"...Everybody deserves that chance."

A Path of Perseverance

Her smile can brighten up an aisle. Her laugh can be heard from one department to the other. And her story can spark emotion from anyone who hears it.


Gail is an assistant manager in Sacramento, California. But she certainly didn’t start out that way. “I’m a recovering addict. Been clean 20 years now,” Gail said.


She describes her mother as an alcoholic and her father as a rolling stone. Her mother died when Gail was just 12 years old. Life’s path has been a bumpy one, but Gail has navigated her way through it in what’s become a rewarding journey.


Education is not something I have, but my hard work has paid off for me,” Gail said.

Gail first joined Walmart several years ago, after getting clean. She took an associate job at a store in another part of California, and worked there for six months before transferring to Sacramento. She credits her assistant manager at the time with tapping into her potential and recognizing her work ethic.


Gail recalls a conversation she had with that assistant manager, John, in her early days at the Sacramento store:


“Every time I got through with one aisle, he’d be like ‘Hey, I need you to go to A-32.’ I told him, ‘You’re picking on me.’ He said ‘No, I’m not picking on you. You know why I call on you?’ I said ‘Why?’ He said, ‘Because I can depend on you.’”


Fast forward nearly 20 years later, Gail is the store’s assistant manager. She leads by example and ensures her team that she won’t ask them to do anything she wouldn’t do herself.


“I never dreamed of being in here and being assistant manager," she said. "I was going to come in here, be a cashier and go home. I believe because of my hard work, because of my eagerness to learn, because of my eagerness to share what I learned with others, is the way I progressed through Walmart."


Despite a journey that began with more roadblocks than green lights, Gail believes she has found her footing. She has a job she loves with a team she loves. Everything else is history.


“That’s what it is. It’s my past, and it’s not who I am,” Gail said. “I just know everybody deserves that chance. There’s something in all of us that could be pulled out if we’re just allowed that chance.”

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