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Waaaaaay back in 1987, my Business Teacher told me (and the rest of our class), "The world is changing.  The jobs that your parents had don't exist anymore.  Be prepared to change careers at least three times in your lives."  I took that advice to heart, and I still consider it every day - especially with my job at B&N.  But so few people in this forum seem to feel the same way.  Why is that?  Please forgive me, but many people seem "entitled" to a job.

You know, I really do "get" the anger...the grumbling that an employer isn't doing all they can to keep the doors open.  But really, the venom? The entitled bitching about a company that's doing all it can to stay viable within the modern market?  I'm a Bookseller.  ALL of you are Booksellers.  What is the fuckin' deal, people?  Why are so many of you such entitled jerks?  Did you never take a "Business 101" class?  Did you never separate yourselves from your parental teet...?

Seriously...I really want to know.  And while we're on the subject, did anyone's parents ever teach them how to write a resume?  To behave in an interview?  To dress in a starched shirt & pants, rather than a hooka-scented hoodie?  Cough, cough...(sorry).  This forum is scented with gimmie-gimmie-gimmie entitlement.  (Tapping my computer's microphone)...Is anyone sober enough to be an adult?

Forget Barnes & Noble.  How do any of you expect to survive the real world?


( 47 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 18th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
This is America. We have the freedom to bitch about our jobs.

This is my fourth real job, and my parents weren't able to teach me anything about resumes because they worked in factories.

You get hired at B&N by filling out an online form. The shit that is in the employment books we sell is not relevant the modern world.

Write a book about how awesome you are and how much we suck. Then, even you might get paid by Barnes and Noble.

also, smithback lol.

and another thing. Don't talk about my mom's tits. Show some class.

further more, starched pants make my dick smell like popcorn.

by the way,

May. 18th, 2014 04:28 am (UTC)
Do you have trouble finding hats that fit, Smithback?
May. 19th, 2014 03:23 pm (UTC)
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Entitlement.

May. 18th, 2014 06:58 am (UTC)
I don't know what you're on about man. You're projecting. I don't know if you have some issue with somebody in particular, or a 'type' of person you imagine us to be, but most of us are just like you. I interview very well, thanks, and I have more than one job. So your whole last paragraph sounds like the ramblings of a madman. You don't know anything about me, or how I dress, or how I conduct myself in an interview. Also - Business 101? Eh? I understand B&N needs to make money, if that's what you mean. Most of us do. Let's break this down.

- There was a post recently about somebody who was upset they couldn't drink water at work. A need to drink water at work is not an 'entitlement'. If somebody was complaining they couldn't drink Redbull or play with their cellphone, you'd have a leg to stand on.

- A lot of people resent the not-so-subtle passive-aggressive membership stuff. I understand that B&N wants to sell memberships, and I do, and I try very, very hard at it. And I still get an earful. I understand why they do it, and it still makes me resentful when they give me an earful about my numbers, like I'm Don Draper and if only I'd pull out the big guns I could hit all their targets single-handedly.

- We bitch because many of us are at B&N while we're looking for other jobs. Some of us have been with the company for years and seen it gradually mutate into what it is now. Some of us are managers and have a lot of history invested in the company, as well as our health plans and a thin hope for promotion.

- Most people come here to blow off steam. Keep in mind that we're not some kind of hive mind - most people make one post, and that's it, that's their only beef. You can't assume that every complaint represents everybody. If it's your position that a minimum wage job at B&N is so rare and precious that nobody can EVER be upset enough to complain about it, you have some SERIOUS self-esteem issues.

- Who wants to be 'gimmied'? What thing are people calling for? You'd think a place with minimum wage employees would be calling for higher wages - but nope, most of us know the value of our positions and don't harbor any illusions about our worth. So whatever horse you're on, get off of it.
May. 22nd, 2014 03:37 am (UTC)
(Chuckling). Way to go, man!
(no subject) - smithback - May. 26th, 2014 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 18th, 2014 10:37 am (UTC)
What's your differentiation between "entitled" and "should be expected"? Most (ex/)employees here complain about things like not being guaranteed enough hours to support themselves, being given unrealistic expectations for upselling, etc.. Surely it's not entitlement to expect that management provide realistic goals? Am I not entitled to pay/hours that could support me renting a cheap apartment, given that I have skills and open availability? What do you include on your list of workers' rights? Nothing except what any individual company agrees to in the employment contract, which can and does change constantly without any recourse for the (obviously non-union) bookseller short of quitting?
May. 18th, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
Let's take this point by point with your last paragraph.

1.And while we're on the subject, did anyone's parents ever teach them how to write a resume?

No, my parents did not. I learned how to write a resume A. in school and then B. by googling how to write a resume/cover letter and discovering that school had taught me less than the bare bones basics I needed to actually do a good one. School had taught me to write a laughably simplistic resume that would helpfully tell possible employers that I probably made it through entry-level English classes, but little else.

My parents did not live the same timeline I did. My father went into a family-owned business in which a resume would be laughable - unless of course resumes can fertilize a corn or soybean field or feed cows or help him do the accounts for the farm or fix the farm machinery or any number of the 15-thousand-odd-jobs that a family farmer is responsible for learning and being competent at. My mother got her 19-year-long insurance-billing job starting in the early eighties, when the style of resumes that was in fashion was markedly different. Her advice would have been dated and far from helpful, given as she got her job in a time when you simply went through a different process, jobs were more permanent, and there was a reasonable expectation of the company extending at least some of the loyalty to you that you were expected to show to it. So I learned on my own, and frankly have been complimented on my cover letters and resumes at every job I have ever applied for. I have been told that it is a large part of the reason I was hired at more than one job, that while my work experience did not outshine my competitors, my obvious skill did.

Do not presume to understand the background of the people you are condescending to. To be honest and to be frank, Smithback, you. don't. know. shit. about. these. people.

2. To behave in an interview?

See point 1.

3. To dress in a starched shirt & pants, rather than a hooka-scented hoodie?

Oh, I like this one. So everyone working at Barnes & Noble who feels the company should behave with the barest minimum of civilized intent is a pot-smoking college student! Classy, Smithback. Very classy. I'm going to let you in on a big secret; Barnes & Noble's workforce was not, historically, high school or college students looking to make just a few bucks on the side. My time with B&N was spent with people who were attempting to make a damn living at it. They wore button-up shirts, nice slacks. The least well-dressed staff members were my coworkers in the cafe, in our black shirts and black slacks, wherein we had an understanding that we would end the day with SOME kind of liquid spilled on us so it was best to not wear anything more expensive than we had to.

These are people who, when I was working there, were primarily long-term employees. They had put up with the shitty raises, yearly reviews where excellent employees were denied the 'good' raise for reasons that were either minute or outright invented by management who had been told not to give anyone the 'good' raise. These were people who had given their loyalty to a company that, when they were hired, promised to give them some loyalty back. These are people who worked hard for the principles that the company claims to endorse, only to learn that the minute things get tough, they are the first things to go. This is a hard lesson for people who have given their company loyalty to learn. Is it something millenials should get used to? Probably.

But it's not something we were raised to understand. I say 'we' loosely, as I don't often identify with what millenials are supposed to apparently be about, but I am technically within their current generational year-count, so okay, we'll go with it. Smithback, you are not a millenial so I suggest you get off your high-horse and realize that what the news articles tell you we're like has very little to do with us.

May. 18th, 2014 01:24 pm (UTC)
Most millenials just want a fucking stable job. They don't want to spend every month being told more people will be fired, benefits are a dream. Those things that are supposed to enable them to live an adult life are being evaporated, one by one, by the same assholes telling them they are 'entitled' for expecting the same basic concepts that they were raised to believe were a basic part of employment. They are told they are 'entitled' for thinking that getting a job and working at it is supposed to entail some kind of agreement with their employer. Is it a pipe dream? Yes, at this point it is; because the generations above ours have ruthlessly and consistently undercut our very ability to make a life for ourselves, and then they've spun around and told us it's our fault.

4. Is anyone sober enough to be an adult?

I don't know, why don't you ask them? Why don't you ask the millenial employees consistently struggling to pay the rent, who are choosing between the electric and the water bill, who are being told that being an adult is buying a house and starting a family and picket fences while their knees buckle under the student loans that in many cases their parents took out for them and they are now saddled with? Ask them about their two part-time jobs that still don't add up to one full-time job thanks to Barnes & Noble and other companies cutting base hours regardless of the employee's behavior or performance. Ask them about black beans and rice for dinner three nights this week. Ask them about being 'entitled' to their cell phones and computers, when you can't get a job without the internet now (trust me, I know; I tried when we were deep in our poverty cycle seven years ago) and the cell phone plan you're on is cheaper than a landline. Ask them about being 'entitled' to a car when they live in a city with either no public transit system or one that is famously terrible and it would take them three hours and eight bus changes to get to work in the morning. Ask them about what it feels like to be told that they are 'entitled' when they live in a one-bedroom apartment with three roommates, and Barnes & Noble tells them 'oh, whoops, despite your five years of service we've decided all full-timers get 30 hours or less now.'

Barnes & Noble may be "trying to do what it takes to survive", but they are trampling their current employees in the process, and if you can't see why being stepped on might give some people bruises they complain about, you are seriously delusional. You are even more delusional if you believe that 'millenials' are the only employees being hurt by B&N's decisions, when teh vast majority of my former coworkers were in their 30's and early 40's and have had to quit and find new jobs in order to afford the bare bones basic minimums of what it takes to survive.

Stop being a company shill, Smithback. It's not becoming on you.
May. 18th, 2014 02:53 pm (UTC)
It's easy to have that attitude when you are still getting hours and working. All I can say is wait until it happens to you Smithback and it will. I use to work with a woman that reminds me of you. She had her rose colored glasses on and had this pull me up by her boots attitude until one day after years of service she started getting 15 hour work weeks when she use to get about 35 hours per work week. Well all of a sudden she started complaining like other people. We found out she was just a selfish person and couldn't feel empathy for anyone else until it happened to her. Sure life changes and companies need to adapt to survive. The problem is Barnes & Noble has projected the image that they value long term employees when most of us know they don't.
May. 18th, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
All responses to SB are right on target and very well written. I think people are upset because either they have seen B&N in its glory days as a great place to work and shop or they can envision it to return to such a place in the future if it were not for the people in power, people too far removed from the store level. The previous posters are right....People who bitch here aren't looking for some unreasonable wage; they're looking for hours and a living wage to pay the rent. They know that they're not going to become millionaires in retail and as booksellers. The complaints about memberships, especially, are very warranted.

I notice that SM didn't respond.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 18th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 19th, 2014 05:11 am (UTC)
This is Smithbacks heros. If we could all be selfless leaders like the below examples. All of us should be ashamed for wanting that 50 cent raise and want to work more than 20 hour work weeks.

May. 19th, 2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
There was a time when I wanted a 20 hour work-week and more than minimum wage. But then I took responsibility for my future. I found a way to get what I needed and eventually what I wanted. Basically, I grew up. Is it time for you to do that?
May. 19th, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
You grow up by getting out of this company. B&N will never love you back.
May. 19th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
I kind of love you OP.
May. 19th, 2014 08:27 pm (UTC)
Barnes & Noble Booksellers Facebook Group.  Join us!


May. 19th, 2014 10:47 pm (UTC)
My parents died when I was 7. Thanks.
May. 20th, 2014 11:40 am (UTC)
And I beta smith back is responsible for that... Right?
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 20th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smithback - May. 26th, 2014 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 20th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
smithback does it to get a rile of ya.
May. 20th, 2014 04:03 am (UTC)
Smithback: Some of your questions are valid but here's one for you. Why are YOU such a sarcastic know-it-all asshat?
May. 20th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Any question that starts with "why" is irrelevant and self-serving.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 21st, 2014 04:01 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - May. 22nd, 2014 04:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 26th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
Hey guys. Sorry for the delay. I had a medical issue that required my attention...and no, I'm not on Obamacare. Just my BN insurance, and a little bit of vacation time. (Ahem). Give me a few moments to read these comments. I'm sure they're just delightful...
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