Books-A-Million Jobs in South Portland, ME

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30+ days ago

Assistant General Manager

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Provide effective leadership for human and physical resources charged to the store. - Operate the store in adherence with… Books-A-Million, Inc.


30+ days ago

Café Lead - South Portland, ME BAM

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Supervise, direct, counsel, and assist all cafe associates. - Interview, assist in selecting, and direct the training of all café associates… Books-A-Million, Inc.


30+ days ago

General Manager - S.

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Completion of New Associate and Management Training Courses within 60 days. Duties - Responsible for overall operation of the store - Provide… Books-A-Million, Inc.


30+ days ago

Bookseller - S.

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Provide a clean workplace. Please note the 3 digit store number of the… Books-A-Million, Inc.


30+ days ago

Co Manager - S.

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Monitor the quality of customer service throughout the store. - Supervise… Books-A-Million, Inc.


30+ days ago

Cafe Barista - S.

Books-A-Million, Inc. South Portland, ME

- Explain the Discount Card Program to every customer. All Books-A-Million associates are required to sell the Discount Card. The card provides a… Books-A-Million, Inc.


Books-A-Million Reviews

2.7
Rating Trends
Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Terry Finley
198 Ratings
  • Helpful (9)

    Not Nearly Worth the Trouble

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista in South Portland, ME
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista in South Portland, ME

    I worked at Books-A-Million part-time (Less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Just a word of caution before I begin. The 'Featured Review' does not line up at all with my, nor many other current/past employees, experience at South Portland's BAM. I don't know who wrote that review but if I had to guess it would probably be one of the full timers who got in good with management and/or don't normally work at the registers often. They would likely have a much more different perspective if this was not the case. The majority of workers there are simply not that privileged, and to call the people who left that job 'high maintenance' points to them having an unreasonably high expectation for the stress that a low-paying retail job should require or having high expectations for themselves. It seems unnervingly cookie cutter in that it sound more like a PR statement from corporate than an authentic review of one's experience here. The fact that it has a response from the Vice President of Human Relations is also an eye-brow raiser. But then again this is all simply my opinion, and whether those of you reading this agree or not is your own choice to make. Now to the actual Pros: 30% off employee discount. Essentially brought our store's product down to the the price of many online outlets. After sales tax the price was negligible. But it is still there and I've seen many associates get a good deal if the purchase is a big one. Could check out books for up to 2 weeks, but had to buy them if management found they where not in sellable condition. The scheduling is hit or miss. You could be working 6 days straight and then have 3 days off, or be working for two days a day off then working the rest of the week into the weekend, etc. One thing I will say is that management was always willing to work the best they could to fit your availability. A few managers where always willing to help, and give encouragement, the majority where not or did so in passive aggressive- or not so helpful ways. Strong associate team work. Many of us got together like we where family. I always saw others giving each other rides or sharing snacks in the break room/ etc. Whenever one of us was feeling down or over stressed I would see more seasoned associates help them out or console them. Overall a nice strong-nit team! Probably the best I've seen during my time in retail.

    Cons

    Long hours for little pay. Just like any other retail position. Except we are also required to be salesmen constantly pushing discount cards over and over. Getting called out on the radio and having reports printed out right in front of us at the register. Giving unneeded and unnecessary stress to an already stressful job. If management begins to see your card sales are lacking they will begin to cut hours drastically. I've seen some good employees get cut from 28 to 14 hours because of this. employees who have made strong connections with customers and actually had them coming back and generating business. I had to explain to these customers the many times they came in as they looked on with confused faces that Associate 'SoAndSo' wasn't in today and they'd reply that they hadn't seen them in a while. It got to the point were we where told in groups by management that if card sales did not go up the offenders would be fired. When I left it had gotten so bad that there was peer pressure between associates and a growing resentment between staff and management. Those who where bad at selling cards would already start their shift anxious and stressed while those who are good sellers know that they will have to carry the store throughout the day to keep management off our backs. Who are then scratching their heads as to why they have 4 employees quit in 2 weeks time, some not even giving 2 weeks notice, or the good sellers end up being fired/transferred because of shady business practices to meet their sales goal. New hires are called in the same day for orientation, unaware of the long nights of anxiety and ridicule they are signing up for, and they cycle continues. Need to mention we also given a bonus at the end of the week if we meet our weekly card goal. During my near half a year there I've only seen that happen twice. It is a joke at 8 dollars and hour to see maybe 7-10 dollars added to the end of my paycheck. Not really worth the effort if my job wasn't threatened. Customer service seems to be the last thing on the list for the majority of the store, second was recovery, and first was always the card! And if it wasn't about the card directly it would be brought right back around to it. Customer service was supposed to lead to a card recommendation, instead of just being friendly and helping the customer, we were also encouraged to go on about the 10% off and 'Oh we can get you free shipping online' etc. More often then not this would lead to an irritated customer who would then get further irritated at checkout as the bookseller up there would desperately try and push the card. I've had many customers display anger at this constant badgering as it is both annoying for repeat customers who aren't interested and the usual walk-in who just wants to get in and out fast. Huge lines are made due to the sales pitches we have to make, another common complaint I get when they finally get to me at the register. Overall no-one envies those stuck with a register. Management for the most part stays in the back office, only coming out to authorize returns. Of the few rare time's I've seen them with a till they themselves go against their own warnings and teachings. I.E. not asking every customer if they have a card, not pushing it three times, not going over everything etc. Of course they're not going to get called out of the radio, or corrected, or have their hours cut. Cafe is not much better. Few associates are trained to work shifts there, and we are STILL required to sell cards as well as maintain the large cafe lounge, and open/close on our own regardless if another barista is on staff to help make things easier. You will often find yourself at the end of your ship scrambling to get everything done within the last hour of your shift. Last bit about the cards: We are still, even if we do our job as salesmen correctly, setting ourselves up for failure as corporate wants at least near half of all discount cards sold to have auto renewal effectively making our ability to score that customer when they come back as a renew(and therefore a new card) moot and hurting our weekly card sales goal. For every card with auto renewal we sell the day before, we are expected to get the same amount if not more the next day. There are only so many cards we can sell at once, let alone without the customers who are already members with auto renew being locked out from us. Give your associates a break! Members sales still count towards your card percentage, you are still expected to meet your sales goal regardless of if you have 50 customers with auto-renew and 2 who have no card but didn't sign up.

    Advice to Management

    You tell all of us that Corporate requires card sales goals to be meet every week as it 'keeps the lights on', 'bills paid', funds associate appreciation month etc. Yet our sales goals are near impossible for the average sales associate who isn't a salesman wanting to work for 8 dollars an hour for practically no benefits part-time. With the discount card's price going up every year, and employees constantly quitting with new hires needing to pick up the pace you will soon see your company die a slow death. I don't know what goes on behind these doors in Birmingham, AL, but it seems like the executives are looking at this company more like a disposable cash cow than a long term investment. I can't fathom how this kind of business model will be sustainable in 10-years time. I guess we will see. Management, I know your hands are tied as well. If the store doesn't sell enough cards your job is on the line as well. So there is not much advice I can give you, but understand that if you continue to treat your employees this way you will continue to see the same kind of exoduses that have happened as of late, and even when I had just started. Whether or not this really means anything to you remains to be seen. Judging by the speed you are able to get new hires started almost as soon as the old quit I would guess not.


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