I survived nearly 3 weeks at Dollar General. Hired as a store manager, I turned down offers of prospective employment to accept their "promising" offer. I was trained at a near model store almost 40 miles away from my home. The training manager was very abrubt, and seemed to spend most of her time on her cell phone taking care of her personal business. Her store had a large staff and a sufficient amount of keyholders with the ability to do overnight shifts and stock blitzes. I felt I was going into a great organization, and held the torch high. However, after 1 week of training, I expressed my concerns to the regional manager that it would benefit me more to go finish my training at the store I would be placed in, as I understood it to be a "problem" store, and it would be beneficial for me to understand what processes were in place for a full recovery, as well as the regular day to day balance of workload I was to expect. He brushed me off and seemed to think continuing my training in the near model was more beneficial. I finished my training, but still I felt that the training was very slipshod, but I was ready to conquer my store. Upon arriving at my new conquest, it was so disheartening to see just how bad it had been let go. My only keyholder had worked 77 hours that week and was demanding time off, and this left me with 3 part time employees. Over 2 weeks of stock in the stockroom, and empty store shelves. I pitched in and rallied the team to get stock. It was then that I discovered that the district that hired me was not the district I was going into, and there was no district manager, only a series of training managers that would arrive at the store to berate, belittle, and harass both myself and my team, usually in front of customers. My first day there, I had one man who obviously had never worked retail in his life screaming at me and my other part time associate about stocking shelves, when we were the only 2 employees in the building, and running a brisk $8K Saturday. When I explained to him the need for staff, and that it was only my first day in the building, he would have none of that. I was told that I would need to "borrow" associates from other stores in my district.
So I called the other stores in my district. Half of them were running with no store managers, and the others were running with no more than 4 or 5 employees. So I had to call the district manager that had originally hired me and he, as a good district manager does, helped. Day 2 in my store was no better, as I had 2 other district managers in training to show up, both of them being very reactive and unhelpful. Add to that I was to hire additional staff with a payroll budget that would barely pay for the 4 I had on the payroll. But always the optimist, I trudged forward. It was about this time I started discovering things that began to bother me. An office piled high with paper and product that I had no idea what it was. The only bathroom in the place had 5 carts of merchandise and open food in it, one "working" toilet that would not flush, and no place to wash your hands. The only breakroom in the building was a moproom filled with store fixtures that was inaccessible, and mired with crates of product that had been stowed away and forgotten. Mountainous piles of broken or damaged product, open food, chemical that I had no idea what it was. A loss prevention NIGHTMARE that I would have to take responsibility for, and I voiced my concerns to these training district managers, whereupon I was told I needed to pick my battles. One HHT unit that was inoperable for 4 days, making receiving product impossible, and add to that food on store shelves 2 years or more expired. Day 3 was worse, as I had yet another training manager warn me about the regional visit that was coming on Friday, and I expressed my concerns that we would need a task force to enter and do overnights to get ready, and I was told payroll cannot afford that. Once again, I was picked apart by this guy, and was feeling lethargic. What on earth had I entered into? As I had worked the next day, I found myself having to leave the store at almost midnight, alone, in one of the most unsavory areas of the town. Have I mentioned theft? OMG--i could walk the aisles 50 times a day and retrieve over a hundred bucks of open packages where customers had taken items. This last manager said that our theft deterent was us doing recovery every 15 minutes by an egg timer...with 2 people in the building and shelves to stock, I was assuming I would need to have eyes in the back of my head and grow 4 more sets of arms.
The next day, another screaming training district manager comes in before I arrive, and leaves me a 5 page list of things to do before the next day. With no help. My commitment to this company went down the tubes. Have I mentioned that these dm's in training are giving me no support? Ive been in retail for over 17 years, and I know that if a district manager sees you struggling, its his job to "inspire" you, and to roll up his sleeves and help you out, not to tear you down, harass you, or rile the crew into mutiny.
My poor crew. Before I came, they were getting no lunch break, no 15 minute break, and were overworked to the point of exhaustion. I prompty gave them their due breaks and was told it was the first time they had ever had a break, some in their 2 or more years with DG. Having to sit in their hot cars or walk to another store in the seedy strip mall to take their lunch breaks, or use the bathroom. Having to wash their hands from a cold water spigot outside the plaza. Abominable.I also made sure they were scheduled for days off, at my own expense, having to forgo any break or day off. Oh, I was told to catch up 5 months of planograms by working 7 days straight doing double shifts. The suggestion of this was deplorable. 7 day work weeks, and the thought of having to never have a holiday like Easter, July 4th, or Thanksgiving off, when considerable merchants close their stores to give their employees time with their families. In the course of these 3 weeks, I had missed church, a family funeral, and any quality time I could get with my family.
Today I went in, only to find another 5 page list from yet another training district manager...more to add, but I tried to stay with it. Thats when I realized...its never going to stop. Ive read the posts here on Complaint boards, and I see that its not just here, its an epedemic throughout their organization. How sad that a company founded on such loyal values has turned coat and decided to become the WalMart of the Dollar stores. I turned in my keys and left today. Not one phone call from anyone to discover why. I guess they already know why.
You know, in reading these posts, I see so many people complaining about the rude manager, the rude cashier, etc...folks, if you would just put in your application and work just one day in a DG store, perhaps you would understand their lethargy. In a dead end job for a dead end salary, still on food stamps, and working like hell to survive, all so you the consumer can save a buck on laundry detergent. Its not their fault, and in most cases, not their store managers fault. More than likely its a district or regional managers fault, or the higher ups that make the insane task lists that can never be accomplished. And folks-check the dates on those packages of food youre buying there. Food poisoning can be had at a bargain price. I just feel relieved that I got out when I did, before I was held accountable for their execution of running a business into the ground.