Good News For Working 'Retirees' - Wal-Mart Reintroduces "The Greeter"

With record numbers of older workers in the workforce, as the beach/sunset/walks-in-the-park vision of retirement crashes on the shores of reality, there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

After a series of tests on ways to deter theft, Wal-Mart has decided that America's favorite supercenter position will be making a comeback. This summer, Wal-Mart will be rolling out a program that will bring door greeters back to the entrances in hopes of reducing theft, and improving customer service.

Theft has been an increasing issue for Wal-Mart, with some stores having to call the police up to four times a day. The company ran tests at two stores in Arlington, Tx, and having employees check receipts helped reduce calls to police by about 40% over six months said Kevin Kolbye, assistant chief of the Arlington police.

Wal-Mart's returning of the greeters to the entrances is the good news. The bad news? Other than a few positions being created to oversee the self-checkouts, the company expects to fill the positions with existing employees, so the initiative will be relatively headcount neutral. In other words, those that lost their jobs during the massive layoffs as a result of giving in to pressures to raise the minimum wage for their employees won't be getting their jobs back any time soon.

There is one silver lining however, which is that some of those employees making the arbitrary minimum wage of $10 an hour will really have to earn it with this exhaustive skill set - we hope they don't burn out.

The remaining stores, which the company has identified as having more theft, will get an employee focused on preventing shoplifting who will periodically check receipts. These workers, called customer hosts, will need to have additional skills beyond those of traditional greeters, who are often senior citizens. They’ll need to be able to ask for receipts when appropriate and lift heavy objects and use technology to process express returns.

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