Store Manager - Long Hours, Hard Work, Wasted Time
I was an outside hire that came in from another industry, so for someone who 'came up' through retail or Safeway your experience might be much different.
I was sold a job with Safeway as a growth opportunity and as a classic, white collar management job. It isn't. I spent fully half of most days either a) checking customers out or b) stocking product onto the shelves. There was a lot of opportunity to lead and manage, but it's hard to get buy-in from associates that are making minimum wage, and more importantly, in a union environment, it's really hard to hold people accountable. But most importantly, it's impossible to take the time to hold people truly accountable - store operations and various random dumb tasks will consume most of the rest of your day. Also, as the Store Manager, you are the only person that 'they' at corporate or your division headquarters, trust. So you'll get a lot of dumb requirements - 'personally verify this signage is posted in the breakroom', 'tell us how many of this UPC item you have on the shelf', 'watch this video title through the satellite feed', 'conference call on these days', 'verify all new hires have completed documentation', 'make sure everyone in your facility has signed off on new policy X', 'complete this checklist for an upcoming holiday', 'make sure this list of employees has completed this computer-based training', 'complete this checklist for limiting "Shrink"', etc. There was a lot of micromanagement and knee-jerk rea
ProsGreat experience to 'learn' business at the operating level, great job stability, good benefits and compensation
ConsLong hours, blue collar work despite white collar job description, 'Backstage' not supportive nor focused on stores, 'Help' not available and not helpful, managment focused on the wrong things
Good for consistant hours, terrible for inconsistant pace and underappreciation
A typical day at work involves unloading grocery pallets that are brought in either before or after you clock in. On bad days these can range to several hours late, which usually means its impossible to complete your task. When breaking the load you spot, stock, and face the aisles with grocery product, which is the main part of the job. If you enjoy consistent tasks everyday, this aspect is true for Night Crew, however there are complications.
An additional task of Night Crew is to manage the registers for two hours, one before closing and one after opening. This part can tie up a team member from a few minutes to the full hour depending on customer density that day. This is one less person working on the load and often they often take up time traveling to and from the register. You often spot looters coming in to the store and by the company policy you have to still ring them up and can not confront them.
Loads vary in size based on who ordered it. Typically the Night Crew manager makes an order during the night during specific time constraints where they are busy for the duration. One less breaking the load and stocking the shelves. Their orders have to be submitted by a specific time and its contents are typically delivered from the warehouse the next night. If the load or customers constrain them time wise their order can easily be disproportionate to what is needed. Sometimes you get a light load (400-500 items), some times your load exceeds reasonable capabilit
Applied hoping for a summer job as a Courtesy Clerk. Offered Night Clerk instead.
With my spring semester at college coming to an end I needed to find a job to work during the summer. I applied at Safeway to work as a Courtesy Clerk since I had experience from a previous job. I went in for an interview, passed my drug test and was hired on. I was offered a position as a Night Clerk instead of working as a Courtesy Clerk. I decided to give it a shot and accepted.
The first few days were a bit rocky as I was getting used to working a night shift and understanding what I was doing. My training up to this point was only watching a few videos on how to handle customers and treat my workplace. The rest of my training was learned through osmosis as I would learn on the fly by constantly asking where things went and what I should be doing. I never truly felt like I had a full grasp of my job. Constant questioning would only lead to short term solutions and I would often wonder what I was to be doing after I finished my work.
A typical day at my job would start when I would show up early before my shift and wait to clock in. After clocking in I would head to the rear of the store to wait for someone to show up and move the first pallet into place. After this, everyone would break down the pallet and move produce onto carts which would then be taken to the aisles the produce went to. The produce would be then taken off the cart and placed relatively near the area the stock would be on the shelf. This process would be repeated until all the pallets were offl
ProsExperience working night shifts, you get to sometimes listen to music on the job.
ConsBad training, Poor communication between management and workers, Newcomers supposedly get less hours, Working nights ruins your sleeping patterns and possibly your health.
Typical weekly process outside of semi-annual physical inventories
Typical Week consisted of a Monday through Friday 5am to 2pm
Daily work week. Daily processes consisted of the following. Print daily invoices of purchases and daily sales report from previous day. Each are given to the department manager to review and report back to me with any issues or opportunites. Visually received and checked all direct delivery merchandise into store and out of store (credits) Communicated with different Direct Delivery Sales persons and district managers of current and coming soon sale advertisements of company and issued sales floor space for their products. Over sought main backroom and Department Manager adherence to maintain proper backroom standards of product organization.Over sought the Direct scan out process of unrecoverable and store recoverable merchandise done by each Department Manager's team and main backroom team. Produced and Consolidated A daily Direct Delivery purchase and credits report.
Discussed and consolidated with each department manager on daily report of purchases billed versus product received coupled with previous day sales and took appropriate action to prevent any controllable loss.Daily communication with Store management about store inventory issues, Department Manager opportunities and direct delivery vendor opportunities.
On Mondays, Managers meeting discussing preparation of current week events and opportunities, senior management expectations of new company goals and plans, and main weekly objectives and within stor
Prosconsistent schedule. ability to make a difference. team work involved.
Consstressful at times. under appreciation directed at many employees by management.
Enjoyed working with flowers, but the pay, benefits, scheduling, management style and job culture were awful.
Geographically desirable (close to home).
Enjoyed the creative aspect of working in the floral department.
Enjoyed helping customers.
Career growth possibilities.
No guaranteed hours so no guaranteed benefits. If employees work less than 20 hours per week they do not qualify for benefits like health insurance, and they have no control over the hours worked.
Management's main objective is to keep employee hours as low as possible, so the store was always working understaffed.
Punitive, fear based culture. Management uses fear tactics to ensure compliance, i.e. Fear of being written up for the smallest infraction (like your shirttail coming out, or working over your schedule even if you are helping customers); fear of loss of benefits; fear of loss of job; constant reminders that you are being watched at all times; huge department and store penalties if an accident occurs that requires an accident report; etc.
Low pay for skilled labor. Really terrible pay and virtually no benefits for part-time employees. And everyone was part-time except management. Safeway should be ashamed of the way it compensates it's hard working employees. Floral Clerks have the same job responsibilities and required skills as Floral Designers, plus cash, customer service, inventory, merchandizing, stock control, product maintenance and department maintenance responsibilities, but they are paid only slightly over minimum wage, with no guarantee
ProsCreative (floral), busy, enjoyed helping customers, decent training, some career growth possible
ConsLow pay, no guaranteed hours or benefits, punitive fear-based culture, conflicting priorities, poor management, nepotism and favoritism abound.
The store management is so disconnected with the employees and departments that when production is not running properly, instead of trying to help the situation and figure out what the issue is, they just complain and tell you whats not getting done instead of giving you helpful instruction on how to go about fixing issues. There is virtually ZERO training. Everybody has their own jobs and nobody works as a team. The cake decorator is responsible for ALL pastries, cake orders, consultations, and production. the store is open for 7 days a week 6:00am to 1:00am and only one person responsible for all desserts and can only work 40 hours 5 days a week. NO OVERTIME!!!! You get in trouble for not getting all your work done but if you try to stay a little late and catch up, you get in trouble for overtime. Then they tell you that you have to take walk-in cake orders and custom orders yet never considers the extra time it takes to stop what your doing to do that or how long it takes to do custom orders when the details are up to the guest. This could completely throw off the production of the day if people are allowed to constantly come whenever they want and stop production because they aren't prepared. This is the whole reason why there are predecorated cakes available. Its one thing if you have time but 99% of the time you don't.
On top of everything you have to do, there are $5 friday deals where u have to make one item in abundance. This is a great deal for guests and I unde
ConsOverworked, Lack of Training, Unachievable goals
Ups and downs. Could be better. High workload often, despite very low pay. Need more in depth training especially if no experience.
I believe they need more in depth training of the register system as I found it somewhat confusing at times when problems arise regularly. Not too much in person training given, in my opinion. Coworkers and management are nice and hardworking, but I feel some employees and managers seem overworked and stressed a lot, and too busy to help their employees at times when necessary, or teach them more in depth. They try very hard and are usually very busy so I can’t blame them for not having much time to explain.
Pay could be improved a lot considering the often fast pace and work load, when compared to other chains. Can be high stress and busy when problems come up with the register not working, or what to do not being clear. Was not shown how to use intercom much at all, expected to learn very quickly despite no experience. Would be nice to be able to pick my schedule more often (flexible scheduling was advertised at job fair). Only one fifteen minute break about every five and a half hours, I believe. Dress code more strict. Most customers are lovely. High-paced most of the time (may vary by location though).
Breaks now and then, felt breaks could be a little longer considering schedule, friendly people and customers, some very long term employees (one stayed thirty years), break room is usually pretty messy and disorganized but rest of store is clean, given your own locker and there’s a fridge in the break room to store your lunch, caring and helpful employees (
File Clerk/Office Assistant | Tacoma, WA | Sep 8, 2021
It's a start, I suppose.
For as much as those around me really build up the hype of a long-term career at Safeway, I don't see much of a reason to have one as somebody who actually works here. I started this job working the night shift, which was the position that I actively sought to do, and applied for specifically. I was under the impression that I would be restocking the shelves after closing. However, I found myself doing nothing but facing products and not being allowed to stock the shelves because I wasn't going fast enough.
For those who aren't really sure what I'm talking about, facing is the act of pulling the product evenly towards the front of the shelf. The goal is to make the shelves look fully stock and like a "wall" of sorts. It does have its purposes and that isn't what I am trying to complain about here. My issue more so lies in the fact that this is what I found myself doing every night and I kept getting repeated reminders that I needed to be faster. On one hand, you have my previous point of the store being closed long enough that a high-speed approach is unnecessary. On the other hand, if speed is what you seek then why not have me stock the shelves, too? Stocking shelves the facing them seems to be a much faster way of going about this, but I was told that if I couldn't face an aisle in 30 minutes I couldn't stock the shelves. As you can probably tell, I found myself being very unhappy during the night shift, so a little less than a month into my time at Safeway, I moved to th
Lazy Co-Workers, Unnapriciative Supervisors, and Terrible Hours
A Typical Day -
A typical day at work began around 5 Pm, sometimes 3:30.
Arriving in, I already have my apron on, and my hat set steady on my head. I wash my hands, turn, and help whichever Customer needs help. I smile, and politely greet them "Hi there, what Can I do for you?" After assisting whomever needs It I would walk into the kitchen, and gaze upon the mess that was left by the lazy Mid-Shift or Morning Crews. Usually a gargantuan mountain of trash, and an avalanche of dishes. (That is not an entirely overdramatic unfortunately.)
I set about starting some dishes, before heading back to the case to assist customers and look over what needs to be cooked. If nobody is already cooking I set about doing that as quickly, and efficiently as possible. Food is not something to rush however, as a wrong move could make someone sick, so this tended to take awhile depending on what was being made.
Repeat customer service, cooking, and washing dishes. Around 7 I take out the trash, and recycling as things have hopefully calmed down some. When that is done, I return to dishes and customer service. When it comes to an end at around 10-10:30 I sweep, mop, and finish cleaning the fryers. From there, I go home around 11:30. or shortly after.
What did I learn -
I learned that relying on others can leave you desperate, and overwhelmed. They will not always be there, or willing to do the task. I've learned how to manage time because of this.
In addition I learned good team
ProsThe Good People
ConsLucky to get over 30 hours, Unnapriciative Superiors, Constant Belittlement, They'll screw you out of benefits, Moronic and lazy Co-workers
This was my experience, from half a decade of Safeway. I would not work for Safeway again, but I would not necessarily advise against it. It is easy to get hired and there are lots of different departments. If you don't like what you're doing, with a little time and effort you can switch to something else.
Most people were very friendly and nice to work with. I think friendliness is something they look for in the hiring process. Most people can only start at entry level, as a Courtesy Clerk or Night Stock Clerk. This is because, most higher level jobs are filled internally. Courtesy Clerk is an easy job with a high turn around. If anyone sticks around, they'll get offers to promote quickly, especially if you're over 25 and follow the rules exactly. Night Stocking sucks, read on...
Things change with the union every couple years, but the last I worked there, it takes between 8 and 10 years to make it to the top wage bracket. Strap in, for the long haul, if you want a livable wage. Kind of a thumbs down...
If you can get promoted to cashier, it is an easy job. Most cashiers complained they didn't get enough hours, didn't like standing in one place, they never had set schedules or they don't like dealing with customers (I say, get over it, customer service is life). The hours problem was true. I was always shocked, looking at the schedules in the hallway, some cashiers only got 8 hours per week! Again, with a little seniority you can mak
Pros10% discount on Safeway products, good experience and nice people
Consvery hard work and disconnected upper management, has never actually worked in a grocery store.
Questions And Answers about Safeway
What is the best part of working at Safeway?
Asked Nov 8, 2019
Communicating with customers
Answered Jul 2, 2022
The people you work with can be pretty nice. Tasks aren't always repetitive.
Answered Jul 2, 2022
If you were in charge, what would you do to make Safeway a better place to work?
Asked Jan 10, 2018
Hire way more people so that people are actually only working 4 10-hour days a week as promised, instead of 6 days 10-16 hours each day. At the very least, sticking with the schedules as printed, no surprises.
Answered Aug 10, 2021
I would reward employees for working hard and try to give them at least 5 hours a day to try harder to give the employees with open availability more than 20 hours a week. Employees would be more productive with 2 days off in a row and cut down on the inconsistency of times of the day worked. Might have happier employees too. Better work performance treat them like humans not robots.
Answered Apr 8, 2021
What is the most stressful part about working at Safeway?
Asked Jan 22, 2018
Rude customers, unpredictable scheduling.
Answered Jul 2, 2022
Holiday hours if you're understaff or district managers changing hours
Answered Jun 29, 2022
What is the interview process like at Safeway?
Asked Feb 25, 2016
Had my interview last week interview questions are easy took about 10 to 15 minutes they never did a drug test on me was told the background check to take anywhere from 2 days up to 2 weeks I am assuming once the background check comes back then they will do the drug test then I will do orientation and possibly testing on the computer
Answered Nov 1, 2021
I waited two hours for my interview from the time it was scheduled til I actually went in the back. The only reason I waited was because I was told I had the job. And I did get hired. But two hours!!!
Answered Oct 19, 2019
Do they offer health insurance
Asked Aug 2, 2016
The health coverage is the worst one. Premiums has gone up so much that Safeway employees can not effort it. They just don’t pay them . As result it ruins their credit. As a result; we don’t qualify for buying a home or to get a refi. The good old days are gone,