Media & Adventist Benefits- Happy Wal-Mart Employees and Ministry Placement

From the article “FLY ON THE WALL; UNDERCOVER AT WAL-MART” by Charles Platt in The New York Post, February 7, 2009 

“…If Wal-Mart was such an exploiter of the working poor, why were the working poor so eager to be exploited? And after they were hired, why did they seem so happy to be there? Anytime I shopped at the store, blue-clad Walmartians encouraged me to “Have a nice day” with the sincerity of the pope issuing a benediction….” 

“On average, anyone walking into Wal-Mart is likely to spend more than $200,000 at the store during the rest of his life. Therefore, any clueless employee who alienates that customer will cost the store around a quarter-million dollars. “If we don’t remember that our customers are in charge,” our trainer warned us, “we turn into Kmart.” She made that sound like devolving into some lesser being – a toad, maybe, or an ameba.”

“And so we came to the Wal-Mart Pledge. Solemnly, each of us raised one hand and intoned: “If a customer comes within 10 feet of me, I’m going to look him in the eye, smile and greet him.””

Platt relates his experience of applying for an entry level job at Wal-Mart. What he found in terms of application process, interviews, clarity of expectations, “positivism”, “verbal coaching” and other help in self-improvement (= discipline), quick access to important information, flexibility of departments to make decisions within specified boundaries, etc. is fascinating. Jesus said that sometimes “the people of this world are are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.” Luke 16:8.

Pastors and church leaders can find great insights in this article they can adapt to help the local church be far more effective in placing people in ministries they enjoy and helping them succeed.

Most of us aren’t working for Wal-Mart. We are working on a far greater mission. Ellen White gave this important counsel for all believers–

“God has a position of duty for each one of you. He requires you to be not only faithful sentinels, but thorough workmen. Never become uninterested, never careless and inactive; never sleep at your post, and never fail to perform your exact duty in accordance with your position of trust.

“There is need of alacrity, promptness, even earnest energy, deep interest, and unwavering fidelity. You should learn to spring to the work at the call of duty. How long will be our allotted time to work, we know not. This is a secret with God, and for wise purposes, withheld from us. But what time we have to labor, let us employ it as those who must give an account. Oh, think earnestly, and in view of eternity, how much there is to be done in our world to arouse the mind of the careless, inattentive, and ignorant to become acquainted with the laws of God, and make them feel the necessity for their own good and God’s glory, of obedience to these laws. For transgression brings, not only great suffering, but loss of life in this world, and immortal life in the next world. You should consider this matter thoroughly, and feel how much the bliss or woe of men and women is dependent upon you.

“Faithfulness on your part may save many souls, while negligence and carelessness may result in the loss to your fellow creatures of both the present and the future life. You can prevent much misery and much transgression of God’s law by your fidelity, by being wide awake at your post of duty. . . . We must arise as one, and in the power and strength of God, open our senses to the demands of the present time. . . . ”  This Day With God p. 20

Ellen White also helps us remember what a privilege it is to work with Jesus everyday with a positive attitude in Steps to Christ Chapter 13 “Rejoicing in the Lord” pp. 115-126

Let’s be determined each day to be happier, more devoted and more courteous than a blue-clad Wal-Mart employee as we work under the royal banner of King Jesus!

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