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Wal-Mart Associates
Department management? 
25th-Jul-2007 01:13 am
Any department managers here?

I'm curious because my store has an opening for Foods Department Manager (I work in a non-24 hour, non supercenter store...so the Foods department is all of like four or five aisles), and I'm considering going for it. I've only been with Wal-Mart for about four months now, but my department manager in Electronics says that I'm doing an excellent job and would like to see me get the position out of all her other associates. My question is, what's it like being a department manager? What are some of routine things DM's do? Do you ever get to work in your own department, or are you always covering others? That's the way it was with the Team Leaders at Target. And last but not least, what's the pay raise from being a regular associate?

I like the idea of being DM in Foods because A) it's a rather small department, like I said and B) I wouldn't have to worry about having too much deep product knowledge. The current DM over there is useless and does pretty much nothing, which is why it looks disgusting. But she's leaving in a matter of weeks and I'd love to be able to fill her spot and do a good job at it.
25th-Jul-2007 05:22 am (UTC) - Go for it!
I've was a dept manager for 8 years, over men's and boy's; stepped down due to age. I loved it. Yes, you have to work really hard. One of my friends was dept manager over food before we became a supercenter. She got to be over it before she had worked for Wal-Mart for 3 months. I got men's and boy's before I had worked for Wal-Mart for 4 months. My area was the 4th biggest seller in our store; behind electronics, garden center, and infants. The raise is a dollar or so; the benefits: no weekend work, 7 to 4 hours, the challenge, more or less your own boss. Yes, Yes, Yes. Put in for it.
25th-Jul-2007 06:25 am (UTC) - Re: Go for it!
I'm not afraid of working hard. My biggest concern is will I get to do what I need done for my department or will I have to cover the behinds of those DMs who don't want to do theirs?

I do like the idea of having a more or less set schedule. But I have seen other DMs who work different hours. My electronics DM, for instance, usually works 5 AM-2 PM three or four days out of the week, then closes the other one or two.
25th-Jul-2007 07:47 am (UTC) - Good vs. Evil in Dept. 01...
Foods is mostly vendor managed, which means you will get deliveries every day but the company supplying the product will have a representative in there to stock/merchandise the items. You can also get a crazy ass Coke/Pepsi Rep. that will have the Store Manager hating you because he will order enough so that you own half of the back room. You will (should...but this IS wallyworld after all) get a food crew that will do nothing but stock freezers, unload grocery trucks and all that fun stuff in order to make sure you have what customers want. It's really not that bad of a department since most of it is self service. (I mean, as stupid as our customers are...who's really gonna come and ask how to open a bag of Cheetos?...then again, this IS wallyworld) Customer service is minimal, they'll mostly ask where other stuff is, so (being a good walmart associate) you'll take them there...and then get stopped again.

As for the evil (yes, that was the good) holidays are gonna fucken SUCK for you. Valentines, Easter,Halloween and Christmas especially. You are going to get waaaaaaay to much shit and if there is anything even slightly edible in the modular set, everyone will think the entire aisle is YOUR responsibility to zone,stock and rotate. It's a mess. Being that it is well known that Foods is not a heavy service dept, you will be expected to help your lazy, uh...overwhelmed neighbors get their stuff done. But all those fuckers will disappear when you have to take everything that is seasonal to half off the regular price, the day after the holiday. And you get to set all those fun mod's overnight.
25th-Jul-2007 06:32 pm (UTC) - Re: Good vs. Evil in Dept. 01...
Wow. Thanks for all of the information. I definitely have some more thinking to do.
25th-Jul-2007 09:14 am (UTC) - grocery
I am a Salesclerk (Level 2) in our grocery dept. We have a large 24 hr Supercenter. I do part of the dept. managers job (price changes, neg. on hands, need to counts, flagging and signing, etc.) because she has so much to do she can't handle it all. Holidays I have to work pulling and filling from the warehouse cause we can't keep the shelves filled. We have three ICS plus the DM and myself. I spent most of my 20something years on the GM side and grocery was a real challenge when I first went over there. There is a lot to learn. It's a whole different world from GM side. I really do like it a lot. If you have a small grocery dept. I would say go for it. Good luck!!
25th-Jul-2007 06:37 pm (UTC) - Re: grocery
If I put in for/get the position, I think it'll be a bit less stressful given the size alone of our Food department in comparison to those in Supercenters. Still, I'm not expecting it to be a cakewalk.
25th-Jul-2007 02:50 pm (UTC)
Put in for it, but don't expect to get it. I have been passed over more then 10 times for DM and MS (Merch. Supervisors), so don't get you hopes up, but if you do get it, be ware, management loves to blame the Department Managers for just about everything that can go wrong.
25th-Jul-2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
I have seen that Department Managers do take a lot of BS from upper-level management for things that are apparently not their fault, so that's definitely another factor to consider.

Not to mention that our prick of a Store Manager loves to have "department manager meetings" every so often (meaning, like twice a week) because it "fosters good communication" or some such nonsense. Dude, I don't want to communicate with you any more than I have to.
25th-Jul-2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
Most department managers are level 6, which would be a 40 cent raise from level 5 (Electronics). Most of your time is spent on Telxon work (price changes, negative on-hands, signing, etc.), finishing the freight that 3rd shift couldn't get to, and working the overstock in the backroom. I've been passed over a few times for those positions as well because I supposedly don't have enough Telxon experience. But I've been working in Infants for 6 months and can do price changes and other things on the Telxon and am still getting passed over. Guess I'm not a very good butt kisser ;-)
25th-Jul-2007 06:39 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah, I'd imagine that those who kiss more managerial ass than I do are more likely to be selected for the position.
26th-Jul-2007 06:25 am (UTC)
Grocery area has endured a ton of turn-over the past couple of months...

Frozen to CSM.
Produce Assoc. to Foods DM, then he returned to lead Produce.
Produce Lead to Frozen DM.
Deli Lead to Claims.
Deli Assoc. to Deli Lead
Seafood to Deli.
ICS to Seafood.
Garden Center/Pets to Meat.
Numerous Cashiers transferring to Grocery ICS positions...

So that should get you aware of the turnover in that area. I am in Superstore, however, so you understand why...
27th-Jul-2007 02:50 am (UTC)
Yeah, but from the looks of that list, it looks like people are either transfering IN to grocery/foods (like the cashiers and garden center/pets) or they are getting promotions (can't blame them, I'd leave even if I liked my job).

Of course, I think it's all store by store.
28th-Jul-2007 05:22 am (UTC)
The cashiers hated their jobs and it was open... But the two girls say they enjoy the job, they work in Candy...

The Garden Center guy was similar to me... Heat-related illnesses caused him to come inside.

The ICS to Seafood was mostly due to the fact she couldnt handle ICS because she recently became pregnant... Although her BF/baby's daddy, who also works there as an Unloader, seems to believe that this wasnt at minimum a strong aggrevating factor in the matter.
27th-Jul-2007 04:28 am (UTC)
Yeah it never ceases to amaze me how easily people can get transfers. All they have to do is say "I wanna go there" and management makes it happen.

I've been trying to get transferred out of dept 990 for like...ever. over 2 years. So, I've been passed over too many times for stuff I've wanted.

Good luck to you.
28th-Jul-2007 05:14 am (UTC)
*ignorant about Dept #s* LOL

And I am going to Produce... Alot less area to cover and alot less Politics as well... And I know my Asst. Manager will keep enough people in the area so I am not sweating everything in fear of not getting done/manager anger at the lack of clean parking lot.
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