Walmart has always employed elderly or people with disabilities as greeters at their doors. I always thought it was a nice to be welcomed to the store. I’ve gotten to know a few of them at my local store.
I’m not sure how much they get paid. Is it even minimum wage? A lot of the elderly greeters were successful retirees that just wanted something to do. Get out of the house a few hours a week. IIRC I’ve seen articles profiling Walmart greeters that were in their nineties.
Apparently that’s ended. A damn shame too. The one example of humanity in that cold corporate machine is gone.
I doubt many 70 year old greeters can load 50lb items into cars. They’ll get kicked to the curb just like this guy.
Not much can be done. It’s their store and this wonderful gesture wasn’t something Walmart had to do. Now they’ll be yet another cold and unwelcoming corporate store.
I worked at a grocery store where, among other things, I was expected to help customers load purchases into their vehicles. That chain now expects customers to do their own loading and won’t provide assistance unless specifically asked.
My nearest Wal-Mart employs greeters who sit and don’t move; a girl with only one arm; a guy with a severely deformed hand, missing some fingers; a tall gent who has an extreme limp but manages to move carts and baskets around just fine; and a supervisor who can only walk with a cane. And one who is covered with tattoos (not that that’s a handicap, just sayin’). All are exemplary employees.
There are WalMart stores that help people load things into cars???
Around here it’s common to see people trying to wrestle a 60" TV or a futon into a shopping cart, through the checkout lane and across a 500’ stretch of parking lot, and the only assistance anyone gets is when the greeter says “Thank you for shopping at WalMart” on their way out the door.
I can’t find anything on this story that does not originate outside Pennsylvania (except the link in the OP), and all the stories I read are basically identical. They do not identify the “Wal-Mart spokesman”, and I can find nothing to indicate that this is a company policy. Something is weird here.
I shop in Wal-Mart occasionally, mostly for a cheddar cheese that no other local store carries, and the greeters at my Wal-Mart would not be capable of carrying my cheese to my car. Nevertheless, I still see them greeting me, checking receipts, and putting stickers on returns coming in the door.
Apparently Walmart is phasing this in gradually. Store by store.
Maybe bad publicity will make them rethink this change?
QUOTE from local story
East Stroudsburg is one of many Walmart’s in American starting a new program called “More at the Door”. The East Stroudsburg store switched it’s greeter position to “customer host”. It requires more work checking receipts and helping with returns.
I always assumed the “Greeters” served two functions:
to make the place seems like a people-run thing. I might steal form Bid Bad Business, but: from this sweet old guy?
Let the thieves wonder just how much the dude knows about their intent. Did he see that I was casing the place? Did he push a hidden button to alert Security? Am I being watched?
Now there’s a big rarely-smiling guy looking at carts and receipts.
He is not seeing me as I come in, and even if I see him, the vibe from a snarling young man, mad at the world because Wal-Mart was the only place he could get a job? I am NOT going to feel bad about ripping this place off. He is the personification of “Big Bad Business”.
“Greeter” and “Security/Muscle” are very different things. Finding a single person who can do both is going to be a trick.
Sure. I bought a microwave oven at Wal-Mart last year and had no trouble getting help getting it off the shelf and into my basket and then getting help putting it in my car. The employees were friendly and glad to help.
The thing about elderly people wanting to get out of the house for a few hours has never been true at any Walmart I’ve been to in the past 20 years. They are usually elderly, but they work all the time- I have seen the same 2 guys every time I’ve been to my local Walmart the past 10 years- and they have been checking receipts and things for as long as I can remember, possibly always.
I also find it easy to get help; once you can find an employee, of course. I do feel very guilty, however, when I ask where something is, of an employee who is busy stocking shelves or something, and they take you there. I feel like I am interrupting something important. But they always take me to the right place although the item I am looking for might not be in stock.
I have only asked for help to the car once, and the conditions (including: wait until I finish checking out this 300’ line of customers) were more than I wanted to wait for.
I don’t work for Walmart, I work for a different big box store, and it’s been made very clear that no matter what my other job duties are helping customers find stuff is Job #1 and part of my job, because if you don’t find what you want to buy we don’t make the money we need to stay in business. In other words, my employer thinks helping YOU is more important than stocking shelves, checking inventory, running the forklift in the back, re-arranging shelves/fixtures for a new display, or basically anything else in the store. The stock will be there to put on the shelf after you’ve found what you want, we want to make you happy NOW so you’ll buy stuff and we keep getting paychecks. That’s what’s meant by “the customer comes first”.
In other words, by asking me for help you help provide me with work and a job so thank you for keeping me off unemployment. Ask away, any time.
Ours has either a big burly guy or a really tough looking woman, both of whom are clearly posted at the door solely to deter shoplifters. I suppose they could load cars if anyone was brave enough to ask them to do so.