It had its ups and downs, but don't go in expecting to advance far or fast
Various (Former Employee) – Destin, FL – January 10, 2016
Worked there for several years at multiple locations. It's very easy to get stuck at a dead-end or in a position where your only moves are lateral. The company is very big on advertising that most management moves up from within, but the fact is that store managers have almost 100% discretion, and if yours prefers to hire management externally, your career is going nowhere here.
That said, it can be a great place to be a regular worker or "lead." You have a lot of freedom and flexibility with your schedule and winter have an issue taking off for appointments or children's activities. There's also a very media-rich culture - you'll know the latest music, movies, and books all the time, and it's hard in some ways to go without that when you've been there a while and you leave.
50% off cafe and 30% off most other merchandise; good for work/life balance
Cafe Server, Barista (Former Employee) – Ellicott City, MD – February 28, 2016
Management was inefficient, combative, and retaliatory. Would pit workers against each other, and would ignore rather than address employee's concerns, even if these concerns regarded sexualharassment, and other types of harassment.
There was often in-fighting between managers.
Led employees on by saying they would give them promotion/raise, would train them for promotion, but never give them the job so they had employees doing upper level work for lower level pay.
Horrible at keeping workers "in the loop."
Store manager is vindictive, and a very poor leader. Retaliates against employees for going to HR, or for putting their two weeks in, threatens the job security of other employees to keep one employee "in line."
Lower level employees such as booksellers, other cafe servers, cashiers, and receiving workers were all delightful. The Head Cashier is a incredibly wonderful person, who made dealing with the bad things worth it, and the assistant store manager is a wonderful man as well.
Bookseller (Current Employee) – South Burlington, VT – April 6, 2016
A day at work is not especially difficult. The job itself is not typically challenging, but it can be. You, the employee, are on your feet all day for, on average, 8 hours. There is a lot of bending down and picking up large stacks of books that lazy and inconsiderate customers decide are appropriate to leave on the floor or on the shelves or wherever they please really. Aside from the people, the cafe discount is great (50%!), and the large and lighted workplace is a happy place to be. The dress code is fair as well. No room for advancement, though, and the minimum wage is not preferable. The appreciative, respectful, and thankful customers make it worth it.
Cafe discount, not a desk job, appreciative customers, easy tasks
disorganized, no room for advancement, snarky customers, long hours, minimum wage
Buyer was a misnomer at Barnes & Noble where the magazine department was concerned. That position required extensive personal contact with both large and small magazine publishers, distribution executives, and store operations and was more of a negotiators role. In this capacity I increased inventory turn by more than 25 percent and margin by 20 percent. Ultimately left because of no bonus compensation for increasing promotional revenue.
Certified Trainer (Former Employee) – San Jose, CA – February 29, 2016
Barnes & Noble was a very fun place to work at. It attracts a certain type of employee, which makes it even better. Management was incredibly poor, with horrible management styles. The DM encouraged the Store & Merchandise Managers to a hands off approach, which created many angry customers and employees, especially during rush hours.
The system is incredibly easy to work, and the work can get monotonous, but I absolutely loved the customers we'd get in and the conversations that were had.
BOOK SELLER (Current Employee) – Lexington, KY – March 28, 2016
I absolutely love working here. I work here during the school year and I love the management and the people that I work with. It's such a fun environment and I got a 25 cent raise after 90 days of working there. I love my job here.
Bookseller/Cashier (Current Employee) – College Station, TX – March 17, 2016
It is fairly easy to hold a job here. Typically, you could be scheduled to do anything from stocking to cashiering. This is an on-campus bookstore where the clientele is typically either visitors buying school spirit clothing or college students buying either textbooks or something from the cafe. This results in large rushes during the beginning and end of the semester and during football games. Other than that, the store can be fairly slow.
This is a minimum wage position. If you're lucky, you will get promoted to part time and receive yearly raises, but take even one month off and you'll get moved back to seasonal which doesn't get any raises. Even after 2 years of working there, you still won't even be making $8/hr, whereas other companies will start you at $8 or $9. This is exacerbated by the amount of hours being drastically lower in the middle of the semester, especially in the spring. Because of all this, there is a high turnover rate, with few people staying past a year, much less longer.
All that being said, it is generally a secure job. They are also very flexible with scheduling, understanding that most of the people working here are going to school here.
Bookseller/Cashier (Former Employee) – Columbia, SC – October 27, 2015
The job itself was easy, way too easy at times. I worked at the bookstore at USC-Columbia, which unfortunately had over 13 managers running it (between merchandise, shipments, and textbooks). Because of this, and because they moved students in and out so quickly, most of the managers seemed really standoffish and didn't bother to get to know you at all. The temporary position lasted 3 months, and at the end of 2 months some of the managers still had to ask my name when doing attendance. Once the busy season died down, managers fired an overwhelming majority of temporary employees simply because they didn't want to pay them anymore. Otherwise, scheduling was fine but varied greatly--there were weeks I would work close to 30 hours, and weeks when I randomly wasn't scheduled to work at all. Worst part was they have little to no intention of keeping temporary employees (everybody starts as temps), which meant it was impossible to get a raise so the pay would always be $7.25.
Bookseller/Certified Trainer (Former Employee) – San Jose, CA – October 15, 2015
I loved working with the books and the customers who had a genuine interest in reading. However, management was horribly biased from store management to regional management. Training was very unorganized and it felt as though we received no support from our higher ups. If we did not meet the unrealistic membership sales,it would be impossible to move up or receive any sort of raise, despite time with the company and other work performance.
Cashier (Former Employee) – Bloomington, IN – March 24, 2016
Working here was probably the worst mistake of my life. They managed to hold out on our checks and not give us the pay we earned. First week you're overworked, 35-40 hours, then you're lucky to get 3 days a week. Management is petty, they seem to think this is just a high school girls bathroom where they can talk about whoever and no one hears about it. They can take as long as they can on lunch breaks but if we're a minute late were reprimanded? We're ALL supposed to get only 30 minutes. Don't waste your time working here, it's not worth the money they take from you.
Excellent environment to enahnce interpersonal skills, management always upheld its open-door policy
Music Seller, Book Seller, Cafe Server (Former Employee) – St. Louis, MO – November 4, 2015
I enjoyed working at Barnes & Noble for years and it was a difficult choice to leave this company in order to pursue my education. My co-workers were great and outgoing people, some of whom have become my close friends. I learned a great deal about different management styles, assimilating new employees into the workplace, and effective interpersonal skills. Unfortunately, I had to make a decision as to whether I should continue working there or pursue my furthered education. This choice along with store closings in my area led to my decision to continue my education.
Store discounts, fun work environment, very helpful mangement
Low salary, not where I wanted to work for a living
Seasonal Cashier (Former Employee) – Norfolk, VA – February 23, 2016
My day included staying at the register and maintaining my area. I worked primarily in the textbook department where the TCC students would come cash out with their financial aid. The employees there were are nice and I met a few others who had returned for the season. My biggest problem with this store is that training was poorly done. A lot of things were not explained so much as expected of me. I was not introduced to the whole management team and I ended up being flustered whenever a customer problem would come up as certain things were not explained to me. My advice to you, if you are trying to work there full time, is that you avoid working there seasonally and try working there when full time employment becomes available to you.
Sales Associate (Former Employee) – Oxford Valley, PA – February 15, 2016
Diversified duties, books, books, books! Assisted customers, worked at cashier and customer service desk. Co-workers were helpful and enjoyable to work with. Insurance compensation even if part-time. Management was fair and approachable. Many hours standing and need to be flexible with schedule - days, evenings, and weekends.
Sr. Oracle Dba (Current Employee) – New york – February 22, 2016
As a summer intern, I got to work on the client services team along with 20 other interns. The team I was placed on delegated me real work to help them with. Having to balance the work given to me could be difficult at times for at the same time, I had to stay coordinated with the other interns in order to work on our group project. However, everyone I worked with was willing to help and very friendly. The company culture is wonderful, the employees generally seem happy to be working there! I think the energy of the environment drove everyone to do their best, at least for me it did! I learned how to work and prioritze multiple tasks at a time. I also was able to improve my research and presentation skills.
Supervisor of Shipping and Receiving (Current Employee) – Philadelphia, PA – February 16, 2016
the pay is horrible, the management put everything on me, it was a extremely stressful job. The co workers were okay but I wouldn't recommend this job to anybody. I been at this job for 10+ years and I only received one promotion. This job is literally just a step stone job until I find something better.
Digital Sales Lead (Current Employee) – Atlanta, GA – October 6, 2015
In my experience, employee satisfaction is dependent on the management team as well as your position in the company. The full-time benefits are great and the pay is decent if you've performed well enough long enough to have received several annual raises. However, being part-time and minimum wage is not fulfilling for anyone. Thankfully the company has decided to start paying new employees more than minimum wage and I hope to see morale go up in the future.
Cafe Manager (Current Employee) – University Park, PA – February 2, 2016
I love my job i just do not approve of the way the company is ran. I have reported on the clock drug use by a member of management and there was nothing done about it. They claim they do not have a "DRUG POLICY" this member of management works in the cafe around scolding hot coffee hot ovens and sharp knives this is an unsafe working environment and should not be tolerated. Also I have witnessed and also reported racial and sexist slurs. Nothing was done about this report either because it can't be proved what was said. They treat the college students (employees and customers) like a problem and then wonder why they can't get any one to apply and why the book sales are down from last year.
Great company allowing independence to management people
General Manager & Regional Manager (Former Employee) – New York, NY – March 14, 2016
Barnes & Noble was a company in which store managers were able to help each other, and upper management did the same. This was by design. As a store manager and a regional manager, I always felt if I needed any kind of assistance it would be provided, and, in the reverse, I might be the one to provide aid.
Managers truly were responsible for their stores including constructing their annual budgets. While budgeting was a grind, it provided an ability for a store manager to be completely in touch with his//her store's goals and its progress through the fiscal year.
Of necessity I learned how to apply what monthly financial information the company provided.
The one great problem was finding time for family and vacation.
Nevertheless, most of those in management felt they were important to the company, and to each other, each one always ready at a moment's notice to aid the other.
Concern for employees' personal challenges, provision of funds to have emplyoyee events
Sometimes having to change vacations, or be available while on vacation