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Working at Borders Bookstore — Reviews by Employees

Learn what employees have to say about Borders Bookstore pay, work/life balance, care potential, job security, and much more by reading our anonymous employee reviews.

Reviews of Jobs at Borders Bookstore

3.4Rating Details
Category
Pay4
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth3
Location4
Co-Workers3
Work Environment5

From Kansas — 11/13/2009

Worked for the company a few years back as seasonal help. Since this was my second job at the moment, I didn't really have too high expectations. Was surprised I even got the job, I know nothing of books. Stupid Twilight readers and the multitude of questions asked was more frustrating than dealing with management. Store manager was distant and sat in the back sitting on her backside. Other than doing merchandise resets, she basically just gossiped and stood at the customer service desk standing there. The registers were prehistoric. Coupons and deals confusing. Company more concerned with Borders reward program than actual transaction counts or PnL. No wonder the company will dissolve with such dismal corporate support. Pay- Well for retail. Respect- None. Benefits- Adoption program is a rare perk. Job security- None. Could be out of a job any day. After the holiday season, hours were cut to three hours a week. Work/life- No problem at all. Career- As long as you got on the sups good sides, not a problem. Location- Commercial, not in an urban environment like other Borders/Walden stores. Competence- Some people just coasted along. Don't even bother calling for register back-up, if your on the register, one-two people on the floor disappear and the manager/supervisor is more concerned talking on the phone in the back. Work Environment- For retail it isn't bad.
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3.1Rating Details
Category
Pay2
Respect3
Benefits3
Job Security3
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth3
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Houston,TX — 04/21/2009

I have a great GM, Operations Manager and Supervisor. Unfortunatly, that's where most of the great stops. The lack of respect for emoyees at store level is very obvious. Every store was required to layoff several supervisors, and add extra burden to the store level managers. GM's and managers are told "we know it's impossible, but you still have to follow everything we assign to you." Since I started working there, the halt on raises has been placed, and floor employees have a minimal chance of becoming full-time.There is a distinct separation of attitude towards floor employees between the stores and the corporate offices. Overall, working here is a mild hell from corporate and customers, with consolation found in the friendship from fellow employees and respect from supervisors and managers.
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3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay2
Respect3
Benefits1
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth2
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment4

From Los Gatos — 01/27/2009

PAY: meh. i worked there for a year and a half and FINALLY got a $.50 raise after a YEAR. I would ask for another one, but i dont think thats possible because 1.) the economy is bad and 2.) we keep on losing and getting new managers so I don't ever have a chance to even get to know the store managers before they leave their job/get fired.
RESPECT: some of the managers are cool, some arent. most are really awesome though. its in los gatos so a lot of the customers are rich and rude. i dont find it toooooo difficult to deal with, it just makes for a minor annoyance and a funny story later
BENEFITS: nil for part time and i hear they just cut benefits for full time
JOB SECURITY: you have to screw up big time to get fired. that is, unless you are management, in which case, they will fire you for sneezing.
WORK/LIFE BALANCE: I go to school and so do the majority of the people who work there and somehow they are able to get it all straight. Ive never had a problem with my schedule or getting time off when i needed it.
CAREER POTENTIAL/GROWTH: its pretty easy to become a supervisor here, but it seems like they are ALWAYS quitting/getting fired/getting demoted. apparently they are underpaid and way overworked, from what i've heard, so i've never bothered.
LOCATION: there are borders everywhere, my only complaint is that its sometimes near impossible to park. It can take up to AN HOUR just to park your car to get to work. not borders fault though.
CO-WORKER COMPETENCE: everyone is pretty cool, so if one person doesnt know something, there will probablky be someone there more than happy to help them out. the managers can be a bit clueless (because they are ALWAYS new), but a lot of people have been there for a long time and they DO know what they are doing
ENVIRONMENT: fun, laid back for the most part. especially awesome if you are into books.
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3.2Rating Details
Category
Pay5
Respect4
Benefits3
Job Security1
Work/Life Balance3
Career Growth1
Location4
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Ann Arbor, Michigan — 11/30/2008

I worked at Borders Corp. headquarters in Ann Arbor and it's not any better than working in the field. Since the arrival of George Jones there have been three major lay-offs within the building and multiple smaller lay-offs. Due to the financial mess the company is currently in the employees at corporate have to keep all unnessary lights off (really? who determines if we need the light or not), we have to print doubled sided, empty our own trash cans and dress based on the weather because the heating and cooling has been adjusted to save $$. We had to consolidate all office supplies and have to request staples or a new pen. All the benefits and fun aspects of working at Borders are gone. Add to that they also stopped matching our 401k. I jumped ship when they fired a large portion of my department and expected the rest of us to pick up the slack, it was an impossible task, they cut the department too deeply. For anyone considering working at Borders or at the corp. offices I say, keep looking, don't take the job because I will bet any money they will file for bankruptcy when the 4th quarter ends in Jan. 2009.
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4.2Rating Details
Category
Pay2
Respect5
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From Murray, Utah — 03/07/2008

I'll agree with everyone; the pay is terrible. I started at $6.25 / hr as a cashier. (I was legally required to get some job; any job.) Thankfully my wife works for the Post Office, or we'd be living on the street.

Now the good stuff. I'm lucky enough to work at a store where the management team from the GM on down are all laid-back, competent helpful people who actually WANT to help their employees. Yes, they want you to work, but come on- it's retail, folks. I know I've heard horror stories from other stores, but like I said, I'm lucky.

Work/Life balance? I work full-time, but when I asked to change my schedule so I could have the same days off my wife had, my GM agreed right away; said she really believed in making sure my family time was available. Result: happy wife, more satisfied employee.

You get all the respect you deserve; the few employees that we have (had) who were total idiots were given many chances; most weren't bright enough to understand what 'work' actually meant, and either quit, or let go. Anyone willing to do their job is treated very well. I was Inventory supervisor over the holidays; that was a bit of a nightmare, but I got as much help as was available. When I had to recently step down due to health concerns, management really were very supportive.

My coworkers overall are very competent; many have been there for years, and really know their stuff. The new hires from the holidays who've been retained are really worth it; heck, a couple of them are even better than me. *grin*

Finally, because of all this, my work environment is great; the best place I've ever worked. No, I'm not a suck-up; but I've been around long enough to really appreciate competence when I see it; especially in my boss. I've worked every position in the store, from cashier to cafe to supervisor, and I still love working there. I'm sorry that all the stores aren't this nice; I understand bad bosses, and that does suck extremely.

Good luck, everyone. May you all find jobs you love.
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4.1Rating Details
Category
Pay1
Respect4
Benefits5
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Location5
Co-Workers4
Work Environment5

From Boston, MA — 06/07/2007

I worked for Borders for 7 years. Obviously I liked it, but everyone is right, the pay is terrible. I think people have romantic notions of working in a bookstore and forget that it is a retail business like any other. I loved the benefits though. The insurance was great (as opposed to the crap I have now), you get to check out books like a library, and you get promo books and cd's. Most of the people who worked at both of the locations I worked at were very intelligent people with some quirkiness to add to the mix. We hung out in and out of work.

As for the work. I started out as a bookseller and worked my way up to Operations Manager. There are good and bad employees, good and bad managers and I have seen my share of both. It is hard work, with the company constantly added new rules to anger and frustrate their hardworking, underpaid employees. However, for someone who loves books and movies...the bad was greatly outweighed by the good.
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3.9Rating Details
Category
Pay1
Respect5
Benefits2
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance5
Career Growth4
Location4
Co-Workers5
Work Environment5

From West Lebanon, NH — 02/16/2007

The pay was terrible ($6.75 an hour, full time), but the overall work environment was excellent. There was a good connection between the booksellers and management, the dress code was casual...they encouraged us to be ourselves. It was clear that we were valued there. However, once the insurance kicked in, my take home was only about $100 a week...not enough to live on, so I moved on to working for myself instead.
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