Pros: overtime, appreciation lunch, start job quickly.
Cons: environment, machinery / equipment, work schedule.
I'm writing this, not only from my perspective of what it's like to work at Freshway Foods, but also from other workers perspectives and opinions that I have heard or seen. I want this review to focus more on my first month, and what you should expect your first couple of days / weeks.
Being a young white male whose had experience in fast food and working on a farm, I was excited to see what the "work force" or factory work was all about, I applied to Freshway and not too long after that I was sure enough to get the job and start work very soon. One good asset of this business is that you will be sure to start not too long after orientation, maybe a couple days.
Expect to walk into a 34-38 degree factory that is very wet and noisy (depending on the area your in). Dress in layers, but if your used to the cold, or simply don't mind it, then it won't be a problem. The position they told me I was supposed to have during orientation quickly changed when I arrived for my first day. First I will say I was a "P Label-er" who worked in the "case out" area. My job was to operate a pallet lift, pick up skids, label them, operate a wrapping machine, and then drop the skids off in a certain area. I will start by saying that I was never really trained, nor did I ever get a license for any of the machinery I was operating. This isn't new with this company, many have worked here for years and do not obtain a license for anything there operating. I will say that my coworker "trained" me. As far as being professionally trained, don't expect your boss or managers to train you. Chances are, your – more... coworkers will help you along the way. Majority of the workers are Africans, the next would be either Caucasians or Mexicans. Majority of the minority's DO NOT speak English. Expect to work with people who have no clue what your are saying, and expect to not have a clue what they are saying.
As far as the machinery and the equipment you will operate. Expect to come into work knowing that at some part of the day, the machinery your operating will randomly break down and stop operating. You will see Maintenance out there every day constantly working and trying to fix something that they probably attempted to fix the previous day or week. I think it's safe to say the equipment you will handle will be outdated and will already have it's fair share of age.
As far as management goes, it all depends on who you get. For the most part, the managers aren't really "managers". I'd compare them to your average High School upperclassmen. They don't have much authority, there usually easy to get along with, but expect to get treated like a High School freshman, so to speak. Your manager's manager will rarely ever come into contact with you. If your failing at your job, expect your manager or your managers boss to walk pass you with no intention to help. Above him / her, are the people in the other part of the building. President, Vice President, Secretary, HR, etc... are all in the other part of the building not having a clue of what's really going on in the factory itself. Some of them seem clueless as to whats really going on, what needs to be done, or what needs fixed or worked on.
At Freshway, expect your work life to take over your personal life. Thankfully, I work 1st shift (If you applied, pray for 1st) which means 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. If you work 1st shift, depending on your position and area, expect to work until 7 PM, maybe even 10 or 11 PM. If you get 2nd shift, I'm sorry. Work starts at 4:30 PM, and you don't know when you get off. Expect to work until 4 AM or 5 AM the next morning. There is a "3rd shift" but really it's Sanitation. I have no clue as what this is like, or what there experiences are. The pros to this, is that you get plenty overtime. One 15 minute paid break, and then a 30 minute unpaid lunch.
Overall, this business is very unprofessional and has a lack of acknowledgement as to whats really going on within the factory. The environment is cold, wet, noisy, and very unsafe. The people vary, some are nice, grateful they have jobs, and happy to be apart of the company. Majority are very upset, stressed, tired, and angered as to whats going on with their day to day work life. People are constantly walking in and out of that business. Freshway seems to have a hard time keeping there workers satisfied and coming back for their second day. The company will try there best to appreciate you with their once a month "appreciation lunch", which is a free lunch for all the workers. I'd feel more appreciated if they fixed my equipment, and gave me an overall better work experience. The management is probably on par with the management at McDonald's, if not worse. Your personal life will go down the drain, and you will dedicate your day to day life standing in one place, cutting onions for 10-15 hours, or operate a vehicle or machine your not licensed on, or some other miscellaneous position.
Granted, I did experience what the workforce was all about and I got to meet some different people from different cultures and countries. They seem very happy to have jobs to support there families and personal needs. Coming into this job, I didn't expect this factory work to be a picture perfect job, but I didn't expect it to be like this. You'll know what I'm talking about when you start your first couple of days. Bottom line, if your looking for a full time job in a very "meh" environment with plenty of overtime, then come on down to Freshway. My only advice is to apply to other places first, and make this your last resort place.
Thanks for reading, good luck! :)
God Bless. – less