FilterMorgan Hill, CA
The training is good. You get a decent orientation, then there are frequently updated CBLs to get on with.
Most people you work with are friendly.
Good customer interaction.
By and large, management doesn't pick favourites. You can be the most popular associate of all time but if you mess up, you'll get fired, just like anyone else.
You're usually given very clear instructions as to what to do and a time frame in which to do them.
You get an hour lunch whereas most retail employers only give you half an hour.
You get regular, clear feedback on your performance.
The random computerized schedule sucked. You could be working 2pm-11pm one day and then be expected to come in at 7am the next day. You could also find yourself working up to ten days in a row, because when the schedule is generated for the next week, it doesn't take into account what days you were working last week; so if you work full-time (five days out of seven), that might happen.
Managers are too trigger happy about coaching and firing people.
If you're a full time employee and want to move to another department, good luck to you. You'll be fine if you don't mind switching to part time, losing all your benefits and hours, though.
Most people - especially managers and supervisors - completely ignore customers walking past them. This is in spite of being reminded every morning that you're supposed to greet every customer walking within ten feet of you, and offer to help them.
It is too easy to get promoted, at least from sales associate to department manager, so you end up with someone no more competent - and probably less competent - than you running things.
When there isn't much to do, it can be boring beyond belief. When there is too much to do, it can be far too overwhelming.
Supervisors and managers have unrealistic expectations of how long it should take you to do something. For example, a five-foot-high pallet full of things that, at first glance you know is mostly overstock, is supposed to be cleared within an hour. You can expect to be told off, or even coached, if you don't do this.
The pay isn't all that great, even, I was told, for assistant managers.
The Wal-Mart Cheer is, frankly, embarrassing.
Advice to Management
Fix the scheduling system. Nobody wants to work ten days in a row, not even if Wal-Mart is their dream job. My advice is to go back to manual scheduling instead of using a computerized system. At least a manager would be able to have the common sense to know that someone shouldn't work that many days in a row, or be coming in early in the morning when they just finished late in the evening.
Stop coaching people for minor infractions/unfair reasons such as accidentally going five minutes over on your break or not getting five hundred things done in half an hour.
Supervisors - and zone supervisors in particular - need to stop lording it over the lower-level associates and treat them with respect, and stop giving them tedious, menial tasks to do.
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