From San Marcos, Texas — 10/31/2009
I'm a 3-year Sam's Club hourly associate. I am not a manager or a supervisor nor have I been at any time. I dislike my job overall but it is not the fault of the company. Circumstances dictate that I keep my job despite feeling imprisoned by four concrete walls and a yellow safety vest. Sam's sucks but it's all my fault!
I see negative reviews here from squeaky wheels who need grease; grease otherwise being known as "recongnition". Recognition, or the lack thereof, is a huge issue with Sam's Club. Sam's is, to their credit, placing emphasis on resolving this issue as best can be, as well they should, but let's "save the drama for yo' mama", and remember that the truest from of recognition is that PAYCHECK you take home! Some of the complaints you see here are legit, but this is the real world, people! It's Wally World, not Walt Disney World.
No BS Breakdown:
Pay...Acceptable for what we do. You will receive more for a solid work history to begin. Make sure you ask for it up front or you WILL be paid less. In my city, $10-$11/hour is not out of reason to ask for to start as an hourly (non-supervisor) associate. A supervisor (Team Lead) should ask for $12 to start --otherwise you are underpaid! I'd ask for $1 more at busier clubs. If they cannot pay it, walk away. You will WORK at this job, especially if you choose overnight! And raises are marginal at $.60/hr. at best after your annual review. Your best bet to increase pay is to move up, which you are eligible to do in most cases after 6 months of employment.
Respect...Be respectable if you want respect. Then demand it. The company is big on "Respect for the Individual". If you are disrespected, you can take your complaint to any and all levels of management. Someone at some level along the way will hear you and take it seriously. I suggest that you yourself remain professional and maintain respect for those around you despite their actions, lest you cut the leg you're standing on.
Benefits...Benefits are good for what we do. I'd rate them higher if more paid time off was available sooner. A fulltime associate will earn a 1-week paid vacation and 2 paid personal days after the first year. Double that after two years. Insurance is the bright spot if you choose carefully. Sam's currently offers a "Freedom" plan for health insurance: a low premium, high-deductible plan that is meant to be used in conjuction with a Health Savings Account (HSA). In my opinion this type plan is excellent for many and is very much a potential solution to any "health care crisis" we face in America today. The problem is that few care to read and understand the plan. Here are a few high points you may find interesting: You will pay ZERO taxes on all money coming out of your check going into your HSA. You will earn interest on your savings, and the more money your account holds, the higher the rate. You will receive a debit card for accesing the money and can use it on any qualified medical expense including over-the-counter cold medication. Unused money in your account NEVER reverts back to the company or vanishes at all unless you use it...EVER. Upon leaving the company you lose insurance coverage but KEEP the HSA itself. It is ALWAYS YOUR MONEY! The company deposits a lump sum of $1,200 (in my case, with family coverage) and then matches whatever you choose to contribute each paycheck up to a certain amount. if you contribute $50 per check, for example, WalMart will match that and you will receive $100 per pay period. Each month, then, you would save $200 plus interest. In this way, YOU CAN GIVE YOURSELF A RAISE AT ANY TIME by increasing your contribution!
Job Security...Almost totally up to the associate. Be grown-up, serious and professional and it's difficult to get fired or laid off. Full-timers will be the last to be laid off. You do have to put up with some amount of political correctness, which is why I cannot rate job security any higher. You can get in trouble over some seemingly petty stuff.
Work/Life Balance...C'mon! Sam's allows no overtime, so how can you NOT balance your life at 40 hours or less?! Some of you whiners should work a year in the oilfield and find out what true unbalance is. I've seen guys routinely work 90-120 hours per week...PER WEEK...18 hours of work, then shower and change in the breakroom, sleep in the company truck for 15 minutes before returning to work again. 40-hour work week and no balance??? HA! You need a time management course.
Career Potential/Growth...TONS of opportunities to move into management for even half-competent people! So you missed an opportunity because they had a favorite and passed you over! So what?! Hang in and you will have your day. I see it all the time.
Location...Depends on your location, doesn't it?
Co-worker Competence...Next to nil despite excellent training. And that proves my point about potential and growth.
Positives: I like the behind-the-scenes soap opera. It keeps me entertained.
Negatives: WalMart Inc. is, in my opinion, infected with a serious case of Political Correctness. Get ready for the "go green" rhetoric and "sustainability" propaganda. I understand why this agenda enfiltrates the workplace, but it sickens me. Talk about discrimination--if you're on the Right, it happens.
Overall: When it comes down to it, this job is what you make it. I see complaints here about not getting time off during inventory or peak times during the year, etc. Hey--I say work hard and be the go-to guy and you will earn time off when you request it. You gotta scratch their back first, though. That's how it works. Be reasonable and for the most part they will be reasonable. Remember: squeaky wheels only get grease if they are a wheel worth saving. Overheat and burn up a bearing and you will be replaced. Go back to mama's sugar****.
Hope this helps. I feel like I just worked off the clock. Better do a time adjustment.
Questions? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org