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« Katia, ma boss de La Presse, trouve que je prends mon nouveau travail trop à coeur, que j’en oublie même un peu pourquoi je suis devenu associé. Je ne pense presque plus à mon reportage. Je pense à mes palettes, mes livraisons, mes rotations, mon over et mon facing. Je pense Walmart. » Journaliste à La Presse, Hugo Meunier s’est infiltré pendant trois mois dans une succur « Katia, ma boss de La Presse, trouve que je prends mon nouveau travail trop à coeur, que j’en oublie même un peu pourquoi je suis devenu associé. Je ne pense presque plus à mon reportage. Je pense à mes palettes, mes livraisons, mes rotations, mon over et mon facing. Je pense Walmart. » Journaliste à La Presse, Hugo Meunier s’est infiltré pendant trois mois dans une succursale de Walmart, au nord de Montréal. Pendant sa vie d’« associé », il a tenu un journal dans lequel il a consigné avec humour les anecdotes de son quotidien. Les célèbres cris de ralliement, les clients déchaînés, les palettes qui s’écroulent, les absurdes séances de formation, il décrit avec un remarquable sens du détail tout ce qui ponctue les journées de travail des petits salariés de la plus grande entreprise de commerce de détail de la planète. Après cette expérience, le reporter prend la route pour enquêter sur l’empire – du Mexique à Jonquière, en passant par l’Arkansas. S’ajoute alors à son récit de la vie « sur le plancher » un saisissant portrait d’ensemble de Walmart et du culte qu’on y voue au seul dieu que vénère vraiment l’Amérique : l’argent.


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« Katia, ma boss de La Presse, trouve que je prends mon nouveau travail trop à coeur, que j’en oublie même un peu pourquoi je suis devenu associé. Je ne pense presque plus à mon reportage. Je pense à mes palettes, mes livraisons, mes rotations, mon over et mon facing. Je pense Walmart. » Journaliste à La Presse, Hugo Meunier s’est infiltré pendant trois mois dans une succur « Katia, ma boss de La Presse, trouve que je prends mon nouveau travail trop à coeur, que j’en oublie même un peu pourquoi je suis devenu associé. Je ne pense presque plus à mon reportage. Je pense à mes palettes, mes livraisons, mes rotations, mon over et mon facing. Je pense Walmart. » Journaliste à La Presse, Hugo Meunier s’est infiltré pendant trois mois dans une succursale de Walmart, au nord de Montréal. Pendant sa vie d’« associé », il a tenu un journal dans lequel il a consigné avec humour les anecdotes de son quotidien. Les célèbres cris de ralliement, les clients déchaînés, les palettes qui s’écroulent, les absurdes séances de formation, il décrit avec un remarquable sens du détail tout ce qui ponctue les journées de travail des petits salariés de la plus grande entreprise de commerce de détail de la planète. Après cette expérience, le reporter prend la route pour enquêter sur l’empire – du Mexique à Jonquière, en passant par l’Arkansas. S’ajoute alors à son récit de la vie « sur le plancher » un saisissant portrait d’ensemble de Walmart et du culte qu’on y voue au seul dieu que vénère vraiment l’Amérique : l’argent.

30 review for Walmart: journal d'un associé

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Walmart: Diary of an Associate by Hugo Meunier is the accounting of a journalist’s undercover work at the retail giant. Meunier spent three months as an associate and gives the reader an insider’s look at life indentured to a corporate giant who will stop at nothing to sell, sell, sell. The employees are treated as a means to an end. From the first day, each associate is reminded that the customer is king, which you may say is how customer service works. But all Walmart wants to do is make the n Walmart: Diary of an Associate by Hugo Meunier is the accounting of a journalist’s undercover work at the retail giant. Meunier spent three months as an associate and gives the reader an insider’s look at life indentured to a corporate giant who will stop at nothing to sell, sell, sell. The employees are treated as a means to an end. From the first day, each associate is reminded that the customer is king, which you may say is how customer service works. But all Walmart wants to do is make the next sale. They have little regard for the underpaid staff who will be kept in poverty because of low pay, short shifts, no benefits, etc. What frightens Walmart the most is the threat of an organized labour union because the employees would have the protection of such an organization and the company would no longer be able to take advantage of the employees who have no other option but to work for Walmart. In Quebec, one store was able to bring in a union, and Walmart closed the store down, using them as an example to scare other stores. Most of us shop at Walmart at some point but, after reading this book, I will have a bad taste in my mouth.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Betts-Green (Dinosaur in the Library)

    Meh. While this was a fairly accurate look at what a Wal-Mart employee’s life is like, as a former one myself, I see the gaps. I also didn’t care for his tone in a few places. It’s no Nickel and Dimed. What we need is a book by an actual associate, one who is working there because they need to, not as an experiment. We’d lose the often pretentious, better than thou tones then.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    In 2012 Canadian investigative journalist went undercover in a Walmart store to expose just how awful the company is etc. etc. There’s nothing new or revelatory here, as we are all far too familiar with big corporations abusing their workers and paying them peanuts. In fact, I don’t think Walmart came out of this particularly badly compared to other companies. Sadly, it has now become the norm. But those low prices are pretty irresistible and nothing is going to change unless consumers boycott e In 2012 Canadian investigative journalist went undercover in a Walmart store to expose just how awful the company is etc. etc. There’s nothing new or revelatory here, as we are all far too familiar with big corporations abusing their workers and paying them peanuts. In fact, I don’t think Walmart came out of this particularly badly compared to other companies. Sadly, it has now become the norm. But those low prices are pretty irresistible and nothing is going to change unless consumers boycott en masse. Which I don’t see happening. So all I learnt from this rather supercilious and repetitious account is that Walmart is evil and that Meunier is good for exposing this – and that he’s also rather arrogant and far too good for the daily grind of those less well-off, less educated, and less intelligent than he is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    Based on investigative journalist Meunier's time undercover at a Montreal Walmart, this is a useful comparison to US based exposés in highlighting the ways in which Walmart in Canada has to evade their more union-friendly laws and workers' rights provisions, although some things, like the asshole customers and the senior citizens camped out in the back booths of the McDonald's drinking coffee are universal. Based on investigative journalist Meunier's time undercover at a Montreal Walmart, this is a useful comparison to US based exposés in highlighting the ways in which Walmart in Canada has to evade their more union-friendly laws and workers' rights provisions, although some things, like the asshole customers and the senior citizens camped out in the back booths of the McDonald's drinking coffee are universal.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Venky

    Hugo Meunier informs us that he is an ‘immersion journalist.’ This means – more or less – that in the event you are either a celebrity and/or a celebrity who is getting married, watch out for a mobile toting serious faced, tuxedoed individual (in this case, a man) who is not only trying his best to act serious behind a pair of cool looking shades, but is also trying to fool the security guards into gate-crashing the wedding. By the way, his tuxedo is invariably, rented. Meunier in the introducti Hugo Meunier informs us that he is an ‘immersion journalist.’ This means – more or less – that in the event you are either a celebrity and/or a celebrity who is getting married, watch out for a mobile toting serious faced, tuxedoed individual (in this case, a man) who is not only trying his best to act serious behind a pair of cool looking shades, but is also trying to fool the security guards into gate-crashing the wedding. By the way, his tuxedo is invariably, rented. Meunier in the introduction to his book, “Diary Of An Associate” confesses that he likes field reporting. He also educates us – with what reads like more than just a dollop of pretentiousness – that he leaves ‘mundanities’ such as the Lance Armstrong doping debacle to the reporting preserve of others. His preference is more towards the kid from Boucherville and the PointeCalumet beach who shoots steroids for seemingly no apparent reason. With the same element of impetuousness, he also provides us with a sample of illustrious events which he has successfully proceeded to invade – Justin Trudeau’s wedding and a party organized by Guy Laliberte, the ‘top dog’ of Cirque du solei, where the excesses were so exacerbated that international model Naomi Campbell and seven time Formula One Racing Champion Michael Schumacher, nonchalantly engaged in a conversation paying barely a hint of attention to two stark naked women acrobats perched next to them. As Meunier goes on to further amplify his prerogatives – “the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the famine in Niger, and the war in Iraq would have to wait.” A singularly stellar example of how best to prioritise alternatives in the order of their vitality and importance! So it did not come as a complete surprise to his boss, Katie at La Presse, when Meunier proposed covertly immersing himself as a Walmart ‘Associate’ for a period of three months at store 3094 in the Saint-Leonard neighbourhood of Montreal. The reason for such an intrusion? A penchant to “live Walmart. To feel it, see it, rub shoulders with its customers, its bosses; to experience it physically and psychologically; to witness this reality; this is essentially what motivated my project.” Wow! Sounds great from a social, rational, metaphysical, cosmological and even an anthropological perspective! The ghost of Sam Walton would be shedding unconstrained tears of experiential bliss! Muneir also takes the pain to educate us about a few jaw dropping facets that makes Walmart. “Since the 1990s, Walmart revenues represent 2.5% of America’s Gross National Product (“GNP”); according to Nelson Lichtenstein and Susan Strasser, Walmart’s success marked the end of the domination of American economy’s industrial sector; Gilles Biassette and Lysiane J. Baudu argue that ‘Walmartization’ of America consists of a conversion to an economic model based on importation, distribution and optimization of logistics chain, more than the industrial and manufacturing excellence that General Motors long symbolized.” Great! Now that we have armed ourselves with information more than adequate, sufficient and relevant for 3 months of undercover employment, let us rub our hands with unfettered glee and begin without much ado! Time to do the hard yards. What follows however is a repetitive description that has at its core a never ending shifting of pallets, an interminable stocking – and restocking of – shelves, punctuated by lines of slapstick humour and funny analogies. Yes, the famous Walmart pep talk does exist as does a highly confidential internal document unimaginatively titled, “A Manager’s Toolbox to Remaining Union Free.” Walmart’s allergy towards the act of Unionization is a phenomenon well known and absorbed across the globe. Unionization to the retailer is what the rays of the sun are to a vampire. Yes, the salaries are Walmart are so abysmal that at $11.05 per hour, a $1 signing bonus, the entry level pay translates to a meagre and abominable annual income of around $18,000. Bill Quinn’s “How Walmart is Destroying America (and the World) and What You can do about it” provides the whole ghastly lowdown about the pay (or the lack of it) at Walmart. As is the case with any, or at least, many of the supermarkets, Walmart also has its share of abusive customers, who have an issue with looks, race, intelligence, stupidity, empty shelves, re-order levels of stock and most importantly, sealed and unopened products stacked upon racks. “A young woman came up to ask, very seriously if the five-by-eight-foot patterned carpet on sale for $30 would look nice in her dining room. “Difficult to help you madame, as I have never been to your place,” I candidly replied…….”I should really unroll one of them!” she finally cried, in a quasi-trance. Without waiting for my answer, she seized a carpet, ripped off the packaging with the enthusiasm of a child recognizing Lego through wrapping paper, handed one end to me and backed down the aisle to unroll it.” The incredulous comparison of revenues generated every day with the revenues generated on the same day a year ago, the even more incredulous commuting habits of associates who leave home at 3.00 A.M to keep both their jobs and the timing of the bus, makes for some poignant, albeit expected reading. Allegiance to the three uncompromising maxims of Respect for the Individual, Service to the Customer and Striving for excellence is a given and this principle is absolutely non-negotiable. As is the famous “three meter” rule: the associate must smile at all times and when a customer is within three meters, the associate must greet the customer, ask if they need help, and if necessary, escort them to the products.”A description of the Crystal Bridge Museum inaugurated in Bentonville, the Headquarters of the behemoth in 2012 courtesy Sam Walton’s eccentric daughter Alice also gets a mention by Meunier. Meunier wax eloquent and witty on his shifts and schedules, on his colleagues’ shifts and schedules and on the physically taxing nature of such shifts and schedules, when he is not calling the swathe of customers, Walking Dead that is. The only part of the book that makes for some seriously interesting reading deals with the harrowing experiences of two former Walmart employees, Patrice Bergeron and Gaetan Plourde who succeeded in unionizing the Walmart Store in Jonquiere before a scathingly swift response from Walmart led to the closing of the store. Finally, we are all euphoric to know that Meunier donated the total sum of $4150 net earned at Walmart during his three months of infiltration to two Montreal organisations. (Applause). While you would not regret reading “Diary of an Associate”, you would not repent not having had an opportunity to digest it either.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I have to say, this is the first French-Language book I have read since high school- and the first I have ever read for my own leisure! While certain phrases I didn’t understand, I understood the majority of what Meunier was saying, and was able to really get into this book! As for my actual opinion: I thought the premise of this book was very interesting, albeit a little questionable. It was really interesting how Meunier combined his own personal experiences with the history of Walmart’s origi I have to say, this is the first French-Language book I have read since high school- and the first I have ever read for my own leisure! While certain phrases I didn’t understand, I understood the majority of what Meunier was saying, and was able to really get into this book! As for my actual opinion: I thought the premise of this book was very interesting, albeit a little questionable. It was really interesting how Meunier combined his own personal experiences with the history of Walmart’s origins, along with the major unionization scandal of Walmart in Jonquiere. He purports the idea that Walmart’s original ideology of helping people and building a community starkly contrasts with the profit-driven and exploitative nature of the current corporation. Notable are some anecdotes about his struggling co-workers, including a woman who spends the majority of paycheques on taxis because she has to drive her children to her mother’s house in the middle of the night before her practically crack-of-dawn shift. Stories like these demonstrate the harsh living conditions of employees, and inflexibility of the management. Yet, at the same time, Hugo contradicts himself throughout this book. He argues that the management at wal mart does not focus on human rights, however, they had been very kind and accommodating to him during his stay. He blatantly lied about having a sick mother-in-law in Western Canada, whom he needed to visit for a week, yet he was jetting off on a trip to Mexico (albeit for La Presse coverage, but still!) Yet the management was empathetic to him and allowed him the week. I also found Hugo to be overly whiney about his work, meanwhile he admired that the physical labour made him lose weight. I think the biggest issue I had with this book was that Hugo constantly whined and complained about his tasks at Wal Mart, yet he is coming from a place of privilege, where he was the luxury of stepping in and out of this lifestyle. In the last two pages of the book, he gets overly preachy on how we as a society are separated from one another, and we need to place ourselves in others’ shoes...etc. But I find this comes off as holier-than-thou, as if to say “Wow, your life is shit, glad I’m not in your same boat!” Even though this is a notable issue, I still found this book to be very interesting and entertaining to read. Meunier is a talented journalist and has creative ideas. I would give this book a 3.5/5,

  7. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. In 2012, journalist Hugo Meunier went undercover as a Walmart employee for three months in St. Leonard, Quebec, just north of Montreal. In great detail, Meunier charts the daily life of an impoverished Walmart worker, referring to his shifts at the box store giant as “somewhere between the ar I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not regurgitate the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it. In 2012, journalist Hugo Meunier went undercover as a Walmart employee for three months in St. Leonard, Quebec, just north of Montreal. In great detail, Meunier charts the daily life of an impoverished Walmart worker, referring to his shifts at the box store giant as “somewhere between the army and Walt Disney.” Each shift began with a daily chant before bowing to customer demands and the constant pressure to sell. Meanwhile, Meunier and his fellow workers could not afford to shop anywhere else but Walmart, further indenturing them to the multi-billion-dollar corporation. Beyond his time on the shop floor, Meunier documents the extraordinary efforts that Walmart exerts to block unionization campaigns, including their 2005 decision to close their outlet in Jonquiere, QC, where the United Food and Commercial Workers union had successfully gained certification rights. A decade later he charts the Supreme Court of Canada ruling that exposed the dubious legal ground on which Walmart stood in invoking closure and throwing workers out on the street. In Walmart: Diary of an Associate, Meunier reveals the truths behind Walmart’s low prices; it will make you think twice before shopping there. This was a very quick read as I learned NOTHING new. I still hate Walmart as they treat their staff just as badly as their customers. Nothing is ever in stock. Sure some customers are jerks who may deserve how they are being treated. But it's no different from any employer who preys on minimum wage workers (Tim Horton's, Mc Donalds, etc.) If you thought that life was a dream at the Big-Dubya, then you might want to read this book. People like me who read the newspaper will earn nothing new ... I said that I would be honest!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    The author, an immersive journalist, describes his experience working in a Canadian Walmart in Walmart: Diary of an Associate. It is amazing how Walmart treats its associates like slow children. Rules are drummed into their heads, daily exercises and pep talks are given, and they are monitored extensively. If indoctrination into the Walmart “family” doesn’t motivate sufficiently, then hopefully, the annual April bonus will. And if not, there are plenty of desperately poor people willing to work h The author, an immersive journalist, describes his experience working in a Canadian Walmart in Walmart: Diary of an Associate. It is amazing how Walmart treats its associates like slow children. Rules are drummed into their heads, daily exercises and pep talks are given, and they are monitored extensively. If indoctrination into the Walmart “family” doesn’t motivate sufficiently, then hopefully, the annual April bonus will. And if not, there are plenty of desperately poor people willing to work hard for minimum wage pay. Everyone who is thinking about applying for a Walmart job should read this book first. While some of the practices are familiar from other sources, I found many new scenarios within the book too. 3 stars. Note: I read that US Walmart local route truck drivers start at $87,000 per year. Obviously, a trip to a truck driving school may be worth paying back student loans over 20 years compared to minimum wage and annual raises of less than a dollar. Thanks to Fernwood Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Fee

    While it was interesting content and gave a better view at for example how far multi-bilion-companies like Walmart are willing to go for profits and blocking unions, and the pyschological ware-fare their empolyees are under , i think a journalist who in the end knows he can go back to a well paying job might not be the person to write this book. I would have liked more reflection on his own position. I also dindt like the whole a-political 'we all have to live in each others shoes and thats why i While it was interesting content and gave a better view at for example how far multi-bilion-companies like Walmart are willing to go for profits and blocking unions, and the pyschological ware-fare their empolyees are under , i think a journalist who in the end knows he can go back to a well paying job might not be the person to write this book. I would have liked more reflection on his own position. I also dindt like the whole a-political 'we all have to live in each others shoes and thats why i did this but not because i actually want to change something' story in the epilogue. Poverty and bad work-conditions are not a fun social-experiment and should not have been treated as such. I would have had more sympathy if he actually ended up making it more political even if this was not his intention. The research is good the reason for the research not so much.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This was interesting to read as an ex-Walmart Cashier, especially since some of the speeches given by managers as tools of “encouragement” sounded so eerily familiar. I admit I couldn’t help but laugh at some of our mutual frustrations such as the training modules and the Walmart chant. However, I was pretty surprised by some of the things he found out as well. For example, the details of the closing of the Jonquiére store and the holding hostage of the Christmas bonuses in exchange for “good be This was interesting to read as an ex-Walmart Cashier, especially since some of the speeches given by managers as tools of “encouragement” sounded so eerily familiar. I admit I couldn’t help but laugh at some of our mutual frustrations such as the training modules and the Walmart chant. However, I was pretty surprised by some of the things he found out as well. For example, the details of the closing of the Jonquiére store and the holding hostage of the Christmas bonuses in exchange for “good behaviour”. Fascinating to get the perspective of an outside person.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julian

    I'd like to avoid the cliche of using the word privileged and shame the author for not being poor, but this book is full of it. He just doesn't belong at Walmart, doesn't really make an effort and it shows. His tone is of superiority and won't miss a chance to remind us he could have been at his office...or at his chalet with family and friends. The jokes are not funny and I don't like people playing at being poor. Stopping at around 30%. I'd like to avoid the cliche of using the word privileged and shame the author for not being poor, but this book is full of it. He just doesn't belong at Walmart, doesn't really make an effort and it shows. His tone is of superiority and won't miss a chance to remind us he could have been at his office...or at his chalet with family and friends. The jokes are not funny and I don't like people playing at being poor. Stopping at around 30%.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Radford

    This book didn't really have anything new or unexpected to say about what it's actually like to work at Walmart, though I did enjoy the Canadian perspective. I think the English version I was reading had some problems with the translation, though, because a handful of sentences made no sense whatsoever. Also, a few jokes and puns were completely lost in translation. This book didn't really have anything new or unexpected to say about what it's actually like to work at Walmart, though I did enjoy the Canadian perspective. I think the English version I was reading had some problems with the translation, though, because a handful of sentences made no sense whatsoever. Also, a few jokes and puns were completely lost in translation.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sandra "Jeanz"

    I fancied reading something non-fiction for a change and I came across this book. Having worked in retail myself for quite a few (lot of) years I love reading these “tell all” type of books. The front cover depicts a large smiling face/logo as its main focus. I’m not sure if it is a logo linked to Walmart or maybe a logo that’s on a name badge or piece of uniform. (I am from the UK so though we have “Walmart” our stores are called “Asda”) The book is about a journalist called Hugo Meunier and is I fancied reading something non-fiction for a change and I came across this book. Having worked in retail myself for quite a few (lot of) years I love reading these “tell all” type of books. The front cover depicts a large smiling face/logo as its main focus. I’m not sure if it is a logo linked to Walmart or maybe a logo that’s on a name badge or piece of uniform. (I am from the UK so though we have “Walmart” our stores are called “Asda”) The book is about a journalist called Hugo Meunier and is written from his sole point of view. Hugo is used to the extremes of journalism such as sneaking into high class parties, to posing as a homeless man. This sort of job is apparently referred to as “immersion journalism” Hugo’s latest journalism job is to apply for and gain employment at Walmart and do a kind of exposé of what it is really like to work there. This book is set in the St Leonard Walmart Store, which is in Quebec just north of Montreal. So to begin with Hugo goes into store to enquire about a job and is told to go home and apply online. Then there’s a telephone interview and then finally an “in person” interview described as a one to one. For this last part of the Interview, applicants are told it will take 2 hours! A woman called Caroline had been brought from headquarters in Toronto to conduct this part of the Interview. Caroline initially hands them all a name sticker and everyone sits in a circle. Then a list of questions is handed round but you don’t fill in your own answers you find out the details of the person next to you and stand up and introduce them to the rest of the group. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of this part of the Interviewing process that Hugo underwent before being offered a job. The whole group scenario was very familiar as it was so similar to my own group interview at WHSmiths about 19yrs ago it was eery! The purpose of the group is to act out scenarios you may come across within the store. Caroline instructs the group on how you could sell a mobile phone to an older person by saying it would be ideal to take photos of her grandchildren with! Hugo does go into personal details about those who work with him. Such as the single mum who has to drop her child with a childminder and then rush to get to work on time. The young lads who messed about and got paid as much as the hard working older employees who worked hard every minute whilst at work. I don't wish to go into detail or mention more specifics of the diary/book as it would reveal too much and be in my opinion too "spoilery". One revelation that left me shocked a little was the active discouragement from having or being part of a union. The fact a large store such as Walmart did not like unions and you could actually be in danger of losing your job by talking about a union never mind forming a union! My immediate thoughts upon finishing the book were that though I had enjoyed reading most of the book it hadn't been as enjoyable as the supermarket checkout girl one I had read. Maybe because it was set in a different country, I'm not sure. I expected it to be a brilliantly funny read but it was a more serious book about a journalist going under cover to get the inside "dirt" on what it was like to work for Walmart. To sum up the book was neither a funny diary, nor undercover diary/expose. I thought that the book ended a little bit abruptly at the end...personally I would have liked reactions or quotes from those workers mentioned/named in the book as to what they thought when Hugo was revealed as an undercover reporter.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bella

    Walmart Walmart Walmart What can I say about this gigantic, soul snatching, awful place? Journalist Hugo Meunière went undercover as a employee for Walmart for 3 months in St. Leonard in Canada. Within these 3 months Hugo gives us an inside look of the tragedy that is working at Walmart. The constant talks about numbers in the morning meetings, the disrespectful customers who treated the employees like crap, the constant fear of retaliation if someone said something they were unhappy with. I can at Walmart Walmart Walmart What can I say about this gigantic, soul snatching, awful place? Journalist Hugo Meunière went undercover as a employee for Walmart for 3 months in St. Leonard in Canada. Within these 3 months Hugo gives us an inside look of the tragedy that is working at Walmart. The constant talks about numbers in the morning meetings, the disrespectful customers who treated the employees like crap, the constant fear of retaliation if someone said something they were unhappy with. I can attest to these claims. I myself worked at Walmart for four years and it was the worst four years of my life. I started off as a back room associate and decided to go for an opened position of department manager for the men’s department and boy did they give me grief for that. They really made me feel like I couldn’t do it; they doubted me before I could even get a chance to prove myself. I finally got the position and they basically threw me into two departments without any training, didn’t explain anything to me. I had to rely on one of my co-workers who was a department manager to help me understand our normal 9am paper work that was printed for us. Everyday I would come in to see my department tossed around with everything plugged from the overnight associates not doing their jobs. I myself have had the displeasure of working months and months overnight to help prepare for the super center to open for our store and it was exhausting. Honestly, working with a company that’s a bunch of leeches that wouldn’t care about you if you dropped dead. Such was the case one Black Friday. If you’ve heard about Black Fridays tragedies, I’m sure you’ve heard of the one where an employee got trampled on and died because of it....yep...that was my store. And that was a couple years before I started working there, to that day they still hadn’t settled anything with the victims family. This is only the tip of the iceberg here. There was also a girl who committed suicide that worked there because she couldn’t take the pressure of her life and work. A cashier once had an epileptic attack and they didn’t call an ambulance until half hour later....one other example is a girl that was 8 months pregnant and they wanted her to stand her whole shift to answer phones. A few co-workers and myself went off on management because of this. Overall, I enjoyed this book because in reality he’s not lying about what he wrote, and there’s a lot of people out there that are skeptic of what people say about Walmart...if it’s true...and I’m here to say...yes...it’s true. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for my honest review of the book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    Meunier ostensibly joins Wal-Mart to relate to his fellow man and get the inside scoop on working conditions for the corporation, but it feels like his book does very little relating and even less to report on working conditions beyond what literally any Wal-Mart employee might already tell you. As a matter of fact, virtually anyone who has ever worked for the company as a retail employee is almost certain to share horror stories of poor hours, idiotic management decisions, and a painful abundan Meunier ostensibly joins Wal-Mart to relate to his fellow man and get the inside scoop on working conditions for the corporation, but it feels like his book does very little relating and even less to report on working conditions beyond what literally any Wal-Mart employee might already tell you. As a matter of fact, virtually anyone who has ever worked for the company as a retail employee is almost certain to share horror stories of poor hours, idiotic management decisions, and a painful abundance of work heaped on already underpaid employees. Meunier seems to gloss over these issues, presenting a toothless account of Wal-Mart's inner workings with all the style and panache of Morgan Spurlock (though, perhaps, without the latter's ethical problems). Unfortunately, I find Meunier's "diary" to be wholly underwhelming, paying lip service to the unfair conditions of Wal-Mart's exploitative corporate structure without leveling any sincere criticism toward the organization. The epilogue, I think, is most telling, in which Meunier alleges that his experiment is less about shaking the walls of the corporate empire than it is to remind us that, as corporations like Wal-Mart continue to exploit the working class for obscene profit, we stand a good chance of losing sight of one another beyond the deepening gulf of income inequality. This message, while important, is entirely lost in the overall lack of strong criticism throughout the book. His cursory overview of Wal-Mart's history, with sparse passages of alarming corporate behaviors, doesn't do nearly enough to reinforce his alleged mission, and even those passages from his own experience included does more to romanticize his pity than it does to motivate action. Overall, I am frustrated that Meunier can be so casual about the deeply problematic corporate behavior of Wal-Mart, and I find his book to do little in the way of helping a knowing public galvanize into action. If, as he suggests, we do run the danger of alienating ourselves from one another in our rush to make greater profits, writers like Meunier aren't going to help us close the existential gap between these disparate populations.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nic

    I am a Walmart employee in the US, and I listened to this on audiobook from 4 am to when our store opened at 7 am for two days. It’s written fine, I guess, but a part of me is really bitter that a man thinks he can just work 3 months at Walmart in Canada (where they are paid better— for instance, Canadian Walmart’s are getting hazard pay during Corona while us in the US are not), knowing that his livelihood doesn’t depend on the job, that he can walk out at any moment and not have to worry about I am a Walmart employee in the US, and I listened to this on audiobook from 4 am to when our store opened at 7 am for two days. It’s written fine, I guess, but a part of me is really bitter that a man thinks he can just work 3 months at Walmart in Canada (where they are paid better— for instance, Canadian Walmart’s are getting hazard pay during Corona while us in the US are not), knowing that his livelihood doesn’t depend on the job, that he can walk out at any moment and not have to worry about paying bills, and think he has a grasp of really being a Walmart associate. This isn’t the diary of a Walmart associate— it’s a wealthy man infiltrating and judging us and how we survive. And, gosh, the tone WAS condescending sometimes and cruel at others. Oh no, he didn’t get to spend a whole weekend at his nice cabin in the mountains 2 hours away from the Walmart he worked at? So sad. It must have been so hard for him to sacrifice his time to come work with us plebeians at Walmart :( And oh gosh he was just THE BEST worker? Turns out all the rest of us need to succeed is to know our lives don’t hang in the balance of this job. I know this isn’t the point and I DID learn a lot of things about Walmart on a corporate level, the shady practices the company has been caught in in the past and I didn’t PAY anything for it since the audiobook is free on Spotify, but I DO feel like the whole thing isn’t genuine or sincere and like we were made out to be entertainment for people better off than us. A best selling book exposing the lives the poor Walmart associates dredge through on a daily basis through the lens of an undercover journalist who’s crowning glory was infiltrating Trudeau’s wedding and bumping elbows with celebrities and politicians, made to be consumed by people who have never had to explain we don’t move things nearly as often as people seem to think we do.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    It was like a journey in time but not to a far away land. Walmart is one man's mission to achieve wealth and the everyday worker is the mechanism that oils that machine. It's all about PROFIT for one not for many and it shows while trying to be competitive in an ever increasing supply and demand world. Wages and benefits are so low that their workers are known as the 'working poor' those who still require public assistance while the company heads count their millions. The problem is the mistreatmen It was like a journey in time but not to a far away land. Walmart is one man's mission to achieve wealth and the everyday worker is the mechanism that oils that machine. It's all about PROFIT for one not for many and it shows while trying to be competitive in an ever increasing supply and demand world. Wages and benefits are so low that their workers are known as the 'working poor' those who still require public assistance while the company heads count their millions. The problem is the mistreatment of workers, the low pay, the boxing days (as they were known on Black Friday), the 'walmart shoppers' (as you may have seen or heard on you tube), the intricate colored codes, the detailed exercise routines and oh wait.... The do as I say motto in which workers rights are violated, unions are frowned upon, the notion you'll be paid as a valuable member of a corporation, that seniority means something, that your health and safety is paramount is all not only spotlighted here but questioned. This had some of the makings for a great read but sadly it was way too short to make a go out of anything. It read for me like a diary or journal not like a book that I could wrap myself up in and get lost. There sadly wasn't too much I didn't already know having spoken to many of their employees myself and seeing the low morale in this organization. It's work till death and get us to the top while keeping a cheery face type of job. Remember the monkeys --see no evil, hear no evil-- yes we see you Walmart -- we all see you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    "To have a world in common, you have to be able to put yourself in others shoes." As an inside look at working as an associate for Walmart, Meunier goes under cover to get an in dept look at what it's like to try and live on a minimum wage paycheck. I found the book interesting and I liked the Meunier was willing to get such a first hand account, becoming an employee himself. I liked the personal relationships he formed and made some real human connections throughout his book. But sometimes it f "To have a world in common, you have to be able to put yourself in others shoes." As an inside look at working as an associate for Walmart, Meunier goes under cover to get an in dept look at what it's like to try and live on a minimum wage paycheck. I found the book interesting and I liked the Meunier was willing to get such a first hand account, becoming an employee himself. I liked the personal relationships he formed and made some real human connections throughout his book. But sometimes it felt like he was talking down to working class people (despite coming from that background) like when he states: "The rallying cry separates the wheat from the chaff; that is the independently minded from the docile employees" Kinda insulting. I get that working at Walmart is a culture onto itself, but stand by the man Walmart is already throwing them to the dogs, Meunier don't do the same. I've never worked for the retail giant but I now people who have (worked for Target through!) and this falls inline with things that I've heard about the store and working culture. Especially the anti- union mentality. It's a nice quick read that does open up more about Walmart stores outside of the US. (Even going to Mexico) I'm glad I read it and probably would never want to work there.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alex Malm

    Thanks to NetGalley for an earlier copy of Walmart: Diary of an Associate. I picked this up because I was curious to learn about the interworkings in Walmart. Unfortunately, the title is quite accurate in that it is more of diary of day to day life as an associate. A good portion told of Meunier's day to day tasks and how he was exhausted at the day's end, while working for a pittance. He also focuses a lot on the customer service piece, and how he found Walmart's customers to be rude and demand Thanks to NetGalley for an earlier copy of Walmart: Diary of an Associate. I picked this up because I was curious to learn about the interworkings in Walmart. Unfortunately, the title is quite accurate in that it is more of diary of day to day life as an associate. A good portion told of Meunier's day to day tasks and how he was exhausted at the day's end, while working for a pittance. He also focuses a lot on the customer service piece, and how he found Walmart's customers to be rude and demanding. I found it interesting to hear the backstories of Meunier's coworkers and a little about the managerial structure and corporate culture. There was some analysis on the author's part, but not enough for me to consider this an expose or insider's view. It would have also been fascinating to hear about how the story was received, and what interaction he had with associates or Walmart officials after he was discovered to be a reporter. It should be noted that the edition I reviewed was translated to English. I almost stopped reading at the foreword; the translation was very rough and the background of how Meunier developed this story was quite choppy and hard to follow. After sticking through this, I found the book pleasant overall, but not amazing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    5 stars Walmart Diary of an Associate byHugo Meunier This book is enlightening. I have long been leery of how Walmart treats its employees and Hugo Meunier confirmed all of my misgivings and more! This book is truly a must read for all spectrum's of the economic divide. Blue collar workers will be able to identify with the work, the employees and the ridiculous customer shared within these pages. I will NEVER step foot in another Walmart again. Any company that will purposely close a profitable sto 5 stars Walmart Diary of an Associate byHugo Meunier This book is enlightening. I have long been leery of how Walmart treats its employees and Hugo Meunier confirmed all of my misgivings and more! This book is truly a must read for all spectrum's of the economic divide. Blue collar workers will be able to identify with the work, the employees and the ridiculous customer shared within these pages. I will NEVER step foot in another Walmart again. Any company that will purposely close a profitable store because the associates formed a union is a company to be forever avoided. This is an extremely well written and powerful book. This book needs to be on every bookshelf, Kindle and phone in the world. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. The views given are my own. #Walmart #NetGalley #FernWoodPublishing

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maude Arcand

    Hugo Meunier a journalist, worked undercover at a Walmart for a period of three months, and give an account of his days at Walmart, his coworker. He also provides an overview a passed court case involving Walmart in Jonquiere, Quebec that closed because of threats of becoming unionized. I enjoyed the book, a fast read. Even though some of the content is common knowledge, I still learnt more about the inside working of Walmart. A lot references involve local news or events occurring around Montrea Hugo Meunier a journalist, worked undercover at a Walmart for a period of three months, and give an account of his days at Walmart, his coworker. He also provides an overview a passed court case involving Walmart in Jonquiere, Quebec that closed because of threats of becoming unionized. I enjoyed the book, a fast read. Even though some of the content is common knowledge, I still learnt more about the inside working of Walmart. A lot references involve local news or events occurring around Montreal and the province of Quebec. A reader not familiar with the local Montreal scene might not grasp all of the analogies and details of the book. Thank you Netgalley, for a copie of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jen Juenke

    This was a fast paced book that was easy to digest in just a few short hours. Some of the information was not new. Walmart undercuts some prices to draw people into the store. One of the surprising things that I learned was that towards the end of the year, near the holidays, is when Walmart will cut back on hours to make MORE PROFIT! I thought that the author was authentic but I would have wanted more about how people actually live a life working for Walmart then just his aching feet. Overall a g This was a fast paced book that was easy to digest in just a few short hours. Some of the information was not new. Walmart undercuts some prices to draw people into the store. One of the surprising things that I learned was that towards the end of the year, near the holidays, is when Walmart will cut back on hours to make MORE PROFIT! I thought that the author was authentic but I would have wanted more about how people actually live a life working for Walmart then just his aching feet. Overall a good book, but not a hard hitting journalism story!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I enjoyed reading this short account of what it's like to work at Walmart. The title is totally appropriate. I find it interesting to find out what it's like to work in different work areas/careers, & this fit that bill.... I'm not surprised by anything I read..... probably just re-enforced what I suspected or already knew..... I do think it's a good read for everyone. In all honesty, I didn't find anything in there that would make me refuse to shop at Walmart.... I received an e-ARC from NetGall I enjoyed reading this short account of what it's like to work at Walmart. The title is totally appropriate. I find it interesting to find out what it's like to work in different work areas/careers, & this fit that bill.... I'm not surprised by anything I read..... probably just re-enforced what I suspected or already knew..... I do think it's a good read for everyone. In all honesty, I didn't find anything in there that would make me refuse to shop at Walmart.... I received an e-ARC from NetGalley & publisher Fernwood, in return for reading & offering my own fair & honest review.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Vnunez-Ms_luv2read

    The author went undercover to get a "real" view on Walmart and their associates. He shows us how Walmart operates and expects/treats their employees. I must admit, it was a very interesting read and eye-opening. After reading this, I will remember this book when dealing with Walmart associates. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not effect my opinion of this book nor my review. The author went undercover to get a "real" view on Walmart and their associates. He shows us how Walmart operates and expects/treats their employees. I must admit, it was a very interesting read and eye-opening. After reading this, I will remember this book when dealing with Walmart associates. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the ARC of this book. Although I received the book in this manner, it did not effect my opinion of this book nor my review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katia

    Dident like this much. The subject was very interesting but the whole book was written in a way that just didn’t work for me. Plus i dont know why but i feel like the author didn’t really get personal in this book wich i found was lacking. Personally it just felt very dry, but interesting. Plus the research seemed very well done.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kade Gulluscio

    Thank you to netgalley and the published/author for this arc in exchange for my honest review. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting of this story. Ultimately, I would have preferred the humorous style I THOUGHT this was going to be. Nonetheless; I can confirm that a lot of employees of this awful store have similar stories/experiences.

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Fisher

    A bit of a "breezy" read; I was expecting something a little more in-depth. To be fair, the author only spent 3 months as an undercover associate. Still, there was much to discover about working for this huge company at ground level. A bit of a "breezy" read; I was expecting something a little more in-depth. To be fair, the author only spent 3 months as an undercover associate. Still, there was much to discover about working for this huge company at ground level.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ariele

    I might have liked this book more if I didn't already know most of the background stuff. I personally would've found it more enjoyable if it was just his experience working in the store. I might have liked this book more if I didn't already know most of the background stuff. I personally would've found it more enjoyable if it was just his experience working in the store.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Fascinating and it sure makes you think. How cheapness affects us, and how we are part of the problem. Interesting take on Wal-Mart. Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got this book for free, it had no bearing on the rating I have it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    I know a few people who work at Wal-mart, and this lined up with a lot of their complaints. This was an interesting read, especially if you have never worked retail and want a glimpse into its horrors, or want to see the other side of your local Wal-mart.

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