Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

I truly thought this was going to be a funny and humorous book about the sightings we all see on a trip to Walmart...or the funny meme that are all out there. This book was far from that! This book was a hard look into the employees and all that they endure on the job, They are constantly monitored. Rules, rules, and even more rules. 
This was a very well written, insightful book and it forever changed how I view this company. Every time I step into a Walmart, I know I will be thinking about the words that were inside this book.
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This book was an interesting look at a career I never wanted to have. Reading some of the behind the scenes info, it's no wonder why so many of their associates look incredibly miserable on the rare occasion I find myself in a Walmart. I think my patrons will enjoy the expose, so I have ordered a couple copies. Thank you.
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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.
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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.
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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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Not what I was expecting.  More like a magazine article than memoir./ true life account.  Very jargonous writing style.  Would not recommend.
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thank you to Netgalley and Fernwood Publishing for the ARC for my unbiased review

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. 

Interesting book, having visited a few walmarts in the USA on holiday it was very thought provoking to see the OTHER side of the brand and store
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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.
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It was a quick read, I enjoyed the book. .  Although some of the content is common knowledge, I still learned more about the inside working of Walmart and personal side of retail. Also, I’m not familiar with some of the references but good nonetheless.
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Interesting and informative resource book. It is evident that the author put a lot of effort into educating the readers about this subject. Highly recommend.
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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.
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This book just reminded me of why I do not shop at Walmart.  It was easy to read but it did not present me with anything I did not already know,
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This is a very very interesting journal that looks into the daily struggles of Walmart employees. As a British reader, having this insight into American consumerism helped me understand the structure of American economics and business life.

This is a very honest book without being offensive to anyone. It was really nice to get to see the human side of retail workers.

Good journalism!
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Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC! 
Walmart is famous throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico for its low prices. However, they are also famous for low wages and demanding, wacky customers. (A glance at the site may tell you all you need to know). In this book, journalist Hugo Meunier goes undercover for 3 months as a Walmart associate, then emerges to tell us all about the good, the bad, and the ugly behind the scenes. 
The corporation at the top is a warm, family-oriented company. At the store level, it is a place where low pay and hard work go hand in hand. There are stories of employees who cannot afford good food, despite the generous 10% off card they are given. There is an almost cultlike atmosphere in team meetings each morning (Give me a W! Give me an A! Give me an L …) and each associate is encouraged to tattle on those team members who “steal time”. Heavy, heavy emphasis is placed on the customer always being right, with posters in the break room exhorting staff to remember that “The most important person you will meet is your next customer”. Meunier portrays the clientele as brutish, demanding, and thankless. That sounds like most customers in retail – but to hear the author’s inner monologue as he complies with their demands is funny. This monologue will also be familiar to those who work in any service industry.
Something struck me amongst all the descriptions of hard work, lazy colleagues, clueless managers, and low pay. The author is someone with a good paying job and a high-end lifestyle – so the juxtaposition between his real job and his Walmart job is telling. He even notes that he misses sleeping in and not having to punch a clock.  Perhaps the most elitist moment is when he notes the difference between Walmart’s and his newspaper’s holiday party. One is filled with wine, truffles and caviar…and the other is not. Can you guess which is which? His reassuring thoughts to himself are that soon he will be able to leave the world of Walmart behind and return to his normal, happy, financially secure life. As he described his fatigue, aching feet and lack of sleep I thought to myself, This is what most of the US consists of – perhaps there needs to be reform? 
Speaking of reform, Walmart believes unions are anathema and supports the illegal practice of squashing union talk. On the surface they claim to be open-minded, yet there is a top secret procedure that managers need to follow immediately when they hear talk of organizing. The final chapters of the book describe a hard-fought battle between the retail giant and some employees who wanted to unionize. If most of the book did not depress you, this portion will. 
Most of the blurbs that surround this book note that you will never think of Walmart in the same way again. I will say that I wasn’t that surprised at some of the things I learned, except for the way the store demands associates interact with customers. I have never been smiled at or addressed first at my local store – perhaps it is a kinder world in Canada. 
Final thoughts – this book is a quick and easily digested read about the class difference and extreme profit seeking of a major corporation. I would have liked if the author followed up in 6 months with his former co-workers to provide a bit more closure to his readers. In any case, it will be interesting to see how/if Walmart responds to the book (despite the fact that it came out a while ago in Canada and was recently translated to English).
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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.
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5 stars 
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
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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.
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I just didn't get into this book like I thought I would and sadly, I will not be reviewing it.

Thank You for the chance to read this book!
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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.
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This book was okay.  I did like that it was set in my backyard, but I found the author had a weird writing style.  It was half straight up research and half anecdotes but somehow, the anecdotes, for the most part, were not detailed enough to make care all that much.

I think this book would have worked better with the author focusing more on the anecdotes and less on the straight out facts.  Obviously, we need facts, but they were not well interwoven with the anecdotes.

I also kind of struggled with time periods.  It felt as though we were doing a bit of back and forth on the time frame and I could never really figure out exactly what time frame we were in.

Not horrible, but nowhere near as interesting ad Waiting.
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