Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Day At Work

The first thing that you notice is the music. Spend more than three minutes inside of your local Menards, and I can guarantee that you will almost certainly question what you are listening to. Most stores will broadcast a light rock, or a country or a pop station, something that most guests (not customers, as I have been reminded several times) will agree on.
I think that whomever chose this particular station believed that they were choosing a generally agreeable station, but I'm not positive that the screening process went very far. The music spans the whole gamut of the late 1960's to the early parts of the new millenium offering country, lite rock, classic rock and songs that make me ask myself, "What the fuck is this?"
In a typical hour the works of such timeless artists as Eddie Money, the Backstreet Boys, George Strait and Carly Simon. That sample is very likely to be heard consecutively because the deejay or computer generated sequence has no idea what a genre is, or how a program could be divided into such rational segments.
The next thing that most customers gifted with eye sight will notice is the rainbow of dayglow colors that adorn almost anything with writing inside the building. From the radioactive green that hangs from the ceilings directing customers to different departments to the royal blue vests emblazoned with highlighter yellow "Menards" worn by all 'team-members.' Each sale is represented by a different color, which means that this week your retinas will burn from the orange sale signs currently posted but in two weeks a nice bright fuchsia could haunt your shopping experience. If your vision hasn't already been impaired by the obnoxious color on display in the store you may be lucky enough to visit during a time when the employees are allowed (by the gracious Menards t-shirt gods) to wear special tee's with the Menards NASCAR printed on it. If a NASCAR t-shirt isn't trashy enough, the car is a mineral-rich urine color bordered by royal blue and blaze orange.
Though most guests will be squinting until they get accustomed to the colors in the store they will be able to find absolutely anything that they could ever need for anything they would ever want to do in any application at Menards. Besides your typical home improvement supplies, all stores now carry such goods as DVD's, small food items (even many sizes of milk) and lawn darts. Why a home improvement store like Menards would carry such items is beyond my knowledge, I suppose it does make shopping easier for the DIYer with no time for other stores, however.
Of course there are parts of the store that are not immediately evident by the average customer such as the joke of a break room that is offered above the hardware section. The mezzanine features quality made plastic furniture that just barely wobbles when you sit on it for the comfort of the hard at work employees to enjoy. On the three bare walls there is a clock and a note reminding employees to clean up after themselves, because a television might suggest that employees should really take a break while on break.
Hand down the best part of the break room is the camaraderie shared by all employees who use it. Aside from the occasional cashier girl clique breaking together or a significant other bringing an employee lunch you can enjoy the company of no one while eating a meal or resting your feet. You may sit directly beside another employee, but after the customary greeting enjoy their silence while you watch the second tick away until you must return to the sales floor.
Of course, I wouldn't say that Menards is a terrible place to work, because it is not. The pay is especially not a bad thing, and you've got to pay the bills somehow. I will also give the company credit for finding managers who really give two shits about what they are doing. It's just part time, so what the hell, I can find ways to make it better I suppose.

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