National Pen Company Reviews | Glassdoor

National Pen Company Reviews

Updated March 21, 2017
89 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

2.2
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Peter Kelly
6 Ratings

89 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people to work with, overtime opportunities (in 4 reviews)

  • They do lots of things to try to make the work environment fun (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • absolutely no benefits that any other company has, basic health insurance which is a joke, that's about it (in 5 reviews)

  • We have a new CEO and his ideas are that we should be like our European division (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Changes taking over"

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

    Pros

    Most customers were great to work with.

    Cons

    Management lacks the knowledge to do their job properly. Very poor at motivating the sales reps.

    Advice to Management

    With all the changes occurring there needs to be a clear a defined vision of where the company is headed. Long term Goals need to be defined and shared with employees. Employees need to feel like they are cared about, not just another number. Need some employee appreciation events.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "Sad sad sad would have gave 0 stars if it would have let me. STAY AWAY"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Relationship Manager in Shelbyville, TN
    Former Employee - Customer Relationship Manager in Shelbyville, TN
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at National Pen Company full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Easy to get hired (which isn't saying much)
    Most employees are great- Most. It's making me write twenty more words to post this review in the pros. But sadly there is nothing good about this company

    Cons

    Management is a JOKE. The "director" if you can even call her that is a woman who claims to be "the Lords Servant" but is the most manipulating, lying, backstabbing woman in the company. She took every employee in upper management that questioned the terrible decisions she was making and replaced them with people that I wouldn't trust to run a self serve ice cream machine just because they are to uneducated to question things that are wrong. I worked at National pen for 4 years and for 3 of those years, it was the best career I could imagine. Great people great management and great pay. Now, the management are people who have no business managing anything let alone a team/ area. They fire anyone who questions why they are screwing people. They change the pay scale so much you never know what your getting paid and if you ask anyone you get a different answer all the time. Every time thy change it it makes it harder and harder to make money all while they raise insurance cost to over 1,000 dollars a month for family. Which is what most people make in a paycheck so half their income gone. Gossip, rumors , "director" , and HR are what is going to bring this company down. I will be completely shocked if the company is still there in shelbyville in 2 years.

    Advice to Management

    Lol. They won't Listen.


  3. Helpful (1)

    "Insulting"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at National Pen Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great co-workers
    Hours aren't bad
    Free pens
    Occasional ice cream (once a year)
    We can decorate for holidays
    You can eat outside for lunch
    They are finally talking about upgrades to the facility (which is disgusting)
    Customers are the bright side of the day these days

    Cons

    The management we have (new management & the management we have left from the new structure) are not professional. They do not care about the employees. There used to be an opportunity for growth. That's gone and even if it wasn't, you wouldn't want to be in management. The smart ones have left.

    My co-workers are great, but right now there is so much change it's hard to stay positive. Everyone is either looking for another job because of pay cuts or so afraid they will get fired.
    No one is positive. Just complaining.

    We are now run by Europeans. I applied and interviewed for another position and the "feedback" was basically that I should never think of myself as ready to grow into another role, that I would never be qualified for it, and I shouldn't be in the interview for the job because I should have known I wasn't ready. I'm not sure how I can improve to be considered and no one seems willing to coach me. It was unprofessional. If I'm not right for the job, tell me how I can improve. Don't insult me to the point that I don't have self esteem left.

    I think the old director is on her way out and is passing on her job to the lady from Ireland. She is less approachable and professional than who we had.

    Advice to Management

    You can't expect quality employees without quality management and professional etiquette. I took a leap to grow with the company and I was insulted so much that I don't want to work for the company anymore. I don't expect to be handed a position that I am not right for, but I also don't deserve to be put down and insulted by the new director either.
    Try being professional. Take classes on etiquette. HR needs lessons too. We can't be confident in any of you right now.


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Sad but true...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Supervisor in Shelbyville, TN
    Former Employee - Sales Supervisor in Shelbyville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at National Pen Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Several amazing sales reps! It was a great paying job for the Shelbyville area before the pay changes. Played music on Friday's.

    Cons

    Pay, lack of skilled middle and upper management, completely unprofessional atmosphere and it's down right filthy. Plumbing was horrible. Parking lot is dangerous.

    Advice to Management

    Due to restructuring, several managers and supervisors were "let go" and those positions no longer existed. However those positions were ultimately filled with people who have no business being in any kind of management or team lead role. Their lack of experience and the lack of proper training from anyone in a position above them, caused nothing but more work for the supervisors that knew what they were doing. The supervisory team was left to clean up the ever growing pile of messes coming down the chain. We, on a daily basis, had to break nothing short of devastating news to our teams. In a span of 4 weeks one department's pay was changed 3 times. These are very successful sales reps, some have been with the company 10+ years, and had no idea how to calculate what they were being paid. When approaching upper management about these issues... the standard answer was to "let me ask" someone else. Those questions usually never got a follow up answer. It was a running joke how certain members of management figured out how to "get the reps to stop talking to them." My advice to management is to empower the people you do have in a leadership role so they can make decisions and for everyone's sake....train them, show your face on the sales floor when mass changes are going on and realize that you have good employees that are worth paying and that YES they can take their skills and find a job paying just as much.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Second round with NPC"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Pen Company full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    It's easy to get hired. You work with great people. It's convenient if you live in Shelbyville. You earn PTO time at a decent rate. You have insurance options.

    Cons

    This is my second time working here. The first time (about two years ago) was a much better experience. The management team and supervisors were supportive and intelligent. They made everything fun. It wasn't perfect, but I liked coming to work. It was a great environment. Now it's draining and stiff. New management is here and apparently they don't like fun or a relaxed environment. Stress is part of your job, but you'll have that anywhere. At least before the atmosphere made up for it. Now the pay is bad and the people in charge are so unprofessional and have no idea how to actually run a business. The department managers don't know business or people. The supervisors have no leadership and no answers. The speculation is favoritism but I think they hired them just to do whatever the main lady says because they don't know how to say no. Everyone puts accountability to the next person in charge and of course they don't have answers either. Everyone is waiting for answers. Meanwhile change is quick when it comes to lowering our pay.
    I don't want to slam the company, but honestly this isn't the time to work here. We have a new CEO and his ideas are that we should be like our European division. He sent a woman to babysit us and she clearly doesn't like anything about this building. She never seems happy with us and seems overall displeased anytime a question is asked. The other main boss is not approachable. She never is really around anymore.
    We are all just waiting for more bad news and more unqualified people to tell us what we are changing next.

    Advice to Management

    The department managers aren't managing. The supervisors have no direction and their behavior is getting more ridiculous. The recently promoted supervisors need a lot of training if they stay. The managers need to actually manage them. The sales coaches have no one training them. The tenured supervisors have given up and spend their time talking to each other.
    Look at what is happening. Is this really the best direction for the company or is the goal to shut down?
    We need to feel like someone has answers. I don't think anyone does anymore.


  7. "It used to be great. Now it's ridiculous."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at National Pen Company full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    It used to be fantastic. I used to look forward to coming to work. There are no pros now. Maybe free coffee if I had to pick something. Oh. It's easy to get hired on.

    Cons

    It's a despicable place to work now. The "Director", and I use that term lightly, is an irrational, emotional wreck. She replaced anyone who knew what they were doing and actually cared about employees with her unqualified favorites. They are unprofessional and spend most of their time gossiping with each other. Don't bother talking to HR about the issues. What you tell them gets back to the rest of management. Then you have to worry about retaliation. HR and the director are of one mind. They do what she says even if it's wrong. All they do is gossip too.
    The building hasn't been cleaned ever in my time here and I've been here for over ten years. It has mold and is a fire hazard. It's so cold and heaters are banned. The plumbing is a joke. Toilets are always broken.
    There are genuinely great people who work here, but I see most of them, myself included, leaving soon. The pay structure is a joke. They stopped paying for health insurance so you have to pay a ridiculous amount and since they dropped pay, you'd make more money working at a restaurant.
    We have a new CEO. He sent people from Ireland to help. They are rude. They clearly don't like Americans. But at least they are smarter than the people in charge. Hopefully they will find qualified replacements for current management or bring back the people who knew what they were doing.

    Advice to Management

    Even if I gave advice, they wouldn't listen.


  8. "Probably what my vision of hell would be like."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Current Employee - CRM in Shelbyville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at National Pen Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    They kind of pay me, although not very well. There are no pros that I can think of whatsoever. None. Move along.

    Cons

    Leadership team is horrible. All managers are quitting including the CEO and all of upper management. The management team has been replaced by halfwit, dumb sorority girl wannabees. Hr team plays favorites. Awful pay. Awful, expensive benefits. Company being sold every two years so your pay rate is constantly changing. Being chained to a desk every single day and having so much stress on you to hit completely unreasonable sales goals with the technology (or lack of) and tools provided is NOT worth the money. They had a team from Ireland come to Shelbyville to train management and completely changed everything to a horribly unsustainable system made for Europeans and not Americans. The people from Ireland act like the employees are idiots, which most of them are so maybe I can see why that would be, but I don't appreciate being talked down to all the time for no reason. The whole building is falling apart and probably would be condemned if it was ever inspected. It's freezing cold in there in the winter and they refuse to purchase heaters. Every single day I wake up and ask myself if today will be the day that I will quit. I envision myself quitting and it is going to be a glorious day.

    Advice to Management

    Quit playing favorites. Quit being so sneaky like everything is a secret. Realize that some of us aren't stupid. Possibly quit yourself, because I can guarantee you National Pen won't be in business much longer the way things are going.


  9. "Not A Strong Company"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Development Team in Shelbyville, TN
    Current Employee - Account Development Team in Shelbyville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at National Pen Company full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Good Training
    Good Work Schedule

    Cons

    High Staff Turnover
    High Supervisory Turnover
    Low Wages
    Poor Commission Structure
    Outdated Technology
    Ownership flips between investment groups every few years

    Advice to Management

    Hire professional employees
    Require proper hygiene of employees
    Enforce proper work ethic and soft skills of employees
    Upgrade technology
    Improve wages and commission structure


  10. "Company flips ownership every 3 yrs"

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

    I worked at National Pen Company full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Very strong Direct Marketing group and some products (not many) are made in Tennessee.

    Cons

    Dangerous company to work for right now. Very outdated tech systems limits abilities to properly market and understand ROI. Company is sold every 2-3 yrs to venture capitalists (flipping the company). This means company is not allowed to invest in new equipment or its staff and Sr. Management CEO, CFO, CMO, etc. are constanly pitching the business and twisting the numbers for prospective buyers instead of running the business. They recently were missing sales goals by more than $2million and the solution by those C-level managers was to layoff most middle mgt to cut overhead just to make the numbers look better on paper, instead of develiping solutions for short falls in the reapective depts that were behind (telesales, Web, Goldstein, NDC) so they could hit their sales goals and receive massive bonus for the year. All marketing plans and products were already in place for the last 6 months of the year, so CEO fired almost all Directors, VPs and Managers (average time eith company more than 10 yrs) and used the assistants and coordinators (who are grossly underpaid) to execute the plans and save a few bucks.


  11. "Accurately process client orders to ensure they arrive on time and correctly along with customer service questions"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator
    Current Employee - Account Coordinator
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great people to work with, overtime opportunities.

    Cons

    Leadership opportunities. Tends to have a few inconsistencies

    Advice to Management

    Treat everyone fairly and informed as well as show empathy.



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