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Comments (17)

Host

What do you think -- is this company going to survive and thrive? Are they looking to expand their staff, or do you think layoffs are inevitable?

How does American Greetings stack up against the competition?

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PP in Cleveland, Ohio

91 months ago

The company will continue to struggle. AG has failed to be innovative in an environement where it is necessary. AG continues to hire poor middle management. Most importantly, the CEO and COO are not seasoned executives. In fact very rarely do they say hello to the people who work so hard for them. I heard it once was a great company, but no longer.

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Rob in Cleveland in North Olmsted, Ohio

90 months ago

That's absolutely correct. AG has been struggling. They've been posting jobs like mad on this site and others for almost two years. Current turnover rate is fairly high in their low level positions. The large amount of job postings is not an indication of growth, to be sure.

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Jake_EE in Elyria, Ohio

90 months ago

I went to the AG site in hopes of finding something in the area of production equipment service and maintenance. I have a degree in electrical engineering and companies hire EE's for controls and service on their equipment.

Not so here. I was disappointed. For the jobs listed I noticed they require tons of experience. If I had that kind of time and experience I wouldn't want to leave my employer. It is almost as if AG wants you to desert your employer for them; not cool in my book. But then again I bet most companies are like this.

It is a shame that many companies are unwilling to hire someone and train them. It seems to me that if companies take some time to find good quality people, even if they are entry level, would be far better off in the long run. That is just my thoughts, but what do I know, these employers don’t appreciate my values anyway, hah.

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SP in Palestine, Illinois

90 months ago

I was recently released at AG due to "restructuring" and "reorganization".
This is simply a way to terminate the older people (who have dedicated their lives to AG). My job, as well as the others who were released, are now appearing on the job sites so that AG may rehire at a much lower pay scale.

While I thoroughly enjoyed my entire career at AG, I must admit my last year was very challenging working for a director who had no experience in what we were responsible for nor did he want to know. We saw the writing on the wall but continued to give 110% of ourselves, going above and beyond, in the hopes that he would value our worth.

The company has been struggling for many years, and will continue to struggle as they have not offered anything new or innovative in their products. They are more focused on cutting costs by downsizing (targeting the more mature worker as well as the worker bees).

They want "degreed people", yet they had us reporting to a non-degreed director whose background was the farthest thing from our specialty.

When walking the halls, do not expect the majority of upper management to acknowledge you with a simple hello.

However, there are some good points due to the nature of the busines.... the products are fun to work on and you have the added benefit of the Employee Gift Shop where most items are 50% off and the warehouse sales.

And probably the best...if you are lucky enough to be key management, you will still collect a bonus no matter how poorly the company is doing.

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LL in Akron, Ohio

88 months ago

AG does not pay their artist and creative people!! They get the young kids out of college and treat them like crap and pay them nothing. This is not a good company to work for.

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AA in Dover, Ohio

87 months ago

I don't know much about this company, but I did work for a hotel where they were holding some type of event and I would have to say that their behavior was appalling. For a group of professionals I was very disappointed with the actions and words of some of the members of this group. I can't speak for everyone at AG, but all of the people that I came in contact with were rude and downright disrespectful of our staff at the hotel. I hope that they don't have these same attitudes when they are at work. It is amazing to me that this caliber of people are creating GREETING CARDS!

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mick in Chicago, Illinois

85 months ago

I was relieved of my stores as a new area manager came in the territory. My sales were over 110% in all of my stores and I gave my clients all I could give. These newbies come in without knowing anything about the stores involved, no communication with the merchandiser and change things. Not really good for business. I am all for improving sales but I also know you have to ease into it as to not to disrupt your sales. No one seems to care about your concerns with the accounts. Asking for help is a real joke unless you are a buddy buddy withthe boss. Management really stinks in this company. They all act like god and no one listens. Going up in the chain of command doesnt work either. It was a great company when I first started. Everyone helping out and getting along. Now all the daggers have come out. They put alot of pressure on the merchandiser when it should be the area supervisors and team leads. If they dont like you, you will be ousted - fast.

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SuzyQ in New York, New York

83 months ago

LL in Akron, Ohio said: AG does not pay their artist and creative people!! They get the young kids out of college and treat them like crap and pay them nothing. This is not a good company to work for.

I am considering working for them in a creative capacity, as a writer. I'm NOT a young kid out of college, though. Does anyone have any idea about experiences--and pay!--in the creative departments?

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peterka in Santa Monica, California

80 months ago

i agree with many others who are very upset at the company. as a merchandiser i can't stand how they give you so many stores expecting to get everything done for so little hours and then you have to work those hours and god forbid you go over them you don't get paid. it was much different 15 years ago. they paid you for the hours you worked. ag does not pay well. when you get a raise it's pretty much chump change for too much work. i enjoy working with the cards but like i said not enough pay, not enough hours, and way too many demands.

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sapmonster01 in Costa Mesa, California

72 months ago

The place is a complete joke. I have never seen less capable management, more know-it-alls and less cooperation. Stand in a greeting card isle - parity products right? AG is doing nothing to stand out from the crowd and offer a product anyone wants or needs. Then they decide to implement SAP and don't get out the way for SAP to implement it. If I worked in the IT department I would be turning in my notice.

From a tech standpoint......wow.....imagine a bunch managers with limited technical knowledge telling SAP professionals how to implement it.

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Jayhawker in Topeka, Kansas

69 months ago

Host said: What do you think -- is this company going to survive and thrive? Are they looking to expand their staff, or do you think layoffs are inevitable?

How does American Greetings stack up against the competition?


I work at Hallmarks Cards. Been there 30 years. They are a great company to work for.In these bad times they haven't laid anybody off. The owners are the best people you could work for and really do care. There have been changes over time but for the good. They pay very good. They treat you very good. After reading all these negative comments about AG, I'm very lucky to be at Hallmark.

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abeee in Kansas City, Missouri

59 months ago

Excuse me????? Not sure what planet Jayhawker lives on, but the Crown began laying people off well over 9 months ago (date of J's post), just like every other company. And as one of those people, I gotta wonder how you can say that honestly. It was a great place to work, at times, but it has its share of politics and bad management. Now that I'm out, I think it was the job I liked, not the company so much.
My impression of AG is that they are more responsive to the marketplace and thus react quicker to ideas and trends (including poor sales trends that result in cleaning up messes). Coming from the big H, I sort of think that sounds great!
Glad to hear the comments about pay and leadership though, enough of the same issue certainly speaks to some kind of problem.... but hard to beleive it's really any different, when dealing with creative product development, in this kind of economy.

Most participants in a forum like this will tend to only bring up the negatives, so please remember to take that into consideration, folks.

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Jayhawker in Topeka, Kansas

59 months ago

American Greetings is so creative they copied Hallmarks song card . Exactly the same size. We had the song card out 2 years before them. Hallmark offered everyone in their factories volunteer severance packages. When I replied last time they were not laying off anyone. I have friends in K.C. Since the economy tanked the greeting card industry has lost a lot of money. They had to get rid of people. I don't like the change in the factories. Everyone I talked to doesn't either. But most of us still have jobs. Im on this planet. Been at Hallmark 31 yrs.How long were you there? Hallmark could of fired people and gave them nothing. Now Kansas City is different then the factories. If you performed good and attendence was good you shouldn't have been let go. Yes, Hallmark is not the same company it was because of the economy. Economy has changed most businesses. You would know more about the management in K.C. Your negative comments about Hallmarks might be because maybe you were let go.

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abeee in Kansas City, Missouri

59 months ago

"If you performed good and attendence was good you shouldn't have been let go." sigh. Much more complex than that. Sounds like both are places that are averse to direct and honest feedback even when it is uncomfortable to give it out, that leadership has trouble being in charge and inspiring to its teams, AND that the teams can be full of people who are never satisfied. What's new?

My comments were merely meant to point out that neither company is all good nor all bad, and I couldn't help but point out the inaccuracy of the lay-offs comment.

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Jayhawker in Topeka, Kansas

59 months ago

The factories never had forced lay-offs. So I might of been wrong when it came to K.C. I never had any idea that people were getting laid off before I made that comment 9 months ago. Now I know K.C has forced people out and they were pretty harsh. It is not the same company it once was. Everybody is on edge about their jobs in the factories. They want you to be flexable. More or less making you run other machines when it took you years to get the machine you wanted. Throw the seniority out the window. They bunched 7 or 8 different machines in a pay grade and can make you train on any of them. You are very good when you run the same machine everyday. Now everyone is thrown everywhere.Its like telling a catcher in baseball to go pitch and you better be good.I feel bad for the people in K.C. Sounds like a lot of favortism takes place too. But people that came from American Greetings said it was a lot worse there. Maybe not now , after what has taken place in the last year.It is not the same Hallmark that had been such a great company to work for. It's not as secure or fun. But love the people I work with.

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Shiva in Santa Monica, California

13 months ago

I work for a small, family owned and run ecard company that's been competing with AG (and it's subsidiaries - did you know they own eGreetings.com, Bluemountain.com and Jackielawson.com having paid 16 mill for it! wooot!) We've been around for 10 years and since the very beginning we have seen our style and our ecards appearing in a new form on AG's sites. In fact, a guy who used to write for us disappeared and we found him months later working for AG. To be fair though, a lot of cards rely on common cultural memes and so more than one person will hit the same idea because of it. We have made cards independently only to find someone else had the very same idea just before us. But I gotta say, the economy did take a huge toll on our industry; that and Google's search algorithm changes which have really disadvantaged small businesses and favored large corporations. It's still been worth it though; I've loved working for my boss and making animated cards.

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