Walmart employees and management showed a lot of heart

They rallied behind a dying fellow employee and made sure she did not leave alone.

Editor: Walmart Langley has heart.

Despite the big box reputation, and videos of the people who shop at Walmart, under the surface, these employees and their management team at Walmart 3158 Langley truly demonstrate and project a clear definition of heart.

Let me give an example. I am a merchandiser, who for the last two and one-half years was stationed at this location. I have had the opportunity to be welcomed by staff and management at this location, as if I did work there.

From Linda,  Ick, the Kevins, Chantel, Jerry, Jocye, Wendy and Karen — the list could go on — Pearl, Deb, Pat, Cindy, Jamie and Jane. As I was working alongside the staff, I learned a great deal about someone. Audrey was that someone for me.

Audrey was a 75-year-old feisty gal. “The old bird,” I called her. I do not know how this woman did it some days, her body was so crippled, she had arthritis and bad knees, yet never missed a day’s work.

Some days Audrey had to come two hours early or stay two hours later, because of the schedule Handy Dart ran on. She came to my Christmas table the last two seasons and shared dinner with friends and family.

Always swearing by her “juice,” an aloe vera drink, the old bird could sing me into buying a jug or two, or three, as I could never say no to her. This past Christmas, Audrey had the house roaring with laughter. She was so outspoken, so funny, so real, and unknown to us, it would be her last meal with us.

That Christmas night as she lifted her poor, aching body from my chesterfield, she said, and I quote, “I will work until I die,” and she did. She worked on Sunday, March 1, and on Monday, March 2, she was in the hospital. Her spirit floated away.

I received the call from Cassandra. She knew of my relationship with Audrey and wanted to inform me of this tragic news.    Without a thought, I sprang to Royal Columbian Hospital to be with my friend, who would be alone.

When I arrived, I entered her space in the emergency.  She looked like she was sleeping. I called her, shook her, I tried opening her eyes, she did not budge. I took her hand, kissed it, sat, and cried.

Through the tears, I saw familiar faces from Walmart. You see, in case of emergency, Audrey had only Walmart as an emergency contact. Arriving were Lee, Jane and Judy, who came to stay with Audrey.

And that they did. They came all day Tuesday, then they came again at night. They sat with that woman even though Walmart itself was busy with inventory and relines.

Management supported these women and Audrey.  On the day Audrey passed away, Jane was able to have the priest give Audrey her last rites. She was Catholic.  Without her “Walmart family,” Audrey would have been alone, and might have missed her last rites.

These women, the people who make up this Walmart showed love, care and concern. It was so heart-warming and so kind.  To hear them all say, “Audrey will not die alone,” and support her during her last days, is worthy of being recognized.  The public needs to know that all is not for profit. There is a lot of heart at Walmart in  Langley.

 

Nicolina Christian,

Langley

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