Editor’s note: More than 2.2 million associates bring our stores and clubs to life every day. Sparking Conversation is a series where we get to know these individuals. George Hart is a truck driver based out of the Bentonville, Arkansas, distribution center (#6801).
Q: You’ve enjoyed almost
34 years of working with Walmart. How did you get your start?
A: I was driving a route for Emerson Electric from Rogers, Arkansas, to St. Louis. This was a double route, so my partner and I were in Missouri together. We went to a Walmart, and ran into two guys I knew. They saw my uniform and told me I should put in an application with Walmart. My driving partner John and I put in applications, and we were both hired. That was back in 1981.
Q: Has your career given you or your family any unique opportunities?
A: Absolutely. It’s the best company I’ve ever worked for. It’s helped me to provide for my family, and since we are guaranteed two days off per week, I know I’ll always be able to spend time at home with them.
Back in 2002, my late wife and I wanted to move to be closer to her family. There was a new facility in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and I was able to transfer there so she could be closer to her kids. Later, when I wanted to move back to work out of Bentonville, [my management] made it happen. Those are two opportunities I might not have had if it weren’t for them. If you want to transfer, [Walmart] will make it possible.
Q: We hear you recently
reached a big milestone in your career. Tell us about that.
A: I reached the 4 million safe miles marker last year. Walmart will provide you with a customized truck when you hit this goal. My buddy Warren, who I worked with at the Palestine, Texas, distribution center in the 1980s, hit that mark before I did. I went to the ceremony when Warren received his truck, and he was going to come to my certificate presentation. You see, I didn’t want the company buying me a truck when I was planning to retire in six months. It would’ve been a waste because they don’t allow anyone else to drive it after you. Well, Warren heard about this and asked the company if he could share his truck with me. He had them put my name on it because he knew I wouldn’t accept it otherwise. When I went to the presentation, I had tears in my eyes because I was so ecstatic to see my custom truck.
As you're getting ready to retire, do you have any words for other drivers and associates?
A: I would recommend working for Walmart and sticking with it to anyone. Things have changed a lot since I started, but I feel like most of them have been for the better and go along with our growth.