From Tucson, AZ — 01/30/2010
I can only really talk about the Michaels store on Ina and Thornydale, as that was the one I worked at. I did send in an application to the store on Oracle, but was denied because I wasn't mean enough (The majority of the associates really are just awful and rude at the Oracle store). I really miss working here very much. Though I got no hours, no benefits, and almost no pay, I felt fulfilled working there.
Pay: 2 (7/10)
Pretty bad on all levels, but it was always enough to pay my bills. Raises happened on or around the anniversary of your hire date, and they weren't very big raises. Still, getting something is always better than getting nothing. I believe that is true for all jobs, however. I guess I can put working hours here. The current week's workable hours are based on the last week's sales. This kind of sucks a lot, as there is an ad every other week. So, during the sales week, the store is understaffed (based on poor monetary performance the week before) and the non-sales week is overstaffed (based on the excellent monetary performance the week prior).
Work/Life Balance: 4 (9/10)
Pretty good, actually. Especially if your rank is lower than Lead Sales Associate. It is almost impossible to take work home with you.
Respect: 3 (8/10)
It you know what you are doing, and also treat others (mainly the managers and the FES) with respect, you will be treated very well. Trustworthiness also bestows you with a great amount of respect.
Career Potential/Growth: -3 (2/10)
It doesn't really exist. From what I have seen, Michaels generally does not promote from within. It does happen sometimes, but it is rare. During my four years at Michaels, I had seen only two people get fired. Everyone else who left did so by quitting.
Benefits: -3 (2/10)
They are available to everyone, if you are willing to pay for them. Signing up for benefits, and maintaining them, is close to impossible for a part time worker, especially since you are usually only paid slightly more than minimum wage.
Location: 3 (8/10)
It really depends on which of the four stores you work at, and whether or not you drive. Every store is reachable by the via the city bus, except for Ina or Sundays. All four stores in very close proximity to a variety of fast food restaurants, so lunch is usually taken care of.
Job Security: 4 (9/10)
Very, very good. It takes a lot for a person to be fired. At least, it did at my store. Pretty much the only way to leave is to quit, which a few people do.
Co-Worker Competence: 2 (7/10)
New hires are not good at their jobs... yet. The same is true everywhere. But, some of them refuse to learn, and stay almost useless during their while time there. It's not very hard to learn how to do anything. It takes maybe a week to learn the basics of the job.
Work Environment: 2 (8/10)
Really very good, actually. To be honest, it can get somewhat stressful during the peak season. However, that is to be expected, considering the number of customers that visiting the store between mid-October and mid-February. The rest of the year is rather relaxed. Besides manning a cash register, slamming freight (stocking) and go-backs (restocking) are what make up the average workday. Of course, there are also special events, which the customers and associates all enjoy immensely.
Professionalism: 3 (8/10) (Not an official scoring metric)
I know this site doesn't have a measurement for rating professionalism, but it should. Therefore, I am adding it here, and including it in my overall score (I wanted to have a x/100 score, honestly). The associates are only truly professional when the District Manager visits. While I was working there, we had quite a few visits, most, almost all, of which we passed spectacularly. Of course, being courteous to the customers is a key element of being professional, and I have seen and heard a manager (who is no longer a manager) being quite rude to (primarily female) customers (and belittling the associates and other managers in the same breath). Needless to say, that particular person is no longer a manager, especially after a couple of the female associates complained to one of the managers about his behavior.
Overall Score: 18 (68/100)
Looking the scores and assessments as I wrote this, I thought I was being much harsher on Michaels than I intended to be. Turns out, I gave them a rather high score (for me, at least). I always thought that Michaels was a great place to work, even with its downsides. I made many wonderful friends while working there. I would go back in a heartbeat, if I were able to. However, my costs of living have increased significantly just before and slightly more since leaving Michaels, so I would no longer be able to support myself there. Luckily, I left on great terms.