Monday, December 30, 2013

We're Getting Jobbed

I've been seeking part time work in retail customer service, which is another way to say "remember to stock those four thousand rolls of paper towels before you clock out, Adcox". This is the worst time of year to seek such employment, due to sagging sales following the mavens of maudlin matrons and their credit cards.


I don't ordinarily engage in such alliteration, but that seemed so campy I simply had to go there. When I checked WalMart's careers online, I was directed to a rather innocuous looking directive informing me to "Log in to access your profile and jobseeker tools. First time visitors, click here to create a new account".  Seems to me that having to create a user name and password simply to apply for a dead-end job is rather silly. I understand the whole concept of security versus identity theft, but people seeking minimum wage positions are probably not the best targets for those seeking to steal money. Just sayin'.

I was disappointed to see that the folks who admonish us to "save money. Live better" have no positions currently available, though again it is right after Christmas. Still, I feel kind of left out. After all, I did look forward to the "...opportunity to join a team 2.1 million strong who are helping the world live better every day". (Note to corporate headquarters in Bentonville Arkansas: you might start by replacing the tainted hamburger you're selling with fresh. Customers appreciate that type of thing.) WalMart, like many minimum wage-paying businesses, has a fairly high turnover rate, so I'm pretty certain I could don a blue vest should the need arise. I've been out of that game for some time, but back in the day I could stock motor oil with the best of them.

I also took a gander at KMart, which is now Sears in drag. KMart doesn't pull any punches when it comes to communicating which jobs are serious to them and which ones aren't. Take stockroom positions. KMart is so somber about these that it imparts to the applicant that "Jobs in the category are responsible for the execution of all receiving activities including unloading merchandise, merchandise preparation and staging, outbound shipments, and daily stockroom activities".

And you thought it was all about Jerry unloading a truck and putting stuff on a shelf. Oh, wait. It is, isn't it?

KMart also appears to hold appliance repair in high regard, if "this position is responsible for the repair of products in the customer’s home" is any indication. They had better, considering the potential minefields service technicians encounter daily on calls to the Underwood residence. Carrying approximately forty pounds' worth of tools and replacement parts up a driveway to be greeted by two preschool-age kids still on a juice box buzz, a sheep dog, and an indignant woman informing you that you're two and a half minutes late and that "my husband will inform your superior" is a job which had better be described with respect.

In contrast to these positions, have a look at what it takes to fill the ever-grueling position of customer service at that once-great store: "Provides 'World Class' Member Service by surprising and delighting our members every day". Really. This suggests that I could be fired rather quickly and easily, despite exemplary performance. "I'm sorry, Mr. Adcox", some low-level manager would inform me on a Friday afternoon. "Unfortunately, we have to let you go. Please don't misunderstand. You work hard, you're highly productive, and you know your job. But while you're a constant delight, you didn't surprise us on Tuesday. Please turn in your ID badge."

In all, things are a little tight at the moment. I know something will turn up soon. I'm at a time in my life when all I want is a job whose work I can leave at work at closing time. With an eye toward getting my masters "one of these days", such a job would fit perfectly in my scheme.

I hope it isn't with WalMart of KMart. Sooner or later I'd have to quit when I got too busy conducting research, especially when Christmas season begins next year.

They'd get jobbed.


No comments:

Post a Comment