5 Warnings From Ex-Walmart Employees
Millions of Americans turn to Walmart for its low prices and wide selection. But even the most frequent shoppers might not know everything there is to know — until former employees started sharing their inside information. Here are five major warnings from former Walmart employees.
The security cameras can read your texts
Walmart’s security cameras mean business. They cover the entire store and are capable of zooming in to read a shopper’s text messages, according to Athenia Marie, a former employee who goes by @obeygoddess on social media.
“One of the first things they did [during training] was bring us to the loss prevention room and zoom in so far [on a camera image] that you could literally read the date on the newspaper,” she said in a viral video. “They were trying to show us that if you steal from Walmart they will see.”
The self-checkout machines are heavily monitored
It might feel like you’re on an island in the self-checkout lane sometimes, but that is not the case. According to Athenia Marie, Walmart has devices that show employees what each shopper is ringing up at the self-checkout lanes. If they think you may be stealing, they can halt your transaction from afar. When this occurs, it just appears as if your machine is broken.
“At that point, you have no choice but to call for help,” says the employee in another viral video. “When we come over, we pretend something is wrong with the machine.”
At that point, the employee will remove all your items from the bags and ask you to go to a regular checkout instead. And with that, the retailer has covertly thwarted the shoplifting attempt.
Not all security guards wear uniforms
Former Walmart employee Paris Mars, a social media influencer, disclosed that the retailer has undercover security guards working in the store.
“There is security dressed in plain clothes and they look like customers,” Mars said. “They pretend that they’re shopping—they might have a cart, they might have a basket—but they’re watching you.”
And that’s not all. The employees may even be incentivized to catch would-be shoplifters.
“I was told that for every person that they catch in Walmart they get like a percentage, or raise, or commission for the person that they caught,” she said.
Athenia Marie echoed a similar experience.
“At my store, we had two people that would be there [at] all times like every day seemed like… They would walk around the store from morning till night time until we closed,” she explained.
Employees have practically zero product expertise
If you have a question about a particular product at Walmart, the workers likely don’t know any more about it than you do.
“We’re trained to read the box and basically tell you what we see on the box,” Mars said.
One former employee said Walmart workers don’t have specific expertise about the departments they’re assigned to.
“No, I don’t know which non-clumping litter would be best for your asthmatic rescue cat. Yes, I do work in the pet section. Today, that is. Yesterday, I was in hardware, and tomorrow, I might be in health and beauty, or I might be in paper and chemicals,” the ex-worker wrote on Reddit. “Same goes for everyone else here.”
Beware of hearing “code brown” over the intercom
Your ears may be trained to ignore the announcements that blare over the store’s intercom, but you should be alert for a “code brown.”
Code brown means that there’s a shooter within the building, according to one former employee.
There are other intercom color codes used to convey information to employees as well. Black is a weather condition, green is a hostage situation, blue is a bomb, red is fire, and orange is a chemical hazard.