Edward McKay Used Books Reviews | Glassdoor

Edward McKay Used Books Reviews

Updated February 3, 2017
20 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

1.3
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Phillip Jacobson
13 Ratings

20 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Section Manager"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Shift Manager in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Shift Manager in Greensboro, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Work with amazing people; access to rare books, music, and movies; fast-paced work environment; trade credit.

    Cons

    Lack of accountability within highest levels of management. Nepotism, nepotism, nepotism. Paranoia from the owning family,made working conditions less than ideal. Vice president thinks of media like a grocer rather than as unique items with unique values.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the people below you who actually value the items that are sold. Let each store evolve and be unique and different. Trust your employees.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "director of fiction"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Raleigh, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    trade credit, some really cool people

    Cons

    they nit pick you to death, all mistakes are tracked ALL mistakes In the last 30 days I saw 3 people get fired (I made 4) and 2 people gave notice. Pretty much everybody else are actively searching for other jobs. The day they kicked me out the door I had a customer call to tell management how great my service was and how good the experience was. Whee! That and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee! Wish I had read these reviews before I applied and got hired! What a waste of time!

    Advice to Management

    You would make bonus if you encouraged employees and their ideas. Everybody and I mean EVERYBODY makes mistakes!


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Awful work place"

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

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

    Pros

    Trade credit and full time work

    Cons

    Hostile work environment with too much favoritism and nobody to help you out

    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees and listen


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  5. Helpful (4)

    "Beware of this place...find something better."

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

    Pros

    Talented and well-educated staff, very knowledgeable about their departments of expertise. Trade credit.

    Cons

    Oh..where do I begin, first let me say that the reviews for this company are correct. When I first started working, I thought this was the coolest most wonderful place to work. It is a place where creativity can reign, and you truly see everything come through. But that dream ended when I started seeing really what was happening in this place. Management does not do their job; training is not done correctly but if you mess up, instead of training you they will fire you. Because management can not get called out on their wrong doings. People work hard there and are only rewarded with a termination slip if you don't quit on your own. I've seen over 30 people if not more get walked out of this place. Policies change depending on write-ups given. No one is on the employee's side. Management will throw you under the bus and not care. Race is an issue because there seems to be no advancement for people of color but if your lucky and do make it to management, if anything goes down your the first to go. You have no lunches, just 2 five minute breaks. No place to sit down, because they removed all the chairs, yet management can go and eat, plus set down in the office. While they watch videos of the employees and see who they can get out. Upper management hires and fires based on their likes and dislikes. Not having the company in mind, but yet they will preach to you about teamwork but they don't follow it themselves. They break you, tell you that everything is wrong and lead with fear instead of purpose. What this company does is hire people with exceptional skills and then say that you're not right and don't know how to do your job. They fear smart, intelligent people only because they know half of the employees that work there can do a better job in management than they do. If you speak your mind, you are a target, while management runs around and tells your business and informs new employees not to get close to your are clique up. Sometimes I wonder how this place is still in business with the type of policies they have in place and the way they treat their staff. Cameras are for employees, not customers, so they can listen to your conversations and find ways to write you up or fire you. They punish you by your schedule if you are on their bad side, you will have a month of cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming at the end of each shift and info for at three days on your schedule. When I started there, my closing duty was vacuuming every night for at least four months, when I asked if I could do other closing duties. I was vacuuming for another two months. The real heartbreak of this job is the wonderful, hard working and talented staff they have. You see your coworkers get discriminated against based on color and medical history. All you can do is let it happen because if you try and defend them or help them out. They come after you also. I could go on and on about this place bottom line. If you want a job that praises you for a job well done, has management that appreciates it's staff, a place where you can grow and move up. A place where nepotism is not so much and a place where they train you to exceed not fail. Then this is not the place for you. BEWARE...find something else and a better company that deserves your skill because this place does not.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing, this company will never change. The only time I can see a change coming is when it's too late, and the door is closing on this place. Shame it's a great place and idea, but HR and management make it intolerable with RACE!!, nepotism, micro-management and spending time meeting their write up quotas for the month.


  6. Helpful (5)

    "A once great local company turned into a monster corporation"

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

    I worked at Edward McKay Used Books full-time

    Pros

    Casual clothing, with room for expression, body modification allowed. Much of the staff is chill, though they seem to be fighting off the urge to kill themselves if they've been there a decent amount of time. You also periodically receive store credit to use on certain items (not usable on videogames or anything regular store credit works on).

    Cons

    Employees are treated like criminals, with bag checks every shift, and cameras and microphones constantly watching over them. HQ is run by folks with little concern of what their employees experience daily, and rarely think through how changes in policy often conflict. The turnover rate is BANANAS. Probably one out of every three new-hires makes it past two months. Gossip and drama permeate the staff, and the management (local and HQ) never resolve issues, but instead seem to encourage them. I've seen several black employees fired under false pretense after the culprit of employee theft was not found. Sadly, many of the seasoned employees are incredibly talented at their jobs, and know an insane amount about their areas of specialty; but there seems to be little loyalty shown in return to them. The owner seems nice enough, but lets his dysfunctional marriage overshadow his business, and everyone suffers for it. I've seen several management changes over the years and each time a competent and caring manager is put in place, they are quickly beaten down by power-drunk HQ and become jaded drones. The number of disgruntled ex-employees Ed Mckay's has garnered over the years is staggering! To the point where these former employees have opened successful competing businesses.

    Advice to Management

    The low morale here is due directly to a bulldog. Get rid of the poisonous attitudes you have about "expendable employees"- your business relies on expertise for Pete's sake! And you are quickly running out of employees who can train the masses you hire and turn around and fire.


  7. Helpful (2)

    "Ed Mckays has awful management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    Pros

    Coworkers are mostly nice people, and you earn trade credit every pay period. If this store had completely different management, it would not be a bad place to work.

    Cons

    I am going to start this by saying that rating them with even one star feels like too much. Ed Mckays has some of the worst management I have ever witnessed.
    As a cashier, you are expected to learn a 3" thick binder full of policies. They give you a new section to read every week. Most of the policies are standard things, but it is a whole lot to learn. Also, if you get written up three times, you are terminated. They are very quick to write you up and will not hesitate to do so, regardless of if you are being written up for something you were untrained on. The training here is really minimal. After about a week, you basically have to grab a manager to help you out every time something you have never dealt with occurs. I personally feel like I was not trained very well.
    Favoritism/nepotism is a huge issue in the store. During my short stay at this store, I definitely saw certain employees get away with screwing things up, because they are favorites of managers.

    Advice to Management

    Give new employees leeway. Understand the operating system that is used in the store is incredibly difficult to get the hang of at first. Instead of writing up employees for every small mistake, help show them how to improve in the future. While I am relieved I no longer work for this company, I do feel management should entirely reevaluate their training methods. I recommend giving new employees some wiggle room to make mistakes. Everyone in the store makes mistakes, including full time employees who have been there for years (trust me, I saw plenty of mistakes made in the buy-back department that were never punished). Trainees will only get discouraged if they get written up in their first few weeks.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Stressful Toxic Place to Work"

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

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

    Pros

    Trade credit, vacation time and a weekend day off ethier Saturday or Sunday of every week.

    Cons

    Extreme favoritism to the max. Promotions are given basesd on how buddy buddy you are with the Managment staff. Not what you know or how well you work for them. Schedule is very vague and can change with little to no notice. Full time employes are made to work 40 hours a week but are only scheduled for 35. Meaning you would have to ethier stay over after shift or come in on your day off. Also there is no lunch break or any break ever. They would let one person go out and get lunch to bring to us but we all have to eat from the same place. During the store's remodel we had to paint walls, lift heavy wood and etc. We are not getting paid nearly enough to be construction worker and Bookseller. When the store was flooded instead of replacing the carpet they just shampooed it. Then when it dried werid spots came up in the carpet. The store is also extremely dirty has fleas and roaches and Managment has done nothing about it. They are always hiring because ethier they firing people because they don't fit into their clique or people just quit and never look back. If I were you I would bypass this place and look for other jobs. Trust me you do not want to work here ever.

    Advice to Management

    Clean the store, Create a better scheduling system, let your employees have at least a 30 min lunch break, end the gossip and the drama, focus on business. Replace that nasty carpet.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "This is a horrible company to work for"

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

    Pros

    management pay great, commission good.

    Cons

    They made up policies left and right just to find ways to fire people. One manager can tell you one thing to follow then another can fire you for following the instructions given. Favoritism is recognizable from the beginning. If one HQ doesn't like you for some reason you're gone. You can get a great evaluation one day then fired for a made up reason the next.

    Advice to Management

    They are too selfish and stubborn to know good advice so why bother.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Just another stepping stone job."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Trainee in Greensboro, NC
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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

    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.


  11. Helpful (4)

    "A Toxic Place to Work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Store Director in Greensboro, NC
    Former Employee - Store Director in Greensboro, NC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    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.


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