Monday, June 05, 2006

How am I supposed to sell ammo while mixing paint?

I work at a reasonably new (one and a half year old) store, and it's already crumbled and become disgusting. Even the people who liked working when the store opened hate it passionately now. Let me start with management. We have 3 assistants and the store manager right now, down from 5 assistants at the beginning. One quit to go to back to school (good choice!) and one got transferred because he broke the "No socializing with lowly hourly associates" rule by abandoning his wife and children on Christmas when he ran away with a department manager to have an affair.

Gotta love the WalMart drama. Two of the remaining managers are ok and I actually like one because she's rude right back to rude customers, but the other one is the hugest jackass I've ever met. He was my SWAS leader for almost a year after I transferred to the floor from cash, and I can't stand him. He has a terrible combover and greasy hair, and he's just plain creepy. He likes sneaking up behind workers and shouting things like "Boo!" Plus, he's just an ass. Once I handed him a time-off sheet for ONE DAY and he just stared at me. Didn't say a word, just stood there and stared at me for a full minute before I said "'s only one day." Then he frowned and walked away, still without a word.

When people do manage to finally get days off, he goes into the computer and overrides the day off to give you a shift anyways, or writes it in on the schedule! I'm graduating this year, and so are many others in the store, so we all booked graduation weekend off around February. But what do we see when we check out the schedule? Shifts written in under "N/A: OT"!! Then management has the nerve to tell us that we need to show up for the shifts since we've already been scheduled!!! How about NO?!?

One of my managers actually told me that overriding days off is common, if they think they the reason we booked it off for is "not important". One said that she'll book people on random off days and will only take the shift away if she deems their reason to be acceptable. Obviously it is if the day was given off in the first place! Oh, and once I asked for my availibility to be changed (I was taking one evening out) so that I could have more time for my schoolwork, and my manager said "Isn't Walmart more important than school?" And once when I asked for a weekend off, he said "Don't you want to work for Walmart?" like he was threatening to fire me because I wanted time off.
Another bit of sleazy management: when I switched from cashier to floor, my manager didn't tell me about the 30 cent pay cut until AFTER I had been hired and had accepted the job. Then he refused to talk to me about my wage for about a week. I asked him if he was allowed to just cut my pay without informing me it would happen, and the next day I get called to the manager's office and get a "merit raise" to bring me back to what I was making before. Sounds like I caught him doing something wrong and he was trying to stop me from asking questions.

My store is yet another Walmart that is horribly understaffed. I'm sick of covering 6 departments all at once. Managers get mad at you if you don't answer a call for sports desk, but how exactly am I supposed to sell ammo if 1) I'm mixing paint, 2) There's a lineup at the fish tanks I have to attend to already, 3) 9 customers are asking me questions and wanting carryouts, and 4) I'm too young to sell ammo! Here's a thought, why not schedule more than 2 associates for the floor during the week's busiest day! The one day there was lots of coverage, they pulled out 3 floor associates to cook burgers at the safety bbq, so that I was all by myself again, swamped by customers. They need to hire new people really badly, but refuse to hire new people so associates just shift positions and cause a new shortage in a different department.

In addition, my department manager is a fool. He doesn't do ANYTHING, so I'm supposed to do his crap for him during the weekend. The flags in my department were 6 MONTHS OLD before I finally got sick of looking at them and took them down, and then my SWAS manager got mad at me for it, because apparently having ancient flags with wrong prices because the rollback ended 4 months ago is better than having no flags at all. Then the new flags I made sat there for 3 months before I ripped them down again, and now my department has no flags.

I work in Pets, and the tanks are so filthy and diseased that I'm afraid to touch the water. I clean them as well as I can on the weekend, but there's always at least 2 days of dead fish buildup when I come back. He doesn't scoop the deads, and if he does he lets them sit in the sink and rot and stink. We have an incredibly high fish death rate, because all he does to "help" the diseased fish is sprinkle in aquarium salt until you can smell salt 10 feet away from the tanks, and he'll put the new healthy fish in the same tank as diseased fish without medicating them and then be confused when the new ones all die. I do tests like leave a particular dead fish in a tank it doesn't belong in to see if he'll scoop it, and it will still be there when I come back 5 days later. I've made many complaints about this to the store manager, but nothing has come of it because in my store, department managers are perfect and favoured no matter how crappy they are.

To add to this, associates are encouraged to not take their breaks so that they can keep working, one manager threatened to fire an employee if she made a complaint to the district manager about her UNFAIR d-day (they claim she did something she didn't), and management doesn't give a crap about associates because they won't let you go home even if you're throwing up. I'm counting down the days until I can quit this hellhole.

I need this job for the next two months because Walmart has already squashed most other employment in my town, so I'll pass on giving my name and store number.