Where do I even start?
The job ITSELF I cannot have many complaints about. It is an absolute honour to do this line of work - not many people can say that they have the opportunity to have such a positive effect on people at their most terrible of times but here you do. For that I couldn't rate the industry highly enough. For every one of the families that I have met I sincerely hope that I eased your pain, even if just a little.
Then there's the co-op.
First of all you might think that you have some kind of job security, what with it being the largest funeral company in the country (and still growing). Technically this MAY be true, but my oh my you're going to have to do some soul searching for that to be the case.
Take this for example: In my line of work it is expected of us to bring deceased into our care, clean them, perform minor surgery on them to make them presentable, dress them, place them in coffins, transport them (regardless of their weight) and carry them on funerals in all seasons. This is fine, this is what I wanted to do. However we were on just over £25,000 annual salary, only to be told in June that 'due to company restructuring' we would have to reapply for our jobs or other jobs that may be available, served with a side salad of 'there will be redundancies' . Oh, and the reward for keeping our job? A £7,000 pay cut to our annual salary. For less work? No, the same work.
So let me ask you this, what value do you think a company puts on us
Customer Service Representative | Rosyth | 13 Apr 2016
Terrible work experience, experience...
I started work experience at the Co-operative Food in Rosyth on 11/04/16 and appeared 20 minutes earlier than my 9am start in order to give them the opportunity to get me prepared to begin my work experience. I was happy to have finally got work experience in the type of workplace I was hoping to get a job in.
So the work at a food retail store is pretty simplistic and easy and involves replenishing stock on the shelves, freezers and more. I found this pretty simple to do and when stock wasn't available I would move them to the front so the products are more easily accessible.
I'm quite a shy person initially and had colleagues comment on how quiet I am and realised how judging the staff at this Co-op can be about customers, making rude comments about their appearance or smell if it wasn't up to their own hygiene standards. Overall the rest of the staff seemed friendly though and I got the hang of it quite fast.
The only problem that started to surface is that I was told by a colleague that she needed to move the Aunt Bessie's frozen foods to near the checkouts freezer with the clearance label tag, but she tells me not to stuff it completely full. So I do this and try fit as much as possible in this little freezer which usually consists of ice lollies. I got less than half of them in due to the lack of space and go back with the rest into the stock room as there is nowhere else to put it. To my surprise later that day the manager working at that time claims to the
ProsWork Experience to put on your CV
ConsNo pay for work experience, Expected to know everything, easily disposable.
Work at Co-op for 5 years. Please think carefully before working here.
Granted most branches differ probably from one end of the country to another and it’s mostly the staff that cause problems, but majority that I dealt with in my time at Coop, all had similar complaints which makes me question Coop’s policies and integrity.
Very small hour contracts even though majority of the time you will work well over but don’t get use to it because when work is slow they won’t think twice about dropping you back down to bare minimum. Don’t bother asking for more hours on your contract because you will hit every excuse going and often get “well you knew this when you signed your contract at X hours”. I worked between 25- 50 hours every week for almost all my time there so when I requested every few months for my 10 hour contract to be put up e.g 20 hours (not unreasonable, right?) as it gave me a little financial security, still nothing.
I was proven member who picked up on call shifts when others were ill, simply wanted the night off or no staff etc. At one point I was on call every night weeks and still came into work the next day when staff were ill/annual leave/or kept leaving the business otherwise I truly believe funerals would of suffered. Surely a valued member such as myself could get some little reward for being there in times of strife? No.
You will get shipped all over your region to help branches, which I beg to understand how funeral homes can be so disorganised that t
If your like me who has worked in retail a long time and happens to be very intelligent then the CO-OP probably won't be any good for you. My manager is lazy, my assistant manager is lazy and worse still slow but the best part is that he gets paid 50% more than me for doing A LOT less work.
Don't expect to get any training whatsoever but do expect to be nagged at, threatened with disiplinary action and advised to step down from your team leader role due to THEIR inability to train staff as well as their inability to do any work themselves.
What they enforce that you do is work deliveries and pile excess on top of excess. The company keeps about £80k worth of stock in their warehouses even though deliveries are almost every other day. Working excess and keeping things tidy and organised are impossible but expect to get nagged at about that too because lifting a finger themselves might be too much work.
Delivery days are stupid also. Sunday the busiest day due to large stores closing at 4pm causes us to be busy constantly but they also think you should be able to deal with a 8-12 cage ambient delivery. Every Tuesday is some sort of promotional change over, chilled one week, ambient another week and beer, wine and spirits another but expect to work delivery as well.
On top of this they want you to do pointless gap scans to ensure stock is not off sale. They don't understand that by having minimal excess would make gap scans obsolete because working all the excess wou
ConsManagement, Deliveries, Excess, Gap Scans, Everything
My typical day at work includes opening the shop, categorising the newspapers into correct sections to enter the inserts. Then I would take the temperatures on each fridge/chiller and take note of it on an audit sheet with the time taken. I would then file the news pro ( A recycling of the old newspapers/ Magazines) making sure we have received each supplement and that what is being sent back is correct. Only when this is done will I then start to take out of date stock off the shelves(if it hasn't been done already) and begin to put the fresh stock out. This means that we are then ready to open the doors for customers where I can greet customers at the door, help them with there precise and particular shopping needs, answering any and all questions within my knowledge, all the meanwhile serving them what they require in a timely manner. After 4 hours i would go on a 15 minute break, which can be disturbed if the shops bell goes off. I would have to go out to the shop floor and help out in anyway i can using my knowledge of the store.On the occasion i didn't know myself then telling them where they could get the answers they need. At mid day i would begin to date check the stock and lower any stock needed via the date on the item in question (today's date being 50% and tomorrows being 10%). In some cases stock which we do not send back i would put on the till and usually manage to sell all of it by the end of the day by telling customers about the product and selling it to t
Customer Service Representative | North West | 25 Nov 2018
Must Read * Honest Customer Team Member Review*
As a customer team member, a typical day may include stood at a till, refreshing the store or replenishing stock. Having been there for three years, I have found that management don't care that CTM's are plonked on a till for up to 9 hour shifts. I understand that the job does involve customer service using a till, but a 9 hour stretch on a till all day constantly saying "hi would you like a bag, do you have a membership card - (if not, trying to sell one).., that will be £9.47. Would you like your receipt? Ok thanks bye" is mentally draining. Oh and not to forget that you are stood up for that amount of time. This has caused me a painful foot problem (a certain condition that is common amongst nurses).
Being at the Co Op, I didn't learn anything that I didn't already know. If it involves packing a bag, and maybe opening boxes and stacking shelves then maybe I did learn a bit.... It is an easy job in itself so it is great if that is what you want to do / don't want to progress further in your career. I find management don't come to you to support you in moving up within the co op, you have to push to them.
Speaking about the shop I am in, management can have good and bad days with you, and organisation wise - some managers more than others are organised and you can rely on them. Speaking honest truth, managers I have worked with can be unprofessional at times with the amount of "banter" that goes on. How can you respect your managers if they don't respect you.
ProsNice people. Organised managers.
ConsLong hours stood up, no breaks, affect mental health, lack of empathy
Review is required? Unsure how honest I should be so I've gone no holds barred.
Tedious, unsatisfying and dull.
The job was monotonous. Every shift the exact same thing. I only worked mostly 3 and a half hour shifts except on weekends but they felt like days dragging on and on.
Initially, management was easy to get along with, the line manager was fun, engaging and easy to get along with until he got transferred, and when he did all the fun of working was sapped from the place. A new line manager was appointed. A guy who hated the place even more than I did, being "over worked for 7 years" as he put it.
The co-workers were great, although there was a sort of semi-divide between the warehouse staff and the checkout staff imposed by the store manager. In defiance of this we would all publicly stand and chat right under his cameras because we knew he would sit there and watch it back at some point and the meager possibility that it would annoy him even in the slightest was enough to get us through the shift.
A typical day would include putting out products on shelves, loading up more products and breaking down boxes to be recycled until the last hour or so when I'd go around every product and make sure it was facing the right way and aligned parallel to the edge of the shelf. This was dubbed 'The Face Off'.
To begin with I'd have to ask where I was to go because I had no idea where anything was so there was a small amount of fun to be had trying to guess which isle a certain thing was to be placed. Once I get the hang of it I began to load
ProsGot a bonus for being part of the "Co-Operative".
ConsD*ckhead manager, boring uninspiring tasks, no progression.
Working for the cooperative as a assistant manager things you need to know.
You have to sit an exam/test. Which is built up of different scenarios. Most of which are relatively easy. As they will allow you at least 3 months work experince before sitting the exam/test. You also have to do a walk-round with another store manager in another store. Stating how you would inprove that store.
It is very fast paced, now fast paced is almost a cliche in retail however the coop is true to its word. You never have time to stand around. If you are standing around you wont have a good store.
When you are duty manager on shift you are likely to have 2 colleagues if you are lucky. Most of the time they will be serving on the tills, therefore you are completing all other tasks on your own and there is alot of tasks. Date rotation, price reductions, stock replenishment, price checks or sel checks as the coop refer to it as. SEL (shelf edge lable) and lots off other tasks.
The coop i worked at received deliverys every day. As the assistant manager your are responsible for the accurate replenishment off all stock that arrives at store.
You are usualy asked to stay behind and help due to part time staffing and low deployment rates.
One of the good things are you can negotiate your annual salary. The more experince and hardwork you put in you will usually receive a wage increase. I starting on £18,500 it then went up to £24,500. However that was in 2011 so they may have changed pol
ProsGood discounts, good promotions on other products such as t.v's and other electrical equipment
ConsLong hours, little staff, huge work loads
Customer Service Representative | Wye | 20 Jul 2017
Recommended as a lightweight part-time job
I've been working for the Co-op for just shy of a year now, and I would never recommend for others to take up the same mantle. Remember how your parents would tell you that if you didn't study in school, you would end up stocking shelves in a supermarket? Well I believe that for this role, it applies.
Firstly, the work to life balance and Job advancement and security (I am including these 2 together because they go hand in hand somewhat); You are expected to work with very little notice, and to be fully, 100% flexible with your availability to work, so having a car or living nearby are basically must haves. The hours are approximately 6am to 11pm on a busy night, so this means that in order to progress to the role of team leader or manager, you basically have to sell your soul to the company, for lack of a better term. It's almost impossible to keep a social life if you are trying for the role of a manager, they all put on a smile, but behind it is nothing but pain and regret. Expect to be called in for up to 13-14 hour shifts if people call in sick, work early shifts directly after late ones, or be asked to change your plans at last minute, all for a meager increase in pay. If you aren't prepared to do this, you wont ever be able to become a manager.
The salary is as expected from a store, it increases after your probational period has finished. The increase of pay between manager and team member is very meager, and leaves a lot of people wondering if it's worth it at
ProsCompetitive wages, fully equipped kitchen
ConsPoor Team atmosphere, poor management, poor personal considerations, poor lifestyle support
Will destroy you physically, mentally, and emotionally
I've worked for Coop as a manager for 8 years and recently left as it's gone from an amazing place to work to a shambles of a company that I'm embarrassed to work for. The people in head office quite clearly despise the store staff (unless you've just moved in from Tesco with all your mates)
So they cut hours out of stores, and cut hours, and cut hours. No matter what new plan is put in place, cut hours out of stores, let them pay for it. New membership card launch!! Hey here's an idea. Cut store hours by 20% and let the store staff pay for that in sweat and tears. Managers are only working 60 hours a week while getting paid for 39. If we cut the hours even more the assistant managers and team leaders could be doing the same, just to keep their heads above water. It's normal for people to work 12 hour shifts with no break and go home in tears, right?? To spend their nights wide awake with stress about all the extra tasks and tasks and tasks piled on and less and less staff to actually do it??
-paying staff out of your own pocket to work a shift as you're physically and mentally broken and the work isn't done
-not making minimum wage per hour worked when you add up all the unpaid time
-culture of put up and shut up
-culture of bullying and belittling
-ever increasing level of tasks piled on
-when one of your team asks 'why have they got money to waste on new uniforms and days out but won't put enough staff in
ProsGenuinely none, sorry.
ConsThe job and the company.
Questions and answers about Co-op Group
Why did you leave your job at Co-op Group?
Asked 21 Mar 2017
Smokers get more breaks as and when they need a cigarette
Answered 8 Nov 2021
Being constantly given the late shifts you have no social life is life in general. Management choose to do all the early shifts but don't do any work, just enough to fill a shelf gap and leave the numerous cages to you and cut back on the staffing
Answered 25 Oct 2021
What would you suggest Co-op Group management do to prevent others from leaving?
Asked 21 Mar 2017
There needs to be more respect and thought about when people work and how colleagues treat each other. When new people start, everyone's hours get cut a significant amount, this is horrific and needs to change! People need to be able to afford bills.
Answered 17 May 2022
Management need to start showing respect for the workers on the floor. Looking at numbers on a computer screen means nothing in the welfare of its employees.
Some treat it as a numbers factory not for the products that go out to the stores.
Answered 2 Oct 2021
What questions did they ask during your interview at Co-op Group?
Asked 28 Mar 2017
A lot of it is now down to desperation as the warehouses are short staffed due to people leaving due to poor management the whole system of working ethics needs an overhaul as its working ethics are outdated and need bringing into the 21st Century.
Answered 13 Oct 2021
As the person before me mentioned they ask behavioural questions. I tried to remember as many as I could as best as I could but the following are the kind of questions they’ll ask. (Please remember these are paraphrased.)
I presume every Co-op would ask the same questions as they had a specific co-op interview sheet printed off.
• Tell me about yourself and why you would like to work at Co-op?
• Tell me what you did in the last couple of years? (They wanted me to include work, education plus any interesting extracurricular achievements)
• Tell me a about a challenging situation, how you handled it and what was the outcome? A conflict where you had to stand up for yourself or someone else.
• Tell me a situation where you were successful.
• Tell me about a situation where you were part of a team and helped out a team member.
• Tell me about a transformational situation where you shown excellent skills.
• Tell me about a great achievement either from school a club or previous work.
• Your availability. Do you have another job or education etc.?
• Any holidays booked in the next 6 months?
They then told me that there’s a 13 week trial period once you begin working there after which you have a behavioural meeting with the manager.
They also ask your sizes for uniform beforehand, so if you get the job they can order them.
Hope this helps.
Answered 17 Jun 2021
How should you prepare for an interview at Co-op Group?
Asked 8 Apr 2017
For all face-to-face interviews you will receive an interview preparation pack, we'd advice you to read through this pack in detail. Drawing upon your skills and experiences, research the business, and just be yourself.
Answered 2 Jul 2020
What do you need to know about the bakering job
Answered 27 Nov 2019
How are the working hours at Co-op Group?
Asked 24 Mar 2017
The hours are random. Random days and times. Half 2 til 6, 4 til 10 at night, 6 til 10am, anything in-between 🤷🏻♀️
Answered 17 May 2022
On call is not on call any more. Pushed to do full working days when on call and end up working 12 consecutive days and they wonder why people are tired and demoralised.