- Walmart store employees occasionally witness some pretty troubling incidents while at work.
- Some employees have taken to Reddit to describe particularly exasperating and horrifying situations.
- Business Insider also spoke with a number of associates to find out what’s the worst thing they have ever seen happen in the store.
Walmart employees have seen some things.
Any large retail store witnesses its share of crises and off-putting behaviour from customers on a regular basis. Walmart is no different.
Business Insider spoke with a number of Walmart associates and scoured the web for anecdotes from employees to get their top horror stories.
And we definitely heard a few doozies.
“Who knows what crazy even is anymore?” one Walmart employee of 12 years told Business Insider.
Here are some of the worst things that Walmart associates have witnessed while on the job:
All sorts of problematic shenanigans in the parking lot
One Walmart employee of 12 years told Business Insider that they have seen quite a number of instances of vehicular damage occur in their store’s parking lot. But the culprits weren’t drivers.
The employee said people “leave their shopping carts loose in the parking lot, where winds can push them into other vehicles.”
And even more serious parking lot-related incidents aren’t out of the question, either.
One Walmart employee from Virginia told Business Insider that they had witnessed fights in the store’s parking lot.
Tangles with counterfeiters
Sometimes, things get a bit out of hand at Walmart.
One Walmart employee wrote in a Reddit thread about an encounter with one failed counterfeiter in the electronics section. The customer attempted to purchase a game with a scanned $US100 bill that had been printed on two pieces of paper and stapled together.
“The edges weren’t even cut properly as you could see white along the border,” the associate wrote. “I just looked at the guy and said ‘Seriously?'”
The shopper proceeded to wander off, according to the associate.
A constant barrage of rudeness
One Wisconsin-based Walmart associate told Business Insider that “customer attitude” was sometimes the worst part of working at the store.
Another Walmart employee took to Reddit in 2016 to complain about the rudeness of people who bring too many items into the express lane due to “some weird sense of entitlement.”
The employee went on to describe one customer who “pounded his fist on the counter as hard as he could and screamed, ‘Come on, man, hurry the f— up.’ I was trying to unroll a roll of dimes to give him his change. He was buying corn dogs from the deli place.”
The same associate also mentioned one customer who hit them with a pack of cigarettes.
“I laid the box on the counter, he picked them up, and threw them at me, hitting me in the chest and said, ‘I said Gold, moron.'”
The associate added that these negative encounters were largely “isolated” incidents.
People chowing down in the store
A Walmart associate from Wisconsin told Business Insider that they had seen customers straight up “eating produce” from the stands in the store.
Another employee with 12 years of experience at the store said they have witnessed “… shoppers who graze fruits like grapes or apples.”
This isn’t just disconcerting behaviour to witness. Snacking in the store can cause issues when it comes time to check out.
“We can’t weigh the item if it’s already been consumed,” the associate told Business Insider.
Gross happenings in the stores
One Walmart employee told Business Insider that “unsanitary bathroom use” was the worst thing they’d seen at the store.
A Reddit poster who said they worked at Walmart described once coming in to work to find that someone had defecated all over the men’s room. The clean-up crew got to work but still weren’t done two hours later.
“They still weren’t letting anybody into the men’s room,” the employee wrote. “God only knows what horrors there must have been.”
“People love to poop at Walmart,” a Walmart employee wrote in a Reddit AMA, before adding that they had “a lot of faeces-related stories.”
The employee went on to describe people defecating in bathroom urinals, shopping while coated in excrement, and leaving a trail of faeces throughout the store.
A number of major spills
One Walmart associate described on a Reddit thread setting up a display toward the front of the store that involved stacking up a hundred cereal boxes.
“In comes an older lady, driving one of the electric carts,” the associate wrote. “She’s looking dead on at the display and promptly rams into the thing. Boxes go everywhere. She starts apologizing over and over and explains that she’s legally blind.”
Another former overnight Walmart employee wrote about unloading one truck at five in the morning.
“All goes well until the last pallet,” the Walmart associate wrote on Reddit. “The associate using the jack somehow lost control of it and it went flying down the ramp.”
Unfortunately, the pallet’s wrap ripped open.
“It was the unholiest mess I have ever seen,” the employee wrote. “Tomatoes, broccoli, and really any kind of vegetable you can imagine were strewn all over receiving.”
Troubling incidents involving kids
When it comes to taking your kids to Walmart, employees say safety is key.
One Walmart associate told Business Insider that they hated to see kids allowed “… to stay in toy department alone, as if were a playground.”
They added that the kids can end up getting injured.
“Don’t allow kids to stand up in the carts,” the associate added. “Too often they fall out and hit their heads.”
Concerning behaviours in the gun section of the store
One former Walmart employee who worked in the store’s firearms department wrote on Reddit that they “could write a novel about all the garbage I saw in my five years there.”
“I got really good at spotting BS a mile away,” the employee wrote.
The associate described interacting with two customers, a grandmother and her “presumed grandson.” The conversation started out normally, and the associate said they gave the older woman the form to fill out.
The associate began to suspect the two were making a straw purchase – or buying a gun for someone else.
“The final nail in the coffin was a guy comes up, walks to the grandparent, asks how it is going, then the kid points to the gun and asks, ‘Is this the one you wanted?'” the associate wrote. “Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner. Straw purchase.”
The associate then shut down the sale. The customer didn’t take it well.
“She promptly loses her mind,” the associate wrote. “She’s screaming at me, calling me racist – and we’re all white, by the way – and generally berating me for all her life’s woes. She screams for a manager, and I get one, and let him know what’s going on.”
The manager ended up backing up the associate, and the two shoppers stormed out of the store.
Are you a current or former Walmart employee with a story to share? Email [email protected]
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