Why don't cashiers have a chair? We read reviews of previous Walmart employees on their experience in different job positions, and discovered that there is usually a large imbalance between the staff and management. Those in hourly-paid jobs reported less opportunity for pay, benefits, advancement in the company, and overall respect. Employees with a salary acknowledged existing negligence, although they lacked discernible remorse or empathy.
We attempt to portray this inequality with a chess set that represents Walmart's hierarchy. Pawns have little resemblance to the Walmart logo, yet as pieces increase in importance (like the queen and king), they grow closer in resemblance to the Walmart logo. This represents the divide between corporate Walmart employees and hourly workers. This is an observation that Walmart adopts those in corporate positions, and distances themselves from employees on the lower rungs of the task force, even when subsidiaries may stay with the company for longer. We also accentuated the stark disparity further with a jump in the geometry of the head of the pieces when the management jobs are introduced as the kings and queens. The mechanics of chess help to drive our point further by giving the lower-ranking pieces a shorter range of movement, comparable to the absence of options for advancement in an worker's career at Walmart. Overall, this chess set aims to call out Walmart on the similarities in their employee dynamics to the piece mechanics of chess, a game modeled after a tyrannical monarchy.
This chess game, "Pros: Paycheck Cons: Everything" uses chess pieces to mimic the hierarchy of Walmart and other retail jobs. We wanted to show that employees lower in the corporate hierarchy are controlled by management and executives who only care about money. Our six pieces represent maintenance workers (pawn), cashiers (rook), stockers (knight), sales associates (bishop), department managers (queen), and store managers (king).
We chose to represent the progression of power and lack of empathy in each of these roles by making the pieces look progressively more like a Walmart symbol until the king is explicitly the Walmart symbol. This exemplifies how employees that are higher up in the Walmart hierarchy care more about the benefits and money that Walmart gives them rather than the employees below them.