Thoughtful Nutmeg

A Tale Between Two Companies

After working at Showcase as a store manager for three years, Amber decided to quit finally. She took a job as a production worker at Value Village and she has not regretted the move at all.

At Showcase:

  1. Amber had to deal with unruly customers, putting on a smile, while they bully, harass, and abuse her, as well as her staff. Management tells her to suck it up.
  2. Amber wasn’t paid for stat holidays. She also had to work stat holidays if her schedule put her there without extra pay.
  3. Amber wasn’t paid extra for working overtime.
  4. Amber asked for a raise twice in a period of 3 years. She worked through the Covid Pandemic. Both times, the regional manager rejected her on the notion, “Times have been tough.” However, when seeking a super qualified assistant manager to help Amber at her own store, the regional manager was willing to offer $19/hr to the new guy, about $2.50/hr more than what Amber was making. Alas, even at $19/hr, the new guy laughed and rejected the offer.
  5. To boost morale, Showcase management would once in awhile send a small gift of candy or cookies to the store. Just enough that each staff member got a single bite.
  6. Amber paid for her staff’s meals during inventory nights. The company did not reimburse that cost.
  7. If the light is broken, or the toilet doesn’t work properly, either nothing gets done to fix them, or it takes a long time to get anything fixed.

At Value Village:

  1. Amber doesn’t deal with customers. However, management does not tell their front-desk staff to suck it up. Abusive customers are promptly told to leave, or escorted out. As a production worker, Amber loves the people she works with. She also thinks the supervisors and manager are very nice.
  2. Amber gets paid for stat holidays. She also gets one extra day per week off, for the last two weeks of December and still paid for them.
  3. Amber is being paid for overtime work.
  4. Amber is being paid about $0.50/hour less, but receives 30% of whatever currency she finds from the items she has to go through. So far, she has found over $3,000 in the four months she has worked there and from that, gotten/will be getting $900.
  5. To boost morale, the Value Village management gave each individual staff member a jar of cake, a whole medium-sized pizza, and some candy during Halloween. They have about 40 staff members.
  6. Amber doesn’t have to fork out money out of her own pocket for anything.
  7. If something is broken, it gets repaired immediately. If something needs an upgrade, it gets upgraded very quickly. Management does everything in their power to make the working environment safe, clean, and as comfortable as it could be for their staff. When it was super cold during December 2021, the production staff was let go after only working barely 4 hours in and still got paid for the hours they weren’t there.

When she was about to switch jobs, she contacted Uncle Dick to be used as a reference, then spoke to her mom about it. Both of them wasn’t supportive of the idea, because a production worker at Value Village meant grunt work. To them, they felt Amber should have found a job that moved upwards, instead of down. I also once thought like them too, until I recognize that good mental health eclipses any title and salary, especially if those titles and salary also brought a lot of grief. I live with Amber, so I saw how that grief played a huge role on how she was slowly rotting away. When she announced that she was to take a job at Value Village, I immediately supported her, which surprised her.

Since then, she has been a lot less stressed out. She gets proper breaks at work, and the weekend off, as well as stat holidays off, all paid as a full timer. The managers and supervisors actually care about their staff. They actually remember things, and follow up with those things. For example, Amber got a locker near the ground, where she had to crouch down awkwardly to get to. The manager noted that and told Amber she will find her a better one when there is one free. Not two weeks later, the manager got Amber a new and better located locker, without even asked about it. I mean, that’s awesome!

Amber also mentioned there is a really amazing dynamic between the staff members. So, not only is the managerial staff awesome, but the people that she works with are all pretty cool as well. Some people have worked there for 15+ years and love the job. That says a lot about the company.

Also, just so you know, people looking at the Showcase ratings should be super cautious. The 4 and 5 stars are mostly Showcase staff members making those ratings. In fact, upper management has told their own staff members to do so. Also, they install cameras in the store, NOT to check on the customers, but to spy on the staff. They don’t do much to protect their own merchandise from shoplifters. Furthermore, at least half of the stuff they sell are found at AliExpress for 3-5 times less in cost and are the same brands. Lastly, many of the products they sell don’t even have proper manufacturer’s warranties such as their Kyoto air conditioners. Buyer Beware!

Anyway, having listened to Amber speak about Showcase when she worked there as a regular sales assistant, to an assistant manager that didn’t get paid more but had more responsibility, then later, as a store manager, made me totally turned off from that company all together.

UPDATE 2022/01/27: Amber is currently going through training to become a supervisor and will get a 15% salary increase in April. Barely four months working at Value Village, she was recognized for her skills and talents. Now that’s an excellent example of a company that values its employees. As a supervisor, she doesn’t get to keep 30% of whatever currency she finds, but supervisors receive a bonus every quarterly if the store meets a sales quota, which they often do.

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Leemanism is about my views, my thoughts, and my feelings with as little filtering as possible. These concepts are not reflected in the people I value and are associated with. People who accept me, adhere to the parts where we are compatible and tolerate the parts where we are not. So however people perceive me to be, ultimately it obviously doesn't mean the friends I mention in this blog are the same as me. It means it's possible they are similar or the same, as well as different than me. It is highly unusual for people to be completely compatible with each other.

With that out of the way, and to make things clear, I never said I am a good person, nor am I trying to be one, though I would rather live with the empathetic than with the cruel. I would not deliberately do harm. I rather stand up against injustice than to pretend it doesn't exist. However, I understand consequences. The police is there to enforce the law, but not deter crimes from happening. Which means people must do what they must do to protect themselves, before the law of the land takes over and even then, the law of the land isn't there to protect you. It's there to protect the general consensus. Even if you may be right, society may deem you wrong - even most of your friends may side with society, than protect you. The law will almost always side with society.

We are few. Stay safe. (•̀ᵥᵥ•́)