From Washington, Pennsylvania — 03/18/2010
PAY: The starting rate at our store is $8/hour I believe. It might be $8.50. Regardless, that is for the lowest pay grade, which would be cart pushers (Code 13's) and the maintenance crew, I think. Each pay grade above that obviously earns more money. While it might not be enough to live off of starting out, if you're a college student, someone young living at home with your parents, or need a supplemental income, it's pretty decent. Also, as long as you do your job, you're pretty much guaranteed a $.40/hour raise at the end of your 90 day probationary period, and each year at your yearly performance evaluation. Also, if you go above and beyond, you can get $.50 or $.60/hour. This happens every year, which gives the potential of a decent paycheck considering the workload.
RESPECT: As far as I'm concerned, my management team has treated me with utmost respect. Sometimes they may be having a bad day, and might say something that can be taken the wrong way, but that happens to everyone sometime or another. As long as you do your job in my store, your treated well.
BENEFITS: I can't say too much here. I just applied for benefits this year. However, from what I have seen about them so far, they work well enough for me. I don't get sick too often, and my benefits allow me to see a doctor a couple times a year. Most of my insurance is to cover catastrophes, death, and short/long term disability. It only takes about $30 a pay to cover me, as well. I have health, vision, and dental as well.
JOB SECURITY: Do your job, and you'll be fine. Also, no matter how bad the economy gets, people need food and other consumables, which are sold at Walmart with usually lower prices. So, unless you find a Walmart that is in the middle of nowhere that no one goes to, your store probably won't close. Hours may be cut in certain departments, but in our store at least, management usually lets you get your hours back assuming another department has hours they aren't using.
WORK/LIFE BALANCE: It gets a little hairy here, and it really depends on your management team. In my experience, management has been very good about working around my college schedule while I was in school, and they really don't seem to mind approving days off as long as they're given enough notice to cover your absence (three weeks in advance is the minimum, but earlier is generally better), and if other people in your department haven't requested the same days off earlier than you did.
CAREER POTENTIAL/GROWTH: I have to say, if you take your job seriously, learn why it is you need to do what they have you do, and show interest in learning more, they promote pretty fairly. I don't have a degree, and don't even have enough college credits to make a difference, but I've received a promotion to Department Manager, and have been interviewed for another promotion as well. Also, if you have either 2 years of college credits, or a year of retail plus a year of supervisory experience, you can apply for the management training program to become an Assistant Manager at any store in the country. And, if you apply to a far away store and get a job as an Assistant or higher, Walmart will help move you there. Pretty nice if you ask me.
LOCATION: Walmarts are EVERYWHERE. End of story.
CO-WORKER COMPETENCE: Well... As with just about any retail company, you will have people who take their job seriously, do their work, help others, and are just generally nice to be around. You will also have people who get distracted easily, talk more than work, take extended breaks, work slowly, etc. Fortunately, I've run into more decent than bad, though.
WORK ENVIRONMENT: I can't complain too much here. Our store is currently going through a remodel, so it's hectic, but most associates are doing what they can to keep things safe for everyone else. The store is generally clean, comfortable temperature, customers can be... irritating, but it's retail. You'll have that. The people I work with are quite nice, though. Very friendly, with a few exceptions.