The early ’80s were really tough for my family. I had two babies and no income. But after I got a job, things started changing for the better.
Back in 1984, I knew I wanted to work for my local Walmart in Pearsall,
Texas, but I was pregnant with my second child at the time. I figured after having
my baby, I would apply for a job. The only downfall was everyone kept telling
me, “You need a GED to get into Walmart.” I didn’t have one, so I held back.
Later, in 1986, I found out that you don’t need a GED to apply. As a
matter of fact, the company will help you get a GED. I took a chance and spoke
with the store manager. After filling out an application and taking an
assessment, I headed to my mom’s house to let her know I used her phone number
as my contact.
I will never forget, it was a Wednesday. As I pulled up at my mom’s
house, she came outside with a big grin and said, “Walmart just called. They
want you there Saturday at 1 o’clock.”
From then on, my life changed every day – it was getting easier. One of
the best feelings in the world was being able to write a letter to the food stamp
office saying, “Thank you very much, but I don’t need your help anymore.” I
could make it by myself. So when outside groups perform media stunts and
attempt to speak for me and my fellow associates who work hard every day to
build better lives, I find it incredibly
My first job was as a cashier, and by putting in my part, I’ve worked
my way up to assistant manager. I was promoted to customer service manager after
just three months on the job at the most. From there, I became a floater to learn
more about the store and then moved on to department manager, first over
stationery and later to men’s, boys’, girls’ and infants’ apparel. After five
years in that position, I became a support manager – a job I enjoyed for the
longest time before finally accepting the offer to be an assistant manager.
There have been a lot of obstacles along the way, and a third child, but
thanks to my determination and a good company, I didn’t quit.
One of my sons, Mario, is following in my footsteps. He started as a
pharmacy cashier at age 16 and moved up from there. Now, nearly 15 years later,
he’s an assistant manager, too.
When people ask me about Walmart, I use my life as an example. I didn’t
graduate, but you know what, this company believed in me. And after nearly 30
years, I don’t give back any less than I did when I started.
The sky’s the limit, but I believe it’s up to you to want it.
Editor’s Note: This post is an
update to this video, where Noemi first shared her story with us.