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You won’t believe what life is like working there

Posted by on May. 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM
  • 101 Replies

I worked for walmart personally for 4 years and I was full time, It was a real struggle. You make too much for assitance but not enough to live! its a really hard middle.



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My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won’t believe what life is like working there

The president's visiting my store Friday. He won't see how I sleep on my son's floor and eat potato chips for lunch

TOPICS: WAL-MARTWAGESOUR WAL-MARTINEQUALITYWORKING POORHOMELESSNESSHEALTH INSURANCECANCERFOOD INSECURITYEDITOR'S PICKS

My personal Wal-Mart nightmare: You won't believe what life is like working therePam Ramos

When I woke up to see the news, I could hardly believe it: President Obama is planning a visit to the Mountain View Wal-Mart where I work.

But the excitement quickly passed when I found out the store would be shutting down hours in advance of his visit. I wouldn’t be able to tell the president what it’s like to work at Wal-Mart and what it’s like to struggle on low wages, without the hours I need. I am living at the center of the income inequality that he speaks about so often, and I wanted to talk to him about how to change this problem.

My situation is not unlike that of many of the 825,000 Wal-Mart associates – and many other Americans – who are working hard, but just can’t keep up. Most of us aren’t even paid $25,000 a year even though we work at the largest employer in the country and one that makes $16 billion in profits.

I wanted to tell the president what it’s like working – and living – like this.

Things have always been tight. After four years working at Wal-Mart in Mountain View, I am bringing home about $400 every two weeks (I’d like to get more hours, but I’m lucky if I work 32 hours a week). That’s not enough to pay for bills, gas and food.  All I can afford to eat for lunch is a cup of coffee and a bag of potato chips. I’ve always done everything possible to stretch paychecks and scrape by. Sometimes it means not getting enough to eat.

But then I got some bad news that made stretching my budget impossible.

Two months ago, I started feeling ill. My doctor told me I needed to take a week off to have a series of medical tests. Every day for a week I went to the hospital and had to pay $30, $60 or $100 in co-pays for each appointment, test and X-ray.

With these additional expenses and without a paycheck for the week I was out, it pushed me over the edge. I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent.

Right now, I don’t have a place to call home.

I sleep on the floor of my son’s living room because I can’t afford my own place. All of my belongings are in my car. I don’t know where to send my mail.

I used to think, “At least I have my health and my family.” But my doctor thinks I may have colon cancer, and with all of the money I still owe the hospital, I’m not sure how to finish the tests and get treatment. Even though I do have insurance through Wal-Mart, the co-pays are more than I can afford with only $400 every two weeks.


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I wanted to tell the president I am scared. I am scared for my health. I am scared for the future for my grandkids. And I am scared and sad about the direction that companies like Wal-Mart are taking our country.

I don’t wish the struggle I’m facing onto anyone. But sadly, my situation isn’t unique. I know that I am one of many living in the Wal-Mart economy who has no financial stability. We expect to work until our deaths because we don’t have any retirement savings and are concerned about the future in front of our children and grandchildren.

There are so many of us who have it so hard – trying to live paycheck to paycheck. While the president is here visiting my store, I want him to look inside at what is really happening at Wal-Mart.

I want the president to help us and tell Wal-Mart to pay us enough to cover the bills and take care of our families. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask from such a profitable company, a company that sets the standard for jobs in this country. And I hope it’s not too much to ask from a president who believes that income inequality is the defining challenge of our time.

Pam Ramos has worked for four years at the Walmart in Mountain View, California. President Obama is visiting this Walmart on Friday. Ramos is also a member of OUR Walmart, the worker organization calling on Walmart to publicly commit to paying workers $25,000 a year, providing full-time work and ending illegal retaliation.

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by on May. 12, 2014 at 10:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lanceandhailey
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 10:57 AM
2 moms liked this

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.


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mistressflora
by Member on May. 12, 2014 at 11:21 AM
5 moms liked this

its easier said than done, for some its easy for others it is not, for me for example i lived in a rural area and walmart was the only job within an hour from my house, yeah the paid sucked but they paid me almost 10 an hour by the time I left,  everywhere else around us, was paying alot less than that!  I actually took that job bc it was better paying than the one i was working at and you cant work another job bc walmart requires you to be open. 

Quoting lanceandhailey:

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.


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lanceandhailey
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Most people just give up and complain about the job they have and don't continue looking for a new one long enough until they find something better.

Quoting mistressfl ora:

its easier said than done, for some its easy for others it is not, for me for example i lived in a rural area and walmart was the only job within an hour from my house, yeah the paid sucked but they paid me almost 10 an hour by the time I left,  everywhere else around us, was paying alot less than that!  I actually took that job bc it was better paying than the one i was working at and you cant work another job bc walmart requires you to be open. 

Quoting lanceandhailey:

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.



mistressflora
by Member on May. 12, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I cant speak for anyone else, that was just my situtation, I actually eventually ended up moving to a city after being umeployed for so long bc i couldnt find a job....I had 8 interviews in 2 months thats the most I had in years....i actually had three job offers and had to choose which was best, so I do think where you live has a lot to do with it

Quoting lanceandhailey:

Most people just give up and complain about the job they have and don't continue looking for a new one long enough until they find something better.

Quoting mistressfl ora:

its easier said than done, for some its easy for others it is not, for me for example i lived in a rural area and walmart was the only job within an hour from my house, yeah the paid sucked but they paid me almost 10 an hour by the time I left,  everywhere else around us, was paying alot less than that!  I actually took that job bc it was better paying than the one i was working at and you cant work another job bc walmart requires you to be open. 

Quoting lanceandhailey:

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.



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jcrew6
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2014 at 11:31 AM
1 mom liked this

From reading this article, my first response~ She needs to take some ownership on where she is in her life.

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on May. 12, 2014 at 11:35 AM
7 moms liked this

Situations are unique to the individual.

Saying 'just find another job' is ridiculous.  For many, whether you work at WM or not, it isn't that easy.

My sister worked at WM for about 4 years.  She was finally able to find another job but it took a long time.  The stories she told me while working there, the way workers were treated, the lack of respect as a whole, the demand to do as they say regardless of all else and other things, I would have to be pretty damn desperate to consider working for this company.

And many people are........................................

Those who have no fear, or need, to make ends meet always use the easy way out...........'just find another job'.  Reality for many isn't as some choose to believe.

LNLMommy
by Queen K on May. 12, 2014 at 11:36 AM
13 moms liked this

It's easier to blame the individual than the Big Business but let's be honest-Walmart can afford to pay their employee more-that is the point. It's an employers market so "Go find something else" isn't even easy for people with advanced degrees. Why is it OK for Walmart to treat their employees the way that they do? Because society places the blame on the person not the greedy corporation. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on May. 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting lanceandhailey:

Most people just give up and complain about the job they have and don't continue looking for a new one long enough until they find something better.

Quoting mistressfl ora:

its easier said than done, for some its easy for others it is not, for me for example i lived in a rural area and walmart was the only job within an hour from my house, yeah the paid sucked but they paid me almost 10 an hour by the time I left,  everywhere else around us, was paying alot less than that!  I actually took that job bc it was better paying than the one i was working at and you cant work another job bc walmart requires you to be open. 

Quoting lanceandhailey:

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.


You are correct, for some this is the case.

For others it truly is difficult to find that other job, regardless of what one does to find that other job.  It's not always as easy as some people think, regardless of any degree, or no degree, work history or not. 

FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on May. 12, 2014 at 11:37 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting LNLMommy:

It's easier to blame the individual than the Big Business but let's be honest-Walmart can afford to pay their employee more-that is the point. It's an employers market so "Go find something else" isn't even easy for people with advanced degrees. Why is it OK for Walmart to treat their employees the way that they do? Because society places the blame on the person not the greedy corporation. 

Bears repeating.

lanceandhailey
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 11:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Sometimes you have to move, we did. 

Quoting FromAtoZ:

Quoting lanceandhailey:

Most people just give up and complain about the job they have and don't continue looking for a new one long enough until they find something better.

Quoting mistressfl ora:

its easier said than done, for some its easy for others it is not, for me for example i lived in a rural area and walmart was the only job within an hour from my house, yeah the paid sucked but they paid me almost 10 an hour by the time I left,  everywhere else around us, was paying alot less than that!  I actually took that job bc it was better paying than the one i was working at and you cant work another job bc walmart requires you to be open. 

Quoting lanceandhailey:

My husband was an assistant manager at Wal-Mart (with a college degree) for awhile, he made just over $34,000 a year and the insurance sucked :( Thankfully he took a full time job with the military 9 years ago and makes soo much more!

That's the thing though, if a job is not working for you financially go find a different one. You are in control of your future.


You are correct, for some this is the case.

For others it truly is difficult to find that other job, regardless of what one does to find that other job.  It's not always as easy as some people think, regardless of any degree, or no degree, work history or not. 


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