What do you enjoy most about your meat cutter career?

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What do you enjoy most about being a meat cutter? What do you dislike the most? Is it challenging? Are there many opportunities to learn and advance?

What keeps you at your job?

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Ana in Asheville, North Carolina

86 months ago

What I like most about my job as a meat cutter isn't very glamorous: job security, pure and simple.

Every meat market I've ever worked in (that's 5 now) has been extremely understaffed. If you know what you're doing you can get a job. Because this is the sort of work a lot of people think is "gross," not everyone wants to do it, and so we as meat cutters are pretty well compensated to do it.

A problem I've run into, however, is being able to put your foot down with your employer. because meat cutters are hard to find we can get run ragged, working long hours. There's good money in overtime (with corporate markets), but I've watched a lot of guys get burned out really quickly. With the economy the way that it is, we ought to do everything we can to keep steady work like this.

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charles t in West Monroe, Louisiana

76 months ago

ive been working in the same company for 12 years and been in the market for 11.i went from a market clean up man to cutter in less than a year and within 3 years i made asst. market manager. ive had several shots at being market manager over the past 4 years but have either lost out to seniority or turned the job down.

what i love about my job is that i can be creative, have a good time with my crew and i love to see big weekly sales increases. in the past 5 years of working in my current store i have watched our market sales jump from 35-40k a week to 65k+ a week. i know that i have a lot to do with that gain and it makes me feel great.

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Kevin S. in Terre Haute, Indiana

64 months ago

Started when I was 17 at a small IGA. Worked for about 3 months around the store running cash registers, stocking shelves, stocking produce, and the like. Then one day my manager asked me where I would prefer to work, and I told him I would like to work back in the meat department. Started the first week wrapping, and traying then I was thrown on the band saw cutting strip steaks. In about a month I was cutting and grinding all of the variety we had. Which as you may know at a small IGA is basically assorted chops. We ran 99 cent ground beef and 99 cent assorted chops. So that has always been one of the things I've liked and disliked about meat cutting. I love cutting production, I love to cut a lot of it! However; cutting pallets of sirloin ends into assorted chops gets repetitive. When I turned 18 I became the night manager, and was incharge of the evening cutting, grinding, stocking, and clean-up of the meat shop. As well as, running a back-up register, counting down the office, store clean-up, filling the produce/dairy. All for $5.15 an hour.

As the store downsized due to the economy I searched for employment elsewhere, and landed a job at K-mart. Started with a meat manager (not a meat cutter), two meat cutters, and two lunchmeat/wrapper gals. Plus myself. So to me this was amazing to have so much help. Things were great for the first two months. Then the meat manager transfered out, one meat cutter got a job elsewhere, and the other cutter suffered a decline in health. Me being a greenhorn was overwhelmed because I had never had to do that much production with the experience I had. But I kept with it, and they hired on another meat manager. I was promoted to assistant manager, mainly because of my lack of experience did not warrant a promotion to manager. Nor did I want it. Finally near the end of my days at K-mart it was just him and I working 56 hours a week each. After the holiday though he was fired, and it was just me.

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Kevin S. in Terre Haute, Indiana

64 months ago

I began looking elsewhere once again. And landed a job at a large locally owned high-end grocery store where I am still at currently. We get fresh fish, only cut choice angus beef, and everything is geared toward the high-end market. I love it there. We have six cutters. Most have been meat managers before. There is a wealth of knowledge, and experience to be taken from there. I am proud though of what I am doing. Often times I am putting out more production, and better quality than guys who have been doing it for 20+ years. That makes me very proud. For being 21 years old, and having cut meat for 4 years now I feel like I've achieved a lot.

Pros
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Meat cutter occupation is always needing young blood.
Rewarding, personally
Pay is alright
Full-time
It is a job
Overtime

Cons
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Hardly any help most places you go
Pay is just alright

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