Pros: friendly colleagues and coworkers, equal opportunities, generous wage, cheap cooked lunches for staff, 10% staff discount given after 6 months, strong union presence.
Cons: useless management, extremely high workload, holiday is extremely hard to come by, unsociable hours, made to do jobs you aren't trained to handle.
The typical day in Tesco involved picking up the mess left behind by the colleagues you were relieving. By the time you'd set yourself up properly; you were an hour behind on your work. However, if you just got on and left the previous persons mess then *you* are penalized, NOT the person responsible.
Management see such a high turnover of staff that – more... you become a number, rather than a name. Unless you have been working for Tesco for more than 5 years you were seen as temporary. I, personally, did not even see my contract until I had passed the probation period of 6 months. This was due to "the companies rights to protect internal resources". After three years of employment, I learned to see through the thinly veiled lies they hurled at me 24/7.
They did not respect my personal life at any time. During my employment I had an organ removed. Their first question was for an estimated date that I was able to return. It was very clear they wanted to sack me as soon as I was sick. It made me feel like a criminal!
The hardest part of the job was dealing with the managers. I can fully appreciate the delegation of duty as it is a vital part of their role as a manager. However; they gave ALL their duties out to people who were not able to handle it so they could sit in the "Confidential Office" and pretend to be busy. As a result; everyone was too busy to help each other because they were doing jobs they weren't trained to do.
Unfortunately; the bad vastly outweighed the good. The staff who weren't in senior managerial roles were lovely. If you managed to find a manager who cared about your issues then you found yourself clinging to them as their they were a winning lottery ticket. The customers, especially the ex-retail staff and regular customers, were always friendly, chatty and very pleasant. However, a five minute chat with a customer, even if trying to make a sale, was met with a 25 minute 'informal' meeting about wasting company time.
Disclosure: The review above was my personal experiences at a single Tesco over a 3 year period of part time and full time employed on varying shift patterns with a range of responsibilities. I know several people at different stores who are very satisfied with their employers and enjoy work.
Advice: Learn your contract as though it were your death warrant. Join the union immediately and stand up for yourself. Tesco has such a high turnover of staff these days that until you prove you are there to stay they really won't care about you, your life or needs. – less