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 Feedback Requested: Lawrence Merchandising Services (CRS/Lawrence) (Stravina)
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2016 :  6:17:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey McBarb, I had the same thing happen to me. I forgot to report a job and the next morning all my jobs were gone. I called them and they went over the rules again, report same day, etc etc. After we went over the rules, they placed my jobs back on the site and I entered my 'late' job and then did my work for that day. It was a shocker but I am determined not to have that happen to me again!
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  10:16:09 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by AnnCamp

Does Lawrence ever give raises?



Ann,

I got a raise after working for LMS for 2 years . . . I started off earning $10 per hour . . . then 2 years later, they gave me a 3 cent raise! I was so overwhelmed with getting such a HUGE raise, I still have not found a way to spend that extra 3 cents per hour. :-(

Yet with the California government talking about raising the minimum wage in California up to $15 per hour by 2021, I wonder will LMS automatically pay us the California minimum wage once it goes over $10 per hour? Currently the California minimum wage is $9 per hour. Yet it will be interesting to see what the merchandising companies in California (as a whole) will do, in regards to what they will end up paying their merchandisers in California (at least), once our minimum wage goes over $10 per hour.

Since I started in the merchandising field here in California in 2010, it seems that most of the merchandising companies I found work at or seen their ads (from 2010 to present date), the norm is only $10 per hour . . . but it seems that a team lead or a supervisor of a reset team always gets paid more than $10 per hour . . . I guess due to them being a lead/having more responsibilities and or dealing with the stress of having to manage the merchandisers on a reset team.

Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  11:07:22 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MCBarb

I had 3 jobs on my schedule page for BHN. I did the jobs and went to report them the next day and they are gone. According to the DM, I have to call someone at Lmsvc to discuss the new policy for reporting late. I am not calling anyone except for the labor dept. I see why they have trouble keeping reps.



Good luck Barb. I remember them sending me that Late Report in 2014 and in 2015 (each and EVERY month) . . . so I got used to reporting my surveys by 11:59 PM each night, otherwise my surveys would be marked late EVEN if I reported my job less than 24 hours AFTER I did the job. Yet I found it VERY IRKSOME to keep getting that Late Report each month. Yet now that I have had to use the company issued tablet (GPS ankle monitor), I am now forced to report my jobs while at the store . . . which I have gotten used to. But I get highly frustrated when my Check-In and Check-Out feature do not always take on my tablet (which creates a monthly Check-In/Check-Out Report), due to the occasional poor WiFi connections I have to endure at times. It is not unusual for me to have to the front door of the store or out into the parking lot to get a good WiFi connection to complete my report on my company issued tablet (GPS ankle monitor). Since I know that LMS is tracking my every move with my tablet, I now ONLY complete my surveys while at the store . . . so that LMS CAN SEE that I was at the store AND see that I completed my survey(s) onsite. So I no longer do my surveys at home any longer.

Yet I think that new policy of sending off a representative job calls as Opportunities is a bunch of CRAP, just because a representative is late on reporting their survey.

While I am on the subject, a few things that I would like LMS to change is to STOP sending so much repetitive information and instructions each and every week in our Weekly Update emails. I feel if a representative does not learn from the first email they share the information they want us to know, then let the representative contact their Field Manager for help . . . instead of putting so much repetitive information and instructions each and every week in our Weekly Update emails (that we lose time over, since we ALREADY know this information that they have shared with us a week or two or three or four prior), that we have to read to ensure that we learn of NEW information and or any new instructions.

I also wish that LMS would discontinue their survey questions and statements of:

Did you sign into the vendor log book, specifically for Jewelry?

Did you sign into the vendor log book, specifically for Sunglasses?

Please share any extra projects the store asked you to do today that you were not able to complete.

What are guests reactions to the current Jewelry product on the sales floor? Please be sure to include details on programs if applicable.

What are guests reactions to the current Sunglasses product on the sales floor? Please be sure to include details on programs if applicable.

What are you hearing guests want in store that Target doesn't carry today?

What are you hearing guests want in store that Target doesn't carry today specific to Sunglasses?

I wish that LMS would stop asking these same old tiresome and boring questions in each survey. To me these questions are not necessary and unnecessarily slow down completing the survey, when they could get all of their answers by simply asking us these 2 statements that are ALREADY in the Jewelry and Sunglasses surveys:

Please share any comments you have regarding your Target Jewelry service today. / Please share any comments you have regarding your Target Sunglasses service today.

Now with that being said, it could just be just ME and I feel that LMS is wasting MY time and unnecessarily slowing me down when it comes to their Weekly Update emails and the information they are asking in their surveys. GRRRRR!!!







Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  11:23:12 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Big Sue

I've never worked for any merch or demo company where you didn't have to report your job/work the same day that you completed the work/did the job. So I am confused as to what the issue is. Does Lawrence normally let everyone report their work late? What is their policy regarding reporting? Did they provide that policy to their employees?



Sue, I have worked for various merchandising companies since 2010. Most of them stated that you had to report your work on the same day of service, whereas most ENCOURAGED their representatives to report their work the same day. Yet in most cases, I reported my work on the actual due date of the project (due to not having the time to report my field calls daily, due to the often per location lengthy survey those companies had us to complete. Though those companies encouraged us to complete our reports on the day of the service, but we were not penalized for not completing the reports on the same day of service. In most cases, if we did not complete our reports by the due date, that only meant that we would have to wait until the 2nd pay period to be paid . . . so it was not unusual for us representatives to wait until the due date to complete our reports, since often the due dates coincided with the pay period cutoff date. :-)

In regards to LMS, representatives have to report their work/complete their survey on the same day of service and by no later than 11:59 PM.

Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  2:18:55 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Does anyone know the LMS vacation policy?

I have been with LMS for over 3 years, and I was wondering does anyone know the vacation policy? I just looked in the LMS employee handbook, but all I could find were things pertaining to a leave of absence, medical leave, maternity leave, etc. . . . but I found nothing about employee vacation, nor could I find anything actually calling out how much time we have for vacation. Maybe I have overlooked it in the guide, however if anyone knows the vacation policy, please share. Up until now, I usually have only taken 4 days at a time off, but I was always able to complete my work around my weekly assigned work and take a few days off without having a need to tell my Regional Manager that I was on vacation for a few days. Yet this time, I was thinking about taking 1 or 2 full weeks off.

Thank you in advance for your help.


Nick
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Big Sue
Star Contributor

USA
781 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  5:40:20 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey Nick, as a part-time employee, you don't get any real vaca time that I am aware of from ANY merch or demo company. If you want to take time off, you just have to let them know, give them some decent notice so that they can have someone cover your jobs/stores. Only full time employees get/earn vaca time off with pay. Part time here in California anyways, you get bupkis.

Keep in mind though that the law changed for sick pay/time off last year. Now, even part-time employees in California are entitled to sick pay (sick days off with pay) which accrues in hours each year according to how much you work.

I would never be able to report jobs on their due date as that would add up to way over 8 hours in one day and whoever I did that for would have a fit. For every company I have ever worked for, it's report the same day that you did the job.
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BeverlyAnn
Star Contributor

USA
461 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  6:35:33 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
-------------------------------
Nick_S wrote:
"but it seems that a team lead or a supervisor of a reset team always gets paid more than $10 per hour . . . I guess due to them being a lead/having more responsibilities and or dealing with the stress of having to manage the merchandisers on a reset team."
-------------------------------

When I was working heavily as a merchandiser during doing cosmetic resets for 2 different companies, I did several of them as Team Leads, and was NEVER given any more per hour than the reps under me....so you can guess how long I offered to work as Team Lead!! Maybe it's different now...I basically retired in 2013, and now just only do very light and little merchandising.

BeverlyAnn
Silver Certified x6xbkn
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2016 :  7:30:15 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
To Nick S: I agree on the questions that should/could be eliminated. I believe LMS is charged by NI for each question in the surveys so it would be in their best financial interest to revamp the questions and eliminate those that don't give bang for their bucks. Regarding vacation, you should call and find out. I am guessing that they want a heads up to find coverage and that 4 weeks is the max. BTW We had someone here in Tucson who went on medical leave and they kept her store for her when she returned. Good for them.
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/20/2016 :  5:46:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you Big Sue, this is good to know. Now I will not feel too bad if I decided to ask for a second bit of time off later in the year. Yet I was aware that we (California workers) get sick pay/time off now . . . Yay!

Other than LMS, all of the other merchandising companies I have worked for never considered administration time as part of my payable work time . . . they only considered the time that I was actually at the store as payable time. That is one thing that I like about working for LMS, they also pay for administration time . . . whereas most other merchandising companies that I worked for, never technically paid me for administration time.

BeverlyAnn, what a bummer. Since I started as a Merchandiser in 2010, all of the ads I had seen thus far looking for a Supervisor or Team Lead, always paid a little more than $10 per hour. Yet since I live in California, I have never seen an ad here for a merchandising job that paid less than $10 per hour . . . yet from the many bad experiences I had working as a member of a reset team, I know that they could never pay me enough to be a Supervisor or Team Lead . . . I think 2014 was the last time I work with a reset team. Over a short time, I learned that I prefer to work alone.

Thanks Laura. Hopefully one day soon, LMS will stop with the repetitive information, and those lame & unnecessary questions. For sure, I will check with my DM regarding the time off I want. Going by the employee handbook, it seems like they will give a person medical leave and keep their job for them upon their return (as long as they follow the company procedure on how to take a medical leave).

Thanks Everyone!

Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2016 :  09:11:25 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just received my April directives (sunglasses, jewelry) in the mail, however I was shocked to see an Excell/Target/Shared/EOW Store Maintenance instructions with our normal monthly directives. Does this mean that it will become mandatory for us to service the Excell products at some near future date or is this optional?

Thus far, I have not seen anything formal from LMS stating that we would be required to service Excell products.

Nick
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Laura_In_Az
Star Contributor

Tucson, AZ
USA
307 Posts

Posted - 03/23/2016 :  6:48:18 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Nick you must be SPECIAL. I didn't get that supplement in my April mailing.
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 03/24/2016 :  7:30:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hello Laura,

I guess I am SPECIAL. LOL!!! I just hope that Excell service at my store does not become a mandatory job like the Fan Central calls, the sunglasses calls, and the former women’s Swimwear calls . . . which the women’s swimwear calls at my store was mandatory for me from spring 2014 until shortly after July 4th, 2014. As you know I HATE Excell calls with a passion. LOL!!! Due to the fact that my store is not set to the POG I am provided and the 2 Excell sections at more store are often a mess with way too much merchandise crammed on the pegs and shelves. This is one area of the store that I wish LMS would leave to the Excell company and not try to take this service/work from the current Excell representatives.

I think that it is great that LMS is giving everyone more opportunities, but I wish when it comes to doing work other than our weekly jewelry and sunglasses calls, I think LMS should put new long term projects out there as opportunities, that way any representative looking for additional long term work, has that opportunity to get it. Since I am in Los Angeles, it seems like most any opportunity offered to representatives in my area do not last too long in the opportunities section in our area in NI. So why not let people that do not mind doing a new long term call do them, rather than automatically assigning it to a representative at the store where the new long term call needs to be done.

Since I do work for other merchandising companies, I really do not want to have new added mandatory work (one time or long term) to my schedule without my not having any say so over it.

Nick
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2016 :  9:36:31 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I was wondering what do you merchandisers do to stay healthy in the workplace? I seem to always end up catching a cold about every 2 to 3 months, then when I am not catching a cold, I am maybe catching a mild flu about once or twice a year.

I figure with a regular volume of sick customers or customers sick children that come into the store on any given day, I am a walking magnet for all types of germs . . . so I know that is why I am getting sick on a regular basis. I know before I got into merchandising in 2010, I went from 2007 to 2009 and never had a cold or flu, never took a flu shot, was never sick a day in those 3 years. Then within about 1 1/2 months of being a merchandiser in 2010, BOOM!, I got sick. I don’t eat any differently than I did after I got into merchandising . . . but I am tired of getting sick.

Is there anything that you do personally to beef-up on your health to avoid getting sick, by being a merchandiser? Or do you take something on a daily or regular basis that seems to help you avoid getting a cold or a flu? I try never to touch my mouth or eyes or face while working in the stores, and I always wash my hands very good before I eat lunch . . . yet that does not seem to help.

Nick
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Big Sue
Star Contributor

USA
781 Posts

Posted - 04/12/2016 :  11:47:03 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The flu or colds are the least of my worries. I have literally destroyed my knees, hips, feet and back over the years from walking and standing on cement, heavy lifting, bending, climbing ladders, doing re-sets, hefting tons of heavy boxes full of POP that I am sent out to my car and into stores, driving thousands miles, building large/heavy displays, you name it. Every year it gets worse. I can't do half of what I used to be able to do and my joints hurt 24/7 now.
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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
452 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2016 :  4:26:19 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Big Sue: I'm in the same boat as you after 25 years of this work, plus I have an umbilical hernia along with everything else.
I have gotten to where I can only do light work or audits anymore. Can't stand for more then an hour without having to go seat down for 5 minutes. With all this I don't worry about catching a cold.

Sue A
Silver Certified
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Cathy O
Contributor

Richmond, MI
USA
79 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2016 :  04:49:36 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do take tons of natural products to help me stay healthy and haven't been sick or had a cold in over 2 years now. You're right Nick, we're exposed to a lot of sick people wandering around the stores and touching everything we need to handle.

Cathy
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Nick_S
Valued Contributor

Los Angeles, California
USA
166 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2016 :  12:20:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Thank you for sharing BigSue. For sure, having regular or ongoing or reoccurring body issues (that are all due to or partially due to the physical demands of our body to do our merchandising jobs), are far more serious than catching a regular cold or flu. Overall, my body is holding up well being 50+ years old, however my biggest physical problem is when I have to work any task or project where I have to bend down and have my hands 0" to 12" from the floor and know that I have to work that low for more than 30 seconds, puts a huge strain on my body . . . if I stoop down, it puts a strain on my back and feet, if I get on my knees, then it puts a huge strain on my knees . . . not to mention wearing the knees of my pants out about every 3 to 4 months.

Sue A, I too have been sticking to the more light work whenever possible (in this new year). So far this year, all of the merchandising work I have done, I never needed a ladder or special tools, and I have never had to lift a box over 10 lbs.

Thank you for sharing Kathy, for sure I am going to look into trying to take something on a daily or regular basis, as I am tired of always getting sick, which seems like way more than a person should be getting in a 12 month period of time.

Nick
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BeverlyAnn
Star Contributor

USA
461 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2016 :  2:16:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Nick_S,

I am a firm believer in supplements, and have always taken large amounts of Vit C each day...between 4000 & 5000 mg/day. Very, very seldom did I get sick.

I have semi-retired now, having gone through breast cancer, chemo, radiation, the whole bit back in 2013/2014. I still merchandise/mystery shop about 10 hours/month. Since I went through all that stuff, I began taking something called Reishi capsules. It works to boost your immune system. My sister, who is both an RN and Master Herbalist, recommended it to me. I've been taking it for 2 years now...narry a sniffle!! I'm amazed!! I buy it off iherb.com ....not expensive. The brand I buy is "Nature"s Way" Reishi capsules. Hope this helps! (I erroneously put the wrong brand in before...this is the correct brand...sorry!)

Edited to Add: when I was merchandising 30 hrs/wk, I ALWAYS kept hand sanitizer on hand and used it OFTEN!! We touch who knows WHAT in this business!!!

BeverlyAnn
Silver Certified x6xbkn
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Sue A
Star Contributor

USA
452 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2016 :  3:48:40 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Beverly ANN Thanks for posting about the herbal that you take. I'll have to ask my Dr. if I can take it. I have Spindle Cell Sarcoma cancer, since 2013.I was told at the time to quit taking any herbal supplements . I take a chemo. pill daily.

Sue A
Silver Certified
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BeverlyAnn
Star Contributor

USA
461 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2016 :  6:37:09 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hi Sue A,

I also take a cancer pill (Arimidex) daily. It makes my joints ache sometimes, but I feel better the more I move around. So when I DO merchandise, it's actually good for me, because I'm getting around. Hope you are doing well.

BeverlyAnn
Silver Certified x6xbkn
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