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View Diary: This is the opposite of safety, Wal-Mart. (76 comments)

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  •  Yeah, about that: the ethics hotline is useless (14+ / 0-)

    Once upon a time there was a sparky little New Guy helping us unload a Frozen/Dairy truck, right before we headed to lunch. A few hours later, as I'm bustling around the store delivering merchandise, I happen to notice that a pallet parked by the juice aisle says things like Tropicana and Country Crock. For reasons I will never understand, New Guy had not grasped the concept of the temperature-controlled truck or all the boxes saying "keep refrigerated!" and had decided that since it had so much orange juice on it, it must go by the juice aisle. And so it had sat there for a few hours, at least.

    I immediately pulled it into the dairy cooler and went to hunt down a thermometer, and I didn't like the temp I got. I asked the Dairy people to hold off on cutting the wrap until I could ask the manager I call His Eminence about it (because I have to restrain myself from making a sweeping bow and calling him that to his face; he's just got that attitude).

    His Eminence said "oh, it's fine, the shrink wrap and the cardboard are good insulators."

    But it bothered me. A lot. In fact, it bothered me (and I bothered him) so much that he finally went into the dairy cooler with me and took his own temp by stabbing the thermometer directly into a brick of cream cheese, and said "See, it's fine!" This was after it had been back in the cooler for an hour.

    So I called the ethics hotline. And aside from having to talk to a guy who wouldn't stop breathing into the phone, nothing else was done that I can tell. That product was sold, His Eminence kept his job, and clearly the story didn't spread as a warning or else this other manager wouldn't have done this with the frozen pallets.

    I also don't trust the ethics hotline. Call me paranoid but I think I have a good reason to be suspicious when the ethics hotline guy keeps demanding that I name names for "witnesses." Don't get me wrong, I know witnesses are essential to building a case, but he wanted to know every single associate I'd talked to about this issue. So I said "at least half of night shift," and he made a very disappointed sound. My answer was to let him know that if he wanted witnesses, there were plenty, and also too many of them to fire at once to cover it up.

    So I don't bother with the ethics hotline or the open-door policy anymore. The rare managers who DO care can't do anything, because they're outranked by the managers who don't care and who constantly spout corporatist bullshit. (His Eminence in particular is very good at "answering" questions by talking forever without actually saying anything.) And the last time I tried voicing a complaint about the way we do certain things in the back room, the Compliance Queen listened to my spiel and then said "I've just spent the last ten minutes listening to you tell me that you can't do your job. Hey, you look like you're having an anxiety attack. Go to break and compose yourself."

    The system is broken. Worse than broken. So why try to go up shit creek with a broken paddle when I can hike alongside it?

    •  Former APM (3+ / 0-)

      Ok, I cannot speak for your specific store issues but I for one can tell you that the ethic hotline does work. Yes, every store has a Azz-Clown or 2 who got promoted to ASM/Co-manager/Store manager almost accidentally!!! I have since moved on from WM, to a position with much better pay and benefits, however I can definitely recall several ethics calls/letter to the president investigations that cost managers their jobs. I know the popular meme is that WM has based their reporting and internal regulatory system on the Gustapo. However formerly being part of that investigative mechanism I can state that this is an exaggeration. If you don't feel comfortable calling the ethics hotline then you should reach out to your MAPM or DM. Get their corporate email and create a bogus Gmail account and send them an email with photos. I can tell you that this works because, we had someone do this in my former district. Needless to say, "Heads began to roll"!!

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