I work for Wal-Mart nearly ten years. The first year and a half I worked as a tech in automotive changing oil and tires. The rest as a Direct Store Delivery manager. Basically a grocery vendor receiver.
I retired just a few months shy of my tenth year anniversary. One of the few things I wished I had finished or at least accomplished. But then again, one small regret I can live with.
Wal-Mart’s a pretty crazy place to work at, especially during the holidays. There’s no taking off for vacation or going home early. You have to be there. No if, ands, or buts about it.
For nearly ten years I had to work every single holiday. Except Chrismas day which is the only day Wal-Mart is closed.
There was one holiday though that I dreaded the most of any other holiday. And that was Thanksgiving. Not because I hated thanksgiving, but because I had to work.
I’d wake up early in the morning around 4am. Had to be at work by 5am to start my shift. Vendors piled up outside ready to get checked in.
This would go on none stop till about 12pm. An hour lunch then back in to check in the rest of the vendors. My shift ended at 2pm. Time to go home.
Now normally this would be fine cause I still had the rest of the day to enjoy thanksgiving right? Wrong! In about ten hours I had to go back to work to help prep for Black Friday.
So I really couldn’t enjoy thanksgiving the way I was suppose to. I had to run home, get ready for thanksgiving. Then go to my parents home, my wife’s parents home, then be home just in time to get ready for work which I had to be in at 12am midnight.
I really only had about 3 or 4 hours of thanksgiving. Most of it was done driving. Not only did I not enjoy thanksgiving because of this, but my wife and kids didn’t either. I had to drag them with me through this entire bullshit.
There were years where we went to our families home in separate cars so that they can stay and I could go on straight to work cause I had to start around 9pm.
What kinda bullshit is that!
It wasn’t really Wal-Mart’s fault. It was the work, the hours. I didn’t have control over it. I didn’t have the freedom to enjoy it the way I wanted. This was the reason why I dreaded thanksgiving so much for so many years. I didn’t have the freedom.
This went on for nearly ten years…
Today I still wake up around 4am on thanksgiving day. But it’s different now. I don’t dread thanksgiving so much anymore. I look forward to it now. The only thing I dread is the driving and eating sooooo much, lol. But that’s something I could live with ;-)
So if you ask me today what I’m thankful for. I’d say that I’m thankful for the freedom I have now to enjoy thanksgiving the way I want to enjoy it, and that’s with my family!
Peace and I love ya for free ;-)