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Boycott Borders?


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MusicShapedHole's picture MusicShapedHole
0 posts

So, I'm relatively new to these parts. But, I figure the best way to get known is to probably just dive right in.

I was over in the Book Club forum when I ran across something that [B]willtupper[/B] had written. Apparently Borders store #1 out in Ann Arbor, MI, is on strike. Now typically, a strike wouldn't evoke much emotion from me. I'm a relatively passive individual. And hell, every supermarket known to God has been on strike down here for the past several months, so I'm about tired of it all, but this.... this hit home for me.

I'm an ex Borders employee. I had worked there for two years, and I really have a hard time talking about it without wanting to pretty much flip-out. Like a ninja. And hurt people. But that is not even close to what my nature is like.

I've worked for an arcade, an engineering company, a telemarking company, a stadium, a casino, and Borders. Know which job had the worst management, the worst corporate ideals, the worst sense of care for the employees, the worst business ethics, the most ass-backwards way of being a "friend" to the community, and all that jazz? Borders. I've seen fellow coworkers breakdown and cry. Walk out to never return. Be fired for the most obscure thing. Be written up for things that the managers themselves do on a daily basis. Hypocrites. I even watched as Tami Heim, the President of BGI, was in our store.. having the grand tour. She came around to the cafe display case and took notice of the cinnimon rolls. "Oh, look at the frosting on those muffins. Isn't that nice?" We had a barista there who used to spike the frosting in a decorative manner. He says, "Oh, you mean the cinnamon rolls... yeah, pretty cool, eh?" And Tami, dumbfounded, gave a fake corporate smile that said "everything-is-a-okay", which I'm sure all the suits have perfected... Our GM let out a gasp, as in "I can't believe you dare challenge the president's thoughts on what a muffin and cinnamon roll is.." She actually pulled him aside afterwards and berated him, saying, "If she wants to call it a muffin, she can call it a muffin. If she wants to call it a donut, she can call it a donut. Don't you dare correct Tami!"

Well, it goes on it on. Even up to the point where I, a 2 year employee.. who ran the entire receiving process by his lonesome, who had never called in sick, who had never done anything bad in the eyes of the store, asked for 5 days off. I had the personal time. I had tons of personal time. It was a "benefit". It was denied. Management gave reasoning, and I obliged and agreed to submit a second request for a later date. They said they had a "good feeling" about my second request, and sent me off with a wink and a nod. However, I didn't dare buy my plane tickets til I had the signed approval. Two frickin' weeks later, they pulled me into the office and said they were going to deny it, with no justified reasoning. And I flat out told them that if they denied it, I was quitting. And.. I quit. A week prior to the big yearly inventory. And they were quite fucked. I felt like the goddamn weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. Take that story, and apply it, with minor alterations, to every other person who works at a Borders store, and you have your typical bookseller. For the amount that these people get paid, for the amount of abuse they go through by the company alone, not to mention the customers..... yeah, you know who you are... it's amazing that the suicide rate among bookstore employees isn't higher than it is.

So, I've boycotted Borders since my day of resignation. Many friends have. And now that I hear of this strike, I sort of feel like pushin' the ball even further.




I could go on.... but, I shant. Anybody got 2 cents?