Edward McKay Used Books

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Edward McKay Used Books Reviews

Updated January 29, 2015
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1.6
12 Reviews
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Phillip Jacobson
7 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (1)

    Just another stepping stone job.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    There is definitely a lot going on in this place. There's numerous sections of the store that you can be trained into. Always interesting items coming in since most of the inventory comes from customers selling it to them. This also means first dips on merchandise for employees since they see what comes in. The starting pay is above minimum wage, so that's a start. For a full time position, they schedule you for about 35 hours a week and they have what's called 'flex' time where you go in and make up a few more hours to get closer to 40. They give nice little bonuses to employees in the form of store credit or cash at a significantly less amount. Daily huddles are taken every shift for new information and what's going on everywhere in the store.

    Cons

    This place is not organized as well as it could be. I understand that you've got to work with the space that you have but I would have customers saying that they looked all over for some things and couldn't find it. The new system on the computers they had installed (basil) is terrible. It is used for the buy counter and the cash registers and I had trouble with it all the time. There were times when the drawer wouldn't even open for a few minutes while I was trying to ring up a customer and the only thing I could do is wait, look like an idiot, and hope that the register would magically open up soon.

    Advice to Management

    The management is very nit-picky on how you do everything. They try their best to educate trainees on how to do their job, but there is a lot of little details to take in as you start out. They have a low tolerance for employees who mess up and take note of each instance that you do. The turn-around at this place is relatively high. If you don't learn quickly enough and keep making mistakes, they will surely let you go.

  2. Helpful (2)

    A Toxic Place to Work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Store Director in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Store Director in Greensboro, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    earning trade credit each pay period to use in the store
    some truly wonderful people to work with

    Cons

    Where to start? Pay attention to other reviews of this job, especially those referring to management style. Upper management is vindictive and petty and sadly, all of their focus is on watching employees and demoralizing them. They are not at all professional and their judgment and decisions are guided by their personal feelings which are often skewed. They play favorites and what is worse, their favorites are usually the incompetent kind. But those same favorites are usually happy to report back to management everything they hear in the store. If you are hard-working and honest, you will not do well in this company. They intentionally create chaos as they try to use fear of keeping one's job and fear in general as a motivational tool. In the two years I worked there, I saw 36 people come and go. About half that number were fired. A coworker who had been there about 6 months longer had seen 55 people come an go. Such ridiculous turnover tells the story here.

    I have seen most of the management spend time only on pointless tangents that have nothing to do with increasing sales or actually managing the business. Most of the management spends their time watching the multitude of cameras in the store because they can't believe their employees might be honest. These cameras are trained mostly on employees rather than locations in the store which would be helpful for loss prevention. These cameras also have microphones so they can listen to employees. I have seen 2 members of management sitting in an office for an hour just watching cameras and talking about who they can get into trouble. They have employees from such diverse backgrounds, with passions and skill sets and previous job experience that would really help the company grow. But they do not listen to their employees and very often come to resent those employees that, well honestly, show their own inferiority in a glaring light. When you have slighted them (and everyone eventually does, even the favorites) they will find ways to "punish" you at work-give you a schedule you can't work, etc. Eventually, they will either make you so miserable you will quit or they will manufacture a reason to fire you. Within the last six months many newly hired employees have stayed for 3 months or less.

    Reviews are not given in any kind of regular fashion and a lot of perks have been taken away like the checkout log and hold boxes. You are also no longer allowed to use your trade credit on all items in the store. The job also comes with a lot of stress-completely unnecessary for a used bookstore, They are pushing customer service all the time and adopting the corporate culture mentality that tries to make robots out of staff. Your attitude and commitment will be questioned if you do not greet every single customer that comes in the door. Flagging sales have been blamed on the staff. Management ignores the many negative reviews on social media that complain about rising store prices for used merchandise that can be found elsewhere for less money. They ignore the many complaints about the store and its selling/trade-in policies which people feel are unfair.

    Bottom line: They exploit their greatest resource-their staff. They are inept at running such a business at its current level and one wonders if they aren't intentionally running the store into the ground as their behavior and policies are so asinine.

    Advice to Management

    I have no advice because the people in charge have made it clear they are not open to feedback.

  3. Helpful (1)

    Run away from this company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - General Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - General Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Fun job. Trade credit to buy books and other fun stuff.

    Cons

    Turnover,Most people don't last two years. Management.

    Advice to Management

    Spend time working with your employees and less time writing new policies to intimidate them. Try verbal communication. Text messaging and emails are great, but sometimes you need to talk.

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  5. Helpful (3)

    Good Job Ruined by Borderline insane Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, Shift Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Director, Shift Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Nearly all the employees you work with are intelligent, hard working and interested in doing good work. The pay and benefits were good, and the fringe benefits were excellent.

    Cons

    Upper management is capricious and petty, any perceived slight can immediately end your prospect of promotion or result in being terminated. The vast majority of their employees are competent, hard working, and respectful. However, they treat well trained, responsible employees with contempt. Instead of focusing on increasing sales or efficiency in the store, the management spends ninety percent of their man hours sending emails and crafting policy statements which actively insult and hamper their employees. While I was employed there they twice terminated the hardest working employee on the staff with little pretense.

    Advice to Management

    Hire an unemployed MBA to run business operations.

  6. Helpful (3)

    A alright place to shop, a nightmare for employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Sales Associate in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    You get a small amount of free stuff via the trade credit bonus.

    Cons

    There's a lack of communication from top to bottom. Nobody knows who's doing what or what's going on at any given time, especially managers. Corporate policies are a mess and create more confusion than not. Fear is the main motivator here. Upper level management often singled out an employee, waited for (or made up) a small mistake, and then fired them without warning. And this happened more than once during my employment. It's a culture of intimidation. The environment is toxic and abusive, rife with gossip, chaos, and tension.

    Advice to Management

    The corporate culture is broken. It has to be fixed. Give managers the latitude to do their job and stop hounding them with emails every 10 seconds. Validate employees' work, and stop with the intimidation. It's a used bookstore. It could be a cool, or at least decent, place to work. Retail is difficult anywhere, but this is dismal.

  7. Helpful (3)

    Unprofessionalism and favoritism from HQ ruin would could be a wonderful place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Management in Greensboro, NC
    Current Employee - Management in Greensboro, NC

    I have been working at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    The trade credit you receive is amazing, you get to see great product before it gets to the floor. You also get to meet interesting people.

    Cons

    Easily one of the most unprofessional corporate staffs I've worked for. The three ring binder of policies is roughly 3 1/2" thick, but doesn't seem to apply to any of the corporate staff members. Rampant favoritism coupled with mIcro-managing to the highest degree make the work environment extremely difficult. As a manager you spend 60% of your time responding to emails and texts immeditly that should not need an immediate response, but many at the corporate level have such issues that they become offended regardless of actual importance if they are not immediately answered. Very quick to point out the importance of timely reviews for staff but fall behind with management.

    Advice to Management

    The corporate staff is not trained correctly. HR training, business ethics, and training using the computer systems expected to be used in the store would help.

  8. Helpful (3)

    Terrible work environment.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Customer Service in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (Less than a year)

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

    Pros

    Relaxed dress code, employees get store credit.

    Cons

    Management was hostile towards employees. Everyone there was terrified that every day would be their last. Lots of power tripping by entry level management. No lunch breaks. Zero respect for customers. Employees routinely encouraged to spy on and report imagined wrong doings to management in the form of shift reports. While I was there several customers mentioned the incredibly high turn over rate. The icing on the cake was that the store was filthy. Dust, dirt, mold, and bugs everywhere. Was told to watch out for bed bugs.

    Advice to Management

    Clean the store, I worked there for about 2 months and everyone there got sick at least once.
    End the drama! Everyone talks about everyone else behind their backs.
    Realize that this is a used book/DVD/record store. It should be the coolest place on earth to work at, not a Kafka-esque nightmare

  9. Helpful (5)

    Edward Mckay Winston Salem Location

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Deputy General Manager in Winston-Salem, NC
    Former Employee - Deputy General Manager in Winston-Salem, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Good Benefits for now.

    Work is fun and challeging each day.

    Great co-workers at the store for now.

    Cons

    Managment cannot make it past two years. The turnover is constant.

    Turnover at the staff level is massive as well.

    Benefits such as Trade Credit, Employee Hold Boxes, Checkout log being taken away every 3 to 6 months.

    Upper managment runs the business personally and not professionally.

    Advice to Management

    Allow more control to the stores. There are employees in your stores right now that are worth more individually than all your HQ people put together.

    Be less paraniod and vindictive. Just because people in the past have done you wrong doesn't mean that everyone is out to get you.

  10. Helpful (1)

    No trust No job security

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than a year)

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

    Pros

    Wear anything to work and I mean anything. Pay is above average. Retail friendly

    Cons

    Job security. No promotions. No training. HQ promotes people to read & send emails all day.
    You must meet a quota of write ups for staff. Constant turn-over. Weekly spy to take pictures of your store.

    Advice to Management

    Have faith in your managers. Let go of the past. Stop with the policies, seriously you have over 50 and you only have 100 employees. Let managers manage.

  11. Helpful (4)

    Such a sham. Negative atmosphere and way too much drama.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Manager in Raleigh, NC

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time (More than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Trade credit and other employees

    Cons

    Everything else. Weird set up, employees are greatly under appreciated and there are all of these random dramatic meetings that suck up time and money for no reason other than upper management like to pretend that they are in charge of some billion dollar corporation. Every week it seemed that there was a new, useless policy. Upper management would target one particular employee and wait for any excuse to fire them.

    Advice to Management

    Get over yourselves. Its a used bookstore.

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