  I can do whatever I want because I have no debt and I sure hell have never bought a house.  I grew dirt poor in rural America.  My dad died when I was six months old.  It was no picnic but it wasn't all that bad either because everyone else was broke too or in debt.  You had to make do with what you had and I still do. 
I'm not afraid or too good to do some some shit job because I am probably good at it because I have done it before for little or no thanks.  We need to get rid of the entitlement attitude that pervades many nations these days.  YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL!  $11 an hour is more than generous for some of the snowflakes to start.  Show me why you are worth the money.
In fact, every economy in the world is debt based anyway so go learn about the bond markets.  If you have problem with Walmart then you should really rethink what you think you know about economics.  Why not just make minimum wage $10000 an hour?  What would happen to prices of good and services?  Or, what happens when you can print money and spend that money first?    
Dave Volek Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:41pm
I don't have a problem with Walmart. Like all retail stores, Walmart has its little niche in the minds and hearts of consumers. I do a fair bit of shopping there.
Costco is a better store in my opinion, but it is much further away. Wallmart is convenient; Costco is not.
It's great that you are getting some management experience with Wallmart. If you can parlay that into a rise up the corporate ladder, that is great. But I suspect that you will eventually be able to find better pay in the retail world with your Wallmart management experience. 
BTW, my anecdotal observations with Wallmart people in Canada is that the average full-time workers makes $20,000 a year. Assistant managers make $25,000, and store managers make $50,000.
For me, the manager's salary is not worth the headaches.
mark henry smith Added Feb 16, 2018 - 12:53pm
Very well said. It's not the job that shows the worth of a person, but by how they do it. I have always tried to do my best in any job I've been given. I believe that's how we maintain our dignity. I was on one job, working as an independent contractor, and the guys doing another job came to me and told me to stop working so hard because I was making them look bad. I told them that it wasn't my problem and they told me it would be when they kicked my ladder out from under me when I was thirty feet up.
That's how the game is played by some. I call it the burdens and the gifts mentality. Some people see life as a burden and take that attitude into every situation, leaving burdens everywhere they go. Some people see life as a gift and leave gifts everywhere they go. But interpretations of what is a burden and what is a gift can vary.
Your diverse background and multifaceted learning make you the kind of person cut out for the position you are in. You have seen hardship, so you understand how it affects others. You've had education, so you understand the value of learning. You have discipline so you know the importance of meeting your obligations. Rock on manager. And when you run for an office I can vote for, count one here for sure.