Fast paced environment with diverse expectations.
Pros: Pays for online college courses
Cons: Mediocre pay, lack of hours.
Over the last 4 years working for the Beer Store I have come to see many pros and cons. First of all for all those who wonder I'll clear the air since it is always the first question I get. No, there is no free beer or employee discount. There are other perks however that come with the job.
For starters most positions that are with The Beer Store are part time. Full time jobs do exist, however there are people in our seniority group that have been there for over 8 years and still can not land one of these highly sought after positions. The pay rate starts at minimum wage however this is a very common with most larger companies for whatever excuse they can pull out of a hat that day.
With that being said there are a lot of bright sides to The Beer Store. The work place is a unionized environment which allows it to come with a few perks. Over time it is possible to work up from minimum wage up to upwards around almost 18$ an hour, which in retail isn't bad. The largest perk of all is the online courses sponsored in collaboration through the union, UFCW and Mohawk College. Presently it offers courses to complete a certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, Basic Computing Skills, Health and Fitness, and Labour Relations. (These may have changed as I know the union is looking into other partnerships with other educational institutes).
As far as day to day tasks, everybody is trained on using the till, sorting empties (which is by far the least glorious job of all), using the electric transporter and lift truck, opening and closing the store, and receiving money – more... orders from Brinks. As workers gain more seniority, there are greater expectations of them.
For the most part management at the Beer Store has been pretty good. In my time with the company I have gone through 4 managers and only had a serious issue with one which was cleared up. I do believe the company does well to pick good individuals for management however I do understand there is a high turnover rate. This is often due to lower then expected pay in comparison to other management positions and the idea that the position would be a "desk job".
One of the hardest parts of my job is how monotonous the work becomes. Most days when you greet a customer, you will get a response like, "Blue, or Bush Light". Although most regulars at the Beer Store have not been much for conversation from as much as I could pull from them, some others have been useful for networking.
One of my favorite parts of this job that I will take away from it is how much you get to learn about beer itself, the brewing process and increasingly with the company reinvention, food pairing. As a person who appreciates beer with flavor and character it has done wonders for opening up the world of beer. So much in fact that I have begun my own home brewing.
All things considered the Beer Store does provide a decent part time job (or a for now job as I call it). It is not a position that will pay your bills. You will absolutely need to juggle a second job on the side. But a person can do worse, and given our present economic climate it is not a bad place to be. – less