Things Remembered - Seasonal Sales Associate turned into Manager on Duty | Glassdoor
There are newer employer reviews for Things Remembered
There are newer employer reviews for Things Remembered

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"Seasonal Sales Associate turned into Manager on Duty"

Star Star Star Star Star
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
Former Employee - Sales Associate in Los Angeles, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Negative Outlook
No opinion of CEO

I worked at Things Remembered part-time (More than a year)

Pros

I was originally hired on as a seasonal employee, but was asked to become part of the base crew (which I accepted). They teach you how to sell and how to engrave. In the beginning it was a good experience. The weekly allotment of hours offers a good work/life balance, but it means not earning enough money to pay your bills. Overall, the coworkers were friendly and the veteran ones were available to help.

Cons

You are not paid adequately for the amount of work that you are expected to do, in the amount of time that you're expected to do it in. Too many shifts were all single coverage which meant greeting and helping customers, engraving items, answering the phones, filling out daily paperwork, unloading shipment, doing inventory, and maintaining a clean store all at the same time. The average number of hours the employees were getting ranged from 3-15, which is completely ridiculous and usually conflicted with employee availability. Management was severely under trained, and more than once I was asked to teach my manager how to do her job. The turnover rate is very high, for both sales associates and managers. There came a point when my store had NO management and I was forced to stand in. The sales goals were so high for each employee that we all had a very hard time reaching them no matter how good you were at selling. The DM had no clue what was going in the stores and didn't seem to care enough to find out. Often times the closers would leave overnight engraving for the openers and not tell them which created an unfulfilled turn time for the customer.

Advice to Management

Make sure the people you hire into management positions actually deserve to be put there, and that they know how run a store. Provide more training for ALL employees (even a refresher course would be good). Acknowledge employee's good performance. Make some changes to the STAR goals and payroll hours so that employees can have a chance to meet their goals and pay their bills. Hold your staff (including management) accountable and work together to find solutions to resolve issues.

Other Employee Reviews for Things Remembered

  1. "Sales associate"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate in Muncie, IN
    Former Employee - Associate in Muncie, IN
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Things Remembered part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I enjoyed the customers and engraving. The discount is nice.

    Cons

    No breaks or bathroom you will generally be working by yourself. As an associate you have to close the store , balance registers, and drop the deposit all for minimum wage. This may vary for the actual stores but kiosks are ran this way.

    Advice to Management

    Associates should not be performing management duties for minimum wage with all the responsibility and liability with no benefits.


  2. Helpful (5)

    "Before I even blinked, I had wasted over 1/3 of my life with TR - for nothing!"

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

    I worked at Things Remembered full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful customers, for the most part. Work-Life balance is good, except around a holiday. (see cons) PTO time is generous - if allowed to take it. Creativity in engraving is fun - if you are a skilled engraver. This takes years to develop, truthfully. (Not 3 days of training as the H.O. would believe)

    Cons

    Where do I start? H.O. is out of touch with the field. They create unrealistic sales expectations, and don't address things like workload. Single coverage quite a bit of the time, so you're expected to sell/engrave/clean/plan-a-promo/do paperwork all at the same time. If not done, you are reprimanded. No excuses.

    DMs are generally not trained on day-to-day operations. (Well, they get maybe a week in a store while training, but that's not enough to get a feel for what we do) This leads to further unrealistic expectations on day-to-day ops.

    There are virtually no training hours for PT staff, particularly to learn how to engrave. Training books are a good resource, but no one uses them. (We did in my store)

    Managers typically work only 40 hrs a week during non-peak periods. But non-peak is literally 2 weeks in Jan after inventory, 2 weeks in Feb after V-Day, most of March, 2 weeks in July after inventory, most of Aug, and the early part of Sept. The times not mentioned are our busier times, so 40 hours just doesn't cut it. But we get in trouble for working over 40, so sometimes the work doesn't get done. So guess what happens? See paragraph 1. However, never fear. Because they have mandatory schedules so that you are allowed to work over 40 during every gift-giving occasion of the year. (Sometimes, more like 60, with no days off, depending on what day of the week the holiday falls on) If you are a mother, don't plan on spending Mother's Day with your family. Ever. If you live far from your family, forget spending another Thanksgiving with them ever again, because you'll be required to work the day before, and (probably now) 12 midnight on Black Fri. And Christmas...there are no words. My advice-do your Christmas shopping in August. You'll never want to be at the mall shopping on your time off.

    A good, seasoned Store Mgr (me) can manage holidays with ease, but that doesn't mean it's easy. The key is hiring early, over-hiring, and spending every moment during extra coverage training people. But that's difficult with our new hiring process, all done online.

    The merchandise used to be quality many years ago, but in the last several years, since around 2006, it's gotten really poor; particularly the jewelry.

    They claim that there are career advancement opportunities. But the company's track record for promoting SMs to DMs is maybe 1% at best. Nothing is ever good enough. Nothing. Excellent, seasoned Store Managers (or anyone for that matter) are not made to feel appreciated for anything. They will find a reason to hold you back.

    Compensation, in general, is below average, compared to other retailers. I worked in a AA market and made decent money, but moving from AA to A, they cut my pay - by a lot! They cut it so much, I was not able to sustain my normal, already frugal lifestyle.

    A note for your health - plan to be on your feet on hard floor, or low-carpet for 8-10 hours a day. Virtually no breaks, and some stores don't even have a single chair in their backroom to sit on. This wreaks havoc on your knees and feet over the years. This goes for any retailer, not just TR. The health/dental benefits are average. Nothing spectacular.

    This is not a job for the mediocre. You must be intelligent and well-schooled (by that, I mean in math and grammar). That is key in this business, as we engrave, proofread, and add engraving pricing on a daily basis. If you are a poor speller or bad at grammar, this is not the job for you. Also, if you are creative in a business sense, move on. You are not allowed to do anything for your business that is not communicated by H.O., even if it generates more sales. If you do, you'll have a black mark against you forever.

    For a company that claims to be so warm and fuzzy by creating life's special moments for our customers, they are terrible at employee recognition. There are nominal (basically lame) service award gifts every 5 years. No funded holiday party. A little goes a long way. All I'm saying is 'don't just talk about it, be about it'. They used to have a grand celebration for the top 50 stores annually at the H.O. in Cleveland. It was amazing, and they really made us feel special. That has been scaled down significantly since the new CEO came on board.

    Advice to Management

    H.O. employees and DMs/RDs/LPMs - Volunteer to work in a store during Christmas / 2nd season. Not just a few hours. Shadow the Store Manager. For a week. Then you'll understand. For the CEO - please participate in the TV show, Undercover Boss. Adam B. - you ought to do both of the aforementioned.

There are newer employer reviews for Things Remembered
There are newer employer reviews for Things Remembered

See Most Recent

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