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Employee Review of Barnes and Noble - Check out more reviews of working at Barnes and Noble

3.3Rating Details
Category
Pay2
Respect4
Benefits4
Job Security2
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth2
Location5
Co-Workers5
Work Environment4

From Virginia — 03/11/2010

Good: I'm lucky enough that the overwhelming majority of my co-workers are decent, hard working individuals. Everyone's in college or already has Bachelor's degree or more - most are fairly intelligent (not that this job requires a lot) and basically getting screwed by the poor job market. Many have families. We are offered health insurance/benefits. Several managers are personable and just as willing to praise something good as reprimand something bad. You do meet interesting people from everywhere. The cafe discount is pretty good. Your schedule can be flexible but you have to be very clear, very soon with the mgmt about your availability.

Bad: We do, of course have That One Manager who's oblivious to anything actually happening on the sales floor; agrees to/OK's things (such as assignments or schedule changes), then denies having even discussed the topic with anyone, even when there were witnesses to the affirmation; and out right scoffs at absolutely legitimate frustrations/concerns of the booksellers. And you have the 1 or 2 customers who are rude and obnoxious and pay sucks but it's retail - I'm sure you already knew that. I said before that many fellow booksellers have families - there's no way they could support themselves and 2 or 3 kids without some form of public assistance. No one talks about it out of politeness, but come on. Assignments are given out, but you may not have any time actually scheduled into you shift to go to that section, much less complete the work. There are pretty much no opportunities for advancement. Willingness to take on more responsibility is not a way to get a better position, it only means That One Manager will come to you first to get a job done, in spite of the fact that you already have 4 other assignments and the Customer Service desk to operate and you are still getting paid a sucky wage like everyone else who's doing 1 job. There is no commission with Membership sales. Two years of service - .25 more per hour. Won't spend it all in one place, I promise.

Conclusion: BN is a good place to work if you are in school - which means you have an Exit Strategy. It's a decent place to be if you're riding out the crappy job market - again, you have an Exit Strategy. However, if you're a grown adult with obligations like a child and rent/bills/debts etc. this is not a place that will allow you to take care of them. With the direction the company is headed, BN cannot possibly expect booksellers, even leads, to look at their job as a way to make a living.
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