Business Insider- Whole Foods has a new inventory-management system aimed at making stores more efficient and cutting down on food waste. And employees say the retailer’s method of ensuring compliance is crushing morale.
The new system, called order-to-shelf, or OTS, has a strict set of procedures for purchasing, displaying, and storing products on store shelves and in back rooms. To make sure stores comply, Whole Foods relies on “scorecards” that evaluate everything from the accuracy of signage to the proper recording of theft, or “shrink.”
Some employees, who walk through stores with managers to ensure compliance, describe the system as onerous and stress-inducing. Conversations with 27 current and recently departed Whole Foods workers, including cashiers and corporate employees – some of whom have been with the company for nearly two decades – say the system is seen by many as punitive.
“I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory, and when regional leadership is going to come in and see one thing wrong, and fail the team,” a supervisor at a West Coast Whole Foods said. “The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.”
Booooohoooooo!! Whole Foods enacted some employee accountability measures and all the workers are crying in despair. How dare they prevent them from stealing $20 bags of brown rice? Gone are the days when you could sneak a couple bottles of olive oil in your pants and everyone would look the other way. From here on out, we’re running a tight ship at Whole Foods, and it comes from the top. Don’t fuck with this guy!
Really, I don’t understand how Whole Foods employees are upset about this. Did they think they were working at Trader Joe’s, the friendliest place on earth? A place where young people with dreams of becoming architects let their dreams die because they’re so happy to scan items for their customers? No, folks. It’s Whole Foods. Where happiness and your retirement fund slip away like the tide.
Having said that, seeing someone cry at work is extremely uncomfortable. You ever see that shit? It’s like hey, get your shit together Maggie. Go to the bathroom and weep in private like a true professional. Do you know how many times I’ve almost cried at work over the last year? Instead, I threaten to bomb the office or pack up all my belongings and walk out like I’m quitting. It’s much less uncomfortable for my coworkers, who appreciate my professionalism and resiliency, as I always return.
Having said all that, the grind-it-yourself honey roasted peanut butter at Whole Foods is nothing short of a miracle. I’ll eat it with a spoon on lonely nights, leaning over the sink with the lights off at 8PM. It tastes a lot better than it feels.