I worked for this company from July 2009 until September 2011, during that time I started out as a Production Manager for them, making a whopping $10.00 an hour. The pay cap for that type of manager, was $11.00 an hour. After a year I was promoted to Assistant Manager, at a rate of $12.00 per hour, with a cap of $15.00 an hour. My final pay rate as a 2 year manager? $12.81 per hour, despite performance evaluations in the high 80%.
Goodwill is great... if your shopping for clothing. The new radio commercial "how would you like to work here?" gets me every time. The dark side of this beast that many do not see, is the intense amount of pressure management is constantly under from various sources; I.E. Upper Retail Management, "senior" regional managers, and quite possibly the nastiest customer base I have ever had the displeasure of serving. The upper management tier of this company is concerned with 1 thing, and one thing alone. [continued below]....
..... Money. How can they get more, and how can they cut back on costs is what it boils down to. The funny thing about this company is that the hourly employees that you see operating the cash register and processing the donations you give them, are some of the most hard working, albeit irritable people I have ever worked with. The reason for their irritation is quite simple, 98% of them make nothing more than minimum wage, are constantly hounded by their managers expecting 1000% and are given hardly anything in return except a measly paycheck that most often than not, cannot make ends meet. Here is the $1Million question. Obviously goodwill is trying to cut down costs, yet they then promote a regional manager (who is quite possibly the biggest pompous a*s to roam this planet) to a "Senior" regional manager, where his job description remains the same, yet he see's a pay increase of roughly $11,000 per year, bumping him up to roughly $82,000 a year. All that money to chew on people he deems incompetent, strange world we live in, isn't it?
The procedure there for employees who upper management deem "incompetent" AKA, they don't kiss a*s like the rest of upper management did when they were in that position, is Documentation. Goodwill has incorporated a rather die hard way to ensure that any employee they fire, for whatever the reason, gets shut down in Unemployment Court. First comes the verbal, or coaching as they put it. Where the branch manager sits down and talks with you about the issue. Next, is the Written "PID" or, Performance Improvement Documentation, which can be manipulated to encompass so many violations that it mostly made my head hurt trying to put into words some of the things I was told to document for. After 3 of those, an employee goes on to whats known as a "COE" or, Condition of Employment, which is basically the last straw before the company moves towards firing. At this point in the documentation process the company can put whatever constraints they want on the employee, ranging from shorter breaks, to demotion and transfer.
At this point you may be asking "why is he spilling the beans?" in all actuality its for a very simple reason. This company has steady gone down hill in the 2 years I worked there, and I believe people should have the right to know how it works as a company. Now i'll answer another question you may be asking, "what was he fired for?". To be forthcoming, I took 100% of the blame for this issue and it was as follows.
Our wares processor had called out on a Saturday, the busiest day of the week for us in terms of donations. I was one of the Manager's on Duty that day, and had to pick up the slack in the production area (we were also short a production manager for roughly 7 months). About half way through the day, our clothing hangers came to ask me what I wanted them to do about the racks of clothing they had hung. I simply told them to keep track of the numbers and keep them on their stations so that I may check the quality later in the day when I had time. I then choose to continue pricing the housewares that make up about 70% of a retail store's annual net sales. About 3 hours later I was called into the office by my acting branch manager at the time, informed me that allowing the hangers to count their own production was against company policy, and that I must cease and desist, which I was happy to oblige. 2 Days later I reported in for my closing shift and I was informed by the same acting manager, that I was being suspended for breaking company policy. A week later, I was fired for "failing to follow established policy and/or procedures".
So there it is folks.. Those are simply some of the innards of how your local goodwill works. Goodwill does create programs for people, but what they don't tell you, is that the people they help are CHOSEN BY GOODWILL. There are a lot of horror stories of real families out there in dire need that goodwill does not help for one reason or another. So please, think twice before spending your hard earned money in a second hand store!