Borders Reviews in Chicago, IL

440 Reviews
3.2
440 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Borders President and CEO Michael J. Edwards
Michael J. Edwards
138 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Coworkers were fabulous people, love of books and music (in 26 reviews)

  • They had a nice employee discount (in 27 reviews)


Cons
  • upper management, Direction of company & loss of culture (in 28 reviews)

  • constant change, not much room for advancement, company went out of business (in 8 reviews)

More Highlights

22 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1.  

    Great Staff, Great Supervisor, Troubled Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Borders full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company wasn't doing well, but the people that worked alongside me turned what could have been an entirely negative experience into a mostly positive one.

    My Supervisor, who was the District Manager of the Chicago Market, was a strong leader. He was honest and fair. I learned a lot from him and my time spent w/ him has helped in my post-Borders career.

    My staff and colleagues, meanwhile, were equally strong. I learned as much from my subordinates as I did from my supervisors. We were in a sinking ship, and we knew it, and we worked together to keep it afloat as long as we could.

    I worked in three separate stores while I was with Borders, and each experience was similar to the one before it; great staff, great supervisor, troubled company.

    Cons

    From the onset of my employment, the company was in financial crisis. E-books were killing brick and mortar book retailers, and making our store monetary goals became more and more challenging as time went on. Everyone on staff knew that the book industry was in trouble. This made for some stressful situations. Company-wide conference calls were disheartening. Corporate management was panicked, and focuses were changing weekly in a desperate attempt to find something -anything- that would reverse the trends of the business. It was hard. And, ultimately, nothing worked. The company eventually closed its doors and we all lost our jobs.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Later, much...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Wilmette, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Assistant Manager in Wilmette, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working at Borders was perfect and frustrating.

    Cons

    Gone. Broke. Extinct. Not to worry.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3.  

    not too bad, not too great either

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller/Barista in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Being surrounded by books is always nice!

    Cons

    Hours and pay are not great!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A soulless piece of meat

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Bolingbrook, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Bolingbrook, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Fun to work around books.

    Cons

    Management by humiliation
    Smokers allowed more breaks than non-smokers
    After 1 year of great service I was given a 00.17 raise
    Employees expected to prepare special events off the clock

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Going on the "warpath" is not inspiring --

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    A Place To Be Missed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - General Manager in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - General Manager in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders

    Pros

    The People. The product. The customers.

    Cons

    Could be stressful at times due to the uncertainty of the compaies fate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wish they could have saved her.

    Recommends
  7.  

    A good one

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Griffith, IN (US)
    Current Employee - Bookseller in Griffith, IN (US)

    I have been working at Borders

    Pros

    The flexible schedule, the people, love of books and being appreciated.

    Cons

    No pay raises. Pushing us to books for donations to locale charities. This went on for way too long.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You needed to come down and do undercover boss and see exactly how things really were in the book selling trenches. But I guess your lack of concern in this area (our area), shows since you let the company go under.

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    I miss it....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cafe Seller in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Cafe Seller in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders

    Pros

    Great team
    Great customers
    Pay was ok

    Cons

    Lack of hours
    Lack of growth
    Snobby customers
    Store closing

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Maybe yall should pay attention to more of the employee concerns if you are worried about numbers in the store. Most of our customers were returning customers so that whole Border Rewards percentage calculation was bs!

    Recommends
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    Run. Run very far away and don't look back!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Chicago, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Bookseller in Chicago, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders

    Pros

    merchandise discount
    some great co-workers
    getting to see all the new book titles first
    flexible hours for the most part

    Cons

    incompetent management
    hostile work environment
    no chance for advancement
    no recognition for a job well done
    constantly changing displays, themes, sections
    no communication from management

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give it up. Borders died years ago, even before Greg J. (former CEO) finished destroying it. Leave the rotting carcass like the vultures you are, and take your golden parachutes with you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Don't follow health standards because they don't care about employees or customers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Cafe Seller in Oakbrook Terrace, IL (US)
    Former Employee - Cafe Seller in Oakbrook Terrace, IL (US)

    I worked at Borders

    Pros

    It's hard to find a positive about this company and store, if you're a reader than employees are allowed to rent books from the store (yes, the same ones you as a customer end up buying "new".) Employees get a 33% off discount of books and media (the bad part of this is that Borders is usually so expensive that the discount usually just brings it near the range you'd buy it on Amazon, and if you're over the age of 16 then you're probably hoping for the best benefit of your job to be something other than a store discount.)

    Cons

    Shifts can last all day for a salary that's below minimum wage. Some employees have been romantically involved with each other in chaotic and unprofessional work enviorenment. Terrible HR department-employess have been sexually harassed by customers and sometimes by other employees. Customers can be extremely rude to employees. No opportunities to advance in the company and if there were then it's likely to another position that pays close to minimum wage. "Benefits" like medical and dental are as expensive as if you were to buy insurance on your own. Cafe doesn't have enough employees working at one time to follow health code at all and often do things like handle food with their bear hands, poorly wash dishes, hand customers regular coffee instead of decaf so they don't have to brew it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need to fix their HR department-Out of all the jobs I've worked at in my life, only at this company has sexual harassment been so tolerated. Customers are allowed to say nearly whatever they want to employees, and rarely does the HR department do anything about it. Customers have been known to practically stalk the girls that work in this store in and out of work and almost nothing is done about it. Also, too much in house flirting, dating, cliques, and MTV-esque drama for it to be called a professional work place.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    Good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Cashier in Gurnee, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Cashier in Gurnee, IL (US)

    I have been working at Borders

    Pros

    Good environment, fun atmosphere, books and discounts are nice

    Cons

    Customers, hours, computer systems/rewards system/coupons errors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    N/A

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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