The Walmartian Chronicles

Charles Platt is a former senior writer for Wired magazine. In the New York Post column “Fly on the Wal,” Platt emerges from deep undercover as a Wal-Mart employee to report on lessons learned.

Platt first learns that getting hired is the hard part:

The personnel manager told me she had received more than 100 applications during that month alone, chasing just a handful of jobs. Thus the mystery deepened. 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.

This is just one of the many mysteries that Platt unravels in short order in the course of his excellent, good-humored report.

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