From AZ — 11/06/2008
Times, they are a-gettin' tough. Good thing I've got this college degree! Too bad I'm having to work a second job at THD to pay the bills now that the student loan payments are coming due. I've heard management mention that, "You can do your best to help the customers or you can go back to being one" a number of times. Having only been on the job for about a month, now, I'm satisfied with things.
A couple things that have rubbed me the wrong way so far, though...
I interviewed for and was offered a position based on my aim of picking up about 20 hours a week. Now the department has been short-handed for some time, I guess, but you can imagine my surprise when I saw the schedule for my first week on the floor (outside of computer training in the back) was more than 30 hours! If this was my only job, I'd be super happy about this, but I work another 40+ at job #1. That's pretty rough.
When I mentioned this to the lady who handles the schedules, she said she would take care of it. She also said she would take care of my 4-day weekend for my wedding anniversary trip. A week goes by and no changes on the schedule. I talk to one of the assistant managers on the floor one night and he says to talk to her or the main manager. I check with the main manager (the guy who interviewed and offered me the position) and he says he'll take care of it. Days pass and no dice. After two weeks, I finally end up having to call the department head, who I've never been introduced to or otherwise seen in more than two weeks on the job in his department, and we finally get things worked out.
This being a retail establishment, there's going to be weekends worked. They're going to suck. It's a fact of retail life, but if you're like me, considering a second job, be prepared to be working - one place or the other - every single day of the month. That's a hard pill to swallow.
The days are spent on your feet, walking around, trying to help customers. It's actually not that bad, imo. They have a simple philosophy right now. Take care of the customer, keep the store neat/clean, and make sure everything is in stock. I can't control what they get in on the trucks or when they get it, but I can easily walk around and make sure there's no crap on the floor or hanging out of a shelf somewhere while I take customers to find what they need. As an added bonus, I'm regularly hearing about different home improvement projects and how they're getting done. So many ideas! It's just too bad that I have no free time (or energy when I do have a couple hours free time) to try my hand at any of it.
All in all, I'm not disappointed with THD. It's your usual, you-are-replaceable retail environment where everything is done around the customers who, as anyone in retail will tell you, can tend to be slovenly, knuckle-dragging morons. People can't be bothered to put anything back where they found it, they find ways to steal stupid things like light bulbs, and it's easy to see your faith in your fellow man dwindle even further into the abyss.
The biggest benefit of working somewhere as a second job is that you know you can get by without it. Keep your days on the floor simple and try not to stress about anything. Focus on taking care of the customers and let the night crew worry about filling holes on the shelves. If things get ugly, you can just walk. Know they need you more than you need them.
Good luck out there.