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I used to watch TV news and yell at the box. Now I jump up from the couch, sit at the computer and begin to type laughing maniacally saying "Wait until they read this." It's more fun than squashing tadpoles



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Saturday, November 26, 2005

My Father Worked at Wal-Mart

After retiring from Northern Virginia Community College, my father went to work for Wal-Mart. He was impressed by the system the company had for marketing and stocking the merchandise. He found the management open to suggestions for improving operations in his department. I don't remember him not wanting to go to work.

After some years of working there, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. When he could not work any longer, Wal-Mart put him on medical leave. This kept him on the roll as an employee so his medical benefits could be maintained. After the six week leave period was over, he was still receiving treatment. The company extended his leave so he would not loose his insurance. The treatments were unsuccessful, he passed on leaving my mother with only the medical coverage from Wal-Mart.

It was my duty to handle the settling of the estate part of which was dealing with his Wal-Mart 401k, and my mother's insurance coverage transfer. The whole transaction with the 401k was easy. The questions that I had were graciously handled. Most satisfying was their willingness to continue to carry my mother's insurance for 18 months until she got insurance of her own. She was still given her employee dependent discount for a year. There was never any attempt to take advantage of my parent's situation. On the contrary, they bent over backwards to help whenever they could. Despite the complaints of Wal-Mart's treatment of employees by the talking heads on TV, my experience was of a company that cared for the individual who was my father, and their employee.

My father had been an electrical engineer at IBM for 25 years, he taught electronics at NVCC, and he worked at Wal-Mart. Before he died he told me of all the jobs he had in his life the one he enjoyed the most was Wal-Mart.

Jeff Matthews has some good analysis on Wal-Mart

Steve the Pirate has the Showcase

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