From Jackson, MI — 08/18/2010
(Iím expecting this review to be long and comprehensive. Iím sorry, but I donít think Iíll be able to keep myself from being long-winded. I have an interesting, seemingly rare experience of working at Meijer that few (if any) of the other Meijer employees here seem to share. Therefore, I feel itís important that I be thorough with my review. Itís incredibly important to show all perspectives, even if one happens to be in the minority. Bear with me though, itís going to be a LONG one.)
Wow, I'm actually kind of surprised by the extremely low overall score other employees have given to Meijer. Apparently, my experience has been the exception, but it's still valid nonetheless. Once I explain my situation though it should provide some clarity as to why I consider my history with Meijer to be mostly positive.
I began working for Meijer in the Garden department when I was 16 (I'm now 22 years old). I had never had a job before, so I didn't really have any expectations. I received plenty of hours for a high school kid working in the summer (close to 40 even some week), and this continued until I was transferred to the Fashion area at the end of that summer due to the end of the season, and therefore, a major cut in the Garden Centerís hours.
Anyway, I worked in Fashions continuously until I turned 18 and began college Ė I moved away for school, and went on educational leave. For the next two years, it was a back-and-forth between being away at college, then returning to during spring, summer, and winter breaks. Each time I resumed working at Meijer, I returned with absolutely no hassle - all I had to do was make one phone call and was always promptly put on the schedule.
The only disappointment I experienced regarding educational leave was that, according to the employee handbook, itís the only type of leave (of both voluntary and involuntary) in which I lost all seniority in terms of hours and scheduling. However, I donít really consider this to be a negative in terms of my viewpoint of Meijer as an employer. Mostly I was just very grateful to be pretty much guaranteed my job back each time, so I never had to do any dreadful summer job searching after completing another laborious year at college. It was great to have that kind of security, and made me feel good to know that I was welcomed back so eagerly. My managers always made me feel valued and appreciated as an employee. I never felt like my hard-work went unappreciated.
After four years of working for Meijer, I moved into an apartment in my college town for the summer after my sophomore year at college to take summer classes. Therefore, my educational leave expired Ė I didnít expect to return to Meijer again, just because I planned to remain on campus until I graduated.
However, plans changed and I ended up moving back home and decided to become a commuter student for the remainder of time it was going to take to complete my college degree (this is basically present time). The job market in my town is terrible right now, and I applied to dozens of jobs before I ran into one of my old managers at the other Meijer location in my town (which happens to be considerably closer to my home). We began talking, one thing led to another, and next thing I knew I had completed a 3-interview process and was offered a part-time job at this store in (surprise, surprise!) my former primary department, Fashions. Needless to say, I eagerly accepted and am currently waiting to hear back as to when my first day of work is going to be.
Part of the reason why my application was pushed to the top of the prospective employee pile is because the manager I ran into that day strongly recommended me to the store director. My previous four years of employment at Meijer were crucial for me in landing a job at this other, proximally-advantageous store.
While I respect all of the other reviewerís opinions and experiences, I canít help but to be skeptical of some of them. Because Meijer is unionized, managers canít do things such as (for example) award performance-based pay increases and/or schedule certain employees with more hours even if theyíre harder-working, more competent and reliable than their coworkers. If this was allowed, I can only imagine the likely increase in scathing reviews to this website! This is actually one of my main criticisms of being an employee at Meijer, and itís not anything they can even control. It still makes me bristle to think that my lazy yet higher-seniority coworkers in the past have made SO MUCH MORE than me per hour.
One of the only explanations I could come up with for the fact that most of the reviews on here are largely negative is that there potentially exists for a considerable gap from store-to-store in terms of internal politics and employee-manager dynamics. I donít really buy this explanation, though. Iíve worked with enough bullshitters (both here and at the other part-time jobs Iíve had in the past) to discern between legitimate complaints and those provided by individuals who have an inability to take responsibility for their own actions.
For example, if you missed five days of work due to a legitimate illness and your manager refused your doctorís notes upon your return (eh, I kind of doubt this really happened, but I suppose itís possible), are you REALLY going to let it go? Yeah, I didnít think so. I have heard some pretty outrageous excuses from former coworkers as to why they missed work/didnít complete a task/left early/etc., and unless you have established a good track record of being a dependable, honest employee, your manager is NOT going to hassle you. They donít have the time or energy to do so. But if itís just yet another questionable-sounding excuse from a long history of many, then yeah, theyíre going to take it with a grain of salt.