Atkinson-Baker Reviews | Glassdoor

Atkinson-Baker Reviews

Updated April 21, 2017
54 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

3.3
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Sheila Atkinson-Baker
24 Ratings

54 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • There is vacation pay, sick pay, great benefits and free parking in downtown Glendale (in 6 reviews)

  • If you can manage to conform to ABI's incredibly serious, straight-faced, hard-working, no-talking culture, you will be promoted quickly (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • No wonder this company has such a high turnover rate (in 5 reviews)

  • Nothing worth mentioning really (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Overall, good while it lasted."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Litigation Support Specialist in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Litigation Support Specialist in Glendale, CA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Atkinson-Baker full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    -PTO, friendly atmosphere with good people, benefits offered (Medical, Life, Vision, etc.) free parking, perfect location with lots of places to eat
    -Trust in abilities with the opportunity to get cross-trained
    -Good starting pay for an entry level position
    -Weekends off with a good schedule

    Cons

    -Pay isn't justifiable after you learn more positions.
    If you can handle being paid the same while more is being asked of you, then you won't have a problem with this job at all!

    Advice to Management

    Reward your employees with an increase in their salary if you cross-train him/her into various positions. That will definitely improve the chances of having them stay to work instead of having them pursue and end up choosing the company that will value them more.


  2. "It's a culture thing."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Atkinson-Baker full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you can manage to conform to ABI's incredibly serious, straight-faced, hard-working, no-talking culture, you will be promoted quickly. Hard work is recognized, but it will also go unnoticed if you don't speak up. ABI values bold intelligence and forward-thinking suggestions/habits. The training is so detailed and will quite literally give you a play-by-play of what is expected of you -- so pay attention and don't snooze through it thinking you won't need to remember any of it (you'll be expected to remember every little bit of it). Finally, the best part of working here is that after moving up, you'll have an inbox full of job offers from firms that ABI works with often, especially if you're in one of the positions that require you to speak with attorneys and reporters (they enjoy getting to know the employees and building professional relationships). The experience you'll gain working here can potentially take you very far, as it did for me, and the habits you pick up here (right down to cleaning your workspace once a week) will be a very pleasant surprise to your next employer. I never realized how much I'd appreciate Atkinson-Baker until after I'd left them -- and before any of the miserable saps still working there try to say that Alan put me up to this, let me clear the air by expressing that nobody asked me to type this. I was once in your position, but I let go of the lavish expectations I felt I deserved in the workplace and made the best of my situation in every way I possibly could. I'm thankful that between Julio, April, Alan, and HR, my concerns and suggestions were heard and taken into consideration, which made for a much better quality experience that I will continue to speak positively of to every professional who inquires.

    Cons

    There are many cons to every workplace. ABI was no exception. For me, the biggest issue is the social culture here. Chitchat is discouraged (unless it's during one of your 10 min breaks or lunch), however, writing each other up is encouraged. The only time you'll really interact with your coworkers is if you've done something wrong, or if you're informing someone's manager of something another coworker has done wrong. There's a big nuturing aspect to negativity here, and for that very reason, I believe the backstabbing personal attacks run rampant here. Almost everyone hates each other here, and it's so incredibly toxic to the environment. I kept to myself the entire 2.5 years I worked here, and tried to keep things lighthearted as often as possible, however, I still became the target of mulitple personal attacks both within the office and outside of it. This experience has deeply impacted my ability to socialize at my new office, where socializing is highly encouraged (the new job holds weekly social events on the clock and wants to ensure that we're all very happy at all times). My new office feels that because of my hesitance to socialize at work, perhaps I'm unhappy or that I'm just a conflicting personality type -- I'm not at all, I've just had some really unbelievable experiences at ABI that have lingered. I'm working on letting that go, but it's something that people should be aware of and prepared for when considering accepting a position here. Another con is that ABI tends to lose employees faster than they are able to hire them. I can recall a full two years when every day it seemed I was covering my position, as well as one or two other positions, simply because of a lack of manpower. All the while, there was a lot of pressure to produce the same volume of work as when we did have that manpower available to us. This is incredibly unfair and it really does seem like management is quick to blame someone above them for the issue. When addressed with the CEO, he requested that we create a formal CSW for a new employee and come up with a full bullet-point of what was needed in the area (indicating that it had not been done, therefore passing the buck back down the ladder). It seems to be easier for everyone here to avoid responsibility and blame other people, and it almost seems encouraged, even among the top executives. Finally, the pay here... well, you're not going to get paid what you deserve. Doesn't matter who you are, what your background is, or how many degrees you have... the salary here falls below threshold. My suggestion in that department is to make sure that you are doing your job perfectly, going above and beyond whenever possible, and making sure that management notices you (even if you literally have to type up and email and tell them what you've done). You will certainly need to request an appointment with HR when the time comes for a raise request, and where that's concerned, emotional reasoning is discouraged. Firmness, directness, and a high sense of awareness will be the only things that get you where you need to be at this company.

    Advice to Management

    Accept responsibility and encourage others to do the same. I would suggest lessening the intensity of the write-ups and write-up processes, and ensuring that the system of writing coworkers up is not being abused over petty, inconsequential situations (that are often rooted in a personal vendetta toward another coworker). If you truly want to cut down time spent on unprofitable tasks, then ridding the company of this sort of habit is your first step. I can't tell you the number of multiple-paragraphed essays I received from juniors complaining about the most ridiculous and irrelative things, simply because each employee is encouraged to rat one another out as often as possible (to cover their own butts). This isn't healthy for your company; even less so for your employees. Additionally, the lack of appreciation shown toward employees is shocking. I know first hand that Alan and Sheila do appreciate hard work when they see it. Why not seek it out for recognition? You can give gift cards for solving a weekly riddle or for being nominated as employee of the week, but you can't nix all of that for a competitive goal with a higher reward? Give your employees a reason to want the company to succeed, help them find their drive, and you'll find that the quality of work done and quality of employees retained will substantially increase. Grow your business on positivity. Rid your business of its deeply-rooted negativity. The potential to bring in much higher sales revenue and higher customer satisfaction relies entirely upon the backs of those doing even the simplest of tasks. Keep them happy and they will make you happier.


  3. "Good place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Atkinson-Baker full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    I’ve been with ABI for going on 11 years. For someone who’s previously only lasted a maximum of 3 years with each previous job, that’s saying a lot. There are many things to like about ABI. It’s very professional and structured. The offices are clean, modern, and in a very good location in downtown Glendale. But more than that, what I love most about ABI is that it recognizes talent and hard work. You could start off as a receptionist and end up a director of a department or even a vice president as long you’re determined, dedicated, and willing to learn new skills. I myself have handled a few posts in my 10-plus years here at ABI, and I feel very lucky to be at my current post, working for an awesome boss!

    Cons

    The cons are negligible so they're not worth mentioning here.

    Atkinson-Baker Response

    Sep 25, 2016 – President

    Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experiences in the company. I really appreciate your contributions to the team over the years. Best regards, Sheila Atkinson-Baker


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  5. "I like working here"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Current Employee - Clerical in Glendale, CA
    Current Employee - Clerical in Glendale, CA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I like working at Atkinson-Baker. I have been here for 13+ years. It’s a very orderly place. The company policy is all laid out and accessible. Everyone gets trained on their functions and apprenticed so they know what’s expected of them. The company is stable. During the recent downturn in the economy, I never once worried the company would be in trouble. The staff are cared for with accrued personal time, health insurance and 401(k) options. It’s possible to transfer and/or gain promotion if requested. Almost all the positions are detail oriented so in that respect, it’s not for everyone.

    Cons

    I have no Cons with the company. If there was anything major I wouldn't still be here.

    Atkinson-Baker Response

    Sep 25, 2016 – President

    Thank you for your comments and taking the time to express your views. It is very much appreciated. Best, Sheila Atkinson-Baker


  6. Helpful (2)

    "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Steady, reliable paycheck. Alan Atkinson Baker tries to do his best for the employees. If you prove to be a steady employee you will be offered opportunities to advance. My pay was okay but the rest of the benefits are lacking.

    Cons

    There is the assumption that because they are willing to pay OT it doesn't matter how much time they demand out of your life. Work/life balance does not exist. Some of the management has been promoted because they've put in the time, not because they're qualified. There is an atmosphere of undercutting your co-workers, if you can prove they're wrong before they accuse you of the same then maybe you will avoid going to Qual. HR gives written warnings in situations where they are not warranted but a single employee can rack up many, many warnings with very little repercussion. It invalidates any sense of discipline. The lack of paid holidays is depressing. All this leads to an office full of low morale.

    Advice to Management

    I don't know how to fix the problems, I tried and was unsuccessful so I left. I defended the office and the poor benefits for years because of the recession but when I heard the Atkinson-Bakers donated 13 million to Scientology instead of reinvesting in the company I lost all respect

    Atkinson-Baker Response

    Jul 28, 2016 – President

    Thank you for your candor and willingness to outline positives in addition to negatives. I do understand that it can be difficult to implement positive change in certain cultures, and I appreciate ... More


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Don't work here! Extremely narrow-minded Human Resources"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Atkinson-Baker full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    You can move up fast here if you are a hard-worker and do quality work.

    Cons

    Religious-Scientology propaganda, posters, writings everywhere. They aren't into keeping positive business relationships. Once you leave and if you have constructive criticism for the company they will label you a "suppressive person" like Scientology does.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to employees, don't get caught up in workplace drama, hire employees that are happy to be at work and do their jobs. Get rid of people with alcohol problems. It makes for a bad work environment.

    Atkinson-Baker Response

    Jul 17, 2016 – President

    Thank you for communicating your concerns. I do wish they had been communicated while you were still at the company so that we could have clarified and addressed them. We do, indeed, value feedback ... More


  8. Helpful (3)

    "Litigation Support Specialist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Litigation Support Specialist in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Litigation Support Specialist in Glendale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Atkinson-Baker full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    My coworkers were very nice, and the Glendale area is a great place to work. Close to the Americana shopping center.

    Cons

    I spent the first 3-4 weeks in the training room completing repetitive exercises that ended up having very little to do with the actual tasks of my job. Then once fully trained and deposited in my cubicle, I was instructed to complete the same task at least 26 times a day. Also, at the end of the day, I was expected to email my manager an account of what I did during the day, detailed down to the minute.

    Advice to Management

    Employee morale would probably increase if there was less micromanagement.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - California in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - California in Glendale, CA

    Pros

    The company operates by published policy which makes things certain, not run by whim. I worked for the company 14 years and moved up from a recruiter to a manager. During my time with the company it grew from 98 employees to over 170. The company provided me with a path to reach goals I set for myself and I very happy about that.

    Cons

    There are no perfect jobs that I have seen and every employer can improve on things. I have observed Top Management at Atkinson-Baker Inc working in the directions of improving things for their employees.


  10. Helpful (8)

    "Only take this job as a last resort."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Glendale, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Most of the people you will work with are nice. Of course you will also have to deal with some co workers that are not as nice but that is something you will find anywhere else you go. The location is great and a job is better than no job, but that i. Up for debate in this case.

    Cons

    Below market pay
    Terrible HR
    L.R. Hubbard management practices that have you micromanaged.
    Numerous amounts of policies
    Boring, and highly unproductive training for about three months. Being in the training room made me want to jump out the window or poke my eyes out with a pencil.
    Very insulting pay and wage raises.
    Once again, terrible HR. You know who you are.
    Management needs a lot of improvement

    Advice to Management

    Pay a decent salary, and hire real management consultants, not the L.R HUbbard school of management. That is psychological abuse to your workers considering. Stop treating your employees like children, and improve that terrible training which just wastes trees and kills souls.

    Atkinson-Baker Response

    Apr 9, 2015 – President

    Thank you for sharing your concerns. I am truly sorry that you had such a negative experience at our company. The wellbeing of our employees is very important to us. We will be addressing some of ... More


  11. Helpful (7)

    "There should be an option for ZERO stars."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Department in Glendale, CA
    Former Employee - Production Department in Glendale, CA
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Atkinson-Baker full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The only pros are that it's in a good location in Glendale, and that many of the employees are very nice and friendly. Not competent, but friendly. This doesn't apply to management, which is neither competent nor friendly.

    Cons

    Pay is insulting. I started at 10.50/hr and when I left over 4 years later, I was only making 11.85/hr. Pay increases must be begged for, and are never performance-based, only "cost of living' (which is ironic, since it's almost impossible to live off less than 12 bucks an hour in L.A.) Many people took jobs here when the economy tanked, because it was the only place that was hiring (they're ALWAYS hiring, due to massive turnover from employee dissatisfaction), but now the economy is improving and people are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. People quit weekly these days. Almost all new hires now are under 25, because kids who live with their parents are the only ones who can deal with the horrible pay rate here.

    Management is horrendous, at least in the production department. Micromanagement like I've never seen; it borders on harassment. They treat their staff like delinquent children in detention hall. NO respect. There are too many managers, left over from a structure set up in the 1980's by L. Ron Hubbard (yes, THAT L. Ron Hubbard, the Scientologist con artist). They use the "Hubbard Management System" which is embarrassingly archaic and completely obsolete in today's modern workplace. And that's the main, underlying problem with ABI: If you're running your company based on the lunatic ravings of a compulsively-lying shyster who DIED before half your staff was even born, you're setting yourself up for failure.

    HR is horrible. It's not confidential. If you have an issue with a manager, HR immediately sides with the manager. They walk around looking for violations of dress code, whether out of boredom or meanness, I don't know. The company has employees write up other employees for mistakes, which has created a festering mire of animosity, paranoia and distrust that's unbelievable unless you see it with your own eyes. All part and parcel of the fabulous "Hubbard Management System".

    Most of the positive reviews on this and other sites are clearly from management (don't you have any actual work to do?!) who are padding the site to bump the negative reviews down. If you read them, they read like form letters. I wouldn't be surprised if they have some of their weirdos at the Celebrity Center in Hollywood spending their days doing internet reputation-bandaging for Scientology companies like Atkinson-Baker. These reviews say the pay is decent -- it's NOT. It's not competitive for the legal market. They say there is paid sick and paid vacation leave. There is NOT. You can accrue up to 10 days/year of time off, but that's sick and vacation leave combined. So people are constantly coming to work sick so they don't ruin their vacation plans, which makes their co-workers sick. Yeah, it's a real class act here. They say there are good benefits here. The benefits are awful -- they don't pay their lowest level employees enough to be able to afford the expensive insurance premiums they offer. I know of several people over the years in the production department who were receiving government assistance for food and housing. That's not a "good salary" as the fake reviews suggest. They say the training is good. It's not. It's intensive and time-consuming, but set up in such a stupid way that all it does is waste time and doesn't train you for what you actually do on the job. Just a bunch of Hubbard nonsense and Scientology jargon. They say there's room for advancement. If you're willing to suck up and take abuse and accept "promotions" that are twice as much work and pressure and abuse for only 50 cents more an hour, then yeah, I guess that's technically "advancement".

    Advice to Management

    When you have employees who take on responsibilities outside of their job description to help out and to compensate for your inept middle managers, pay them accordingly. Your management is composed of whip-crackers, not leaders. ZERO leadership. Rein in your abusive executives before their power trips cause you to wake up one day to an empty office. Stop remotely spying on employees' computers and Outlook accounts like it's Warsaw in 1939. You're ridiculous. Your company is ridiculous. No amount of fake review padding on job review websites can fix your reputation, which is in the toilet. You think your staff recommends this job to their friends and networks? It's bad, folks. Your reputation is pathetic. And I personally would rather be homeless than work here again. You're bad people. You are mean, disrespectful, just BAD people.


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