A couple of nights ago, I hit my old Wal-Mart. For the helluva it, I chatted with Linda, the liquor store cashier and asked her how things were going. In a word, badly. Hell, where do I start here?
First of all, every associate had to work on Thanksgiving. All of them. If someone wasn’t working that day, they were to report to management in order to have their schedule–and whatever plans they may have had–changed. I’m not kidding. If you weren’t scheduled on Thanksgiving, the store manager was going to make damn well sure that you were, like it or not. Oh, and you weren’t going to get any holiday pay. If you wanted any, you had to use your PTO. In other words, you have to use your personal hours to get holiday pay now. It’s not something that you just earn, apparently. At least, not anymore.
Secondly, the store is severely understaffed. About two months ago, management cut the staff by half. There are only two people in Electronics now, and one covering Hardware. There’s an associate covering Sporting Goods and someone who stays at the Fitting Room, but that’s about it. There aren’t enough cashiers and management simply tells the CSMs to call the floor associates to back up cashier, which leaves the floor understaffed. The liquor store cashiers are now in charge of signing out a key for the cigarette lock box behind the register; Linda has to follow the daytime cashier to the back so she can sign out the key. They can’t simply hand it off or there will be trouble.
The three o’clock grocery zone? It’s no longer an hour. Each floor associate is assigned an aisle at the start of their shift and when 15:00 rolls around, they have to report there and zone. They cannot leave until the entire aisle is done, meaning if they get a shitty one–like the baking aisle–they are stuck there for hours. And since they’re stuck there for hours, their normal work is left undone and they run the risk of getting written up by management. It’s a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation.
I could go on, of course. But I won’t, lest I become depressed. But suffice to say, if I had stayed there, I probably would have been swept out the door with the rest of the staff. Even if I had survived that, I would have been dragged in to work on Thanksgiving, for no real reward. In other words,I would have been miserable.
I’m not upset about being fired anymore. I can’t be, because the morons in charge did me a huge favor. I’m almost grateful to them.