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Old 11-03-2006, 12:59 PM
 
702 posts, read 2,914,057 times
Reputation: 448

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I don’t know why so many people jump all over Wal-Mart for rules that most other employers enforce as they do. I read the Tucson headline saying that “Wal-Mart staff rules are called too strict.” I thought, what is Wal-Mart doing that is so different than any other employer? Then I read the article and found that employees coming to work ten minutes or more late for three times might be given a demerit. Too many demerits and you could be fired. I laughed because I spent 25 years in law enforcement and coming to work 10 minutes late just once was a major deal. If a person comes in late, without a valid reason, they should be given a warning. If the tardiness continues, they should be fired! I just don’t get it. Wal-Mart is doing so well that it becomes the business to pick on.

Some people have said that shopping at Wal-Mart is hurting the economy because all they sell is cheap China goods. Well, when I go into other stores I see the same merchandise that Wal-Mart is selling, only at much higher prices. How are those stores any different? I know several Super Wal-Mart employees and they all say that they are just glad that they have jobs there. Maybe someone can tell me why we should hate Wal-Mart?
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,814 posts, read 12,145,038 times
Reputation: 2000001325
The policy is that any employee with three or more unexcused absences in a rolling six month period will be disciplined. Seven unexcused absences in a rolling six month period will be fired. Any employee who doesn't call the 800# for a code to then relay to his or her store manager for any of three absences in a six month period can be fired. And now any employee needing more than three consecutive days off is going to be asked to apply for unpaid FMLA. The only real difference is that it takes a burden off the store managers to track the absences and eliminates any accusations of favoritism as the policy pretty much sidewinds the store manager. It also forces the employee to take documented actions instead of saying.."well, I tried to call...I tried to get ahold of you...I called so and so...didn't he pass the information on to you?", etc. No more excuses. I worked in management for two large banks and absenteeism is the single biggest reason we fired people. We also had a rule of three for a rolling six month period, but we documented every instance, including late arrivals, leaving earlier than a shift ends, and late to and from arrivals from breaks or lunches. We labeled those all under unexcused absences and each was a separate incident. Our typical procedure was to remind about the attendance policy after one unexcused and unplanned absence. We had a rule that a manager must be called live. After two, we reiterated the policy and documented it. After three, we issued a verbal warning and documented it as such. If another happened, we moved to a written warning which the person had to sign in HR with the manager present and they were removed from bonuses, schedule changes, etc. for a 90 day period. If he or she continued to have unplanned and unapproved absences within that period, we moved up to a Final Warning. After that, we fired. If there was a particular issue that was occuring that was causing a good employee to be late, we would discuss it with HR and see if there was a way we could change the schedule of the person to accomodate him or her. We couldn't always do it because business needs overrode. We also had a problem with new hires agreeing to a specific schedule to get hired, but then reneging after and begging for a schedule change. On those people I had no empathy or sympathy, and it happened a lot. I don't have a problem with WalMart's policy, it's very typical. I just hope that store managers still have the ability to intervene in unique circumstances where the attendance problem truly is caused by other factors and make changes for a good employee where possible.
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,814 posts, read 12,145,038 times
Reputation: 2000001325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areyouserious? View Post
lol, Walmart should get down on the ground and kiss their falling prices that people actually still go to work there.

I was once reprimanded for being late 15 minutes IN FRONT of other employees. This was the day after I worked a 16 hour shift because somebody was out sick, and the same jack@ss reprimanding me asked me to stay.

Well since he wanted to make it a public issue I bet that man will think twice about discussing anything in front of other employees again.
I cut that man up six ways to Sunday, made sure I pointed out every inadequacy and shortcoming related to his management, and told him to get down on one knee and see how long he could hold his breath while kissing my.... Then I walked out the door, made two phone calls and had a job making more money.

Granted, I was just a kid then, and it was a lousy retail sales job. I certainly would not do that where I am today, but I probably wouldn't have to. In fact, lateness is not at issue at my level. As long as the job gets done nobody cares. We have to work so many 60 hour weeks for a flat salary, nobody would dare to mention 15 minutes.
Professionalism is what you missed. I agree one shouldn't reprimand an employee in front of other employees, or anyone for that matter. I took them off the floor to a private room and I did it discreetly. However, it doesn't matter if you worked 16 hours the day before. That doesn't excuse your having been fifteen minutes late the next day. If your present job doesn't have such a policy and your attendance isn't an issue in the kind of work you now do, that's great. However, many jobs depend on people being there for their shifts. In my field (management of a banking call center), if we didn't have people on the phones at the start of a shift, lines backed up and our customer service suffered, as well as it impacted the productivity of employees who had to make up the slack for the absent ones. At WalMart or any type of retail store, if people aren't on the job when they're supposed to be, the people who are there are stretched to cover the same work and the overall quality and what gets done suffers. This isn't rocket science. It's also a question of professionalism. If people can't depend on you to be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, then why depend on you at all?
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Haddington, E. Lothian, Scotland
752 posts, read 632,251 times
Reputation: 175
Hi,

I've undestood the biggest complaint about Wal-Mart's employment practices is not their absenteeism policy; rather, it's the way they schedule hours so people can't get a full schedule (and hence, benefits). The practice is certainly not unique to Wal-Mart, sure. I can tell you stories about my boss at Ernst Hardware (a company now bankrupt, thank heavens) who kept me at a steady 32 hour week my whole way through college. And believe me I worked like a racehorse for that jerk.

But I digress...

I think that absenteeism and work hours policy are related. If the job were steady, had benefits, and provided at least a measure of stability (even if it is retail), I think you'd have less of a problem with people skimming the clock. Throwaway jobs tend to attract throwaway people in my opinion. Set an average Wal-Mart employee and a Costco employee on to the same task and you'll see an appreciable difference in attitude.

As for the sale of Chinese goods, yes Wal-Mart isn't alone. It's up to American consumers to make the choice to buy local or buy from China. And Americans cast their vote for 'Made in China' millions and millions of times every single day. Me, if I can't buy it local I think hard whether I need to buy it. Makes it kinda hard to shop for a car, but oh well.
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Old 11-03-2006, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Traverse City, MI
622 posts, read 2,547,709 times
Reputation: 342
Uh-oh... we're starting another Wal-Mart thread!?
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,814 posts, read 12,145,038 times
Reputation: 2000001325
Quote:
Originally Posted by Areyouserious? View Post
It's against labor laws in the state to MAKE people work 16 hour days too, unless they are police/fire. It also should not matter to an employee that YOU need coverage. Its not their fault you staff at 100% utilization. Thats just poor management. It's called "give and take". When I have to work 16 hours, with NO REAL OVERTIME because 80% of our salary was comission, don't tell me I need to go by the book THE VERY NEXT DAY. The book works both ways. If it can bend one way, it should bend the other. Besides, I'm not responsible for the NYC subways. There were a few others that walked in behind me that day. I just happened to be the idiot who ran from the subway instead of walking. So I caught the crap first. The other thing that really ticked me was the shift I ended up covering had much lower traffic, so I made less money for the priveledge of inconveniencing myself. If I had not been so tired from the day before, I would have gone to the Dunkin Donuts for breakfast like I usually did, and would have been on an earlier train to get to Dunkin Donuts. I was tired, excuse me, so I took the later train, which usually made it there with 15 minutes to spare. Instead it was stuck in a tunnel in Queens for a little more than 25 minutes that morning.
Like I said, I had another job lined up within hours, and ended up making substantially more. So I have the NYC subway system to thank for my good fortune.

If a manager ASKs an employee to do THEM a favor and cover another shift, and then reprimand them the next day for being 15 minutes late, you would have to be one of the WORST managers in the business then. How do you expect your people to go the extra mile for you if you are going to treat them like that? It must be a "company culture" thing. At any given time I go online, including 3am, and find people WORKING at my company. Why? They love their job. They love the company. They WANT to see the business succeed, not just themselves. I know by what you are telling me that YOUR COMPANY does not have that. That is precisely why when I call a bank or credit card company I always get the feeling that they are doing exactly what they are required to do(if that), and NOTHING more. Did you ever stop and ask yourself why customer service is disappearing in this country? Its companies like yours with a shortsighted factory mentality. Let me guess. Bank of America?

The other thing is, WHO in their right mind would reprimand an employee AT THE BEGINNING of the day? "Listen, we're writing you up for being 15 minutes late today. If this should happen more than 6 times in a one year period, it would be grounds for termination. Now go out there and make those customers happy!" Lol, reminds me of a book, "The Death of Common Sense".
Customer service is not simply answering the phone.

Professionalism, lol. I like how companies have brainwashed some of their managers into equating everything that is good for the COMPANY with professionalism, and everything that is good for the EMPLOYEE with unprofessional. The term you need to understand is "professional courtesy". Thats what will get you VOLUNTEERS when the company needs something beyond the normal duties of an employee. These short-sighted hard-line management tactics only work as long as the employee will tolerate it. After that you end up with an empty cube....and you missed the point of my first post. They lost a GREAT employee over 15 minutes. One who brought in a lot of revenue. THATS why I had another job within hours. Another company recognized that and snapped me up as soon as they could. Sure me ripping the guy to shreds and basically ridiculing him in front of the staff was EQUALLY unprofessional, but those people needed to see that. I got so many phone calls and so many drinks bought for me over that I can't even begin to tell you. Sometimes ya just have to get your hands dirty for the greater good.
The excuses for unprofessionalism you've given and the attack on my workplace which you don't know and don't have any information on just underscore your lack of professionalism. You could have resigned if you didn't like the company, it's management, or its policies. You chose to work there. No one made you do it. Apparently your level of maturity hasn't risen much since this incident you seem so proud of. I can assure you you wouldn't have lasted long under me... I can also speak from long experience that you're disillusioned if you somehow think that such behavior truly inspires respect from others. You sound like Chavez at the UN platform excorciating President Bush and getting a few laughs and giggles, yet when the voting for the security council seat came up, he lost in over 50 rounds and had to withdraw in defeat. Did he get laughs? Yes. Did he gain respect? No. I'm not impressed with your argument at all.
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Missouri
6,046 posts, read 21,865,623 times
Reputation: 5068
I love WalMart. I am very frugal and I enjoy shopping there, and I can resist the urge to overbuy just because the price is right. My mother spends triple at WalMart than she would anywhere else, because "it was such a good deal!"

I am pleased that they are now offering in certain cities, some generic drugs for $4. I hope it goes nationwide. Yes, they are hoping to increase sales by getting more people in the door. I can't fault them for wanting to make a profit. I am really glad that uninsured people will have an opportunity to buy low-cost medication.
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Old 11-03-2006, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Virginia
47 posts, read 228,365 times
Reputation: 49
Smile Momark

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
Professionalism is what you missed. I agree one shouldn't reprimand an employee in front of other employees, or anyone for that matter. I took them off the floor to a private room and I did it discreetly. However, it doesn't matter if you worked 16 hours the day before. That doesn't excuse your having been fifteen minutes late the next day. If your present job doesn't have such a policy and your attendance isn't an issue in the kind of work you now do, that's great. However, many jobs depend on people being there for their shifts. In my field (management of a banking call center), if we didn't have people on the phones at the start of a shift, lines backed up and our customer service suffered, as well as it impacted the productivity of employees who had to make up the slack for the absent ones. At WalMart or any type of retail store, if people aren't on the job when they're supposed to be, the people who are there are stretched to cover the same work and the overall quality and what gets done suffers. This isn't rocket science. It's also a question of professionalism. If people can't depend on you to be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, then why depend on you at all?
I agree with everything you said.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids, MN
571 posts, read 2,313,226 times
Reputation: 310
Interesting debate.

I do understand that there are certain (usually retail, customer service or production oriented) jobs that require a certain number of "bodies" on the "floor" at any given time and how chronic tardiness/absenteeism can be a serious problem. At the same time, I think a lot of corporate management types fail to take the human element into consideration. Stuff happens. People aren't robots and sometimes there ARE traffic jams or sick children or failed alarm clocks in life.

This isn't to say that you shouldn't talk to (or fire) the guy who comes waltzing in 15 minutes late EVERY DAY. But if you have a good, reliable employee who usually comes in early, leaves late (funny how the clock watchers never seem to mention all the unpaid time a lot of people put in) and works hard but has a bump or two in the road (LIFE) and you risk losing him/her because that's what the "procedure" is...well, that just doesn't seem very smart to me.
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Old 11-03-2006, 09:42 PM
 
Location: God's Country
21,779 posts, read 30,576,830 times
Reputation: 30385
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoMark View Post
Professionalism is what you missed. I agree one shouldn't reprimand an employee in front of other employees, or anyone for that matter. I took them off the floor to a private room and I did it discreetly. However, it doesn't matter if you worked 16 hours the day before. That doesn't excuse your having been fifteen minutes late the next day. If your present job doesn't have such a policy and your attendance isn't an issue in the kind of work you now do, that's great. However, many jobs depend on people being there for their shifts. In my field (management of a banking call center), if we didn't have people on the phones at the start of a shift, lines backed up and our customer service suffered, as well as it impacted the productivity of employees who had to make up the slack for the absent ones. At WalMart or any type of retail store, if people aren't on the job when they're supposed to be, the people who are there are stretched to cover the same work and the overall quality and what gets done suffers. This isn't rocket science. It's also a question of professionalism. If people can't depend on you to be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, then why depend on you at all?
I also agree with what you said.
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