Monday, October 08, 2007

Wal-Mart Bullies Disabled Greeters

I have just hired into Wal-mart as a greeter myself sadly and just asking to have a stool to get off my feet for a few minutes seems to be a deadly sin to them.

Let me start at the beginning. About seven years ago I had a series of accidents that left me partially disabled. Since then I cannot walk without the aid of a cane, continue to have problems standing for long periods and, weakness/pain on the right side of my body.

First I applied to a variety of departments including gardening, electronic, cashier, etc. After the standard interview process one of the assistant managers had approved the job offer for a sales associate in the electronics department because I had worked at a Best Buy beforehand (which I left for only getting scheduled for 4 hrs total in a week by the end, but at least I could get off my feet when needed).

Just before clicking on the computer to accept the job offer and get my drug test packet I requested the American with Disability act sheet so I could get reasonable accommodation for my condition. After a whole mess of them not knowing where the form is and me trying to find an appointment to get it filled out I was finally called back by Wal-Mart.

They explained that they were now only able to offer me the people greeter position for considerably less money than I was offered for in the electronics dept. Angry, but desperate for cash, I took the job.

On my ADA form it exclaims that I NEED to get off my feet every 2 hours for a break and within my first 4 days on the floor 3 of the days I was forgotten for 30min to a hour at a time come break time, it has since gotten better but ONLY if I yell at them on the radio for someone to remember to give it to me (did not even have a radio until I kept complaining). I was in so much pain that I had to call a family member to drive me home. A few days later I receive the second ADA form that I sent to my surgeon.

On this form he wants me to have sit down work, use of a wheelchair, and a short moving break every hour. Now I do not really need the wheelchair unless I plan on covering a large area all day (state fair, amusement park, etc) but I DO need to be able to get off my feet often.

I was told that Wal-Mart will submit the form but was "unlikely to be able to accommodate me" by the cashier manager and personnel manager. What part of people greeter cannot be accomplished by having a stool there that I can sit on when I am hurting to the point that I can barely move? What part of me sitting had anything to do with causing significant difficulties for the company? I EVEN HAVE MY OWN STOOL!!

I have begged them to put me somewhere more comfortable but they explain how there is no such place and even reminded them that I have seen cashiers there on stools. According to them that is for "pregnant and recent surgery" employees. Even just being able to lean forward on the register was better.

But the worst part of all is today I was sent to be a greeter at the lawn and garden door and for the whole hour and a half there were less than 10 customers and EVERY second there was not someone checking out the cashier was sitting down on the register. With all the cameras and managers doing nothing but cruising the store with clipboards you cannot tell me that they did not know that they were sitting and if a perfectly able person is able why in the world would they not be able to offer me a job at the same place......and the cashier girl so nicely explained that the garden center cashier spot was year round and that she was moving to bakery next week.

I am not the only one having problems at this store and probably many other stores.

There is an older woman that requires a cart just to walk back to the time clock and all of them are constantly forgotten about on breaks. It was only after I came and complained about not having radios at the door that we got one to be able to yell at the CSM's to give breaks on time.

Walmart continues to bully and intimidate its mostly disabled greeters so they dont complain and let the company walk all over them. There IS a video about ADA AFTER you are hired that explains that you have the right to a form but little else. But, during the hiring process only a few small sentences ever mention it and when someone like me that actually reads and requests it the management has NO CLUE what it is or where it can be found until they call you into the store 3 times to finally get it placed in my hands, then have to wait nearly a week to see if its accepted to even get the job.

I am stuck at this point. I do not have a desire to quit so soon since I have quit so many other places before hand and finding a now job where I live is a near impossibility (employers see a cane it is like I have a communicable disease).

But at the current rate I will not last long with the extreme amount of pain I am feeling standing still on bare concrete for 8hrs a day. So any suggestions or help would be appreciated.Though they will no doubt be able to figure out who is writing this message and will retaliate against me despite my rights and their own policies

I have choosen to make a fake email address and at this time do not wish to identify myself. I would like to keep a job at least until i can find a good job that does not treat its employees like trash and criminals.