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Good as a part time employee, but not for a career. Only few succeed.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Warren, MI
Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Warren, MI

I worked at Family Video

Pros

It's a great place to work part time when you're going to school. It's fun and you get to watch all the movies you want. The benefits are good. They have life, health, and dental insurance. The hours are flexible. You can easily schedule around your school schedule, and they are very easy going when it comes to taking days off for events, as long as you give a 2 week notice or so.

There is potential for growth, but it can sometimes be dodgy in this area; this really depends on your district manager's view of you. In the event that

Although your milage may very, here is the breakdown of wages when I worked there:
Part time - minimum wage to start, but can get up to $8.50/hr or so
Full time/Assistant Managers - $9.00-$11.00/hr
Manager in training - $11.50/hr to start, then switches to salary

Managers - 30-50k (depending on the store volume) + 1% of revenue
District Managers - 50-80k + 1% of revenue of each store (a district can be 3-7 stores)
Regional Managers - 80k-?? + 1% of revenue of each store (a region can be 25-50 stores)

There are also sales-based commissions for all employees. A full time employee could make $100 extra a month if dedicated enough.

Cons

Before you read this section, I want to point out that only some of the negative situations explained in the article happened to me personally. I was not a manager, and did not want to be one. Everything below is what I observed happening to myself and other employees over the course of 4 years of working here, and over the span of a handful of managers.

The dress code is business casual during the weekdays, which is fine. However, guys are not allowed to wear shorts of any kind. In addition to this, on the weekends, guys must wear ties. This was an upper management decision. It really is as ridiculous as it sounds, and customers will sometimes (playfully) pick on you for it - showing that they think it's a bit strange you're wearing a tie at a video store too. It also doesn't help that the air conditioning is not seen that important in the eyes of upper management. We have had our air break down a few times during the summer and they would take weeks to fix it ( they just didn't call it in). We would have customers walk out due to the heat, and this is amplified many times over when you're wearing a tie. With that being said, the policy continues to be in place even after countless complaints to upper management from many employees.

Managers are expected to work many hours to run a good store. To someone just finishing a degree, Family Video sounds like a good place to work based on the salary. The bare minimum a manager must work is 44 hours per week, but this never happens. Managers are expected to stay behind and work "until it's done". They are constantly working 50, 60 hour weeks with no downtime. After taking the salary that managers make is divided by how many hours , one can expect to make a bit above minimum wage. It is not uncommon for managers to come in on their day off and do (unpaid) work just to get what needs to be done, done.

The above may sound like a problem of a manager not delegating enough to his or her employees, but the fact of the matter is there are two aspects of this job: projects, like inventories, processing movies, etc, and then the regular dealing with the customers and restocking the shelves. Payroll control is very tight and is highly scrutinized, so it isn't uncommon for employees to have to stop whatever projects they're working on and concentrate 100% on the customer service aspect of it. On busy nights that second employee might get pulled off his or her project to only help customers, which could cause the project to fall behind. The manager would then come in to help play catch up.

There are also no performance based raises. Managers DO get a 1% cut of the store's earnings (which depends on the volume of the store, but is normally $5-10k), but the only way to get a pay increase is to either get promoted to a busier store or to increase the revenue of your current store.

The hours being flexible can be a double edged sword. Given that video stores are busiest during the nights and weekends, you can expect most of your hours to be 5pm-12:30am shifts, with many of them on the weekends. If you are a full time employee, you will probably work 2/3 or 3/3 of the weekend nights, so making plans with others can be hard. That's another thing - Family Video is open until 12:00 am, and employees are normally there 30 minutes after that. This makes it hard on someone who has something like morning classes. Although your scheduler will do his or her best to not give you close/opens (closing one night, then opening the next morning), there will be times when you will have to do them. This means you are there until 12:30am one night, and you must be back the next morning at 9:00am.

Yes, there is much potential for growth here, but one must be very careful. Countless times I've seen people strung along for months being promised promotions and never getting them. Instead of letting you know why you aren't getting promoted, they will simply wear you down until you either no longer want it, or find another job. Although the above never happened to me to the fullest extent, I did still experience it to some degree for about 5 months. However, I did see it happen to other employees countless times.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

There is definitely a need to be hard on your employees, but keep in mind they're humans too. Concentrating on high sales numbers are important, but treating them fairly is vital to getting them perform well.

Doesn't Recommend
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  1. Great place to start out at - only a career if you become upper management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Employee in Springfield, IL
    Current Employee - Employee in Springfield, IL

    I have been working at Family Video

    Pros

    Freedom - You have the ability to do the tasks needed to do the job when and how you want. You are able to deal with customers without having to go ask a manager for help.

    It's a good starting place for someone working in College.

    Manager positions have a decent starting salary for someone in or just out of school.

    Cons

    The store closes at 12:00AM, don't expect to get to bed before 1:00AM if you work night shifts.

    Pay isn't much for someone who has a lot of potential.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Allow cargo shorts to work in - they are more comfortable to work in and customers that come to family video don't generally care if you are wearing shorts with or without pockets. For this type of position, it's probably better that the employee not look to professional - it's just a video store.

    Recommends
  2. A Recession Proof Job For Movie Lovers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - General Manager in Roseville, MI
    Former Employee - General Manager in Roseville, MI

    I worked at Family Video

    Pros

    It is an ideal job for those in a city where jobs are scarce, and you have a love for movies. This is a company that thrives on word of mouth, and appreciation within their community. They have a very unique approach to rentals, offering promotional programs that aren't available at their competitors.

    Cons

    The company has a track record of hiring from the outside to find talent, and contributing to that by promoting from within for the supporting managers. There is definitely a feeling of tension between the General Management, his assistants, and the district/regional managers. The upper management lack an effective training program for managers, further complicating matters.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look at the ground floor, your foundation is failing, and it's getting worse.

    Doesn't Recommend
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