Log in

No account? Create an account

No More Full Time Employees Company Wide

So, the news broke today at my store. All full time employees will be dropped to part time employees. I would be fuming right now except I am still too much in shock.

First they take benefits away from part timers and then they cut hours across the board and now they are getting rid of all non-manager full time employees. Why? To save money. People do not matter to the to this company any longer. We are all replaceable (which I've been told). My friends and I don't know what to do. Several of us have worked for the company for 10+ years and this is how we are treated? Most of us carry healthcare for our families and without B&N I know that I cannot afford it. Even with ACA as an option after the extra cost of that (which isn't "affordable" at all) and the loss of hours, my wife and I will not be able to make ends meet. I have already started to look for new work but it is difficult to find one that pays what I am currently make plus benefits.

I'm not sure if we can make a difference. I would like to think that a total backlash would make them change their minds but I know that is a pipe dream. If this is how they want to treat their employees I will relish seeing it go down in flames.

I do implore everyone here to lodge a complaint. I plan on contacting as many in higher levels as I can. Store managers might be a start but it will go now where. I plan on starting with Mark Bottini and going from there. We should all work together on this.

transferring stores

Hi everyone,

I am planning on moving in June and want to transfer stores. How does this process work? How much notice should I give? I thought I would inform my store manager either at the end of this month or the beginning of May, but should I do it ASAP? I know that people transfer stores all the time and that this is no biggie, but for some reason I am very ansty about it!

Thank you for your help!

Dress Code

We recently got a new SM. Since she's been "cleaning" up the store, she's been telling some of the employees what they can and can't wear none of which is listed in the dress code guidelines. Has any other SM changed the dress code guidelines to their liking and gotten away with it? One of the things she said we can't wear is funky socks. I love my socks. I've been with the company for 11 years now and not once have I been told I can't wear something. I've had 3 different DM's, our Rm, and even Riggio has seen the way I dress. If they haven't said anything concerning my clothing then why should we have to listen to our SM? Just wondering if anyone else has fought the dress code in their store, or just went along with it cause they didn't want to get fired?


Hi. I have taken over the bargain section of our store. I am not getting a lot of support and was wondering if anyone can help.
We have so much more product than room. How do you display product. Do you put old titles in the stockroom to display new?
Any other tips and tricks for this section?

B&N stock up 50%

B&N stock has gone up 50% in the last 6 months!!  Where will it be 6 months from now: Still rising, about the same, or way down?

Help with member card sales?

I've been tasked with looking for ways to improve member card sales. Without getting into identifying details, this is punishment for speaking my mind disguised as "finding solutions."

Does anyone have any useful ideas I can take back to management? Thanks.

Cafe Woes

Let's start by discussing the "back room". This is where we store every product we sell, we do dishes, we bake, we replenish bake case plates, we prepare sauces and soups, we store gallons of milk, we get ice to replenish the bar. It's where we find aprons to wear (usually pre soiled), check our schedules, and fill out meaningless paper work. It is where we store the mop, the broom and the large trash can which we use to bring all of the trash from around the cafe to the dumpster. There is a lot that must happen in this back room, but there is very little space. The area is about 3 feet wide...maybe 12 feet long. If the trash bin is back there, the mop bucket will not fit through the alley way. If the dish washer door is open there is no room to get by without hoping over it. Also, the dishwasher will fly open and spray 200 degree water on your legs if you don't hold it shut for some time after pressing "wash" because it is broken like everything else in our cafe. If the oven timer goes off while you are slaving in the sink, you will most likely stub your shin on the dishwasher door while hopping over it in order to quickly retrieve the baking product. Despite injury, you must be quick or else the baking product will burn and you will be expected to buy it. Whenever you take something out of the oven you are required to announce it over the intercom, "Please come and visit our cafe for some warm, freshly baked blank"...because this has been proven to be effective in generating sales (NOT). (No one does this unless hassled by cafe drill sergeant.)

So now it is lunchtime and your co worker is on break (which they will most likely only take half of because they feel guilty). A line starts forming and everyone wants multiple drinks and food items. You are very stressed and trying to multitask steaming milk, cooking food, and ringing people up. Instead of applying your own developed rhythm in order to quickly serve each person, you must direct your focus on up-selling,writing names on the very cup that will not leave your hand until you place it in theirs, logging soup temperatures, ringing books etc etc. If a manager finds themselves bored and takes a stroll though the cafe, discovers a soup timer off or a cup unmarked, it will be their main concern and you will get spoken to. All the while you can not help but notice booksellers chit-chatting and sipping lattes behind the registers at the cash wrap while they leisurely scan books and then bag them... big woop. We literally do what they do plus like 1,000 other things at least (but we all bring home the same paycheck OBVIOUSLY).

All of this hard work may make you thirsty, but a new rule has arisen which bans all water consumption in any area that customers could potentially catch the act! This is because many people have complained about us employees drinking water in their presence...NOT. This is just some random unjustified act of discipline.

Your customers can see you are working very hard at providing a pleasant experience as well as moving quickly, so they would like to reward you with a tip while they gather their belongings on the counter. They have a perplexed look on their face because they cannot find the tip jar. This is obvious when they ask "Where is your tip jar"? We are supposed to reply with a smile and say "Oh we just use the counter" (like that makes any sense at all....). But I tell the truth and say that we must keep it hidden under the counter. At least 5 customers per shift will comment on the fact that all other "Starbucks" have their jars on display. Many think this is unfair, going so far to flip over the upside down venti cup that we keep on the counter (we are required to use this as a prop to up-sell) and put their tip in there. I recognize that we are not technically a Starbucks Co. barista so we are not entitled to show a jar. This is because we are owned by Barnes and (Not)noble, meaning that we have more responsibilities and fewer benefits than Starbucks employees.

If you are lucky enough to be the closer that night you spend a lot of time in that cramped back room area. You must wash endless dishes all night in the sink. Bowls and plates with used napkins stuck to the glass and half chewed sandwich ends that you must pick off before washing (because people don't even think to throw away their own trash)...you must chip away at hardened soup and plastic-like cheese remnants stuck to dishes. The plumbing is poorly maintained so there is an awful smell constantly emitted from the drain. It smells like feces and dead animals.

Two people can not walk by each other with out brushing against each other and/or the many things stacked on the walls. Things fall down and your shirts will rip when caught on sharp stuff. This tight space makes being efficient a joke. It also makes one feel like a rat in a cage...going back and forth...imprisoned by authority ay after day after miserable day.

BUT! You must forget your pain, return to the counter and attend to each prospective customer (and by attend I mean to attempt to con every penny possible out of all unsuspecting visitors). For example, my boss demands we ask each person if they would like to add extra flavors, extra shots of espresso, extra whatever that will make the drink sound better. 90% of the time we will be shut down...usually accompanied by a sarcastic compliment of our "sales skills". Every once in awhile the naive first timer will agree. "Why not?" they say, thinking the we're just giving them a nice suggestion to try something new. Then we must ring them up and charge anywhere from an extra $.70... to $2.00... to infinity. We must also ask if they would like something to eat...but we are forbidden to say those exact words. We must offer something specific! "Would you like a slice of red velvet cheesecake or a ham sandwich with that?" If you're wondering where we get these specific items, look no further than "the expiring list" that we make daily on a post it note and stick it to the register. Barnes and Noble would rather serve a gummy, crusty, old slice of cheesecake than put it on the waste log. So, when the customer gets back in line to complain about their stale dessert, guess who looks bad? US! So naturally we only conform to these senseless practices when the boss is present. SOOOO when she is not around we provide exceptional service, going above and beyond to make sure the customer is not pressured and receives only what they truly want. Criminal aint it?

Every move you make is commented on. If it isn't "up to standard" you get a lecture. Even if it is you also get a lecture on how to be even better or they'll just walk away without a single word of praise. The focus is NEVER on the customer, it is always on the money. Your best is never enough and satisfied customers that will return don't mean a thing if you didn't meet your dollars per transaction goal.

These are just some of the daily annoyances my 5 cafe co-workers deal with. I could not possibly state them all. Which reminds me of another...book-side people NEVER have EVER assisted me with any opening or closing procedures such as wiping tables or stacking chairs or taking out trash or anything. But,they do order drinks before we even open and proceed to buy things/make us fill a venti cup with ice and water for them on their 3269361 breaks AND during their shifts...because they can walk around and do whatever they want. My point is Barnes and Noble does not appreciate their employees (particularly in the cafe) and I would loveeee to hear about others experiences working in the cafe.

Managers/Company listening

What are some ideas that you have had for your store/the company and We listen/Managers/DM's don't seriously consider? I have had a few ideas over the years for the company and I have shared them with different people and some have been heard but I have never felt that people actually cared for me to even try and improve on anything. I thought it would be valuable for employees to make suggestions especially since we experience the execution of policy on a day to day basis and get feed back from customers but it seems that Store managers and company executives could care less.
So today our store banned drinking anything on the bookfloor / at cashwrap / in music, even if the drinks are out of view of the customers. Essentially, if you want a sip of water, you have to take a break. We were told this is company policy... is this utter bullshit or do most stores follow this procedure?

I see it as this: 1 - lowering morale 2- losing sales in our own cafe 3- random act of management

They see it as: the company said so. No drinks allowed. Do our bidding, minimum wage minion.

Teens these days...

So as I was scrolling through the infamous iFunny App on my tablet the other night, I came across a familiar picture...