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I Have an Interview!

Hello all! I was just invited to an interview at my local BN this wednesday. Im a litle nervous and was wondering if anyone could offer up some advice? The position I'm being considered for is a cafe server, but I would really enjoy eventually becoming a bookseller! I would appreciate any help you have to offer! Thank you! :)


New scheduling tool

Just wondering if anyone's store has started using the new scheduling tool? Has it been better or worse than manager's doing the scheduling? Is it good for flexible schedules or limited availability? We have a couple employees(myself included) who only work 1 or 2 days a week, does it allow us to keep our original availability?

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

After watching Cersei's GOT walk of shame on Sunday, I got to thinking: Wouldn't it be nice if LJ had its own rebirth of sorts, and returned to exploring productive ideas on how Barnes & Noble might rebound in the current business climate? Way back when I started posting here, I made the following predictions on how BN might stay viable:

1. Comfy chairs & couches, making the bookstore a destination to relax, read, and have coffee.
2. Expanded Cafe service, including a better menu, and wine bars at certain locations.
3. Smaller on-site book selections, focused on fast-moving titles.
4. In-house POD machines, allowing immediate printing - rather than ordering.

Now, who wants to guess why I'm bringing this up again?
Hey everyone! I hope someone can help me out with this. I know that my store manager printed out my first employee discount barcode, but that one expired and I figured it's time to print a new one so I can get my usual coffee after a shift. I can't seem to figure where I'm supposed to go to print of my barcode though. Can anyone help me out with this? A shift manager told me I had to do it on my home computer and go to bninside, but I just didn't understand. Thanks!

My Last Entry Is Worth Repeating

The BN FB page has almost 7,000 followers...and its posts often discuss workplace issues that impact "quality" employees. The tough stuff is addressed, but the overwhelming attitude involves keeping our company alive. Even in difficult times, everyone maintains a positive attitude. Perhaps there's a reason that BNFB is so successful, while BNLJ caters to nothing but spiderwebs.

Quick show of (anonymous) hands: who is left here?

Ya'all haven't posted anything new since October 14.' and its been over a YEAR since anyone posted a solid community topic - aside from myself, of course.

Seriously, folks - just like North Koreans who swim to China to escape the regime - why are you still here? Come to the light! Come join us on the BNFB page. Post whatever you like. Even ole' Smithback has had two public topics deleted (by the MODs) because the forum found my commentary offensive. But everyone is welcome, you anti-corporate shits especially. You just have to be prepared to defend yourselves...and to have the balls to put up with the heat, and to defend yourselves when the overwhelming outcry challenges you.

BNFB is reality.
BNLJ is not.


(Again, I'm replying because this comment "dinged" my email.)

All of the intelligent BNLJ commenters have joined the BN FB page last year. On BNFB, we post without anonymity, and engage in intelligent discussions - even if they're anti-corporate. BNFB is realistic, funny, and topical...unlike the venom spewed by BNLJ. BNFB has thousands of followers...unlike the handful of BNLJ, who gave up on this company years ago.

Yes, I understand that BN is struggling to survive in a difficult retail environment, and yes I totally get that we've had some trouble with Nook. But no one is perfect - family, job, or otherwise - and as this company's surviving employees, it's OUR responsibility to keep things running.

Yes, I'm a little ashamed that my realistic comments took down this blog. But I'm NOT ashamed that BN supporters joined the FB page by the thousands. Please, booksellers...stop the hateful, anonymous comments...and join the chorus of FB posters who genuinely believe in our company.. Join us, share your concerns on FB, and build a mature history on your resume - whether you stay with BN, or move elsewhere.

Seriously ... It will do you some GOOD.

Seriously...It Will Do You Some Good!

Well, it seems that this is the end of BNLJ - now little more than a ghost of a room.  We went from a silly, innocent, and admittedly boring place to post bookstore stories to a hateful bitch-fest that had nothing positive to say about anything - especially the company that cut our paychecks.  Many of you cursed my presence/participation - but you failed to acknowlege that I've been here from early on, posting topics that really meant a damn - and encouraging responses from booksellers with a work ethic.  If you've followed "Smithback" posts, you'll remember that my very first topics appeared in the last two years of the Borders forum.  They were funny pieces, meant to acknowledge/ressure those Borders booksellers who fought the good fight til the end.  My BN in particular delivered coffee & donuts to our fellow Borders on its last day.  It was sad for them and sad for us.  We all knew that bookstores were in trouble.

BNLJ went through many different changes through the years.  At first we were a mix of happy booksellers and anti-corporate folk, but over time the happy ones joined the FaceBook page - leaving the ignorant masses to take over BNLJ.  The result was what you can see right now: so much complaining that readers bailed faster than viewers as MSNBC.  This past year in particular - a year plagued by such gut-wrenchingly-immature posts as "Worries," "Dress Code," "Cafe Woes," and "Have You Read the Privacy Policy" - have succeded in slamming BNLJ into the ground, like an episode of National Geographic's Air Crash Investigation.  I guess it's kind of like how MySpace was overcome by FaceBook: the better forum crushed the lesser one.  It all comes down to quality, people...and how what we wrote was a reflection of our characters.  No employer wants to hire/keep an employee who unloads LJ tyrades without thinking.  I hope you've all learned your lesson, and that you're now enjoying new jobs in gas stations that smell like hot dogs, cigarettes, and AXE.  Not the life I'd want for myself, but hey...I'm just Smithback - the apple-polisher.  I'm just an out of touch, middle-aged man who loves BN - and who's planned for his future.  Enjoy your parent's basements.  I, myself, have built a nice blaze in my fireplace...where - thanks to my experience at BN - my third novel will soon be added to the wooden mantle.

Anyway, it's cold outside - and I want to have a glass of wine before bed, before I get up for tomorrow's Discovery Friday shift.  I wish you all the best, and I'll send happy thoughts to each and every one of you - all three remaining - while I'm at work tomorrow.  If you do join another BN forum, I encourage you to remember all the things I've said to you over the last few years.  Be strong, people!  Be mature and productive contributers to whatever job you end up working.

And like they said before the Borders blog folded, always remember just what happened here.

Seriously...it will do you some good :)


OK, you wanted a new post, and hi, I am new to this community. I am not a new bookseller, though. I rode two Borders stores down, one on the first cut, got transferred, and the second on the close.

It worked out well for me. I saw Borders failing early enough on to get my MFA, so I had teaching positions. I will tell you something. Finshing me BA, my first MA, my MFA, and even teaching, I always said, "I'll quit the bookseller before Xmas." I never have. Even when I didn't need the money.

Well now my wife has encouraged me to move cross country, and she is starting a Law Practice, so I had to give up a position. So where do I go? The bookstore.

I'm worried about digital. In my store there aren't hours for someone to plug it, we are ceding it to Amazon. We are ceding a lot to Amazon. And I am seeing some things Borders did. Starting to cut the midlist, buying more copies of bestsellers than we need as they know we can flip them later as bargain books. These are tricks, they aren't good bookselling.

But Amazon is the enemy. I will say, back in the day, Borders was really awesome, and you guys sucked. We were the reader's bookstore, we had great backlist on the shelves, and an 80/20 ratio of fulltime to part on the goodside.

I'm happy to work for B&N, I just say, keep an out. Amazon has never made a profit. How many times to you hear, oh, we will just buy it from Amazon?

My store, Borders, that I adored, when we were closing, the first thing the reclimation company made us do, was close the restrooms, because they didn't want to pay for custodial. We put a sign up, "NO RESTROOMS TRY AMAZON"

Best, Friends
Hey, minions.  I just signed on to BNLJ tonight to read some of the many hateful comments you've all left within my last post.

But I'm admittedly shocked: has no one posted a new discussion in the forum?

No complaints about the new Samsung Nook?
No complaints about
The Day the Crayons Quit, or the earlier Get Pop Cultured?

Jesus, people...where are my antoginists?  You've all been so VOCAL about my opionions regarding BN's direction...but you've had nothing to say for the past month?  Seriously?  Not a snark, a snip, or a general bitch about where Barnes and Noble is going?  Have you all moved to the BN Facebook page where you have to make yourselves known before you spew an anti-BN diatribe?  I'm genuinely disappointed.  I thought I could always count on my anti-BN, entitlement-demanding coworkers.  At the very least, some of you have been great to jump-start a discussion.

But that being said, I don't mean to sound snotty...but are you BNLJ folks finally getting behind your employer?  If yes, I'm delighted!  We ALL have an opportunity to support BN and keep the brick & mortar stores in business!  BN rocks (though I hope we increase our pay scale), and it's because of each and every one of you that our company pushes forward, and makes those changes that keep us viable in the future.

I'm genuinely proud of BNLJ tonight :)

I'm genuinely proud of each and every one of you!

BN's Future

Two years ago, I predicted that BN would embrace POD machines - and alas, that prediction came true.  My other predictions - media departments, wine bars/expanded Cafe service, comfy chairs/couches - have not come to fruition yet, but I believe they are within BN's future - and that we'll see them shortly.

Despite all the negative shit in this forum, what GOOD things have you seen?  Solid merchandising incentives (like "Pop Culture)?  Better ePlanner directives?  Better ideas?

I'll admit when I've been wrong, and I was a supporter of Lynch's Nook Study/University push.  But that didn't work out as we'd hoped, and I regret the $$$ wasted - and the backtracking/redirection BN has gone through because of Lynch's ideas.  (I can't help but think how that money might have been better spent for store improvements, payroll dollars, and increasing employees' salaries.)  But I appreciate our new direction - faults and all - to become a stronger company in the years to come.  And I believe that the Samsung Galaxy Nook (an outsourcing project that BN should have done years ago) will help us solidify our place within the book selling marketplace.