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  • I worked for Chapters Indigo for 2 1/2 years and have survived 3 Christmases. While I highly recommend the company to students, retirees, and those looking to gain work experience, I DO NOT recommend anyone who needs real money to live on.

    Here is my review of the company:

    PROS
    - Honestly, the best part of the job is being around smart, talented and funny co-workers. Most of them fall into one of three categories: students, transients, and retirees.
    - You get to be around books everyday! It's really exciting whenever there is a new release out.
    - Some of the managers do care and show their human side. They are caring, polite, and generous to employees–they are, however, quite rare.
    - The atmosphere is relatively relaxing compared to most other retail outlets.

    CONS
    - The pay is super low. It's impossible to live on what they pay you, unless you live at home or with a roommate.
    - The hours are VERY unpredictable, which makes it hard to find a second job. You could be working 20 hours one week and 5 the next. This makes your income unstable. It also makes it difficult to work another job.
    - It's thankless work. Customers complimented about my work ethic many times, and what did management do about it? Absolutely nothing. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people and educating them about what they read, but in the end, you're just another cog in the wheel.
    -Immaturity and gossip. Workplace politics exist everywhere, but when the majority of your coworkers are in their early 20s, things can get out of hand.
    - Too many cooks in the kitchen. Seriously, it doesn't take five managers to run a store. C'mon, people! And the worse thing about it is that communication is often poor between them.
    - The employee discount is laughable. You can save the same amount as a customer would by buying online.
    - There is no advancement and there is no promotion, either. Most positions are filled from the outside.
    - Lastly, if you are book lover, you will be horrified to see that bookshelves are disappearing in favour of overpriced merchandise. And it's this merchandise that keeps the business going.

    In short, have an exit strategy. It simply isn't worth staying in the long run.


    Posted on 11 October 2015 by Rater #19 | Flag as inappropriate

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Comments

I will update my own review by mentioning several more CONS that a starry-eyed prospect who wishes to work for the company needs to be aware of:

- There is a lack of stability in management. During the time I was there, I saw many people come and go. I worked under THREE different managers and EIGHT different supervisors. It's common to have high turnover in retail, but when one supervisor wants you to do something that conflicts with the instructions of another it can be downright stressful.

- Cashiers can (depending on the manager) be publicly shamed and threatened for not pushing Love of Reading onto customers. They track Love of Reading goals very carefully and POST RESULTS for all to see. If you underperform, you're in trouble!

- Management often earns a bonus by keeping employee hours to the minimum. It is NOT uncommon for them to schedule you for a shift and then change it at the last second and not warn you about it. It doesn't happen often but it does happen.

-Seniority accounts for nothing. New hires always get paid more than those with experience and annual increases amount to 25 CENTS a year. Rather than offer more hours to employees who deserve it, the company chooses to hire more staff in order to keep costs low. The company doesn't expect its staff to stay long term.

Posted on 21 November 2015

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