Mom demands son bring her Dunkin' coffee while on the clock and gets him fired from Walmart

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my mother, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

During my mother's decade-long stint as a Walmart employee, she saw many coworkers lose their jobs. Reasons ranged from stealing and sleeping on the job to leaving work to get a cup of coffee on the clock.

In one case, management fired a young man for fetching a cup of coffee for his mother. The problem was that they were both on the clock.

The woman in question worked side by side with my mother in one of the store's many departments. Her son worked primarily outdoors, fetching loose shopping carts.

My mother's coworker told her son to walk to Dunkin' and buy her a cup of coffee. "You're in the parking lot, anyway. No one will ever know the difference."

The Dunkin' coffee shop was on the opposite end of a rather large parking lot, and someone from Walmart management noticed the teen as he made the long walk back to the store carrying a cup of hot coffee for his mom.

They fired him on the spot.

My mother's coworker never got her cup of coffee, and management reprimanded her for sending her son on an errand during working hours. She was soon out of a job, too, as Walmart managers scrutinized her more closely after the incident.

It just goes to show that even if you think you're being sneaky, it's always best to follow the rules at work, especially when it comes to coffee.

Regardless of what some people think, getting a cup of coffee doesn't qualify as an emergency.

I couldn't believe that Walmart would fire someone for such a minor infraction. My mother assured me it wasn't the first time something like this had happened, and unfortunately, it wouldn't be the last.

There's no doubt the young man did the wrong thing by walking to the local coffee shop when he should have been working, but a warning would have sufficed.

Firing him seemed harsh, especially considering his mother was the one who had asked him to get the coffee.

I'd leave work to get my mother a cup of coffee in a heartbeat if she wanted one. The difference is that my mother has the good sense not to ask for a cup of coffee if I'm working.

When my mother told me this story, I couldn't help but laugh. It's just another example of the strange and terrible things that go on at Walmart. It's a funny story, but it's also a cautionary tale about what not to do at work.

So, if you're ever thinking about getting your coworker a cup of coffee while you're both on the clock, think again. It's just not worth it, even if your coworker is your mother.

The moral of the story is: never get coffee for your mom while you're on the clock at Walmart. Unless, of course, you want to lose your job.

What do you think? Is getting coffee while on the clock grounds for termination? Have you ever witnessed or been a part of a bizarre incident at Walmart? Share your story in the comments below.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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