Trader Joe's

  www.traderjoes.com
  www.traderjoes.com
There are newer employer reviews for Trader Joe's

 

It is a really positive environment in which to work

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Crew Member in Brooklyn, NY
Former Employee - Crew Member in Brooklyn, NY

I worked at Trader Joe's

Pros

The people that tend to work there are all really great, interesting, creative people. Also, the customers are loyal, and you get to know them.

Cons

The shifts are long and some tasks are tedious. The overnight shifts can be mind numbing and monotonous. But overall it's a pretty great place.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Some of them aren't necessarily the most qualified managers, and should be more inclined to taking advice and growing as leaders.

Recommends
Approves of CEO

712 Other Employee Reviews for Trader Joe's (View Most Recent)

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  1. 7 people found this helpful  

    An Awful Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part-timer in Palmdale, CA
    Current Employee - Part-timer in Palmdale, CA

    I have been working at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    The Health Benefits are pretty minimal... an HMO is barely insurance. But if you don't mind that, than it's all good.
    Lifting groceries by hand for 6+ hours a day can be slimming.
    Some of the customers are great... they're the main reason I like going to work.

    Cons

    When I got hired 3.5 years ago, I took a pay cut to work at Trader's just to try something new, and I've never regretted any decision I've made in my life more than taking a position there.

    The Management are cruel, spiteful and petty... lies on your reviews are pretty common, and they have fostered a canniballistic environment wherein your friends within the store will tattle on you like little children just to curry favor with them. On top of all that, many of them are barely compentent enough to know what's going on around them, with each giving you conflicting orders, which can lead you to look foolish because one of the three Full-Timer's requests didn't get finished.

    Favoritism is rampant, and blatently obvious to anyone that pays attention, especially if you're not a "If I put my head in this sand, I won't get hurt!" type of person, or a person that benefits from said system, which many people do. These guys are far less likely to see any error with the things that go on around them.

    Also, you get obnoxious customers with a sense of entitlement that lets them think that its okay to treat you like you're "The Help", and not even talk to you when you say hi to them, but instead do that finger-pointing gesture that says,"Shut up, peasant, and bag my groceries!" I've never treated people like that in my life, but I'm told that you're not allowed to say anything, which is pretty screwed up.

    It's the only job I've ever had where I can go home feeling exhausted after a long day of hard work, and know that I will get some insulting comments from the Managers the next day. They rely on the Part-Timers doing an excellent job on a daily basis while undercutting them verbally and psychologically. I don't know what's worse, the comments, or that creepy corporate Robo-tron smile that so many of them have glued to their faces while they do it.

    I was hired for my original sense of humor and odd outlook from my varied life experiences, and the company apparently doesn't want people like me working for them anymore... since most of my contemporaries have been either fired or forced to quit.

    If you work for Trader's, I have a question for you: When's the last time you remember those funny posters the company would make for the break room, with the assorted cheeses on it, that said they like their employees to be a little different? I miss that stuff, and the company stopped doing it years ago... maybe it's because that's not the kind of employees they want anymore.

    And the criticism is something that you can rarely defend yourself from, since a majority of it is all in the Full-Timer's heads, and has no basis in reality.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Mandatory psych and drug screenings for anyone in a management position would be a good start. Stop playing games with your subordinates, and don't talk trash about the idea of going Union. It wouldn't really affect your job, but it would be a huge step up for the Part-Timers, since it would give them a bargaining position that they lack as of right now. And please stop trying to improve on something that works already... all you're doing is heaping more work onto someone else's plate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    They are good because they are not that bad.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member in West Hills, CA
    Former Employee - Crew Member in West Hills, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's

    Pros

    One of the best ground level management styles you will find in retail. Kaizen people.
    Most employee are treated better than they realize here. Trader Joe's caps out their part timers at (when I was there) almost $18.60/hour with regular cost of living increases (wow!). The majority of the work is bagging groceries, stocking shelves, and cashier duties -- for almost $20 an hour people when you take benefits into account!!!

    That's better than managers in a lot of places. Not gonna find that anywhere else even in a good economy. Good health care kicks in if you work over 25 hours a week and they were extraordinarily flexible on scheduling. If you stick around, they appear to take care of you. You get what amounts to a .50-.90 cents raise every six months, all you gotta do is kiss a little butt and always say yes to whatever they ask you to do. "Clean the bathroom? No problem, where is the toothbrush."

    There is a reason they have so many people that never leave, there is nothing better out there.

    Cons

    Some employees believe that they are entitled to be less than the best because they have been there for years. Again, I was working at 10/hr next to people who were giving a fraction of the effort and customer service and they were making nearly double. This is retail people, the next customer might be your last. The smile-- not really an option-- the attitude-- not too much flexibility. You have to be nice and you have to be friendly or you are in the wrong business. So many LT employees just sucked at talking normal to customers. They never fired anybody for anything less than the most egregious of offenses however, if you had a personality problem (and everyone knew who they were) then they put you in the back or in the box (refrigerated section).

     Lots of whiny overcompensated part timers and there were more than a few whiny full timers. Try and take that attitude somewhere else and see what happens.

    Apparently the full timers were unhappy that many new management recruits were from outside of the company. I was a part timer so I was not effected directly.

    A lot of entitlement issues for the folks here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Check your full-timers and be more honest about their career paths at the company. A lot of my direct managers felt as if they were being overlooked although it was obvious they were banking on their time at TJs as the sole reason to be promoted. You need to be honest with them and tell them that they need to go to business school or that they seriously lack a core competence that you are looking for. One full timer was in training for almost 3 years!! Either the program is not fine tuned enough or the employee should not have even been involved.

    If the company is not expanding stop increasing the ranks of those who want to be full timers and tell everybody to stop falling all over themselves for jobs that do not exist. Announce a freeze. Be honest. Otherwise you will see what I did, more than enough bitter managers to make working there seem like you are in a constant anger management meeting.

    Don't hang management and advancement potential in everyone's face as a means to avert possible unionization attempts. Everyone ends up thinking they deserve more and resentment goes straight down to the floor level employees. Sometimes I felt like a therapist listening to so many irked part/ almost full timers. I'm making assumptions about the first part but you get the point.

    Also, if you notice that a recent hire is rocking the floor. Figure out a way to make them stay. I can not tell you what it feels like to be sweaty, exhausted, and dirty after smiling for 7.5 hours at a time and doing a great job overall (and being verbally recognized for it) and then watching a fellow employee limp through the day doing as little as possible knowing they have outlasted every manager in the place three times over. And guess what, they are making almost $19/hr?

    There is nothing that says you can not decrease pay for poor performance. It would definitely make the good employees feel like there is justice in the world. Also, that pay decrease could be diverted to pay those employees who are doing a good job in the moment. The idea that it would have taken six to seven years to cap out felt ridiculous when I was willing (and was being told in my reviews) that I was going above and beyond expectations. Back it up with cash, now. Words do not feed anybody.

    Otherwise, implementing Kaizen is awesome, limited bureaucracy, fantastic, never seen a happier senior management. Do not forget the island paradise stuff. It's really nice and is beginning to get diluted. Also, going corporate does not mean going brain dead. It is possible to be the TJs of 20 years ago while maintaining corporate efficiency.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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