Now I'm a business person, so let's admit it, when you hear the term "Shareholders Meeting", a very boring 2 hour meeting in a dark auditorium with non-stop numbers being thrown around comes to mind. The Wal-mart shareholder's meeting was this last week and it was anything but the classic meeting.
It began with three big concerts that were free (that's right - free! And it wasn't even local band free, it was good band free!). The first night featured Lifehouse and Taylor Swift. The second night was One Republic, All-American Rejects (sorry, kiddo), and then Journey. The third night's lineup was Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. The concert doors opened at 6 to Wal-mart invited international people, then at 6:20 Wal-mart employees are allowed, and then at 6:40, if there is available room, the concerts are opened to the general public, all for free. Heh, let's face it too...how many people live here where atleast one family members doesn't work for Wal-mart?
We went to work early and took a 30 min lunch (as opposed to one hour) so we could leave early and drive the 20 or so miles south to the concerts at the University of Arkansas (home of the razorbacks). We went to the first two concerts and really enjoyed them. We arn't more than casual listeners of any of these bands, but they were free and were fantastic concerts. By the time of the third concert, we were just so tired (only home about one hour and not sleeping the last couple days) that we just skipped out. We did hear that one was really good too.
Those concerts were only a build-up for the shareholders meeting. Friday I went to the actual meeting itself. It was held in the UA basketball stadium. I have to admit it was quite the experience. The host for the event was Queen Latifah (previous year's hosts include Sinbad and Will Smith). They had a great balance of performers and numbers. The singing performances included Jennifer Hudson, American Idol most recent winner David Cook, Joss Stone, and Tim McGraw. After a few hours of music and pep rally they let some people present some motions to the shareholders. Several different groups came to a microphone and had 3 minutes to present their proposal from things ranging from lowering executive pay to changing the wording of their no discrimination for policy to include the phrase "sexual identity" as opposed to just saying its included in the phrase "and any other personal choice" or something like that. Then they had an opportunity for each shareholder to vote on the re-election of officers and all the proposals that people brought. And with that we all were supposed to go home. I did still get paid for the meeting and travel times which is fantastic.
Sorry this is a long post - it's been a busy week.
Back when Sam Walton was still alive, he felt sorry for the store workers who had to work each weekend. So he started doing Saturday morning meetings where corporate folk will meet around the home office and broadcast to all the stores. The interns were invited and got to watch the meeting. It was basically just another pep-rally and was okay, but I was excited for what came after the meeting. They set it up where we had a movie theater open early just for us. Then we were treated (and our families) to an early screening of the new Incredible Hulk movie. If you've seen Iron Man (and you need to see it before the Hulk to get the Tony Stark cameo at the end) then I think you'll like the Hulk. It was a really fun movie. A couple parts that insulted my intelligence, but in my opinion a good comic book action movie (looks like we'll have 3 great comic movies this year! Iron Man, Hulk, Dark Night).
So to sum up everything from this past week: we were wined and dined and treated like kings. Heh, now that this is over, we have returned to grunt status and working without recognition again. Ah the life of an intern and temp! More to come