To those of you considering a career with Schwan's, DON'T DO IT!!! This a copy of a letter I recently sent, and I can assure you it is all TRUE.
Alfred Schwan, Chairman of the Board
The Schwan Food Company
115 West College Dr.
Marshall, MN 56258
Dear Mr. Schwan,
I am writing in regard to your employment and employee practices in depots in Harmony, PA, and Titusville, PA. In June of this year, I began speaking with, LGM for the Harmony depot regarding employment. I was told of the potential to make 50-60, 000 first year even though the position was commission based. I told him I was interested, however, I would not be able to start until the school year began. He stated that this was no problem, that he would be hiring all summer long.
In late August we began speaking again, and started the necessary steps to come on board (drug test, physical, background check). On or about September 22nd, I was offered the position and told my start date would be October 2nd, and to report to the depot in Obetz, Ohio, to begin New Employee Orientation. I promptly put in notice with my employer that September 29th would be my last day. I arrived the evening of October 1st and checked into The Sleep Inn.
I began the NEO training the next day, and at one point the class was told that during your mentor training it was a requirement that you sign up 140 new customers in the six week period. This was the first time I had heard of such a thing. A classmate asked what would happen if that goal was not achieved. The instructor stated that you would be let go, but not to worry, everyone gets there. I was somewhat concerned, but I had no choice but to stick with it because I had left my previous employer.
After dismissal for the day, I went back to the motel to change clothes and head out for a bite to eat. I returned at approximately 8pm, and found that my key would not work. I went to the front desk to inquire, and the clerk told me I had to check out immediately, that Schwan's was not going to pay for me to stay there. When I asked why, he said he did not know. He reactivated my card so I could get my things, and having no place to go, I spent the night. At eight the next morning, the clerk is calling the room and once again stated that I needed to check out immediately. I did so, and reported to class.
I reported the previous evening's incident to the instructor, who told me to get with the receptionist for alternate accommodations. She told me she would try to secure a room for me at the Comfort Inn and it would be with a roommate. I told her this was unacceptable, that I did not wish to share a room with a total stranger.
That's the way Schwan's does things, I was told. I stated that this was still unacceptable, and she said she would see what she could do. I checked in, discovered I had a roommate, turned in my key and made accommodations of my own. I finished the NEO the next day and drove back to Pittsburgh.
I drove to the depot in Harmony the next day October 5th, was given a couple of uniforms and told to come back Monday October 9th to pick up directions and a schedule. I did so and drove to Titusville to begin mentor training. I reported to the LGM. He gave me a quick rundown and told me to drive into Townville, where I would meet the driver; he stated that this would not be my mentor, this was just for the day, and that my mentor would be X.
I began riding with X that week. One day we pulled into one of his stops, which he referred to as “### ville", stating that the place was full of ###s, and he had even wrote it in the route book that way. It was part of the Gertrude Barber Center for handicapped individuals, which my brother attended as a child. I informed X of this, and his response was “Aren't I mean?"
The next day I informed LGM of his comments and I requested to be changed to another mentor. He stated that he would take care of it and address the issue with X. I remained with X.The next week, LGM asked how things were progressing. I told him not well. I was getting no time behind the wheel of the truck, because X, in his own words, liked to be in control. Also, I was not receiving any training on the HHC. I once again requested a change of mentor to LGM. I remained with X.
Meanwhile, new customers are not being signed up, there isn't any route building being done, and I'm getting nowhere near my goal. LGM has not spent any time training me, yet my concerns fall on deaf ears. In the middle of the fifth week, X, district manager, is at the depot and tells me I am not on track, and if I don't get there that he is going to “cut me loose". He states that if I get to 110 new customers by the end of the sixth week, that they would bring me back for a seventh to get the additional 30. LGM, states that it is partially his fault because he has had no time to spend with me. I once again bring up that I am not being trained properly.
Keep knocking on doors I'm told.
In the last week, I'm still riding with X. During that week, I witnessed illegal drug use and possession in the form of marijuana by X. It was also offered to me in the form of a cigarette to take back to my hotel room. I declined.
By the end of the sixth week, Friday, November 10th, I had reached 107 new customers, 3 short of the 110. LGM had told me that morning to report back on Tuesday November 14th, because he would be off on Monday. I drove the 2 hours Tuesday morning and was promptly fired by LGM, and now had to drive the 2 hours back. The following morning, Wednesday, I drove to the Harmony depot to turn in my uniforms. I spoke to LGM and voiced my concerns over the drug activity. Where it went from there I don't know. I also called the compliance and ethics hotline.
Mr. Schwan, I know these are serious accusations and I sound like a disgruntled employee, and in a way I am. I left my job of three and a half years to come on board with you, and I cannot go back. Now the holidays are right around the corner and with 2 children to support, I haven't got a job. If certain things had been disclosed upfront, I may have had second thoughts and now would not be in this position. I hope that you take this letter seriously. Should you have any questions you may contact me directly.
CC: M. Lenny Pippin, Chief Executive Officer
Bernadette Kruk, VP of Human Resources
John Beadle, Chief Operating Officer