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Aldi Employment - FAQ

Why does Aldi Australia make their employees calculate all change for customers in their heads?
The immediate reason is Aldi’s cash registers are lower cost models and can’t calculate change.Image Credit: Matthew Poon, WA’s first Aldi storeThe philosophical reasons are Aldi’s approach to retail.Do you think our Retail Assistants have an easy job because they sit on the registers? Think again. Our Retail Assistants are the ultimate multi-taskers. Whether they’re racing to fill shelves or scanning through customers, our Retail Assistants can do everything and anything - so a strong work ethic and a positive attitude are an absolute must. We’re looking for self-motivated people with excellent communication skills who thrive in a fast-paced, customer-focused environment.As the face of ALDI, our Retail Assistants must remain friendly and polite especially when it’s the end of your shift or really busy. You’ll be on your feet for most of the day, racing from one task to another so it pays not only to be physically fit, but to really love to push yourself. While you’re working a million miles an hour, cash handling accuracy is a must, therefore a good grasp of basic mathematics is essential. Finally, due to the nature of fluctuating shifts, our Retail Assistants also need to be flexible and available to work any five days out of the week. —ALDI Careers - Retail AssistantAldi has a basic philosophy of maintaining comparatively low staff numbers, with engaged employees, who are aware of how the business works at all levels.They prefer to promote from within and see basic math skills as essential to operation of the business.Efficiency and streamlined operation sum up everything they do. Shelves aren’t hand stocked - products come “display ready” and are pallet-jacked into place.Employees are paid well above industry rates and expected to work long and productive hours in return.Everything they do is geared to reducing prices to the consumer.I once went to another franchise’s store where the employees were stunned that I could multiply three times eighty-five cents in my head. The store was poorly stocked, unclean and the attitude of the employees, though friendly was unprofessional. The staff were also underpaid. They didn’t care about the business.Even in supermarkets, for a business to run efficiently at lower overhead, higher level employee skills and engagement, plus rewards for performance are essential.Personally, I agree 100% with Aldi’s philosophy and have required no less from my employees, co-workers and teams in any of my businesses, no matter the industry type.
What is the greatest example of someone "living in a bubble" that you have ever seen?
I am embarrassed to say my own son. I grew up poor - public assistance poor. My husband grew up “comfortable”, our children have been raised somewhere between these two extremes, or so I thought.Sophomore year of high school my middle child, a son, was invited on a ski trip over a long weekend in February. His friend’s dad took three boys to their house in Colorado. When the invitation came I told my son that I would pay for his airfare and he would be responsible for his lift ticket. He is my child who saves all his money, works extra jobs when he can find them, and doesn’t have an extremely active social life. He was happy with the offer and capable of affording the lift ticket. Turns out the dad had booked private air travel for the trip, so I changed the deal with my son and paid half of his lift ticket and he was responsible for the other half, plus spending money. Not a bad life, huh? getting invited to fly on a private plane and ski in Colorado for a 4-day weekend.Two years later my son asked if we could reciprocate. My in-laws have a ski house as well, also in Colorado, although at a different resort than our friend. We invited 3 boys. I could not afford a private jet, so each boys• family had to book airfare and pay for lift ticket. We provided them a place to stay, and I went grocery shopping and stocked up the house for the week, and did the majority of the cooking. They are good boys and helped out with cleaning up, and if I needed any chopping or stirring, etc.All well and good - this is the bubble in which my kids have grown up. We live in a small house on the ‘poorer• side of a very nice town. In making plans with friends they never think, “can everybody afford to go to X,” they just make plans and everybody pays their way. Whether it is a day at a theme park, a dinner to celebrate somebody’s birthday, or a party bus for prom - the assumption is that there is no onerous burden for any of their classmates.Freshman year of college my son calls me to ask if he can use my in-law’s house again, this time to invite some of his new friends to ski. I paused. Back in college I was the kid who couldn’t go on spring break. I was the scholarship kid who worked 20+ hours a week in addition to a full course schedule. Over spring break I stayed on campus and worked extra shifts. I was often invited to things, but had to say no thank you as there was simply no room in my budget. So I asked my son, “are you sure your friends can afford to go to Colorado?” He responded that we were providing a free place to stay. I pointed out his friends would have to pay for airfare (much more expensive from where he was in school to Colorado than from Chicago to Colorado), and lift tickets, and food, which unless they are eating cereal and pizza for every meal is incredibly expensive at the resort. I looked into some options and showed him how he and 3 friends could go skiing in the northeast and transportation, lodging, lift tickets and food all together would be the price of a six-day lift ticket in Colorado and suggested he look into that option.
Why don’t employers want to pay a living wage?
Let’s run a quick thought experiment.Imagine your favourite kind of food. Mine is pizza. So while you read this next part, substitute “pizza” with whatever your favourite kind of food is.Imagine if tomorrow, all the pizza makers in the world decided that they feel their product is worth more than people have traditionally been willing to pay for it. Instead of $30 for a decent pizza with some extra toppings, they’re suddenly going to start charging double that: $60. This is so that the pizza makers can start earning a “living wage.”Can you really not see why that would be upsetting to me? If pizzas are going to double in price overnight, or even over a time span of 5 years, I can guarantee that I’m going to stop eating as much pizza. If the price doubles, I’m probably going to end up buying half as much, because my junk food budget is pretty rigid. Then again, that’d leave half my junk food evenings without any meals to fill them, so the more likely outcome is that I’ll switch over to my second-favourite junk food (let’s say burgers), one that hasn’t had its price increased so arbitrarily, and I’ll just make do with that. Maybe I’ll get pizza twice a year as a special treat, but no more than that.That’s exactly what happens with the proposition of a living wage, and it’s for pretty much the same reasons that some people don’t think it’s a great idea. Just suddenly declaring that a product (in this case, labour) should cost double what it’s been costing up until now (the infamous $15/hr demand) will force many businesses to make do with less labour (hello, automation!), or with cheaper labour (hello, outsourcing to Mexico and China!).The living wage argument is also based on the assumption that every job that exists is somehow worth enough of a wage for the person doing that job to live off. That’s not even close to being true. Who is going to pay Timmy to rake leaves and give him enough money to live comfortably off of it? Some jobs just aren’t worth a living wage. Some jobs have always been meant to be part-time affairs, or entry-level positions designed to provide part of the remuneration in the form of experience (which is crucial to newcomers fresh out of school). When you’re just starting out in the job market, experience is much more important to gain than money (learning how to take orders, how to be proactive, how to survive the corporate fishtank, how to handle customers, how to defer and when—there are hundreds of job-related skills that can’t really be taught in an academic setting, and have to be learned on the job, and I know because I spent 6 years studying and firmly believe I learned most of my job-related skills in that first 6 months of going to work and actually• you know, working.)The living wage argument doesn’t take experience into account, which is a big problem with it. It wants to make labour more expensive to purchase without bothering to increase the value of the labour being purchased, which is another big problem with it.Remember, it’s not that people don’t want those who work not to earn a living wage. If we could magically create more (inflation-free) money and ensure everybody had a living wage (along with sparkly ponies), I’m sure hardly anybody would object to that. It’s the paying for that living wage that’s the problem. Because that money doesn’t just materialise out of thin air. Someone has to pay for labourers to receive a living wage. And nobody wants to pick up the tab.These are some of the reasons why people don’t like the idea of a living wage. It’s arbitrary. Kinda like declaring that $30 pizzas should suddenly cost $60. You can’t do that and then fault people for going “WTF?”UPDATE 1Interesting comments so far, but they tend to focus immediately on the profitability of pizza specifically, which wasn’t really the point I was making. I was merely pointing to why people would be upset if a key expenditure of theirs (in my case, pizza; in Walmart’s case, labour) were to suddenly double in cost overnight by decree of the government. In my mind, that sufficiently explains why many people (businesses in particular) are not happy with the concept of a living wage.But the comments did raise another interesting and thoroughly flawed idea that I hear bandied about very often: The notion that if a business (let’s say a pizzeria) cannot afford to pay its employees a living wage, then that’s a signal that society does not really value the product it provides, and hence that business should, in a display of karmic justice, be demolished, since it does not deserve to thrive.This shows a stunning lack of consistency of thought. Such an argument wants to pay homage to the free market forces that must decide whether society values a business• product (i.e. they want free market forces to reign supreme on the output side of the equation), while at the same time wanting to prevent those same free market forces from operating on the input side of the equation!How convenient.If the free market (let’s say, for pizza) ought to be given the right to determine whether society values pizza enough to pay for it, then certainly the free market for labour (the employees working at the pizza place) should also be allowed to freely decide whether they want to work at the pizza place for whatever pay they want, whether that’s a living wage or not. (Experience over the last handful of decades has shown that employees of pizza places are more than willing to work for less than a living wage.)Either the market gets to decide freely on both sides of the equation, or it doesn’t. You can’t have it both ways to suit your narrative.UPDATE 2Okay, if one more person says I am actually comparing my ease of access to pizza with other people’s ease of making a living wage (and preferring the former at the cost of the latter) I might lose my mind!Please, guys. The pizza is just an EXAMPLE. It can be anything that one spends money on routinely. It can be gasoline. It can be health insurance. For crying out loud, I could have used INSULIN as an example. Come to think of it, maybe I should have.The point I am making is not “Muh pizza! nom nom nom”The point is “Just as I would hate vendors doubling the price of my pizza/gasoline/insulin overnight, businesses are hating the idea of doubling the cost of their labour overnight.” That is the point. I am trying to make it relatable to anybody reading this, so they can imagine how THEY would feel if something that they routinely spend money on suddenly doubles in price. Shame on me for thinking that loving pizza is a relatable trait. :/I repeat: It is not about the pizza. (And honestly, I’m a bit embarrassed for the general level of critical thinking skills in these here parts that I am having to point this out.)In fact, in the grand scheme of things, pizza is a luxury item with a very high elasticity of demand, so it was not the best example—my bad. For most businesses, labour has a very low elasticity of demand (until they can afford full-scale automation, anyway). So please, for the love of all that is sacred, stop focusing on the PIZZA specifically. In my original answer, replace “pizza” with “insulin” or “dooberry” or “product X” if that helps you make better sense of the underlying argument.
What are tenure-track jobs?
They are the vestige of a better time in academia.When I started in academia in the last millennium, most people who were adequately credentialed landed a tenure track job within two years of their career start. It was understood that most colleges and universities would eventually award or deny tenure to most of their new hires after a period of five to six years and that tenure would then mean a lifetime appointment.Once administrators won the shared governance wars in the eighties, new positions were just as likely to be offered as a three year contract with no extension types of deal. In the 21st century, the boldness of the cost cutters led to whole departments being replaced by untenured and untenurable credentialed scholars who were typically denied the dignity of an office, any benefits, or any assurance that they would be needed the next semester. In fact, the majority of new hires are now temporary adjuncts. They would find better pay and benefits working at Aldi.The idea of hiring administrators without benefits or offices has not caught on and likely never will. The day I meet my first adjunct academic admistrator will be the day after the rapture has occurred.My persistent son, who naively followed his father into academia, just began his first tenure-track position in Colorado after five years as an adjunct. He feels like he has won the lottery.
How can I start working in a retail store if I don't have any job experience?
Good news. Getting a job in retail takes about as much effort as tripping • and falling and/or on acid, which you must be on to want a job in retail. Few of the management positions under SM pay very well and nobody in retail (outside of Costco and some instances at Kohl’s) are treated very well. But if you are a masochist then you can start at the bottom and work your way up. In some cases, retailers recruit fresh university grads right into their assistant manager positions.In the US, there are two classes of workers. Non-exempt workers are generally (but not always) those that have to labor physically or technically for a living (janitors, nurses, factory assembly worker, programmer). The other classification is exempt employee. These are loosely leaders (but not low level supervisors) with the power to hire, reprimand and terminate employees, open/secure a facility (lookin• at you Aldi!) or who provide a highly niche or rare job that has the ability to catastrophically impact a business unit. Retail managers are the second class and are abused with such impunity that not one retailer escapes this fact, not even Costco. They're poorly compensated laborerers who can be expected to work 50–70 hours per week.Retail assistant managers are the employment equivalent of those catch basins in portable toilets that are set up at concerts or street festivals. Except the portable toilets are appreciated, retail assistant managers are not. Not by employees, customers and —despite the insipid rhetoric that corporate principles puke out of their lying mouths• not by their leaders either. It's the most life-and-joy-sapping job ever invented by human minds such that a three person panel of Torquemada, Mengele and Caracalla would pass out from a case of the vapors if the full details of a career manager were described to them.
What is the average annual salary in the UK if I hold an business management and marketing degree?
From Save the Student (numbers are up to date as of June 2016):Business and Management degrees can open up doors to some seriously well-paid careers in Accountancy or Investment Banking. You’ve also got options in Marketing, Media, HR and Retail Management.A first salary in Retail Management will likely be in the range of £12,000-£22,000, but some graduate training schemes pay handsomely for impressive candidates. Budget supermaket chain Aldi is a go-to for its grad scheme, which pays £42,000 in the first year. If that doesn’t quite do it for you, they’ll throw in a car, too!A career in HR will see you start on more like £25,000, while Marketers can expect anything between £18,000 and £32,000.
Why do so many teachers quit their jobs/change careers? What do they do instead?
Teaching, if you do it right, is hard, HARD work. It can consume you physically, emotionally, and mentally, especially if you work in a high needs district. With that being said, the people who leave the profession usually fall into the following categories:They found a better paying job, sometimes outside of the field, which often also includes less responsibilityThey learned early on that summers off don't mean squat when you don't get vacation time during the year, and you spend your summer preparing for the next yearThey burn outThey believe they can't make the difference they thought they couldThey get frustrated with those that make decisions (federal government, state government, local government, or district administration)So, what do they do instead? Chances are, they change professions entirely. The idealists find a job where they think they can make more of a difference. The realists find a better job that can support their family. The dissolusioned go back to school.If you've been in education long enough, you can become a consultant, helping educators around the country, making lots more money than they would otherwise.
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