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Roots Market / unfair treatment at work

1 Olney, MD, United States Review updated:

After a TON of years in the specialty grocery business (& as a wine distributor) I was laid off in late 2008. So after a couple of unsuccessful job-searching months, I applied at Roots Market, thinking I would be able to make a decent salary (maybe not quite what I expected, but something a bit close?) I started off as cashier, was paid VERY LITTLE (like what I made back in HS as a part time worker at a gourmet market.)

I was told that I would have a flexible schedule. I said great -- I could work weekends, but there was a day that I needed off within the first month. I told the management this upon hire, but they "conveniently" forgot & scheduled me on that day. (That day was not a weekend day; mind you...it was a Monday -- very slow.)

Anyway, after a few problems with the schedule, as mentioned above (I DID end up working that day, too...as not to create waves...) I was "caught" by the store manager -whose name I will not mention here- talking to another cashier. I was simply asking the cashier a code for produce. The cashier gave it to me & I said thank you. Just after the customer rang through my line, I was summoned to the front office (by the manager) & talked to like I was in grade school! I was told to NOT talk to any cashiers, not start conversations w/ANY store employees, & most importantly, DO NOT leave my register!

I was taken aback, but did heed what she said. For the next week, I watched my Ps & Qs, making sure I asked BEFORE I went to the bathroom, didn't talk to anyone except the customer, & if a fellow employee tried to engage me in conversation, I would politely smile & nod my head & keep my mouth shut.

Then came a day when I couldn't find a certain size bag I needed. After (very quickly) asking a cashier, who directed me towards the area where bags were kept, I waited til there were NO MORE customers in the area & made my way - all of 20 feet - to the bagging shelves. I got the bag I needed & stocked up on some smaller ones. In about a minute, I heard the office door open & I got called into the office. I was, once again, reprimanded for leaving my register & also having a conversation w/a cashier. I couldn't believe it! When I told the store manager what I was doing, she told me she didn't care & that I should've already had the supplies I needed before I started. (This is difficult when you're like the 3rd person using the register that day & didn't set it up.)

After mumbling an apology & slinking out the door, I felt totally stupid. Here I was, at least TWICE the age of some of the other employees, making less than most of them, starting pretty much at the bottom after being in the food business over 20 years (which I was prepared for after my layoff...) but getting talked to like I was a complete imbicile. It was not even what the store manager was saying, it was how she was saying it...the whole thing was absolutely condescending.

Needless to say, I quit. I typed up a nice letter & gave my proper 2-weeks' notice. Unfortunately, the next day after I gave my letter, my name was crossed off the schedule (in thick black magic-marker, ) & I was told to not bother coming back for my last couple of weeks. Goodbye & good riddance!

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Comments

  • Ve
      6th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I had a similar experience a while before your experience. The managers talked to me like I was in grade school. They don't know how to manage that place and Sallie "Smith" is a real witch. Best wishes to you in the future.

  • Co
      23rd of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I am a shopper there since I have a macro diet. I won't go there again. There are other places to go!

  • Jw
      22nd of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    I used to work there, too. I had problems with the managers indeed and they really don't know the ins and out of organic integrity (I used to work on an organic farm before I worked with Roots.)

    There are a few people there that actually do know what they are talking about but they are very few and far between at the store.

    In produce I got harassed by management for some of the dumbest reasons, but when there was a question regarding organic information or organic certification questions, I was their best friend! Peace, J

  • Km
      17th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    Very strange. Roots must have been a very different place to work then than what it is now. I work here currently, and I have always found the management to be friendly, approachable, and very accommodating when it comes to my schedule. There have been two occasions now on which the managers on duty have defended me against against a crazy customer (whose nonexistent husband I was apparently trying to steal with my less-than-impressive cleavage). Even when I mess up (as I am a cashier and have been scammed out of money before), management is always caring in their approach. Yes, there are days when I feel I hate my job, but on a whole, Roots is an amazing place to work and I appreciate it for that. I have found that you get out of Roots what you put in.

  • Kc
      22nd of Aug, 2012
    0 Votes

    Unreal! I know what u mean. I used to work there several years ago. The GM there had a lot to be desired. Real nasty attitude. She was the reason I ended up leaving. Cared about making her numbers. She was way more interested in the financial bottom line (and the beer guy) more than the happiness and well being of all of her employees.

  • Ja
      15th of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    @OrganicGrrrl - I had a similar experience to you at Roots. I was a cashier there for a brief time. I did not find the management to be helpful or supportive at all. I think it was crazy - and maybe illegal - that we were not able to count or balance our cash register tills at the end of our shifts. One time I ended up being $20.00 under in my cash drawer and was not only written up, which I expected, but made to pay the money back - out of my pocket! I am pretty sure that is illegal in the state of Maryland. So, I gave money to the store (the $20.00) -after going to an ATM- and the next time I got my paycheck, there was $20.00 deducted! I complained and told them I had already paid the money but they told me there was a note inquiry given to the payroll to deduct the money. I was given the run-around by the same exact manager I had paid the $20.00 to and she then outright lied and said I never paid her the money! When I went to talk to their corporate 'office' at the Clarksville store, they said there was nothing they could do. There was no proof I had ever paid the $20.00 cash to the manager! I didn't think to get proof that I had paid as I was so upset at the end of the shift. I left there that week. It just really irritated me that I was all but accused of taking cash from a till that I did NOT count. Then, once I paid my own personal money to make up for the difference, I received a paycheck that was shorted. Their management sucks and they are a deceitful and dishonest bunch.

  • Ja
      15th of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    I am not a child, Tasha. I am a 29 year old single parent with a ten year old son who is in the fifth grade. I am not in the fourth grade. Why are you saying everyone is in the fourth grade?

    The sad thing is the reason they did not have the proof of me paying the manager is because they erased that part of the tape on the camera and used technology to make it look like I pocketed the money. They erased the part where I gave the manager the money and edited it (doctored it which is illegal in the state of Maryland) and fired me. Then they downright lied and said I stole the money. Why would I risk my job for $20. Then my son lied to several people saying mommy steals things from stores. I made him tell everyone he was lying and made him say he is the real thief.

    They deleted and edited the tape to make me look like a thief and I could lose my son because of this. They are dishonest losers.

  • Ka
      23rd of Apr, 2013
    -1 Votes

    So glad I found this thread! I was thinking of applying at Roots Market since I am a shopper there. I go to both Olney and Clarksville locations. It seems like they treat their employees ok but now I seem to recall my next door neighbor's daughter working there at Olney and complaining about a manager named Sally. If the management and corporation treats their employees as you have written, then I'll pass and go somewhere else that actually does have some integrity in regards to their treatment of employees.

  • Pm
      8th of May, 2013
    +1 Votes

    @ Handsome B Wonderful - u are an idiot ! I would never go around randomly to people's comments and do this. Anyone can see you have gone to comments that were recents posts and have pretty much discredited anyone that has anything to say - about any business or service.

  • Ab
      28th of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    Roots Market is a wonderful place to work...great people encouraging and offering nutritious and healthy food, health & wellness...and employees who show they care about customers, make it a place possessing and spreading good karma...can't ask for more.

  • An
      6th of Sep, 2013
    0 Votes

    ROOTS MARKET TOTALLY LACKS INTEGRITY and I can only hope that "Sally" and Karma meet one day!!! They are more concerned about their egos than they are in actually helping people!

  • Sl
      5th of Nov, 2013
    +1 Votes

    I so hope Sallie and Karma meet one day. I used to work there 2008 to 2009. I am slightly hearing impaired in one ear. I can manage fine, but just have to play more attention when someone comes up and talks to me when they are not in front of me ..or when several people approach me at once. (it's a matter of deciphering who is saying what..) Anyway, when I applied at Roots, Elease (the assistant manager) was amazing. I filled out the little part on the application that states I have some hearing impairment and the whole reasonable accommodations thing. She helped build my confidence and we had several conversations about organic food, healthy eating, and even had an interesting discussion (when I came back for pre-employment stuff) about the possibilities of aiding hearing through diet. "What a progressive place to work" I thought! So, the following week, I met Sallie. She said hello, a bit gruffly. I introduced myself as a new employee. She did not seem particularly happy or welcoming to me. She noticed my hearing aid, right away and told me that if I was having any problems communicating with store employees or customers to let her know. I sort of thought that was weird...almost kind of forward. For the next few weeks, I really didn't see her too often -maybe she was away- but after about a month or so of being employed there, I ran into her. She continued to be gruff. I felt as though she was talking down to me when she would ask me to do something. I noticed her interacting with some other employees and she seemed to relate better to them. I blew it off and just did my job and tried not to think about it. After several more months, I had maybe one or two more 'run-ins' for lack of a better word, and it confirmed that I was not imagining her rudeness. I had asked her "What?" after she gave me an instruction, because she said it quickly and started to turn away from me. She came back to stand right in front of me and said in a raised voice, enunciating every syllable, the same thing again, just very belittling. I was so shocked that I could feel my face turning bright red. I went in the back, calmed myself down and continued working. The next few weeks, I avoided her at all costs. If I had to find something out, I'd ask Elease, Jackie, or another manager. Within another month, I gave notice. I could not deal with the manager of the store talking down to me (and also to some other employees, I noticed over the course of my employment) and I felt that she'd always have a lower opinion of me because of my impairment. I did not want to work in an atmosphere like that. Once I left, I did feel better. I tried to put the incident behind me, but now -5 years later- I still remember it!

  • Fo
      15th of Jul, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I used to shop at the Roots in Olney when I had friends working there. I found it just a little funny that several employees were written up (or worse) because their drawers--which they apparently weren't allowed to count--were each(!) $20 short. Really? The same amount every time with the same manager in charge each time it happened? And no one at the corporate office found this the least bit suspicious? Hmm. I made up my mind that as long as this 'manager' was affiliated with Roots in any capacity, I wouldn't buy a tomato there.

  • Th
      25th of Apr, 2018
    0 Votes

    Wow! I was a former employee of roots market in Olney and I had a less than stellar time there. Sallie was manager when I was there and she was hard to get along with. There were always issues with the employees especially the front end and some produce issues. There were some management people who were extremely unprofessional. I’m glad I left and I would never go back, even if I were to get back into natural foods grocery stores.

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