80% of the CEO
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I have been working at Wawa
Pros – The starting salary for me, even though I was just a 16 year old high school student, was above my state's minimum wage; for someone doing totally unqualified labor, that's actually quite impressive to me. I've gotten periodic raises since, and now (after two years of part-time work and two years of seasonal work) make 1.95 above my state's minimum wage. (My raises slowed down a lot after my original general manager got switched out for a new one, which could be due to the economy, or could be due to the new GM; not sure.) Which is not of course a killing by any means, but more than I'd expect for this type of job. Certainly a good amount for a younger person who only has a few bills (cell phone, car insurance, gas, school books) to worry about and still have savings left over, though not enough to carry a family by any means.
The work is generally fairly easy; if you're just a cashier/just pumping gas, that's the easiest, as you only have a few tasks to worry about. If you are trained in deli as well as cashiering, as well as assorted other tasks throughout the store (which you doubtlessly will be if you stick around for a while and show that you have half a brain), it gets a bit more complex, but nothing overwhelming so long as your fellow employees help out. Nothing in itself is particularly difficult, just keeping everything in mind at once/making sure it all gets done by the end of your shift can be a bit of a juggling trick.
I love the scheduling flexibility WaWa has. So long as you get your requested days off in on time, the system is basically "work when you want, don't work when you don't want to". Obviously it will be easy to get more hours if you offer more availability, but for someone looking for just a part time job at very specific times (such as if it's a second job and you have to work around your primary job, or if you have children, etc.), WaWa is a great option. I honestly feel bad for the managers sometimes for having to make the schedule every week with so many different people's availabilities to have in mind, but they seem to get used to it.
Also, they've been great with working with me around my college schedule; I call up a few weeks before winter break and a few weeks before summer break every time and let them know when I can start working, and I can just waltz right back into my job where I left it once I get home. I don't know how they are about hiring someone as a seasonal employee off the bat, but once you have an established job and need to go seasonal, it is effortless. I even got a raise when they did the employee evaluations when I was away at college, without having to do the evaluation!
Finally, I enjoy getting to see many different people throughout the day, with varied faces every single day, as well as the regulars that you get to know very well and joke around with. I love being able to make a customer's day by doing them special favors or going above and beyond to accommodate their needs. If you're a "people person" (whatever that means), this is a job that will please you. (Though of course not all customers are pleasant; some are downright nasty (figuratively and literally; they sure make a mess of your store), and I've seen far too many grown adults throw temper tantrums, but in the end, the good moments outweigh the bad.)
Cons – When I first started, my general manager was a wonderful man who ran things fairly well, gave out raises, and made sure every single associate was rewarded fairly (with the company's "Goosebumps", points you can use to buy some genuinely useful prizes) if they worked hard and went above and beyond. Unfortunately he's since moved on to a different store, and things have fallen apart a bit. I have not received any Goosebumps since he left, despite frequently really working myself ragged, such as recently working a twelve and a half hour shift when someone didn't show up for the overnight shift.
The new GM did say "thank you" to me, but considering that other people seem to get Goosebumps over and over again (the Goosebumps are posted on a wall so all can see who is getting them) despite being much less motivated employees, it is frustrating. It sends the message of "Why bother?" Whether you excel at your job and do your hardest to look out for the store's best interests or just do the bare minimum, you'll be treated exactly the same way. In general, this new GM seems to have somewhat killed my store's morale. Your results may vary; I'm sure my original GM's employees are happy, and I'm sure there are many other GMs who try to reward their employees and keep everyone happy and motivated.
Other than that, I've found myself frequently frustrated by how unintelligent some of the people they hire are. At my store, I'd say about half of the staff is actually fairly sharp, quick, and efficient at their work (as well as being intelligent/often witty to converse with, which is a huge benefit), and the other half is...well, the complete opposite. In this economy, with so many in need of a job, I find it hard to believe they couldn't pick out hirees more carefully. People who work slowly and don't quite "get it" harm the overall efficiency of the store, and make other employees forced to pick up the slack. This is especially frustrating in the case of shift managers/the management in general; why are they getting paid more and having more responsibility when they're dimmer than who they're managing?
Another downside, though not the fault of the business, just something potential employees should know going into it, is that it is a very stressful job. At my store at least, we're often understaffed, and in a business as highly busy and prone to intense rushes as WaWa is, that can lead to a lot of stress, hurrying, and being unable to get everything done that needs to get done. You're going to feel stretched thin. This is sort of a pro/con, because it does help the time go much faster, but it can get very tiresome very quickly.
Lastly, and this is also not the fault of the business at all, but I really do not enjoy selling cigarettes/junk food. It does cause a sense of personal guilt if you are the type to be prone to such an emotion. This is a fairly minor issue though.
Advice to Senior Management – Reward your employees when they're clearly working themselves hard, hire carefully, stop getting so hung up on the minutiae and look at the big picture. Getting yelled at for leaving a knife slightly askew is just absurd; it's not going to suddenly jump off the counter on its own and start stabbing people. You guys have bigger things to worry about.
Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend
2011-08-23 01:29 PDT
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