Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Costco

Workers Reveal What It’s Really Like To Work At Costco


Is working at Costco really all it’s cracked
up to be? The only way to find out is from employees
themselves, and luckily, they’re not afraid to talk about their experiences. Here’s a look at what it’s really like to
work at Costco, straight from the people who know best. Working at Costco might seem like a simple
job, but employees tell a different story: apparently, it can be as exhausting as an
intense gym session. Rachael, a Costco employee in Colorado, told
Mental Floss that employees are the ones who do all the heavy-lifting. According to her: “When you see pallets stacked with 50-pound
bags of flour or sugar or dog food or cat litter, a lot of that stuff had to be stacked
by hand by employees before the store opens. Ditto for those giant stacks of shoes and
bottles of salsa or five-gallon jugs of cooking oil. It’s a lot of hard work.” Costco is a membership-based store, meaning
you have to pay an annual fee in order to get a card that allows you to shop there and
enjoy all of those discounted prices. Every customer is expected to show their membership
card to an employee before they walk through the doors. “Welcome to Costco. I love you.” However, that doesn’t mean customers are always
happy about doing it. One Costco employee explained on Reddit that
one of the hardest jobs there is working the entrance simply because of the people they
encounter. The employee said that customers tend to make
things harder for the card checkers by not showing their card, blocking the entrance
when taking out their card, or forgetting their card and trying to get in anyway. Another user explained that one of the most
common issues that comes up is people trying to shop there even if they aren’t members. Sorry folks, but that’s not how it works! Costco is known for having a terrific workplace
environment, but it’s not just the pay that makes it awesome. Employees enjoy lots of great benefits, and
plenty of perks on the job as well. One of the best has to be the fact that they’re
able to shop after hours. Kathleen, a Costco employee in Washington,
told Mental Floss: “You can shop after hours, and a lot of employees
do that. You just bring your cart to the front register.” Costco stores actually keep their member service
counter open after the store closes for exactly that reason. Oh, and you can’t forget about the fact that
employees have access to all of the wonderful free samples that make weekend Costco shopping
that much better — and you better believe they take advantage of them. One Reddit user who claimed to have worked
there for over seven years said they ate a lot of samples, and added a helpful tip to
non-employees: “The demo people are there every day but Saturday
and Sunday are the prime times to get free grub.” Another Reddit user who had worked at Costco
for over two years jokingly said that workers there called the samples the “Employee Buffet.” Every Costco has the same policy for customers
who are leaving the store: after you pay and as you are walking out, an employee checks
over your receipt and looks at the items in your cart. But have you ever wondered how they do it
so quickly? Apparently, they aren’t reading the entire
receipt. Thomas, an employee in California, told Mental
Floss: “We’re looking for items on the bottom of
the cart, big items like TVs or alcohol.” One Reddit user talked about it on a thread,
saying that employees count the number of things in your cart and see if it’s the same
number as on the receipts. They also said that they check for expensive
items: “Lots of people I knew just checked for the
expensive things and didn’t bother with anything else.” Another user said that they also look for
doubles, saying: “Most of what we find is actually errors with
scanning. Had someone accidentally key in the number
for a $1000 item instead of a bag of avocados once.” Costco employees are generally pretty happy,
but one very common complaint is that their technology seems to be very outdated across
the board. One employee said on Reddit: “Whoever is in charge of technological advancement
and taking the digital systems that run our entire company into the future needs to take
a step back and reevaluate what we’re doing.” Another employee complained about not being
able to look at their schedules or submit time off online and not having a tablet to
use to check inventory, adding: “Why do our computers and registers look like
they came from the ’80s? Why is everything done by paper and pencil? I get that this kind of stuff is expensive
to upkeep, and by not doing tech upgrades we keep our prices low, but it’s time to join
the rest of the world.” “Password entered.” It’s pretty common knowledge that, in most
stores, there’s more inventory in the back — all you have to do is ask an employee
to check for you. Well, at Costco, what you see is what they
have. One Costco employee told Reader’s Digest: “Costco is a ‘warehouse’ store in a literal
sense — we don’t have any additional storage from what you see on the shelves. If it’s not there, don’t ask us to check the
‘back.’ The ‘back’ doesn’t exist.” One employee said something similar on Reddit,
adding that if you notice the item is up on the pallets on the higher shelves, you can
try asking someone to get them down, but they may not. The employee said: “I’ve been told they don’t take down pallets
from the shelves because it would require driving the forklifts through all the customer
foot traffic, roping off the aisle and the one opposite for safety and would generally
cause too much hassle. If something is up high and there’s none on
the floor, just go back the next day for it.” “I didn’t really know we carried these.” “These? You guys got everything in here.” “Well, we sure do, is it working out for you?” If you’ve ever worried about how your food
is being handled at Costco, let this reassure you: employees say food safety is a really
big deal to them. Employee Rachael told Mental Floss: “If an employee forgets to remove their apron
before exiting the department, they must remove that apron, toss it into the hamper, and put
on a fresh apron because now it’s contaminated.” She also said that there are rules against
employees wearing nail polish near food prep, as it could chip and fall into the food. A Costco employee from Florida echoed the
same sentiment. They told Business Insider: “We are very strict on food quality and safety. We have safety walks every hour that audit
the temperatures of our food coolers and storage. Our famous rotisserie chickens are not allowed
to be sold after two hours of sitting in the warmer.” “I will buy you a Costco rotisserie chicken. … Sold!” Yes, the rumors are true: Working at Costco
really does mean terrific benefits, and employees can’t stop raving about them. Meghan, a former Costco employee, told Yahoo
News that there were more than great hourly wage and healthcare benefits. Meghan said: “While I was at Costco, they gave employees
complimentary memberships to the store.” One employee told Business Insider that they
got paid holidays, a generous 401(k) plan, and affordable healthcare that includes dental
and vision insurance. An employee with over seven years of experience
told Reddit users that employees get a free executive membership. Another random perk? One employee says they’re given a very special
gift for the start of the holiday season: “We get free turkeys for Thanksgiving. I didn’t even know that before I started working
there. It’s a nice perk.” We have to agree with that! Costco is known for their fantastic flexible
return policy, which comes with very few restrictions. But be wary of taking advantage of it… employees
say they’ll start to notice if you’re returning too many items. California employee Thomas told Mental Floss
they can tell just by the way you talk: “When someone comes in to return something
without a receipt and they go, ‘Oh, you can look it up on my account.’ that’s a tell. It tells me you return so much stuff that
you know what we can find on the computer.” Another employee with over two years of experience
there explained on Reddit that while they don’t flag people, they “can make comments
on your membership.” The employee said: “If a return was over $100 we had to call
a supervisor to sign off on it. If it was over $300 we had to call a manager. The supes and managers were so busy though
and got so tired of this rule that they literally only came down to sign the receipt. They would ask us ‘Do you think it’s okay?’
and if we said we were okay with it then they would sign it.” Most of the time, a trip to Costco means you’re
ready to stock up on enough food and supplies to last a few weeks. But sometimes, you go to just grab a few things
— and those times, you’ve probably thought it would be nice to have an express line to
go to. There’s a legit reason most stores don’t have
them, though. Costco employee Rachael told Mental Floss
that the supervisor in charge gets a head count of customers, so they always know how
many people are in the store and have an idea of when they’ll be checking out. They can then determine how many registers
should be open. They also don’t hesitate to pull employees
from other departments to help out with lines. There are plenty of great things about working
at Costco, but make no mistake, it isn’t a walk in the park — employees work hard for
those benefits. Aside from the physical labor, many employees
say they find the job to be pretty stressful. An anonymous employee wrote on Quora, “Costco is an incredibly stressful place to
work and you are required as full time to work for 40 hours a week, generally during
the most inconvenient times and often on weekends and evenings, giving you very little time
away from work.” Another employee echoed that sentiment: “If you do night cleanup or morning stocking
you will be under very tight deadlines to get your work done on time and you will often
face situations where you are screwed no matter what you do. It can be very stressful and takes a certain
mental fortitude. I could only do it for six years before I
burned out and had to move on.” Even if the job is stressful, most employees
say the job is still well worth it. One employee from Arizona told Business Insider: “I legitimately love my job.” An employee who worked for the company for
over two years told Reddit: “The company really does strive to treat their
employees fairly… It’s actually nearly impossible for them to
fire you if you’ve been there for a few years.” However according to one employee on Reddit,
the best thing about working there is simple: “The fact that everything is done properly. There is a real emphasis on doing things the
right way rather than the fastest or cheapest. It’s a real testament to the quality of this
company.” Or to put it another way: “It’s fun, everybody knows everybody, they
talk about values, and they have good snacks.” “Sounds like a place we both know and love.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
stuff are coming soon. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the
bell so you don’t miss a single one.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

100 Comments

  1. I worked at Costco and the benefits are great. However, some of the jobs are VERY LABORIOUS. I've worked in the Deli/Rotisserie department. Morning staff was in the deli that ran 5 staff. Rotisserie only consist of 1 person. It was incredibly difficult. Food court isn't any easier. Also, the employees can be rude themselves and management! The favoritism can be very real!

  2. Lmao I deliver bread 🍞 to Costco and yeah man they put in work I tell you.. they bustin ass because they gotta have them doors open before 9 so it’s a hassle trying to get in and out of their

  3. Customers become assholes because of that MORONIC receipt/cart checking dick dance at the end. The fuck is that all about??

  4. You don`t actually have to show your card. You can`t check out unless you have it anyway so we just let you in, and there`s too many people to bother stopping every single person who doesn`t show the card or forgot it. Been working there for 3 years.

  5. I worked there for many years. Overall, it was a great place to work with good pay and benefits. I will say that most everything is based on seniority, but management only followed that when it benefited them.

  6. Don’t become an overnight stocker and you’ll be ok, I hated working as an overnight owl, the pressure they put on you gets insane, and the customers are Rude as hell and look for any reason to complain. I quit abruptly after 3 months, sucked for me. The supervisors where evil only good thing was the coworkers. In Westbury in New York, sucked

  7. Job security is the best part about costco. Once you've made it past your 90 day probation period you're basically set. To get fired you would have to be late countless times or do something really dumb. They literally can't fire you just cuz they don't want you no more. And once you've been there 5 years they have to get corporate approval to fire you no matter the reason

  8. The reality is people are willing to work at Costco is because of the benefit but the job itself sucks ass because it is pure hard labor.

  9. Who says one has to love their job? Costco gives their employees great benefits including 401 savings plan. Work should not be your life. That is what families and friends are for. Stop complaining:(

  10. If only other retail stores/chains would use Costco's business model. Many employees of other retail businesses can only dream of working hours, schedules, and benefits Costco employees have. As a customer, I am delighted with the service I have been getting since 2013 when I became a member.

  11. Working at costco might be the shitiest job on earth. Go to college and you won't have to do this push carts, smash boxes and destroy your body.

  12. Retail sucks. I worked retail for 15 years. Its very hard work. With small crews. Big dept making 100k a week.work on small 4 person crews.which is beyond small. 4 full time workers can not run a dept that big. 2 midnight workers. U need a manager in the day time.and it leaves 40 hours thats it.

  13. That’s not completely true. They really only look at your receipt so they can put that mark (yellow or green) so the customer doesn’t try to come back to the store and use the same receipt again. They are just covering their asses from thrift or shoplifters.

  14. Update the system and have members scan there card before they can ring up any food proof your a remember😜 like BJ's does. I would get mad if I got checked before I came into. It's foolproof if you don't have your membership card you can't buy anything at the register and you can also renew automatically at the register if your card is about to expire.

  15. I shop less at Costco because, unlike Sam's Club, they don't have "Scan & Go." So if I don't go first thing in the morning when the store opens, I'm not going because of the lines. With Scan & Go, I can shop anytime, scan my stuff, pay via the app and leave without waiting in line.

  16. It's really annoying to have my membership checked at the entrance. They scan your card at the checkout so what's the point of being inconvenienced at the entrance? Non members won't be able to buy items. Just have store employees put the stuff in the abandoned carts back on the shelves and make the members happy.

  17. WRONG in multiple things. They DO HAVE MERCH IN BACK AND IN FREEZERS . IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOUR SAYING CHECK YOUR FACTS.

  18. I work at Costco… do they expect you to work hard? Yes… of course they do… I also get paid very well for someone who only has a high school education with no skills.. Costco treats me very well and I’m dam grateful to Costco for giving me a job…. Thank god for Costco… hope to work there for many years to come!

  19. I LOVE Costco, I been a Member since they opened the store here in the mid Nineties and most of the employees their have been there since they opened. The quality of what they sell is really good and I'm there a lot because I only live a mile and a half from there. That store is always crowded even weekdays, it's the only Costco in a county with a population of over 500,000 people and they were smart enough to build it along the main east/west highway very close to a very busy tourist area.

  20. Apparently the folks at Mashed have been fooled all this time into thinking that … in a Warehouse setting… 50lb bags of merchandise…. somehow… magically .. stack themselves. (who knew?) This is an ill-informed, stupid hit piece.

  21. Why should have to show your card…you can’t buy anything without it. Just ticks people off. I don’t have time to get my wallet out of my purse, get the card out of my wallet, put the card back in my wallet, then the wallet back in my purse just bc someone thinks I’m going to shop there without a card. Not possible…you have to have a card to buy anything. My nearest Costco is 40 – 45 mins away. If I can’t get an item when I’m there, I’m not coming back the next day. That’s why I shop at BJ’s club and Sams club. Keep your turkey, give me the money. Even with a gift certificate for the turkey. Bj’s has wonderful customer service. Can’t beat it!

  22. Great place to work if you're a highschool graduate with no skills and no clue. Nobody in this place has any education, not even managers. Its essentially a big warehouse run by kids that would be in the military or become lifetime cashiers. I worked here as a seasonal employee and for sure can see the allure for Americas young and less fortunate. Go to college and avoid this ridiculous place. Trust
    me…..

  23. I am sorry to hear that such a wonderful company is falling a bit behind on technology. You can't afford to do that these days and i hope Costco will improve on this

  24. 1:11. Alas. Yet another Costco video which can't be shown (apparently) without Louie Anderson showing up in drag as a fat, ugly woman. 🤨

  25. Costco is a great company because of the people that work for it make it feel like a second home. Only down side is member can be so rude to you because they know they can get away with it. Especially if you're in the food court.

  26. "Employees have to do all the heavy lifting" Ummm as opposed to??? holy whiny fucks. You know how many people would change the hardest job as a front door person. Holy McFucking whining.

  27. years ago i watched a video comparing costco vs sams club about the employees, and costco was union and sams club non union. the benefits and higher pay made them happy and they would stay working there longer, which meant they knew more about the products.

  28. I go to the North Las Vegas Costco, you would think that Costco would have a lot more stuff doing Christmas time but this big box store has pretty much nothing on the shelves doing year long.

  29. that common knowledge about having stuff in the back in most stores? nah guys, that is almost always bs. the only things usually kept in the back are new stuff that havent been set out yet or overstock of stuff that is already on the shelves. its a common misconception to think that all retails have stuff just laying in the back room. the back room isnt even usually that big once you have items to return to vendor or when trucks come in with new stuff.

    probably tech stores would have to have stuff in the back cause of security reasons.

  30. I really miss Costco for whatever reason they refuse to build one here the closet is over 300 kms away. Whenever my dad comes to town he brings me a haul however.

  31. The only problem with shopping at Costco is most of the shoppers don't take the time to think how their selfish actions effect others.
    They have no real game plan as to what they are there to buy. They browse around aimlessly.
    They push their cart slowly down the center of an isle and just stop to check their phone or look around blocking the flow as if they are the only customer in the store.
    Some shoppers take their kids as young as 4 years old and let them run around, getting in the way of other shoppers, which is very unsafe for the kids and irritating for the shoppers.
    Some shoppers come in there just for the free samples and that really screws things up. Costco needs to get rid of those annoying sample carts that slow everything down.
    One thing that really riles me is they will take a cart to the return line, even if the item they are returning can be held in one hand. This makes the return line 3 times as long as it really is.
    Costco needs some rules about all these things that make the experience bad for everyone.

  32. I worked underground in some of the deepest and most dangerous mines in Canada, and in one place 11 people died in my time there, so don’t go on about how hard it is to to work at a grocery store , there’s probably a high rate of PSTD.working at Costco, BABIES!

  33. i'd put in a application but….. i didnt go to college 🙁 waaaaa edit: i was being sarcastic. it seems companys only hire younger people with no health problems or blonde bomb tit show sticking outwards. or you need some sort of training so you can load a pallet orpush a cart. yeah its a sick world we live in

  34. costco is just a typical giant retailer… work work work the staff weird hours and want everything done at warp speed.. been there done that over a 50 year career in retail/wholesale.. trust me, these bigass retailers don't really give a shit about you as an individual, only what profit you can give to them.. once you become old or can't contribute 110%, you are put out to pasture, they have ways to make you want to quit… lol

  35. I wish Costco would get an app like Sam’s club. It’s the scan and go app. I only use Sam’s because it’s close to my house. I love Costco please come out an app

  36. Costco at least pays their employees well, Sam's Club in the other hand works their employees just as hard but doesn't pay nearly as well…

  37. I interviewed with this girl at Cost-Co. She was hateful, and acted as though it should be "my pleasure" to be interviewing with her. Then with her snotty attitude, she said that I would have to clean the toilets and bathroom. She said "EVERYBODY" cleans the toilets!. Therefore, I will NEVER buy any pre-cooked food from Cost-co. Their cooks clean the TOILETS. GROSS………

  38. Costco is awesome. Workers are happy, so are customers. Prices are great, and quality of merchandise is too. If you don't show card at entrance, they don't sweat it, you cannot check out without a card. Return policy is awesome, you can buy with confidence. Showing your receipt on the way out is no big deal. Once outside, if you are hungry, stop at the food court and buy a huge hot dog and a bottomless soda for $1.50, or a giant slice for $2.50. Not your thing? They have ceaser salads and pulled pork too. Costco is American capitalism at it's finest. God bless America.

  39. 1. They aren’t that cheap
    2 they will rip u off on products
    3 their membership is bullshit sams club is way better and have better prices
    4 their meat is way over priced

  40. That shopping after hours thing is really a gray area… At the most it's more like 15 minutes after the members completely leave the warehouse. It has to be done at a specific register, because almost all of the tills are dropped after all the members have left.

  41. I worked at Costco I loved it and yes manual labor is apart of the job DUH! Ive watched so many people quit because they said it was tough work, what did they think it was going to be like!? I honestly wish i would have stayed but i was young and thought i was being over worked but now i wish i had such a great job cause my current job SUCKS!

  42. Love the actors ! The worst thing about Costco is the nonsense when you a leaving. After fighting for a parking spot and dodging grocery carts nobody wants to wait in a huge line to show some tool your bill. There has be be a better system !

  43. costco sucks and is expensive theres no savings at all ,they lie, I recently joined bc I moved, BJs is a million times better but they aren't in the state, im canceling when membership yr runs out and am going to try sams club

  44. way over priced ,no saving at all and the selection of everything is abysmal, if you have a BJs go there instead, its so much better !!!!!!!!

  45. Ever wonder why Costco sells fewer and fewer items in HUGE BULK? Women workers were COMPLAINING that the items were too heavy. Great BENEFITS????? In Canada they start at ENTRY LEVEL, SHITTY HOURS and UNLESS YOU HAVE a relative working there, forget about moving up the ladder.

  46. My wife got laid off and applied to several places, including Costco. She got a job at a doctors office. A couple weeks later, Costco called her back. She said, “Thanks, but I already found a job.” I was so pissed…….

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