Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From the front lines

I wanted to highlight a comment we received just this morning from upsetcpiemployee:

I am a current employee in upper management and things are not getting ANY better, only worse. Since hiring J[name deleted]and K[name deleted], PRS has become a major topic. They have gone to the extent of yelling and degrading TMs, DMs and even studio managers in front of their peers, because we have people who are running lower numbers, and heaven forbid we have not terminated them immediatly after having a bad week. The thought of retraining people (even those who were hired just before Christmas and got the minimal training to begin with) is out of the question. No, we are to terminate them and find replacements. Like we can find people who will work for 7.50 (and that is on the high end in some of the studios across the country) and get 10 hours max. GOOD LUCK.

I feel for all of you that struggled at all levels with this company, and only pray things will change. I miss the old CPI, when we believed in recognizing our top performers and developing those who struggled. Heck, this year we are not even allowed to have awards ceromonies at any level. How is that for recognition! I am sorry that any of you had to feel the need to "fudge" your numbers to keep your job. [This was a comment on the "Screw over your employees" post] We failed you as a company, and I really do appologize. At the same token, I say "we" as if I am Home Office and I am not. I too am constantly worried that my job is on the line, and feel the pressure that the two new additions (J--- & K-----)have placed on us. I am glad I found this site just to speak my mind. I love what I do, and I have for a long time. I love watching associates and managers grow from when the were hired or promoted to becoming tops in the company, but that has been taken from me, and I miss it. Now it is just like our customers at Christmas lately with the lack of staff we have had, a cattle herd. We are not developing anyone, we hire them, give them the bare bones training, and give them 30-90 days to sink or swim. That is not fair to our managers, our employees and definatly not fair to our customers.
I hope Renato himself reads these comments, because we need to go back to the days of developing a staff and creating future managers in all studios. And you cannot get there by the constant turn over. And you certainly will not get there by having people like J--- and K----- come in and take a hatchet to our company and degrade all employees, whether they are on the top or bottom, they will find something they can complain about.

For those of you still employed by CPI, hang in there. It was not always a bad place to work, and I hope some day it will get back there.And please do not "fudge" numbers, ask for help. Any good leader will help you get through a tough time!

[Readers, come back for tomorrow's entry; let's discuss how Sears Portrait Studio can be fixed.]


Anonymous said...

You're right. It used to be a cool job. I started as temp Christmas help and ended up staying for nearly 15 years. The rewards of the job seemed to outweigh the daily bullshit. I soon found out that I was just a number and 15 years of loyalty meant squat when my studio began to decline. I got no help- only threats and write ups until I was finally fired.CPI corporate is now operating in panic mode, and that can't be pleasant working conditions.It's only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

I first joined on in September of 2007 and stayed on until November of this year when I had some family issues and had to ask for time off and was fired. Well according to the manager I was put "on call" and then never called.

But anyways, even just a year ago when I was hired, it was a different place. I got 2 months of training with another person before I was ever left on my own. This year, the seasonals were expected to be able to shoot and do a sale within 3 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I only ever had 2 weeks to get someone fully trained.

Anonymous said...

I was trained in a group of seven other people for a week. Then we were thrown to the wolves. Only two of us lasted over a month.

Anonymous said...

I closed ALONE my 2nd night working because my manager was "sick"....... when i called her later for help on closing, she was at the movies.

We are lucky now to have a full week for training!

Anonymous said...

when i was hired nearly 7 years ago my studio hired 12 girls for the holiday season. we were trained in a class environment practiced on each other, then practiced on children parents volunteered for training then after a few weeks of practice we were put in a camera room. these were the days before digital when the only enhancements were black and white and the vignettes were done with the camera. we were complimented on our good work by the company. now we have difficult goals and numbers running us. there is no incentive to stay. and to be honest there are not too many people who can so our job. i used to be proud of that fact now im pretty disgusted. we work ourselves to the bone for minimum pay and NO glory. ive spoken too many fellow employees who are unhappy. 7 out of 10 are looking for other work. and those 7 people are the entire staff of my studio and the 2 neighboring studios. those who have left are breathing sighs of relief. one is pumping gas yet making more money than she was at sears and wouldnt come back because the GAS STATION has better benefits. the company is panicking about the numbers? what will they do when theres no staff left.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else seen the new "incentives" program. PLEASE. i dont even care. We all do ALL the work, chasing the kids and working our way out of the coupons the corp morons sent out in the 1st place. Not to mention the bitchy ass customers. and we end up with like 5% (im an asst. manager).... while the DM gets 25%..... ive never even seen the man TOUCH a camera!!!

Screw em, i could give a crap less if he gets his bonus........ because ours isnt even anything to worry about.

This is DEFINITELY a company that bites the hands that feed them..... and i dont know how much more i can stand my hands to be bitten!

Anonymous said...

DM's are required to pass a sales how is it that DM's like Neil A. pass the certification when they do not photograph? As usual, the rules at CPI apply only to the lowly field staff.

Anonymous said...

wow - just read most of this blog and I work in softlines of sears - but always thought the portrait studio would be better - trust me softlines is just as horrible to work in - seems like this whole company is run the same horrible way.