29 September 2010

Work rumblings

It's become rather apparent to me that my book company really has no idea how to save itself. Yesterday, our latest District Manager was let go (along with, it seems, at least 3 or 4 other DM's within the 508 region -Southern and Northern, including Hawaii were let go as well). Officially, all were terminated due to "performance issues," the business catch phrase of the old Hollywood standard of "creative differences."

Of course, this usually happens when the they replace the Regional Vice Presidfents, which occurred almost 2 months ago. I'm not sure if this happens in other jobs, other retail outlets, but Borders has tendency to restructure their DM's when the RVP's get the boot. When Mike Steele was let go, I knew -and said the very day he was fired - that our DM's fate was sealed. That Art would be gone before Christmas. Thus, it happened yesterday.

A new DM has apparently aready been selected, which gives me the idea this was long in the planning stages. The new RVP for this region apparently had no say in the matter.

Still, we'll get a new DM who will probably be one of those guys who is an expert in turning companies around. Which means, of course, an office manager. A guy who will cut hours and demand higher expectations. The problem is, this guy will be given a 2 week intense download of Borders policy and will parrot all of Borders ennui when it comes to sales, without understanding that the core problems that has brought Borders to this point: strong leadership with managers who has unique visions and who can think outside the box (which a lame phrase, but does apply here).

This will also be the holiday season of the eReaders. And Borders will have a large selection to offer, from expensive to, well, cheap (7 versions at my last count, including 2 versions of our Kobo reader, one that is wireless and one that needs to hooked up to your computer). My greatest fear right now (beyond a bunch of returns because they don't work) is that we'll not have enough of the devices to go around. They've already said, quietly I might add, that not all eReaders will be avaialable in all stores. I find this troubling in many ways, mostly because we are a struggling retailer. Borders is stepping up its promotion on these devices, and if a customer can't get what they want...well, I just don't think we need another reason for them to go to B&N or Amazon.

At the end of the day, nothing will change with new RVP or a DM. Same old song, just new people singing the words. Oh, and all the GM's Art hired over the last few months, the ones who are essentially useless and unproductive, you can bet your days are now numbered.

1 comment:

Sean said...

What kind of effect will Boarder's kinda bleak future have on their ereader sales?