I went to interview about a job. The Human Resources dude explained what the company was all about as far as equipment, sales, deliveries, work load and hours. He went on to tell me what position I was being considered for. He told me that I would be expected to work long hours, different shifts and at times I might be expected to take on responsibilities that didn't necessarily fit the job description I was being hired for. At that time, he stood up and took a .45 Smith & Wesson out of the desk drawer and pressed the muzzle against my forehead...right between the eyes.
"You want the job or not?" He asked.
This was an unusual thing to happen in an interview. I had never experienced this before. Several things went through my mind. First, was he bluffing? If I said 'no', was he going to pull the trigger? If I said 'yes', then that would mean committing myself to a job where several small tidbits of information had not yet been supplied to me.
For example, the gentleman with the wicked grin and the gun to my head had yet to tell me how much I would be paid for my services. It seemed somewhat unfair to me that I would be expected to go to work and not have a clue about my wage. He also had not given me any details about medical benefits, savings plans, retirement options or promotional opportunities should I decide to come on board.
As I sat there, sweating profusely as the gun barrel pressed deeper into my forehead, the Human Resources dude cocked the hammer back.
"You got ten seconds to decide, sucker," he whispered in a snake like voice.
Well, at least now I knew the time limit. Ten seconds wasn't really that long, but I felt it was time enough to make a life and death decision. The question for me was twofold. If I take the job, I get to live and go to work without knowing how much I would be making and whether any benefits came with the job. If I turn the man down and say 'Thanks but no thanks', I get to see what it feels like to have a large, lead slug tear through my skin, skull and brain. Certainly, the sensation would only last a split second, but at least I would know. So, I took the full ten seconds to decide. After all, one can't be too hasty when making a choice like this.
"Time's up," the man said, getting ready to pull the trigger.
"I'll take it!" I blurted, wincing with eyelids tightly shut, wondering if I had answered in time.
"Congratulations!" The man beamed, tucking the pistol in his belt and holding out a hand for me to shake. "Welcome to our team!"
Now, as you all know, the above is purely fiction. But to hear the Wal-Mart workers talk, along with others that are demanding higher wages, better benefits, less hours, longer breaks, fewer responsibilities, et al...you would think that the above was exactly what happened to them. They take responsibility for nothing. NOTHING. According to them, it isn't their fault they work for Wal-Mart. Life has thrown them a curve and it is a company's chore to see to it they hit a home run. Not just a base hit, but a freakin' home run.
When I got married in 1978, I was driving a dump truck for Precinct 3 in Hardin County for $4.00 an hour. They told me how much I would be making. They told me there were no benefits. They told me that I would be required to empty a fully loaded dump truck of asphalt, into potholes, for eight hours, with a shovel. When I got back to the County Barn, they expected the dump truck to be empty. I knew going in how much I was going to make, and I never squawked. What I did was got another job as a test technician at an oil field manufacturing facility making $6.00 per hour. I thought I was in the money. I worked 12 to 16 hours a day, six to seven days a week for six months and learned all I could about the equipment I was testing. I then was promoted to Quality Inspector over the same test department, making $7.50 an hour. A year and a half later I was promoted to Supervisor over the test department. Not one piece of equipment left that plant without my signature. Through the years, I learned as much as I could...both through the bad times and the good...and gradually made more money and more money and more money. You see, the difference between me and these Wal-Mart cretins and Union members elsewhere is that I never looked at driving a dump truck as my lifelong career. If anyone, and I mean ANYONE looks at working for Wal-Mart as the way to success and financial independence, I laugh at the absolute stupidity.
Not once have I held a picket sign in my hand. Not once have I been a member of a union and I am SO proud of that fact it makes me giddy to think about it. I haven't needed nor wanted a whole bunch of other people deciding where I went in my career or how I got there or speaking for me about how much I was going to make. I kind of like standing on my OWN two feet and being an independent, self reliant man. Have I made millions? No, I haven't. But I'm proud of my accomplishments because they're MINE. There isn't another soul on this planet that can lay any claim to what I've done. Only God can take credit for me because he's the one that has given me breath and strength to persevere.
If you want to make money, then quit your bitching and do something about it yourself. Being an individual isn't so bad. In fact, it improves your self esteem since nobody else is holding you up. And, don't sell yourself short, which is what a lot of people are doing these days. You don't need the government or a union to help you succeed. What you need is motivation, drive, determination and patience. But, if you just say, "Duh..I'm a stocker at Wul-Marts," and that's what you think you're always going to be, then get set to make $6 bucks an hour for the rest of your life. Just don't blame me, fella. It's your fault, and not mine.