Dillards Department Stores Disturbing Employment Practices Dallas Texas
I have read most of the reports and rebuttals concerning Dillard's stores. While some seem to be very exagerrated, others point to a common problem which can only lead us to believe that there is thread that links all the stores right up to the operating policies handed down from the top.
If a store is selling used merchandise, I would question what is going on at the associates' level, since the sales associate is the first person to come in contact with returned items. If they question whether it has been used, it is easy enough to make a judgement on it or call a manager to see the item before accepting it for return. Often, an associate will take back merchandise and return it to the floor without closely inspecting it. Items do get taken back with tags removed, and proof of purchase (POP) labels are usually placed on the tags. Moving beyond that, however, I have seen that it is generally the treatment of employees that breeds the sort of indifference seen in many associates. I will say, however, that some managers will allow returns if the item still looks like it is in saleable condition. Afterall, it can still make the company money.
I was, until recently, an associate at one of the biggest Dillard's stores in the chain. I write this not because I have a grudge - I am glad to leave the place - but because something needs to be done regarding some of the unfair employment practices by the store.
The store manager, first of all, is not above berating an employee in front of others, and has no common respect for the employees as people. The only job performance recognized is high sales, not honest and hard work. We were often pitted against eachother to achieve sales, and the atmosphere was a negatively charged one.
For quite some time we were short handed, and it was seen as an opportunity by each associate to boost their own sales, but it also left few of us available to take care of markdowns, damage control, sales area maintenance, etc. The job entailed more than just waiting on customers, but also making sure that the merchandise was properly displayed, that our register areas were cleaned regularly, that we had plenty of supplies in the way of tissue for wrapping, bags, tags, and forms needed to conduct daily business. Not very many are willing to take care of these needs as they feared it would cut into the time they could spend just making sales.
While it was easy to have your wages cut, it was difficult to get a raise as once your sales improved, your sales per hour quota went up. Simply put, you were in a position to always chase after a quota. My initial sales quota was increased at my first review at 90 days for which I was not present, and at my 6 month review I was told by my manager that I was getting a 10% cut. She also stated at the time that she understood that since I was willing to do markdowns and all the gruntwork necessary to actually make sales happen, as well as understood and executed the performance of my job very well, as soon as new hires joined our area she wanted me to train them and make sure I had more opportunities to get on the floor and make my sales quotas. I was also told that my next review was in another 6 months, and that I had to get my sales numbers up and maintain them until that time. That was in December. Just over a month later, I was fired for having inadequate sales numbers.
I did not have the opportunity to improve my sales though I was under the impression that I did. I put in 40 to 60 hour weeks during the holidays, and during inventory I put in one 14 hour day and one 16 hour day without lunches to assist with inventory preparation and perform actual inventory scanning through the night. A week later was when I was terminated. When I went back to pick up my last check, I found out that an associate in our department was recognized as best salesperson. She stands at her register or roves the department stealing sales, does little to maintain her area, and has had repeated customer complaints regarding her attitude, lack of customer service, and blatant rudeness, but has been retained based only on her sales numbers.
Another associate used the markdown scanner on days when we had no markdown assignments to find markdowns she could hoard and later purchase for herself, and was seen consuming chocolate bars sold at the store while standing at her register and on the clock. They were not paid for, and even if they were, it was against company policy. Yet another was known for coming in repeatedly late, sometimes by an hour, and on occasion drunk. Another had complaints for confronting customers for going to another sales associate because she had tried to line up too many customers and they got tired of waiting. None of these people so much as got a warning from store managment because they made or exceeded their sales.
I had filled in for managers that refused to come and assist when called, offered to fill in hours for associates out sick, worked in other departments when someone didn't show up, unpacked and displayed merchandise, performed markdowns, cleaned glass, and multiple tasks that prevented me from spending the time I needed on the sales floor to make my sales quota. What I did, however, was absolutely necessary to the function of the department, and to make it possible for the merchandise to be sold in the first place. For that I was terminated without notice. I was even allowed to work for most of my shift, terminated 3 hours before the end of the shift without being allowed to finish it. It left one person to close 5 registers that night. The store managers do play favorites, and they don't hide it. Hard work is not appreciated, nor is building customer relations, or providing good customer service. Even if you do everything else to the benefit of the store, if your sales aren't what they want it to be, you will be fired. It is a demoralizing environment, to say the least.
As for tardies and absences, the rules are not impossible to abide by, but make it difficult for a working adult. We are not just employees, we are parents, children, commuters, and life happens sometimes just as you walk out the door, accidents happen on freeways, and the school nurse may call you just as you get to the parking lot. They are all parts of daily lives, and even the most responsible and time conscious person falls victim to them. The management does not care. You're there or not, on time or not, period. Department managers and employees were consistently blamed and punished for things going awry or not being completed in departments when it was clear that there was a lack of personnel to perform all tasks. If all tasks were tackled by already overextended associates, they lost sales time, therefore they lost sales and they would be punished for that by either pay cuts or termination.
There is far too much yet to be said in one report, but I look forward to additional comments to which I can respond and expound upon.