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So, here I am…31 years old, raising two daughters alone; now unemployed. I am grateful for this opportunity to experience life from another perspective…the needy side. Thus far, all of my adult life has been from the giving side; supporting the system through payroll contributions on behalf of the needy people in an effort to benefit welfare. I have considered the welfare system to be a worthwhile support network for those less fortunate but much to my dismay have since discovered the system is not in place to aide those who need it, but rather…promote homelessness. Since the Obama Act passed, the state can no longer aide adults through the benefit of health insurance however, they will only cover children. The waiting lists for many programs are 9-12 months including the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) food program and rental assistance program. When I ask the representatives what are people supposed to do in the meantime for food and housing, I am given unhelpful information such as a list for local shelters to go to AFTER I have already lost everything. I am  told the waiting list for unemployment insurance claims is 2-3 weeks…it has been 3 weeks and still no word for coverage. Other representatives inform me the waiting list may be as long as 6-8 weeks. Interestingly, the unemployment office found time to send my claim letter and I am promised a reasonable weekly benefit amount in the event a decision is made someday. How can people in this situation keep their heads above water?

After learning no health coverage for myself may be obtained through the state, I contacted COBRA where I learned I am eligible for that but since my employer deemed me ineligible for critical need, my premium will not be reduced by 65% therefore leaving me with a monthly premium of nearly $300. Well, since prescriptions cost $900 per month…I guess it is a good deal.

I have 401k options through Meryl Lynch. Not great choices from that perspective either. There is a 30 day waiting period after my last date of employment before I have access to exercise my money. Even then, the choices include a lump sum distribution taking a 30% loss or a roll over into a personal IRA where I can add to the funds and have access to the funds for withdrawals but there is a loss involved. Why do I have to wait 30 days to have access to my money when the employer gets to cut all benefits the day of termination? I believe it would be more reasonable to allow a 30 day grace period for newly former associates to obtain alternative insurance after all, nobody PLANS to lose their job…although I guess when Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is your employer…you should.

The Wal-Mart empire took advantage of the economic situation and laid off many associates. The rationale for said “lay-offs” was to make the business more efficient. Well, it makes business more efficient all right…if you do things the dirty way. Offer a raise to the associates whom did not get laid off, just a couple months prior due to a “re-structure” then provide new “team expectancies” as part of the updated job description.  Make the goal so difficult to reach and maintain the associate sacrifices all personal time for the company because hey, they are just glad they didn’t get fired too…and this pay increase is sure nice huh? (scoffing)

Sorry but I refuse to worship Wal-Mart. I am not that woman. Thank you for terminating me because I was killing myself and ignoring all my friends and family for your lousy company. If my best wasn’t good enough, then you should reconsider your expectations because my best is all I can do. Wal-Mart took out the “human” and replaced us with numbers generated on a report. Wal-Mart does NOT practice what they preach. Do not fall for the Code of Ethics mumbo jumbo or the 12 Basic Beliefs, it is a hoax for the mass media and a charade to get the associates behind Wal-Mart.

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