From Warren, PA — 08/22/2009
Pay: As far as this goes, I'm severely disappointed. To begin with, no one seems to know what kind of raises are to be implemented and when, and even if they do know, it doesn't happen. When I started I was told I would have a yearly raise, and I'm still making minimum wage (at least that went up, so I am making more...).
Respect: I, personally, have had few problems with this in our store, and the only reason I say that is because of one of our managers. Otherwise, everyone's very respectful, although sometimes when we're busy (which isn't often), I've been pretty upset at the management for getting upset at us cashiers for not getting certain things done, when there's nothing we can do because there are only two or three of us at any given time.
Benefits: I don't know much about this, because I'm only part time, but I've heard some good and some bad...
Job Security: It's pretty easy to keep this job. Basically, show up on time and do what you need to do. Over the course of my employment, I've seen a couple of people fired for actually making too much money, which I thought was ridiculous, and I know many others also thought so. Because it's easier to keep the employees they have than hire new ones, though, firings are few and far between, and quitting isn't very common either. Summer sees new hirings usually, but only because college students move away (however, even they are allowed to keep their jobs, all they have to do is come back once a month and usually holidays).
Work/Life Balance: Great! Right off the bat they were willing to work around my schedule. When I started I had band camp and school coming up, as well as band practices after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they had no problems working around that. Even when things have come up with little warning, I've had little trouble either finding someone to cover for me or having them find someone. Requesting days off is always easy as well (you rock, Ginny!). And, as I mentioned earlier, college students are allowed to keep their jobs while they're at school, as long as they come back for a weekend a month and usually work holidays (as a college student myself, I know first-hand how nice this is).
Career Potential/Growth: In no way do I consider this becoming my career. It's not a bad job, but I mean, it's Kmart. A career wouldn't be ideal, at all. The pay just isn't very good, even for management. The possibilities for growth aren't that bad, though. I've seen several people who started as cashier either at the same time I did or even months afterwards move on to specific departments and service desk (of course, others haven't, and I can only imagine that those who did weren't offered to do so, but in fact requested it, which isn't a huge deal as I don't mind my job).
Location: It's pretty close to me, approximately fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on traffic and whatnot. On the other hand, it's in the town's dying mall complex, which is one of the reasons the mall has customers at all.
Co-worker Competence: Almost the only reason I still work there. Everyone with whom I work is so nice and supportive, we're all friends and help each other out whenever we can. There have only really been a couple of people that I didn't like, and one left, and the other I rarely see, so I'm really happy most of the time. Everyone knows what they're doing when it counts, too (except for the newer employees, but we all start somewhere), and usually the customers are pretty happy with our help.
Work Environment: Despite the fact that our store looks like it's been around since 1910, it's not bad. The registers are old and often freeze, necessitating a reboot which takes at least ten minutes. It's usually pretty clean, however, and things are usually kept neat and tidy. One of the bigger qualms I have is the customers. Of course it's all just the luck of the draw, and sometimes I have nothing but pleasant customers the entire shift, but sometimes there are those who are rude, bitchy, expecting the world of us, and who just can't be pleased. A lot of the customers, though, are very polite. Some of them are regulars and friends of mine, even (as scary as that may sound).