From East Coast Virginia — 09/25/2010
I've worked at Harris Teeter for the past three and a half years since 2007 as a cashier/bagger, u-scan cashier, and then customer service clerk (fancy name for supervisor/service desk attendant).
PAY: Average for the area, I get paid a bit over minimum wage; however, not that much considering how long I've been there. Pay isn't matched when minimum wage goes up, so many people will start working there with little to no experience getting paid the same or more than I do. Many employees get unfairly paid less or more than they should. You get a raise once a year, but it's usually piss-poor. For how much CS clerks are responsible for (thousands of dollars, western union, refunds, irate customers, supervision, opening/closing, etc etc), they get paid very little.
RESPECT: Harris Teeter does seem to respect its employees, but it depends on your manager. I'm never chastised for calling out or denied requests for days off other than blackout holidays. However, this rating is lower due to the problem with uneven pay.
BENEFITS: Nothing special or out of the ordinary. I'm not full-time, so I don't get them. However, they do offer a "profit sharing check" twice a year, but don't get your hopes up. They will tell you upon interview that part timers can get an upwards of 300$-350$ for a bonus check, but I've never gotten more than in the 200$ range after working over 30 hours a week regularly. They're taxed about 40%, so whereas it might be for 300$, you're only seeing maybe 200$ish of that money. You get more based on how much money you've made in the pay period; therefor, full-time management get massive bonus checks which can be upper hundreds to thousands of dollars.
JOB SECURITY: Pretty good, actually. I've only seen a handful of people fired throughout my three years. Usually grocery stores have a very high turnover rate, but my store seems to keep people for a decent amount of time. Transferring stores is usually never a problem either. People are often promoted from inside the store as well. Many of my store managers never went to college and worked their way up starting in lower-positions.
Work/Life BALANCE: During the holidays people usually get more hours than usual, but my manager is understanding and usually will not give someone more hours than they request, and days requested off are usually respected. I've never seen a family emergency or anything such being disrespected. There are usually the good employees who will pick up the slack for someone who may be having a hard time at the moment.
LOCATION: Average. Not amazing but not bad. Just like anywhere else you have your awful customers and great customers. There are regular customers who are known scam-artists, coupon fiends, and shoplifters who will make your day terrible sometimes. There is a couple restaraunt/bars nearby which usually results in erratic drunk people at odd hours of the day as well. Also a low-rent neighborhood nearby brings in a decent amount of trash as well.
CO-WORKER COMPETENCE: For the most part, good. I enjoy working with most of my coworkers. Those with negative or bad attitudes are usually fired pretty quickly, or they quit on their own merit. Managers take precision in hiring people who aren't completely useless - usually. Many young people in their early 20s are often thrown into Asst Manager positions, are often inexperienced, and given the responsibility of hiring new people. DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE PULLED INTO RETAIL FOREVER. The sound of being an Asst Manager or Department Manager may sound nice, but for how much you are responsible for, it's not worth it.
OVERALL: A decent place for a first job, respectful, and not too terrible work. Not any worse than anywhere else, really. Just don't stay here forever. Go to college.