(Written and uploaded with apologies to Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart)
Bob and David Smith are men on a mission. Bob, the CEO of Palmetto Goodwill, and his son and heir-apparent, David, have been going undercover to find out why so many employees of Goodwill are quitting to seek positions with Walmart. Despite the giant retailer’s bad reputation for low wages, poor employee treatment, sorry benefits, and a lack of advancement opportunities, many Goodwill workers regard Walmart as something of an “employment Nirvana” compared to their current situation.
I spoke with a current Goodwill employee who asked to remain anonymous:
“My sister been working at Wal-Mart for two year now. She know ’bout Goodwill ’cause she work here for six month before Walmart hire her. She work in de Goose Creek stoe half dat time den she transfer to de company headquarters fo’ de janitor work.”
“Now, she wuz mosly doin’ clean up work on de top flo where all de executive office been. Damn! De stories she tell ’bout dem folks! She would go clean de bigwig bathroom and occasional dere be a big old turd all coil up in de toilet widout so much as a scrap of tissue paper to keep it company.”
My source continued with her discourse: “She done say dat mos’ o dose mens makes a hundred grand a year…and dat some makes a lot more dan dat….All dat money and dey ain’t got de sense to wipe dere own asses??? Let alone flush away a damned nasty old turd? Hell, I was born on de East Side and my Momma woulda chase me through cross-town traffic to slap da spit outta my mouf if I left a big nasty turd wif no T.P. and no flush down!”
“And, she also say dat occasionally somebody would let go with a big number two in de urinal.”
“Now, she say dat dem lady executive…well, dey wuz clean as a whistle. Not so much as a drop of pee on de floor and de toilet seats wuz always down.”
“My sister…well…she got tired of lookin’ at all dose nasty turds and mention it to her supervisor. Supervisor lady get all piss off and tell her not to mind dose turds because dey come out of de butt of somebody you MOS definitely don wan to mess wif. “Jus look at all dem devil signs on de wall, girl,” say her supervisor. “Dat is some serious scary stuff! You bes stay way from dem folk.” One day my sister walk in de bathroom and dey be shit smear writing on de wall inside de stall. She take a picture wid her phone and send it to me. I can’t make no sense of what it say. Some kind of crazy shit…”
She broke out in laughter at her inadvertant “crazy shit” comment and I gleefully shared her mirth.
I asked her if she still had the picture she took and, if so, could she forward me a copy. Here is what she sent. I can’t make head nor tails of what the author is trying to say.
“I ain’t been here but for six weeks now but I shore enough am ready to move on. I done put in my application to Walmart and has an interview next week. I recon I’ll give dese bastards about five minutes notice and a piece of my mind to boot! I be looking forward to dat! My sister tell me dat de Walmart managers push you hard but she say she ain’t never once seen one of dem shit in a urinal.”
When I confronted the two Smiths about the nasty executive bathroom allegations they expressed surprise and denial. Bob appeared to wince, however, when his son kicked him on the shin under the table. I let that go and asked what they hoped to learn from their fact-finding trips to Walmart: “We just want to get a feel for what’s going on at Walmart, and to see what we can do, short of paying our workers a living wage and treating them in a humane fashion, to increase our bottom-line,” said Bob. David interjected, “We also need to get a handle on what they are charging for clothing and household goods so we can get higher prices for the donations we receive. It’s also good for me and Pops to get out of the office and spend a little quality time together. Walmart is a fun place to do that! There are so many bitter ex-Goodwill employees there, however, that we sometimes feel the need to wear disguises to avoid disruptive scenes”.
“On one occasion me and Pop were in their sports department looking over the selection of junior jock straps when some disgruntled ex-Goodwill employee recognized us and chased us out of the store hollering obscenities while swinging a hockey stick at our heads. At first the security guard tried to stop him but he joined in the chase when the stick-wielding thug told them who we were. Turned out that the rent-a-cop was also a pissed off ex-Goodwill employee. Ungrateful bastard!”
I asked for and received permission from the Smiths to accompany them on a few of their Walmart ventures.
The next photoshop is a metaphor for what we can expect when old Bob retires and hands the family business to incompetent, poorly educated, and unqualified son…