Walmart associate brings her child to work and makes her help out without getting caught

Tracey Folly

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

When my mother worked as a Walmart associate for a decade, she saw enough strange things to fill an entire book. There were times she felt shocked at the events that went on in the workplace. One of the most surprising incidents that happened while she was working at Walmart involved a coworker who brought her child into the store and put her to work all day long without getting caught.

One day, as my mother was walking through the Walmart men's department before her shift, my mother saw a young girl folding clothes at a display table in the apparel section. She thought it seemed strange.

My mother walked into the break room, punched in at the time clock as usual, and returned to the men's department. The child was still standing at the display table, folding shirts as if she worked there.

My mother approached the only other employee who was working in the department. "Oh my goodness," my mother exclaimed. "It seems the new employees are getting younger and younger." She gestured at the child, who was clearly too young to be employed. "And where is her Walmart vest?" my mother joked. "How will the customers know whom to ask for help?

Her coworker's eyes widened. Then she broke into laughter. "That's my daughter," she said. "I brought her to work today because she is always asking me to buy her things, and I want her to learn the value of working for what you get instead of getting things handed to you."

My mother felt shocked. She asked her coworker whether management had approved the arrangement.

"Oh, no," the woman replied. "I can't ask management about it because they would probably not agree. Besides, why should I tell them? It's not like I'm asking them to pay her. They are getting free help for the day out of the deal, and I don't have to pay for a babysitter. It's a win-win for all of us."

According to my mother, the young girl walked around the store for eight hours, straightening merchandise, folding clothes, picking things up off the floor, and keeping herself busy while her mother worked. "Not once did a manager seem to notice or say anything," my mother said. "I don't know if they thought she was a customer or what, but someone should have noticed."

At the end of the night, the girl told her mother that she understood the value of hard work and never wanted to do it again. She said she would try not to ask for so many things now that she knew what it took to earn the money to buy them.

Her mother considered her brief experiment a win. My mother thought it was inappropriate, and I agree.

Do you think what the mother did was wrong? Would you have done the same thing if you were in her position? Let me know in the comments.

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