From California — 10/06/2010
Hello, I have been working at Costco for about a month now. Overall, I would give my store a 4 out of 5.
I have been hired on as front end, and as other people have said before, they BARELY train you, if at all. If you are new to Costco, this is what I suggest you do.
1.ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS. Seriously, if they are not willing to train you, then you have to come to them. Most employees are understanding as they were new at some point as well. Catch on to the nice ones and stick to them like glue, asking them questions when needed. If your supervisors seems like jerks, oh well, they are there to help you as well so ask them questions. As odd as it sounds, you will be seen as an employee that wants to do better at their job bc they ask.
2. Observe and copy. During orientation, your manager or whomever will give you a "buddy." If you actually find your buddy, observe them and copy them!! If you have no buddy, copy whoever you know has been working there at least 6 months or more. You can definitely tell the difference between incompetent workers and great ones. Just make sure you don't stand there in someones way, Costco likes you to be busy every single minute of your shift.
If at any time you are uncomfortable with your task because of a lack of training or its above your skill level, let your supervisor or manager know IMMEDIATELY so they can have someone help you or move you to a different area.
Of course every store is different, but I would compare it mostly to high school. Not only are the college students immature, but the older employees are as well. And I'm talking 45 and up. Its pretty ridiculous. So either get ready to jump in the gossip/clique pool or stay out of peoples way. If you do...maintain an upbeat attitude and be polite to employees when you do come in contact with them. Don't exclude yourself and turn into a Costco hermit.
Lets see..front end people WILL be sent to do merch (which is basically stocking the items in freezer,foods or deli) and you WILL be sent to do carts as well. Don't argue against it, they don't care. For me, merch has been a bit of a problem. I am female and its difficult for me to move such heavy objects around and they do not train you in merch. ASK ASK ASK. Ask for help if you need to, it is better to ask for help then to run out of time and not get your tasks done. Most likely you will only do merch 2 times a week, unless you really enjoy it.
Costco is also big on professionalism..or so my 30 day review said. A few of the employees here are far from professional, but they have been there so long it doesn't matter. During your 90 days, just focus on member service. It is a huge thing with Costco now because they have gotten dinged so many times on crappy customer service. Do whatever the member needs and offer them help with a smile. (I suggest you really amp up the cheese factor when you know a sup/manager is nearby or watching) IF you are folding clothes, take the time to stop and ask nearby members if they are finding everything okay. It takes only a few seconds and 9 times out of 10 they don't need help. And if they do, help them find the item, if you don't know where it is find another employee that can not only help the member find the item but show you where it is so you don't have to ask for help next time. Killing two birds with one stone!
Overall my experience is okay...managers are just busy busy and don't have time to stand around and talk to newbies like me. Its perfectly fine with me though..the supervisors tend to help a bit more, depending on which one of course. The employees at my store so far are awesome (minus one or two) and I have already made fast friends with them. Just don't joke around and act silly and ignore members during open hours. Managers don't like that. Also, if you are going to complain about work before your 90 days complain to people that DON"T work at Costco or employees that you can trust. Or just keep it to yourself. The shifts do suck bc of seniority...you will hear that word thrown around all the time. So expect late night shifts...generally 5 to 10pm, or 130 to 10pm.
Pay is good for a college student, 11 an hour and a 25 cent raise after your 90 days. Then after 6 months, part time employees are eligible for health benefits.
I know so many of these reviews make working at Costco seem horrible, but it really depends on the management and employees. If you find an employee that is nice, stick to them!! Not EVERYONE in a store is mean, just remember that. Of course if you find it unbearable, quit after 6 months, that way you have some adequate experience and can find a job someplace else.