Working in the world of retail comes with an array of challenges, from difficult customers to long hours walking around tending to the store’s stock. Monotony is another source of frustration, but maybe that’s also a blessing in disguise, as employees at Walmart learn what different code words signify for its emergency warning system.
Insights into working at Walmart come from a Reddit thread filled with testimony from employees past and present. One topic that generated a lot of chatter was the list of announcement codes and what each color or word represents, from inclement weather to a missing person case. Have you heard any of these on the intercom? Find out what they mean here.
Walmart employees break down the emergency code system they use for dangerous situations
An Ask Me Anything thread by Reddit user u/Awesome_Nossum sparked a discussion about the typical inside secrets Walmart employees learn on the job. “On the back of every yellow badge that goes behind your nametag are codes for Walmart in emergency situations,” one employee revealed. It is Walmart that first introduced Code Adam, a term that might be sounded over the intercom that means a child is missing or separated from their parents. Other stores also use Code Adam to succinctly announce this kind of emergency, which signals for stores to lock down until the child is found.
Generally, the code words stay consistent between Walmart locations but different outlets have different colors for different emergencies. For instance, Code Red warns employees and shoppers about a fire at most locations. But Code Black can mean different things in different places. Two of its possible definitions are both foreboding.
Translating the intercom codes
One Reddit user who has worked at Walmart said that their store uses Code Black to warn of inclement weather emergencies. But at another Walmart, hearing “Code Black” warns of a bomb threat. Fortunately, the one staff member assured, “We had a Code Black just once when I worked there.” Code Orange represents chemical spills, while Code White can mean in-store accidents. If a store does not use Code Black for bomb scares, it uses Code Blue instead. Brown is used for shootings.
Employees have also seen their share of generally safe but still unsettling scenes at work, such as a woman with stomach troubles who emptied those troubles down an isle, which was further spread by cart wheels. On another occasion, a drunk man once also used the shopping area as a bathroom too. None of the code lists provided in the Reddit thread specified what words are used for those situations.
Have you worked retail, and what is the wildest thing you’ve experienced at that workplace?