‘Every Day Is Frightening’: Working For Walmart Amid Covid-19 Pandemic
Enlarge this image toggle caption Kevin D. Liles/AP Kevin D. Liles/AP
For the last month, two days a week, she didn’t go home to her suburban Virginia home. She came to a Walmart store in her neighborhood in Prince George’s County, Md., where, for two hours a day, she works as a cashier in the Walmart Neighborhood Market.
This is the store where the workers at the checkout registers get to watch her father, in his wheel chair, making groceries for their family.
“A lot of us get together here and we talk about how we need to be more optimistic,” said Deanna Hall, who has worked at the store for four weeks. “I think that, right now, we will take the good with the bad.”
Hall, who is a mother of two, began working at the store two weeks ago. She didn’t need to be here, she explained, because she had family in Florida. But now she needs the money to buy food for her children and to help her with her mental health.
On Tuesday, during a routine checkout, just before 5:30 a.m., Hall realized that as she was about to swipe her card, she saw someone wearing a face mask.
She turned to the person behind the mask and asked: “Are you my boss?”
The person, who turned out to be the store’s CEO, responded by shaking her finger in Hall’s face.
“Who do you think you are to tell us how to do our job?” Hall told her employer. It was at that moment that Hall realized she was in a precarious situation.
“This is not a bad place to be. This is a good place to be,” she said. “This is Walmart.”
Hall has worked in Walmart stores for a few months now, but that’s probably not her first job.
She is an