Rush is my favorite band. I feel they are oft overlooked for their talent. That they only just recently made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is evidence of how long it took for them to get respect by the business. So I am always happily surprised when I hear their music used in ways other than entertainment.
The song Working Man is one of my favorites. Watching the Sochi Olympics I heard the song come on and was wondering what this ad might be for. Turns out, it is for Walmart.
Here is the commercial:
Listen to what the lyrics say:
I get up at 7, I go to work at 9. Got no time for living, I’m working all the time.
It seems to me I can live my life, a lot better than I think I am. I think that’s why they call me the working man.
Now, I went to Walmart this afternoon. I asked the employee at check out how she felt about the commercial. She says she spends too much time working to watch TV. Exactly my point.
What is amazing is that Walmart does not realize how ironic their song choice was. In selecting these lyrics they just perpetuate the beliefs that people have about the way Walmart treats their employees. And if employed somewhere else, it is likely that their employees could live their lives a lot better. And look at their comments they make on YouTube. They are clueless. I responded to one of their comments about how they love the song:
You love the song but the song just perpetuates the views that people have of how you treat your employees. They have no time for living because they are working all the time. They are working all the time because they work for rollback wages and have to work extra to make ends meet.
And in many cases they cannot work extra because some people have a hard time finding a 2nd job to fit around their Walmart schedules since I have read that Walmart will not work with employees who work for another employer to make sure that their schedules can coexist.
It is just amazing that a company that takes such purposeful actions to make sure they pay their employees as little as possible will now try and tout how they are being good for the “working man”. Want to help the working man Walton family? Hire your employees full time and make sure the wages they are paid can support a family without having to rely on government assistance. Then perhaps you can be said to care about the working man. Until then, might I suggest Money by Pink Floyd for your next commercial.