Between Ramadan and resignation letters, Whole Foods has been having a pretty craptastic summer. Through it all, we’ve envisioned Trader Joe himself, resplendent in his Hawaiian shirt, laughing and stroking what is in our imagination a very large mustache. And today we imagine him chortling even more, because of one of his employees has gone on The Huffington Post to attest that not only is the grocery chain a pretty great place to work, it apparently beats the hell out of Whole Foods.
Writing in this week’s edition of HuffPo’s Food Informants series, a Trader Joe employee going by the name of Jane details her weekly tasks. With the exception of the year she spent working for Whole Foods, which “she did not like,” Jane has been with the company since 2007. Why? Because “they pay me well and offer great benefits. They also respect me as an employee and make me feel like I’m useful and needed and not just another part-time employee that can be replaced (which has been the case at other retail jobs I’ve had).” Cough.
The job, of course, has its downsides, including back and muscle strain and assholes “who feel the need to be condescending to me because I work at a grocery store.” But there’s no accusations of Trader Joe’s being a “faux hippy Wal-Mart” or its “core values” being “complete and utter bullshit.” So, not so bad!
Also, it turns out that the practice of wearing a lei and asking customers if they need help finding anything is called “helmsing.” Being forced to wear a lei and interact with strangers doesn’t sound particularly gratifying, but where employment at large and ostensibly progressive grocery-store chains is concerned, it could be a lot worse.