沃尔玛故事(二)沃尔玛是家什么样的公司? – Wal-Mart story 2: what kind of company is Wal-Mart?

沃尔玛在这个美丽的小岛一共开设了九家店,而我一直到第五家才应聘成功。刚开始我把这件事情看得很简单,但碰了两回钉子后我开始静下心来仔细研究这件事。在网上搜寻外企应聘一般都会提出什么问题,怎样算合理的回答。随着对沃尔玛的了解我发现自己越来越喜欢这家公司,你知道我一直都在寻找一个归宿,我发现它和我梦想的地方很相似。那些美好的理念,原则,信仰。我以为我在这个肮脏的国家找到了一片净土。

第五次应聘的那天阳光灿烂,这个小岛素来被称为阳光之岛。我来到位于市中心的这家店里,看着里面来往穿梭的员工感觉很亲切。你能从她们身上感觉到安详和善意,人一般在见到和自己有相似价值观的人才会感到亲切。接待我的是部门主管建勇,他的态度非常和蔼,只是给人感觉有些多疑。他对我非常的肯定,说他自己从事这个职业很久了,一见我就觉得我非常适合这份工作,我身上有这个职业所需要的特质。他说的我心花怒放,要知道我这几天可是连连遭受挫折呀。心里不禁对他有些感激。建勇身上有一种气质,我当时不能清楚的判断这种气质代表着什么,但又似乎有些熟悉,后来才明白那是权力的气息。准确的说是以权力为核心价值观的人身上特有的气息,在政府官僚身上最能感觉到。

我这个人是有点2,顺利一点马上忘乎所以,放松下来后和建勇闲聊的时候吹嘘起自己看人的眼光很准,建勇问我你看我是个什么样的人?不知怎的我心一沉,眯起眼睛观察他的面容。随后说了一句绝对不会错的话,你是个正直的人。建勇笑了,说不正直的人是当不了ap的。我能感觉他一直在观察我,他始终都没有放松。

接下来人事部的面试很顺利,基本只是走个过场。走到外面阳光洒在脸上,心情舒畅啊,有一种久违的幸福感。

写到这里我觉得应当简单介绍一下沃尔玛是家什么样的公司,沃尔玛1996年进入中国,至今已经在中国开了数百家店,仅在我所在的这个小岛上就有十家左右万平以上的大型一站式购物广场。沃尔玛曾经数年蝉联世界第一大公司,而在我看来沃尔玛之所以强大是因为它的核心价值观,即沃尔玛的三大信仰:“尊重个人,服务顾客,追求卓越。”我相信沃尔玛的三大信仰并不是像我们国家街道上贴的那些标语只是给别人看的,自己并不信。我自己有亲身体会,就拿尊重个人这一点来举例。我们的办公室里有监控,还有录音。这样做的目的一方面是为了抓到小偷便衣在审问的时候防止虐待羞辱当事人(我们从来不被允许把在商场里偷东西的顾客叫做小偷,背后叫也不允许,只能叫当事人。)一方面办公室员工员工之间发生摩擦的时候也可以用来取证,作为是非判断的依据。一般人可能觉得在办公室安装监控录音涉嫌侵犯隐私,但我知道我们这个职业的特殊性,所以并不觉得反感。

从沃尔玛对待窃取商品的当事人态度基本就可以证明它对待员工的基本原则,我们不许拉扯当事人,到办公室询问的时候不许打骂,不允许侮辱性的态度,一旦发生这种事情被查证后询问的便衣防损员是极可能卷铺盖走人的。沃尔玛对当事人不会罚款,如果窃取的商品包装已经破损买下来即可,包装未破损的说服教育后留下商品走人,也不允许威胁通知工作单位和家庭之类的。可以这么说你在沃尔玛偷东西只要不是金额巨大一般放下商品留底走人即可,所以有些小偷很喜欢到沃尔玛来偷东西,不打不骂不罚款,犯罪成本很小。沃尔玛把小偷也是当人看的,就像许多的民主国家一样非常严格保护罪犯的基本人权。而其他一些大型超市虐待羞辱当事人并数倍甚至十倍的罚款是很常见的。我罗里啰嗦只是为说明沃尔玛对窃取商品的当事人尚且如此,对于员工的权利保护的更周密的多,起码从这一点可以看出它的基本原则和价值观。就算在中国区域起码在制度和程序上对于员工的保护是非常严密的,至于具体执行执行的怎么样那是受到中国国情的影响的,这个我以后会说。

In total Walmart has opened nine stores on this beautiful isle. I was only successful in my job application at the fifth one. At the outset I thought it would be very simple, but after coming across a couple of snags, I calmed myself and started to do some more detailed research. Searching and applying for jobs at foreign enterprises on the internet generally will pose a few problems of which one has to find a reasonable way to address them. The more I understood Walmart, the more I discovered I liked the company. I’ve always been looking for the perfect place, and I found that it was very close to my ideal – having good ideas, principles, and beliefs. I thought I had found an oasis in this filthy country.

On the day of my fifth application, the sun was shining magnificently. This island has always has been known as the isle of sunshine. When I arrived at the store in the city centre, watching the staff coming and going gave me a feeling of intimacy. You can feel their quiet and kindness from their body language. Generally, people only get a feeling of familiarity when meeting people who share a similar system of values. The person who received me was called Jianyong, and he was the branch manager. He had an extremely amicable attitude, but made me feel a little paranoid. He was very assertive with me, saying that he had been in his role for a very long time, and that as soon as he saw me, he felt that I would suit this job as I had all the qualities that this role required. After he said this I was elated. After all in the previous few days I had suffered disappointment after disappointment. I couldn’t help but feel gratitude towards him. Jianyong’s temperament seemed familiar, though at the time I couldn’t clearly decipher what it represented. Only later on did I understand that it had the smell of power. Precisely speaking it was the smell that is specific to people who have power at the core of their system of values, something you be feel most among government officials.

Sometimes, I can be a bit dumb: as soon as things started going smoothly, I got carried away. After I had loosened up, while chatting with Jianyong, I started to brag that my appraisal of others was very accurate. Jianyong then asked me what sort of person I thought he was. Somehow my heart sank, and I narrowed my eyes to observe his face. Then I said something that absolutely couldn’t go wrong; that he was an upstanding citizen. Jianyong smiled, and said that people who weren’t upstanding couldn’t become an ap. I could feel that he was observing me incessantly, never loosening up.

The following interview with human resources went without a hitch, basically being a mere formality. Walking outside the sun shone on my face, and I felt entirely at ease. I felt a kind of happiness that one doesn’t feel often.

By this point I think I ought to give a brief overview of what kind of company Walmart is. The company came to China in 1996, and has already opened hundreds of stores. On this isle alone there are around ten large scale one-stop shopping malls, each covering an area greater than 10000 square meters. For many years Walmart has successively been the world’s largest company, and in my opinion the reason why it’s so formidable is due to it’s core values. Namely, these are the three main beliefs of “personal respect, customer service and the pursuit of excellence”. I believe that Walmart’s three main beliefs aren’t at all like those placards pasted over the street in our country, which one doesn’t believe and are just for show. From my own personal experience, I’ll take personal respect as an example. Our office has video cameras, which also record sound. One purpose of this is to prevent the malhandling and humiliation of those implicated during the interrogation by the plain clothes store detectives in order to catch the thieves. (We are never permitted to call customers who steal things in the shopping mall thieves, not even behind their backs. We can only call them implicated persons.) Another purpose is to collect evidence when there is friction between employees in the office in a non-judgmental way. Most people may think that installing surveillance monitors in the office would apparently violate privacy. However, I know the special nature of our profession, and so do not feel disgusted.

The fundamental way that Walmart treats its employees can is demonstrated from the way they treat those implicated in stealing items. We aren’t permitted to drag suspects about, we aren’t allowed to beat or scold them when questioning them in the office and we aren’t allowed to be insulting. As soon as anything like this has been confirmed to have taken place, then the inquiring plain clothes store detectives involved most likely will have to pack their things and leave. Walmart doesn’t impose fines on implicated persons. If the packaging of stolen goods has already been damaged, then buying them is sufficient. Otherwise, they will be allowed to leave after they have given up the goods and had a talking over. It is also not permitted to threaten them in ways such as informing the organisation they work for or their families. It can be said that as long as you don’t steal anything of significant monetary value from Walmart, then it’s enough to give the goods back and leave. Therefore there are some thieves that like going to Walmart to steal things as they won’t get hit, scolded or fined, and so the consequences of committing a crime are insignificant. Walmart looks upon thieves also as human beings, just like how many democratic countries strictly protect the basic human rights of criminals. In some large-scale supermarkets it’s common for implicated persons to be abused, humiliated and fined even ten times the value that of what was stolen. In a long-winded fashion I have only explained the way Walmart treats those implicated in stealing goods. With regards to the protecting the rights of its employees, it’s even more careful. From this one point, at the very least one can see its basic principles and system of values. Even if in China systems and procedures are at the minimum very strict in protecting employees, how their actual implementation has been influenced by the country’s state of affairs will be talked about later.

3 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

julien.leyrereply
April 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Interested piece of slang here at #2: 我这个人是有点2 – ‘2’ (pinyin ‘er’) means stupid – but would love to get the full story behind the meaning.

Simon Cooperreply
April 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Yes that’s right. There’s a discussion about what 我有点二 means at http://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Cross_Life/M.1330345938.A.BE9.html. Apparently it’s 「大陸用法,二愣子的意思」.

adminreply
August 3, 2018 at 4:39 am

Original translation by Simon Cooper

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