Sunday, September 19, 2004

Day 11

This morning was orientation. And oh the things they've taught me. And about how most of it was worthless.

Grace ran the show today. The only other newbie with me was Jennifer, a girl about my age. We filled out some tax forms, got our two copies of identification copied, and watched a few videos about Wal-Mart. The first was a short history, completely redundant if you've read Sam Walton: Made In America (but with moving pictures). The second was about the associate program -- what it means to Wal-Mart, how associates are the backbone of the program, why Wal-Mart is not anti-union but pro-associate (in a nice bit of 1984 theatrics that would have made Orwelle proud). Yadda, yadda, yadda.

We also found out that most of our oreintation will be taken in short lessons on computer terminals. These lessons are caled CBLs, which, apparently, don't stand for anything. Grace had us take the first two lessons, "Tobacco Compliance" and "The 3 Basic Beliefs." Each lesson has a small quiz that must be passed in order to advance. The tobacco lesson was the basics of not allowing minors to by tobacco, and had to be passed with a 100% (all other lessons only need an 80% in order to pass, which seems to imply that the lesson on "Bloodborne Pathogens" isn't as important as letting 17 year-olds purchase tobacco).

The 3 beliefs lesson briefly explained Wal-Mart's general business philosophy. the beliefs are, as follows: 1) Respect for the individual; 2) Service to customers; and 3) Striving for excellence. And that's that. Number 1 focuses on servant leadership. Number 2 on making the store a place customers want to shop at. Number 3 on always trying make things better, being open to change even if things seem to be going fine. Sam had a list of ten rules, that really fleshed out how his 3 Basic Beliefs could be applied in the life of a Wal-Mart employee (and can be found in ch. 17 of his book), but it was his 3 Beliefs that established the parameters for all of his business decisions.

And that was that. It took maybe three and a half hours, then we were out. Now I really work for Wal-Mart. I've been on the pay roll since 9am this morning. So far, so good.


Post a Comment

<< Home