Monday, October 18, 2010

Vacation Time. Just A Minute There, Son.

I have worked for Wal-Mart off and on since 2001. Because I've always hated working at Wal-Mart, I don't usually stay very long before I manage to find another job that pays better. And, has better hours. And has more competent management. And is a job of which I can be proud. Something always happens after a year or so which puts me involutarily back into the job hunt. If i don't find work soon enough, I usually wind up back at Wal-Mart until I can find something--anything better, which usually doesn't take more than a few months.

I hired into Wal-Mart this time after 3 months of unemployment. I was unemployed this time because I had moved into another state. I had worked more or less for myself as an independent contractor doing door-to-door fundraising for volunteer fire departments and rescue squads. I was pulling down sometimes over $600.00 a week take home. Life was good, Working at Wal-mart was the furthest thing from my mind.

Then the recession hit. Federal housing corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed and homeowners across the country went into "bunker mode". If they hadn't lost their jobs already, they were afraid they might soon, and fund raising attempts dried up. People were, by and large, afraid to donate any money. My income dropped from over 600 a week to oftentimes under 100 a week. I had no choice, I had to find a job more dependable.

Because companies also were affected by the housing bust and ensuing recession, jobs were all but impossible to come by. For every good job opening, there were hundreds of unemployed hopefuls.

At last, out of sheer desperation, I applied at Wal-Mart. I knew from experience that I could get on there, although I also knew it was a last chance bottom-of-the-barrel type job, but the bank account was growing thin and I realized I had no choice.

I was hired in September as a temporary worker to help turn the store from a regular Wal-Mart to a Super Wal-Mart. In November, The remodeling finished, I was offered the chance to go permanent in the wireless department. Of all the possible opportunities I could have been offered, this was my third choice, behind the personnel department and the cash office. So, I wasn't altogether displeased.

Until I found out about earned vacation time, that is.

About 5 months into my permanent employment, I casually asked the personnel associate about when and how I could apply for a vacation. She told me I wasn't eligible for vacation until after November 11th.

"Wait a minute", I protested, "I thought I was eligible for vacation after a year of full time, continuous employment".

"No", she replied, the time you were a temporary associate doesn't count".

But I had read the benefits book. I knew what it said, and it didn't say that. It said an associate is eligible for vacation after one year of full time, continuous employment. It said nothing about having to be a permanent associate. So I told her that.

No, it doesn't matter what the book says. It only matters how our personnel department interprets "Full time, continuous". I considered her argument for about a month, and then went back in with my department manager to discuss the disagreement again. This time I was told that she tried to explain it to me before but I got "mouthy" and she wasn't going to spend any more time explaining it to me. So, I guess that's that.

Well, that's enough of a reason to hate Wal-Mart right there.

But hang on. It gets better! So, now I have to wait until November for vacation. Think again. No associate at Wal-Mart is allowed to take a vacation between October 31st and January 1st because of the holidays.

Now, instead of taking my vacation 1 year after my initial hiring date, I have to wait at least 1 year and 3 months. And, nobody wants to take vacation in mid-winter so I'll have to wait until abut May.

And today, I find out that our little chain smoking girl who disappears at least 8 times a day is on her third vacation this year! Apparently, management has no problem with that! And she hasn't been employed there as long as I have!

Are there more and better reasons for me to hate working at Wal-Mart?

Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment