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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Luck and timing

Continuing on the topic of how lucky I feel to have my job at the school, I wanted to talk about how fortunate the timing of it has been for me.

Anyone who's been reading my blog for awhile knows how much I hated my job at the bookstore. I never named the chain that I worked for, but now that I'm safely done with the place I finally feel okay telling you it was Barnes & Noble. And just like all other brick and mortar bookstores, it's had its fair share of problems in the last few years.  In their efforts to restore lost profitability and keep the chain afloat, upper management has made some really terrible business decisions. These decisions ultimately started driving away the best people and ruining morale all the way down to the individual store level. All across the country, it's becoming known as a terrible place to work these days, which is a real shame.

Anyhow, last August we got a letter stating that the health insurance we had through B&N (which had been one of the few goods things for us about my time working there) would no longer consider the hospital we use or any of its associated physicians "in network". For my non-American friends, that means that if we chose to keep our doctors, including Gregg's oncologist and pulmonologist, we would have to bear almost all of the cost. We would have had no choice but to find new doctors at the other hospital in Florence, and that would have been very bad. The very day that I got the letter from the insurance company, I had gone down to the school district office and signed up for new, better health insurance through the state thanks to the new job I had just been offered! How lucky was that? 
And what great timing.

Then last week I read about how Barnes & Noble had announced they were getting rid of several full time positions and cutting their workforce by 15%. The next day, I went back to my old store and found out that the Receiving Manager (he's worked there for 10 years) had just lost his job, and so had two full time Head Cashiers. I feel so bad for the three of them! The company strategy is to hire part time people to replace them...and of course part time means no benefits like health insurance or paid sick time or vacation. They told the three people they let go (one of whom gave 10 years of service) that they can be rehired.....as part timers starting over at minimum wage without any benefits! Can you believe the f****g nerve of that?! As far as I'm concerned, Barnes & Noble can just die and go away now. Any company that treats its employees like that doesn't deserve to stay in business.

I got out of there just in the nick of time. All the more reason to thank my lucky stars every day for my new job.

17 comments:

  1. What you have described as current practice at B&N is pure evil.
    I am SO glad you got out of there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS evil. As I said, companies like that don't deserve to be in business.

      Delete
  2. So happy you found your new job !

    cheers, parsnip

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  3. Phew! You really made it out there just in time, and I am so glad you did! Those poor people, losing their jobs that way, through absolutely no fault of their own... and I bet the remaining employees are not happy about having to divide the workload of these three among them. Full time cashiers gone, and two of them? That either means the shop is counting on less customers (therefore having to man less checkout places) or switching to self-checkout.

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    Replies
    1. No, Meike, they're replacing the full time cashiers with several new part time employees. Part time employees don't get benefits, plus they start at minimum wage.

      Delete
  4. You should be doing a happy dance every day. I've worked for those kinds of employers over the years... a number of them. And yet corporate execs and investors will continue to rake in the money and benefits until they file for bankruptcy, at which time they'll walk away with gigantic settlements.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly, Mitchell! The corporate execs and investors are still raking in profit. It's disgusting.

      Delete
  5. That has been happening all over, with many long time businesses closing. Brick and mortar has been replaced by the Internet and where it will end does not look good for the worker. So glad that you have a new career.

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  6. Well, I won't be shopping at Barnes & Noble after reading this! Companies that abuse their employees and provide crappy benefits deserve to go out of business. There's always the library!

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  7. Amazon and other internet forces have squeezed plenty of shops so that they have had to resort to desperate measures just to stay afloat. Good job you grabbed the lifebuoy just in time. Magic happens.

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  8. That is horrifying. I did not know they used practices like that (re-hiring as part-time). And yes, how insulting to those workers.

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  9. Not that I shopped there much, but now I won't go into their store anymore at all. Glad you got out of there. Don't get me started on our "health care" industry (give us your money, now go and die and don't dawdle).

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  10. For most companies it's about the bottom line - cutting costs and more profits for shareholders. Too bad about the staff. Lucky for you in your new workplace. And what a relief your new health insurance works for you.

    Alphie

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  11. I am so happy for you Jennifer, I knew this time would come for you.

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  12. Working on letting go of people and situations that no longer serve my peace of mind
    and emotional well being.

    ** สมัคร D2BET**

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've worked for those kinds of employers over the years... a number of them. And yet corporate execs and investors will continue to rake in the money and benefits until they file for bankruptcy, at which time they'll walk away with gigantic settlements.สมัคร D2BET

    ReplyDelete