From Belleville, IL — 08/27/2008
Well, I have my mixed feelings for OfficeMax... I have been with them for only a 6 months or so, but overall I already see what I like and what I don't. Pay is minimum wage or $7.75 in Illinois when you start out. Once a year you might get a raise if your lucky so say the older co-workers. As for respect, despite what I have read from other people is actually very good. I may have gotten lucky and got the good managers, but they really do care about my work and home life, especially if I'm not as happy as I am normally. The managers are very socialble, so it works in my favor. The other co-workers are also nice and caring towards me, and tell me good job, or congradulations when I do something good like sell a Maxassurance or get a Maxperks sign up. As for benefits, being part time there are none, but supposedly you are insured for 10,000 life insurance if something happens to you at work? Job Security is lousy right now, but mostly due to the economy and not of employee's doing. The stupid corperate is more naggy then the management, and when the corperate doesn't like something, unfortunetely that is what the managers have to go with, so if corperate decides it don't like you for some reason, then you'll be out the door with a pink slip in no time, or you payroll dropped to 0, which ultimately causes you to resign.
As for work/life balance, I have to say that I have a very good store and scheduler that as long as you warn them about something coming up, or that things are a little rough in your life and you'll need to take some time off on short notice, they understand, and will 99% of the time try to work with you. What drives them mad is when you don't show and give no notice. As for potential career and job growth, don't count on it! It's retail! If you get a promotion or raise consider yourself lucky. But as most people say there are far better places to advance your career, and there is yes, believe it or not worst places to expand your career. Location is great since the store I work for is only a mile or 5 mintue bike ride from my parents house where I live. That's wonderful, since even though I'm 21 years old, I don't drive, nor have a license. Co-worker competence is fairly good, there is some co-worker competitions between each other for who can sell the most MaxAssurances (replacement/service warrently plans), get the most retail to impress conversions, maxperks, etc... At least with my store, co-workers are for the most part willing to help you if you need it, but some are forgetful and forget to do things, or say that they will get to something and not do it, but 8 times out of 10 it's for a good reason. The work environment is not great, but it ain't bad. I have seen better and I have definitely seen a lot worse. It often depends on who last "cleaned" the store and recovered the merchandise.
Perhaps my biggest complaint is that the corperate headquarters is cheap and picky about how they want things done. For example, cashiers aren't allowed to touch the touch-screen or use the keyboard to select merchandise when making returns/exchanges. All return items MUST be SCANNED by hand!!! I suppose that's understandable, but the fact that they will write you up for not doing it properly a couple of times is lame. Also everything must be scanned when making a regular transaction... You cannot use the quantity key even though you physically counted each item. Failure to do so will result in a write up... Also they can't get there money straight. On time the drawer was ten dollars short and I almost had to take the blame because somebody doesn't know how to count the safe and drawers right at store open. Luckly they found the issue, and I didn't get in trouble, but I can image that this isn't a first time nor the last time that will happen.
I also "love" (love as in the terms hate it) when the corperate seems to pick on certain people just because they don't like how you act or behave a certain way. They literally want all of their employees to be like Borgs and have no emotion or show any feeling even if the customers are screaming in your face, or on the same token if your happy because you really thought you helped customer reach the best business solution. It's a bit conflicting. The company states that they want to hire people that are unique and diferent, but then they get on your case when you even show a hint of individuality. Makes no sense what so ever to me. Lastly like everyone else as said before, the corperate does give outagous sales goals usually double or triple of what the store normally brings in on a good day and expects 30% of those sales to have a Maxassurance plan attached to them. Like that's possible considering the economy and gas as well as the unstable world among other things. Sounds like the corperate headquarters really needs to get it's heads together and decide what kind of company it is trying to run. It's no wonder they cannot compete with Office Depot or Staples. At least those companies seem to know where they are heading and where they want to be at. So in a nutshell, OfficeMax is a confused company which has no idea what it wants to do, and probably won't last more then a few more years, but if you really need to get a job, or simply cannot find work anywhere else, then its better then nothing. At least you might get lucky and get hired into a store where at least the storm managers and co-workers care about you even if the corperate could quite honestly care less about you or their company for that matter.