46 thoughts on “June 13, 2016

  1. And these companies wonder why most employees don’t care…the only incentive they offer is actually getting to keep your job. Employees like Val are a rare breed.

    • They don’t wonder about anything.

      Human labor is just very disposable at this point. You break one, you get a new one for free.

  2. Eyup that is pretty much true about the never being able to get above the 3% pay raise. I think the most I have ever gotten in a pay raise while working retail is a quarter raise and that was for making it through the first 90 days. I think my raise at most is 6 cents or something.

  3. Yep your first raise at 90–days is decent and sometimes that first yearly is ok but after that…. it’s literally pennies. I work at a gas station and make 9.25 an hour and was told to keep that under my hat because I’m making more than some or at level with some who had been there longer. A co-worker who has been there two years longer was happy with her raise until she found out we make the same amount of money. Now we only get small raises at the beginning of the year.

    • My husband worked for 10 years for the gas/convenience store that rhymes with Bell. Due to inflation and the piddly dink raises he’d get with his yearly evaluations he was soon making around $2.00 an hour more than someone who just started yesterday. But they were being hired in at a wage that it took him 5 years to make. And naturally due to inflation the buying power of the money he made in his last year was less than the buying power of the money he made his first week. You don’t even get cost of living increases. Then because he was making $2.00 more than the person they hired yesterday, in his last months he was treated rotten as an incentive to quit. They put him on the worst shift and he had to work an entire Christmas day alone. After 10 years of service. They finally trumped up something to fire him. It took 6 months of fighting for him to get unemployment and that amounted to peanuts. When someone said it’s a dog eat dog world they weren’t kidding. Only it’s really like gorilla eat puppy world. A sad commentary on the way things are today. Read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. There was a lot of progress made since then but unfortunately now we’ve regressed nearly back to the place in that book.

    • My husband worked for 10 years for the gas/convenience store that rhymes with Bell. Due to inflation and the piddly dink raises he’d get with his yearly evaluations he was soon making around $2.00 an hour more than someone who just started yesterday. But they were being hired in at a wage that it took him 5 years to make. And naturally due to inflation the buying power of the money he made in his last year was less than the buying power of the money he made his first week. You don’t even get cost of living increases. Then because he was making $2.00 more than the person they hired yesterday, in his last months he was treated rotten as an incentive to quit. They put him on the worst shift and he had to work an entire Christmas day alone. After 10 years of service. They finally trumped up something to fire him. It took 6 months of fighting for him to get unemployment and that amounted to peanuts. When someone said it’s a dog eat dog world they weren’t kidding. Only it’s really like gorilla eat puppy world. A sad commentary on the way things are today. Read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. There was a lot of progress made since then but unfortunately now we’ve regressed nearly back to the place in that book.

  4. These days you’re lucky if you make it through that 90 days without getting fired on your 89th day for some pitiful thing, since they have to pay you more after the first 90 days. I have a friend who was fired on his 89th day from a Goodwill store because… he didn’t fold women’s underwear properly. Many people say they’d be willing to stay at the same rate of pay just to keep their jobs but I guess the law is they must get a raise so it’s easier for the company to just fire them on some pretext and hire someone else for 90 days.

    • I know a lot of factory/temp places do this. They tell people if you make it such a length of time you’ll be hired to a permanent position and then once they get close to that hire date they get let go for a bullsh*te reason.

    • It’s less that a raise is mandatory (you’re allowed to keep paying people minimum after probation, and you’re not allowed to pay them less during), and more that it’s often more convenient for the company to fire you before they are expected to have cause to do so.

    • I have a friend who worked in a factory making car parts or something. He got half of one finger and a third of another finger on the same hand smashed by a machine mere days before his probation period was up and he finally would get insurance. They fired him for “horsing around” and blamed him for his own accident when though his tests came back clean.

  5. If you’re not promoted to some kind of management position within a year or so, you’re a career retail employee. What do you expect for a wage? Do your job, punch the clock and go home. Plain and simple.

    • What a cynical attitude. Part of what’s wrong with this country is that we’ve been beaten down and told to suck it up and love whatever crumbs our masters have decided to throw us. We’re just peons so we don’t deserve any more.

      • What an entitled attitude this country has adopted. What happened to you get what you earn? How much can retail work really yield to pay? You can’t expect to make 50K/year running a register part time.

        • Wow Jeff – you do realize this is the case in most corporations – not just retail. Asking for a living wage is not too much to ask. Corporations have no problem whatsoever paying the CEO and Board of Directors outrageous salaries and bonuses, but the worker bees have to be content with a measly 1% raise on an already very low salary with few, if any benefits. Must be nice to be so privileged to sit there and sneer.

        • I can demand a living wage since that “Part time Job” has demanded me to at their beck and call 24hrs a day/7 days a week. So while I may not work full time hours they demand my full time to be their employee.

        • What happened to real jobs? Why do we have temp jobs and gigs, with people holding down 3 different ‘jobs’ just to live? The so-called ‘sharing economy’ seems like a way to take more jobs and turn them into gigs. What the hell happened to full time? Working as a register monkey can be enough to live… but not if you’re only getting 20 hours because the company wants to keep benefits down!

          We are getting more and more screwed and it’s going to lead to social unrest, perhaps not that far in the future.

        • Expecting a fair day’s wage for a fair days pay is not having an entitled attitude. If the staff all decided to all at once walk away and never look back, the store would never open.
          The first step in the retail store death spiral is understaffing. You walk into a store and only one or two registers are open and nobody’s on the floor and the pay is barely above minimum wage, you are looking at a store whose days are numbered.

    • Jeff, You realize in most companies you have to have a four year degree to become management, right? It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked retail for years and know everything there is to know about the job, they hire some 20 something whose daddy put them through college and has zero experience in any field (which is why they are taking a retail management job in the first place, because they have zero experience)

      Case in point, I worked retail starting in high school and all through college, that was about ten years of retail experience that I couldn’t get promoted for because I didn’t yet have my degree. And once I did finish my degree, as management is fleeting in retail, I couldn’t build rapport long enough to get a promotion from within, they continued to hire recently graduated students. It took me 2 years after graduating to get a promotion within my company.

      Why didn’t I look for another job? Because when you’ve been doing the same thing for 10 years and you CANT get a promotion because it’s against the rules then your resume is worthless.

      As a naive kid I thought building a good reputation with a company and gaining experience in one place was more important than job hopping and having a lot of weak experience. Boy was io wrong. The corporate world has changed drastically since the dawn of the computer age. A lot of people got stuck along the way.

      • Luckily, since I have worked for companies who do value education, they pay pretty well and give significant wage increases, tuition reimbursement, and other benefits, so in most cases I’ve made close to, if not more than, some of my lower lever managers just for staying on for a few years.

      • Not quite sure what you are talking about there Casey. I have worked for a fortune 50 retail company for over 16 years. I have had multiple District Managers with no college experience. I have not had a single store manager with college experience. And the majority of the department managers have not had college experience.

        College experience may help…but is no way required.

      • Casey,

        I am not sure where you are getting the idea that most companies require a four year degree to be in management.

        I hsve worked for a major retailer for over 16 years. I hsve never had a store manager that has had a college degree. Many of our district managers in thst time had no college education either.

        A degree certsinly helps, but is no way required.

    • Sorry, everyone. Jeff is a troll from a while back who was blocked, but found his way back in. I’ve blocked him again. If he comes back I’ll do the same, and keep doing it until he gets the hint. Contrary opinions and criticism are fine, but when every comment is a general slam against retail employees, I have no patience for it.

      • Good to hear. While it is true that retail work is a low-skilled, entry-level job, it’s also true that these companies have some flatly insane ideas about the levels of intelligence and dedication they’re going to get for minimum wage, and they treat their employees like garbage (extend their hours on holidays rather than closing, jerk the schedules around without regard to the employees’ enjoyment of their lives, push them so hard their physical health suffers as a result, etc.).

        • David, I’m actually not the one who typically moderates the comments. I have the power to do so, but I very rarely do it. I’m not sure what comments you’re speaking of, but I can’t imagine comments being moderated simply for being pro-union. To my knowledge the moderators only remove comments that are abusive, or spam. I know that if you post more than one link in a single comment it automatically gets flagged. If you can give me more information, I’ll look into it.

          • Thanks for your reply, Mr. Feuti. Someone deletes my pro-Union comments frequently. I know there are very few retail workers who are still unionized.

  6. Oh, that is the way it is in most companies, not just retail. No matter how hard you worked, how dedicated – it was very rare that employees would get more than 1%. Wowee, such “incentive”. The corporation moans and groans about “keeping costs down” yet pays the CEO an outrageous salary.

  7. I recently got a 2% raise, though my job is not retail, and my pay is already 4 dollars above the minimum of $7.25.

    This also reminds me of a Not Always Working story where a minimum wage worker was being given a raise. She was happy about it until she found out the minimum wage was raised, and matched her new wage.

  8. Do we know where this store is? Specifically, do we know what the minimum wage policy for these employees is? Is this raise on top of cost-of-living increases to minimum wage? Or is this somewhere without regular minimum wage increases, meaning that the employees are likely earning less money one year than they did the year before. (Especially considering that inflation isn’t actually 2% – the actual rate is higher because the cost of electronics keeps dropping, making stuff you actually need to buy, as opposed to stuff you want to buy, have a much higher inflation rate than the numbers show.)

  9. Suddenly those rules that guarantee the store will lose points make more sense, you know.

    You can’t get the highest possible raise because your store didn’t get the highest possible score – and we rigged the system so the highest score isn’t really possible.

  10. The sad reality of this. When I worked for Walmart the performance reviews were set up so that the *only* way to get the top tier “exceeds expectations” raise was to be rated exceeds expectations in every category. No one every got that… because it was LITERALLY impossible. The “expectation” for attendance was to be present for every scheduled shift, never be present if you were not scheduled, never be in excess of scheduled hours, and never be below scheduled hours. Leave early due to illness/injury? Trade shifts? Get over time because the manager did not send you a relief cashier? You no longer meet expectations. And there was no exceeds option on the line. You COULDN’T exceed expectations on attendance which means you didn’t exceed expectations in all categories which means no top-tier raise…

  11. “As briefly as possible” … says the frustrated writer. (Who has now been with the company at least 10 years.)

  12. I work for a school district, and the playground supervisor position pays minimum wage. Period. No raises, ever. And they wonder why they can’t get anyone to do that job. Hmmm. The school I’m at now has a requirement that if you are a classroom aide/special needs aide, you are REQUIRED to also accept a shift as a playground supervisor. We lost a couple talented people because they couldn’t handle being outside in the weather every day. (One was a girl who had a stroke at age 9, so was delicate physically, but was not exempted from the playground so she quit. The other was 67, and has very little body fat, so she gets cold easily, and she decided to retire rather than work on the playground.)

    • I think they should have stayed and refused to do the playground job until the school fired them, and then sued for discrimination. Schools shouldn’t be exempt from that, and because they quit, no one learned anything. The school needs to learn that it can’t force people to do things they physically cannot do, it’s extremely unfair.

      • Not everyone has the resources, the time or the drive to take someone to court. Especially a government, if it was a public school. It sounds like both examples might fall into one of those categories.

        And in some (most?) locations, you have to get the government’s *permission* to sue them. Then there’s the possiblity that the person could lose. No guarantees in court, especially if you’re David up against Goliath. And even if you win, they can always appeal since fhey have lawyers on staff and/or on retainer (paid for with tax dollars, of course). Unless your lawyer is working pro bono or is willing to work for a payout, most don’t have the means. Remember that these are low-paying jobs.

        It’s nice to be able to stand on principle, but most people can’t afford it. I heard a couole of lawyers talking this week (both of whom I know, nice guys actually). They said for an expected $5000 award, it wasn’t worth it for the client, as it would cost $1500 for the lawyer to walk in the door.

        Even in “the land of the free and the home of the brave”, the cards are stacked against the llitle guy most of the time. And that’s getting worse, not better.

        Having said all of that, there may have been other ways to handle it without a lawsuit, like a filing a complaint to the labor board or some such agency. For the older person, elderly affair;, for the younger, whoever covers US ADA (disability) violations.

        I wonder though, just how much an aide made and how often one was asked to pull a playground shift. They might have ultimately been paying effectively more than minimum wage.

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