Patchy experience for wine merchants
Wine Merchant (Former Employee) – Sudbury, ON – 21 December 2018
Actual job role was enjoyable. Many friendly regular customers. Employees learn a lot about wine and how to help a customer choose from different varieties. New employees receive a selection of free wines to teach them the flavour profiles of different varieties, and new products often get a free issue bottle as well. Dress code is flexible (most business casual clothing, several colours permitted). Giving out samples is a big part of the job, and drawing in passers-by with friendly patter and an offered sample can be a lot of fun for outgoing personality types.
However, expectations of the employee are completely different depending on which manager or executive happens to be in the store. Aggressive upselling is sometimes expected ($30 bottle when the customer asks for a $10 bottle). Company claims to respect workers' rights and mental health, but asking for any health-related accommodation results in scorn and reduced shifts. Some managers are fair and personable, but abusive managers are allowed to do as they please, even after formal HR reports are made against them. And getting enough hours to live on is difficult, with the company's recent pressure on managers to avoid giving shifts longer than 4 hours.
I'd recommend the job as a casual part-time position for building a resume, or if you're personally interested in learning about wine. Just be prepared to learn several sets of rules and switch depending on which higher-ups are present, and don't expect any bad apples to actually be dealt with.
Free bottles of wine, real education about wine
Erratic job expectations, limited respect for workers' health and rights