Friday, February 27, 2009

"Full time"

I wanted to highlight the following comment because of how well it shows that things are getting worse. Studios are beginnning to cut hours to the point that studio managers have to basically live at the studio:

"Recently CPI has changed the hours of operations on some "test" studios (soon to be changed in all studios). In my studio our new hours will mean we are only OPEN 35 hours out of the week. That means, as a studio manager, I have to work every single hour we are open every single day. It's ridiculous! It also means that my assistant manager's hours will be cut down to practically nothing and my other staff... well... sorry?

To top all that off, we were recently told on a conference call that if we drop below 32 hours a week, then the shorted time will be taken from our PTO time [a combination of sick days and vacation days]. So if I decide one week to only work 5 days, then whatever hours I'm short will come out of the measly PTO time I have. We are forbidden from taking unpaid time off. I think that too is ridiculous. We aren't salary workers. We are hourly. If we want to work less hours, it means they just pay us less! We used to be able to take unpaid PTO with DM's approval provided our studio was covered. Now, we have to basically work 6 days a week with no break but measly pay."
I don't know how Sears can expect to get good assistant managers any more. People that have any kind of relevant experience or skills aren't going to work for the small number of hours. This is probably why, a couple months ago, there were rumors of the assistant manager position being eliminated (which, to date, we've heard nothing of). Eventually, it seems to me that they're going to realize how few hours the assistant managers are getting, eliminate the position, and fill the gap with associates that they get to pay less.


Anonymous said...

Our studio Hours havent been touched except for our closing for an hour lunch everyday from 2-3.

However, i am an asst manager and my scheduled hours for the week is 22hrs and my managers sched hours are only 29. This is because if our DM doesnt like how we scheduled.... he changes it!

Anonymous said...

We don's need asst mgrs in some of these studios. You would think that in this economy some people would be happy they even have a job. I get not getting enough hours. I am there. But honestly I think that the company is cutting everywhere possible. They are smart to give only the people that are going to perform the hours. They have the best people in the best spots. It isn't just about PRS anymore or just about taking great portraits. They are taking alot more variables into consideration when conducting performance management. I work in a studio that has a very good PRS. We do however, have major opportunities in outreach activities. If we don't get our act together and just do the job we are supposed to do, I am sure that eventually they will find someone who will do their job.

I am just wondering, if you don't like the way the company is trying to save money, what would you do to cut corners? Are you mad at the company or are you just frustrated at the whole economic situation this country is in? Is it really fair to expect that CPI would continue as they were?

Anonymous said...

They are asking you to use your PTO hours to make the difference so that you don't loose your benefits when you aren't averaging full time hours anymore.

Anonymous said...

The company was using shady and unfair practices several years ago before we were even in an "economic crisis". It has been digging its own grave for a while now due to poor training, low wages, and unethical sales tactics. Enough customers have gotten fed up and good people have left the company. It is just going to continue in a downward spiral. There really is nothing that can be done at this point to "Fix CPI." (Except maybe for bankruptcy and buy out by a company that will change it entirely.)

LOL--I think it is funny that the word verification I need to type in below to publish this is "cheat"...that seems very appropriate for CPI!

Anonymous said...

To the first commenter:

Not all studio hours have changed yet. Take a look at your studio browser and with a little searching you can find the hours your store will be switching to. The first step was just the 1 hour for lunch. The next step is a HUGE restructuring of the Hours of Operation. For example, my studio, instead of 10-8 M-Sat and 11-5 Sun the hours will change to:
Sat 10-2/3-6
Sun 12-2/3-5
Mon 10-2/3-6
Tues Closed
Wed 10-2
Thurs 10-2
Fri 10-2/3-6

Do the math on that. It's 35 hours open. CPI's reasoning is that people will still come, but now they can bunch all the appts up into a concentrated time frame and get more bang for their buck so to speak.

SPS said...

Here's something I didn't think about until the above comment.

When I was there, there were a few employees that got the bulk of their hours due to their flex shifts from 4-8 on weekdays. What happens to them here? As if getting four hour shifts wasn't bad enough, now you're going to call people in from 3-6?

And on top of a 3 hour shift sucking, you have to deal with the fact that you have to plan your schedule around the three hour shift but you might not even have to work it and instead get 0 hours.

Who is even going to work that shift? It seems the person most able to work that shift would be high school students, but they won't be able to since they can't get there by 3.

Anonymous said...

Lets just face it....... they are phasing the company out. We dont have much longer.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is, when I worked for SPS they were SO strict about us being open during the hours that the store was open. I never really understood that entirely when the other licensed businesses like Optical and Ear didn't have to follow the same schedule. SPS must have renegociated with Sears. I supposed they have no other choice. During the last 6 months I was there, we started closing at lunch time, but that was a big pain because people would walk in around 1:30 and you couldn't turn them away. It was difficult to close at 2. I guess now that things are probably so slow that closing may be easier.

Anonymous said...

CPI renegotiated their contract with Sears so they no longer have to remain open the same hours Sears does.

Also, we are now allowed to turn away a walk-in at 1:30. Well, we can't say no exactly... we have to explain to them we close for lunch 2-3 and either reschedule them, or tell them we can shoot their session but they'll have to come back after lunch to place their order. CPI is really strict on closing from 2-3 every day.

Anonymous said...

There is no longer a full-time asst. manager position. all AMs are now part time and are not guaranteed any number of hours. Right now as an AM I'm lucky if I can get 15 hours a week.

Anonymous said...

They are not going to be in Sears much longer.The Wal Mart Studios will be the future of Cpi.Get your resumes ready...Get out now!

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart Picture Me studios are the studios that are being pulled by CPI. I realize that Sears Holdings is in jeopardy as well so that SPS might be destined to die, however, our studio is still flourishing. The only downside to the company is that we had to cut back our part-time associates hours to the brink of nothingness. Fortunately, in our district, there is still a need for ASM's. There are actually 3 studios in our district that are currently on a search for a filler for that position. Also, I might add, that I am an ASM & my hours are usually higher than our studio manager's. I average around 37 hours per week, she averages 33 to 34. The only position that I see the company phasing out permanently is the key associate position. Aside from the fact that it's another manager-on-duty, its basically a useless position.... even in our store that is super busy & still one of the strongest stores in our district & territory.