REI
3.7 of 5 404 reviews
www.rei.com Kent, WA 5000+ Employees

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11 people found this helpful  

Misleading

Frontline Cashier (Current Employee)
Los Angeles, CA

I have been working at REI

ProsExcellent employee discount. Customers are generally very nice. Convenient location. Co-workers are fairly nice. Clean and pleasant work atmosphere.

ConsIt starts out just fine. Kind of like going to camp, and then you realize very quickly REI isn't what they seem (at least the store I work at). There are constant contradictions: customer is #1, but we won't have enough cashiers to assist the customers because we are so worried about our bottom line; "celebrate the member and the non-member", but not too much! Don't take too long in conversations because you have other work to do; "shameless enthusiasm" as long as you can do a return, ring up a customer, and answer the phone all at the same time.

Probably the weirdest things the cheery management folks do (other that their enthusiastic "How's it going?" is that they like to give you little tests to see how you do. They play secret shopper on the phone when they can see that you are very busy. They plant little tests in your area's of responsibilities to see if you will pass. This can be as simple as going around and rearranging merchandise you just stocked, leaving mystery items on the content with misleading information, not giving you your check-off list to see if you can do the work without it; telling you to violate a policy and see if you do (or do they just forget what they trained you on or didn't train you on). Plant money in your drawer to see if you report it; talk to you like a naughty child in front of customers; have family and friends come in to test your skills and report back -- just plain old junior style management. Do they teach that stuff on one of REI's staff outings? Maybe with marshmallows around the evening camp fire?

You might be asking "What's the point of all of this?" I had to ask myself the same question after ruling out that I am not paranoid or delusional. It's really simple. It's about profit. Push those memberships above all else. I'm still not sure what that money really goes for, but it is really important. In fact, your job depends on it. They bring in people are a lower rate of pay, or bring in lots of people and offer them little hours. By giving little tests and keeping daily totals on membership sales they keep a running record on just how effective they feel you are to REI. If you fail to keep up with membership sales you are either reduced to very little hours or simply let go. Even if by all accounts you do a good job and are a good employee. They can and will find something to use against you. It's just a matter of time. Everyone has a off day or makes a mistake. Most people are probably completely shamed by this and never say anything about it. "How could those nice and cheerful folks be capable of such cold blooded acts?" "Who would believe you?" I think most just wonder off into the forest and try to move on. Never letting on to what a fake place REI is to work.

Advice to Senior ManagementYour training or lack of training is less than adequate. Most of the training is a bunch of company hype that you should have known before you got hired. All the really important stuff is just glossed over and just maybe that's be design. It's easier to blame the employee for not meeting standards than to properly training them. Hey, but that helps you cut the dead wood doesn't it? Get some professional training on training. Don't just had out the company materials or rely on the on-line resources.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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7 people found this helpful  

Horrible experience, don't work at this location!

Customer Service Specialist (Former Employee)
Northville, MI

I worked at REI


Pros: -Customers can be awesome -Discounts (50% off REI products, 30% off all other brands) -Pro-dealing through companies -Work parties and management bringing on food which helped… Cons: At my location, I had the unfortunate experience of working with management who were corrupt. They based their decisions based on politics and popularity of… Advice to Senior Management: POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT. Stop giving us the negative and tell us what we are doing right and how we can fix the wrong. Berating our performance… No, I would not recommend this company to a friend More

  • Work/Life Balance
         
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7 people found this helpful  

It's all about who you directly work with... & it's totally corporate.

Customer Service Specialist (Former Employee)
Falls Church, VA

I worked at REI


Pros: It's a relatively easy job, even in customer service with… Cons: The ideals/image of REI & the reality are not exactly the same. Very corporate The scheduling became increasingly difficult. Low compensation Having to push "memberships" Boredom factor... it… Advice to Senior Management: Every company has to evolve but its a shame REI has evolved so… More

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