It’s been three years since “Firing Day”…

March 31, 2010, 9:40 PM

Today marks three years from the day that I got fired from Wal-Mart back in 2007. That was an interesting experience. I am thoroughly convinced that I was not fired for anything I actually did. After all, the stuff that they accused me of allegedly happened in the store, while I was actually off the clock and off the premises. I believe I was probably viewed as a threat for my various left-wing political views, with a little help from Michelle Malkin and her goons to bring it to light. And let’s admit – by my count, during my time at Wal-Mart, I participated in eight different black blocs. I can say with certainty that Wal-Mart would have disapproved of at least one of them – the one at the Million Worker March. After all, by Wal-Mart’s view, unions are the spawn of Satan, and must be stopped at all costs.

Still, the day that I was fired was quite a day. First of all, the night before, my friend Katie had asked me to join her mother and herself for dinner on the evening of the 31st. I had to decline, since I was scheduled to work the Service Desk from 12 noon to 9 PM. Then at noon, I came in and started my shift. I lasted 90 minutes – just long enough to clean up the Service Desk (those bastards). Then I got called into the back office, and as soon as I saw the green piece of paper on the desk, I knew where that meeting was going. For those who don’t know, Wal-Mart at that time printed their “Exit Interview” forms on green paper, commonly called a “green sheet”. Essentially, it’s your walking papers. And they gave them to me. In short, I had to hand over my maroon “Four Star Cashier” vest and my name badge, and then clean out my locker. I did, however, get to keep my company-issued box cutter, which they never asked for and I never gave them back. And I still use it, too, for that matter. But after cleaning out my locker, they were all, “Don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you!” and escorted me out of the store.

The rest of that day was just weird. I quickly high-tailed it out of the parking lot, and went for a drive, ending up in Weyers Cave. There, I bought copies of The News Virginian and The News Leader. You see, I had come up with a strategy. I was attacking my new status of unemployed on two fronts. First, I was going to see if I could find anything locally to get going right away with while the search for a “real job” in DC continued. Then I also was going to really push hard on getting that real job. I parked myself at a rest area, and went through the classifieds in both papers. I found a few interesting leads, and planned to apply there on the following Monday. Then after that, I ended up in the Staunton Public Library. There, I hit and started looking at various nonprofit jobs in the DC area. I had Idealist open in one window, and Gmail in another. I Emailed myself the link to every job posting that I found on there that looked like a good match, and saved it to apply to on Monday.

I also spent a good amount of time on the phone with Katie, as this was like a serious event, and I was still in a bit of shock. But later in the day, a very good feeling came over me. I was like, hey… I don’t work at Wal-Mart anymore! It was like a breath of fresh air. No more having to deal with idiot managers. No more having to deal with people who would call a bunch of us into a meeting, verbally lay out new rules for how we were to operate, and then deny all of it when we actually followed these new rules. It was over.

And I ended up making that dinner date with Katie and her mother. That was a fun time, too! Then I got home, told the parents what happened, and went to work on all those job leads that I had come up with.

In the end, as you well know, it worked out. Less than three weeks after getting canned, I went from “fired” to “hired”, and got a real job with a progressive organization, and where I still am today, and where I love what I do.

Looking back at the whole Wal-Mart experience, though, it was probably a mistake to go to work there in the first place. But I was kind of desperate, and needed some money, and they were hiring, and willing to accommodate my schedule while I was still in college. Honestly, it’s amazing that I lasted as long as I did, but somehow I managed. And from what I can tell in talking to my former Wal-Mart coworkers, nothing has changed. The employees are still generally unhappy, as Wal-Mart will stop at nothing to make huge profits, while making sure that their employees are divided. After all, it’s easier to crush employees like roaches when they’re individuals, while it’s a lot harder to crush the employees when they’re formed in a union.

And being outside the Wal-Mart box, I’ve gotten to see Wal-Mart for what it is. Its stores are dirty and disorganized, and good luck finding someone who (A) knows where the product that you’re looking for is, and (B) knows anything about the products that the store sells.

And by popular request, here’s another movie of a Wal-Mart on fire:

No idea what happened there, but the world could certainly stand to have a few less Wal-Marts.

Web site: What is a "Real Job," exactly?

Song: The original Wal-Mart on fire video that I showed back in 2008...

Quote: Meanwhile, I loved today. I mentioned on Facebook that today marked three years since getting canned, and I actually got a lot of congratulatory messages! Woo hoo!

Categories: Walmart