Norma Harris, 97, of Rogers, Arkansas, will be granted early retirement from her full time position as a Walmart greeter after 44 years of employment with the mega-retailer.
Harris will be the first person in Walmart history to be paid early retirement, which she will receive despite the fact that she’s too young and hasn’t accumulated enough work-hours to qualify for Walmart’s retiree benefits program. Walmart hosted a press conference/retirement party at Harris’ home to announce their unprecedented decision.
“Walmart is happy to grant approval of Mrs. Harris’ application for early-retirement, as a good faith response to her many decades of hard work and loyalty,” said Walmart spokesman David Talbot. “It’s really quite amazing that after all these years, she’s still here. That she’s still with us. With us at Walmart I mean. Um, I mean, we’re definitely not surprised she’s still here, on earth, at her age.”
Talbot had no comment about whether Walmart’s decision was the result of ongoing litigation between labor-rights lawyers working on Harris’ behalf and the Walmart corporate legal team. Harris’ lawyers believe Walmart only reconciled to grant Harris early retirement because she out-lived the terms of the life insurance policy Walmart had set up to collect on the event of her death.
Regardless of the possible legal or morally-satanic ramifications of Walmart’s decision, Norma says she is more than ready for the early retirement. “It will just be nice to finally have some time to myself and reconnect with my 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and 700 great great grandchildren,” said Norma.
She was incredibly upbeat on her last day of work, which passed much like the previous 15,840: greeting shoppers at the door, checking their receipts, mega-dosing on glucosamine to ease the pain in her knees which haven’t contained any cartilage since 1995.
Receiving her early retirement marks the second time Norma Harris has been part of Walmart history. She was the first female ever employed for the company and ran a cash register at the very first store, which opened up in her home-town of Rogers Arkansa in 1968. “I had to apply there because my daddy’s hardware shop was forced to shut down after Walmart set up down the street,” she explained.
Norma was hired on at the standard “probationary female salary,” which was roughly half the income of her male counterparts and the norm at the time. She was however, offered a “Broad-in-the-workplace” incentive plan, which allowed her to accrue extra income each time she refrained from taking legal action after encounters of extreme sexual harassment with male employees. “I used to leave that store with the sorest fanny,” Norma recalled.
Despite cuts to her dental benefits, Norma is all smiles now (her new dentures were purchased through a fund set up by Walmart associates who donate portions of their own salaries to help each other in times of need).