The terror of my atheistic ways have been loosed at work. It’s on! What happened? I work at Walmart, wher I supervise the cashiers, door greeters, and cart pushers. Our new district manager, in response to the pressure exerted by the christian wrong, has decidedto make thedoor greeters wear santa hats. This pissed me off. As a supervisor, it is my job to enforce the rules and policies on the front end. Guess what ain’t gonna happen? When this first came down a week ago, I went to my store manager and told her I was in no way going to enforce this policy,and we had a long discussion about it. I explained to her that it was wrong, and against company policy, to make someone endorse beliefs they do not beleive in. This is a direct issue for at least 2 of my greeters, I have found out. She said she wasn’t aware that any one held alternate beliefs. That’s the point. She shouldn’t have to know. Finally, she said that they would not have to wear the hats if they didn’t want. It turns out that she meant it has to be expressly against their religious beliefs, and cleared through her. I found this out today, when regional management came to the store, and my assistant manager told me to get hats for the greeters not wearing any, because they were mandatory. I told him, no, they were made availableto people who wanted to wear them, but they were in no way part of the uniform, an it would not be enforced. Although behind his back, the other superviors agreed with me, he cowed one person into getting the santa hats.
Was there ever a better day for district to be visiting? I went directly to to the HR manager, who happened to be part of the walk team, and laid it out with her also. It’s simply unfair to marginalize people for their beliefs. I understand that this is backlash from last year’s ‘Happy Holidays” promotion ( which I was happy to see, and sorry to see gone). They are trying to make up for what they see is lost ground. I think it was wrong to cave, but that choice wasn’t mine. However, in their misguided efforts to get back in the Virgin Mary’s bed, they are going too far.
If they make it mandatory, then it goes against people’s beliefs, or lack thereof. If itis mandatory only for the christians, that is discrimination. Also, it’s outting people who may be trying to fly under the radar, as they either have to pretend to be something they are not, or bear the possibility of snide comments and worse from both associates and customers. I am most wooried about the customer angle, as I have been harrassed already several times about not saying Merry christmas. (Today I said Merry Spaghettiness, but no one caught it.)
I am awaiting word now from the home office, and if I don’t hear anything by friday morning, I’m calling the Walton kids myself.