Why you don't want to work for or invest in CPI Corp. Updated as it comes in.
I got away from SPS 5 months ago... I enjopy my new job and my migraines have stopped!! I have lost weight and my friends want to be around me again!! I was scared to leave cause I really needed my job(I was a AM) but even with tha pay cut I still make as much as I did there cause I am working more hours... if any of you are thinking of leaving, GO... It will be the best decision that you ever make, for you and your families!!!
ive gained 60 lbs in the last year and my hair falls out grows back falls out grows back. if some place would just call me for an interview......id feel better and vroom on outta here
Another place called me and I might be out of there. They will be real sorry. The sales and customers will follow me. I don't know if I want to give them 2 week notice or not yet. Since they have been so bad to me I don't want to. They say not to burn your bridges but I might turn this one into ashes and scorched earth. After 15 years and then treated like this.
i think giving a 2 week notice is a professional courtesy and it doesn't seen like CPI has given you any. I would base my decision on whether or not your DM has been good and supportive to you. Otherwise, just because you give them notice, they don't have to keep you on the schedule for those 2 weeks. I never did when people I could easily do without or replace gave me notice. But the company you are going in to will expect you to, so don't let them in on it if you decide not to.Bunny lady
I left sps 2 months ago where i had worked for several years and i couldnt be happier. I got hired working with a competing studio making 2 dollars more just as an associate. they give me 30 hours a week compared to the 40 i would work at sears but i still rake in much more. They also have given me health benifits and vacation hours. I actually make more than their new manager now and I have less stress. The jobs are out there people, if you dont just up and quit you will never leave.
I am a manager who finally said "Screw you" when a DM was there and left after getting yet another contradiction write-up. While he went to lunch "I was taking care of a customer" I got all of my stuff that I bought for the studio into a box and put them in my car, turned off my cell phone, emailed the territory manager that I quit as of NOW and left him a note on the front desk that I was done with him and his contradictions and the stupid write ups for not getting 21 new appointments a week, getting wrote up for not taking a break, yet getting wrote up for not taking a customer at 2pm..that I was sick of it all. And to have fun with the back to back 5-10 subjects all by himself tonight 'cause he had me call off the flex person (who high tailed it out of state) because "we" would do it "ourselves"..and btw..have fun trying to get the last one out of a package.Later that week I was told he tried to call girls in the district to come into the studio, no one answered their phones (we all turned them off after working our scheduled hours) and that he did NOT get the second family out of a package and that he was an hour behind...Muaaahhhahahahahahaa! Sucker! And get this...he hasn't been trained very well on photography..and the pics sucked.
No job security at PMPS. The DM's write up people to just get the regional off their back. Such a shame they are losing their best photographers to the competition. I forgot they don't care about photography that much since sales is wanted over photograpy in job adds. Photography is an after thought. Besides anyone can take a picture, right!! They are scaling back the pay scale as well so they will get what they pay for.Picture Me is going to be stuck with button pushers and half of them already are. A lot of the good ones have been ran off already because of stupid edicts that don't matter on making money in the long run.
Ditto on the above poster's comments for PMPS. The same is true at SPS. They are mortgaging the future for today. Look, this is a business and making money is what it's about, but all recent measures point to a focus on near- term profitability with decreasing emphasis on photography and customer experience. The only group that upper management really cares about are the stock holders. Now that it is well established that you cannot turn customers away for any but the most extreme reasons, and being grossly understaffed is not one of them, they've sent out simple instructions on how to handle 2-3 appointments per hour on single coverage, or two appointments at 8pm (closing), again on single coverage. Each begins with "take a deep breath" and fails to even consider that you'll likely have to deliver photos, make appointments, answer customer inquiries, do reorders, resolve customer service issues, or, God forbid, close your studio before they shut you in for the night. I'd like to see the author of that document pull it off. It just gets worse and worse. The competition may not be all that much better, but it can't be worse.
I like it PMPS studios when the call center makes appointments for me at 6:00 pm. every day at closing. I won't have nobody for 2 hours then they schedule an appointment at 6:00 p.m. I am supposed to close at 6:00 and can't leave until 7:30-8:00 p.m. because I stand in line for 45 minutes for a money order at the end of the day. Then they wonder why my hours are way over. Not to mention it cuts into the studio bonus plan. So I don't get bonus on my paycheck because I went over in hours because of the 6:00 p.m. appointments and then tell me your going to separate me from the company because of being over on hours. I can't wait to find something else. Let the "buttons pushers" take control after I am gone. They can pay them minimum wage instead of my big hourly 13.00/hr. and the company can make more money in the short term. I bet the stock holders dump a lot of shares of this company after Christmas.I hope all the regional managers read this blog. Your evil to your DM's telling them to fire some managers or we will fire you instead. The economy is not an excuse for bad sales. RIGHT!!!!!
You know... SPS & PMPS are both CPI. Maybe the name of the blog should be changed to CPI Sucks since we're all getting screwed royally by the powers that be!
I am appalled by the way that upper management is treating employees and how the new set of rules changes day to day. How can employees feel valued when we have to watch everything we say and do? If you're with a sitting and the phone rings, you better be prepared to ask and say yes to everything or you'll be written up for not providing good customer service. God forbid I forget to "dig" deep enough into the reason for the visit and suggest everything under the sun when I'm trying to get a screaming child (who IS in my studio) to calm down to get good portraits. I've had enough of the added paperwork and tracking that I have to do weekly/daily. I can't take much more of the constant fake calls to make sure we're saying yes. The 21 outreach appts per week- the people we're calling is really starting to yell at us for harrassing them so much. Worrying about PRS, sales, sits, etc. The company is spending so much in useless areas- EAC (SAS has worked for many years in this area), spare part binders? (c'mon, we all have kept spare things in studio). I've stepped up the search for a new job because I'm tired of being treated this way. I am also in the process of getting my own studio launched and of course have already talked to the large amount of clientel that I have built up. CPI is pushing its people to become competition. As far as Go Portraits- I can (and do) that on my own so I can profit. I know being a manager is stressful and I have been management in the past with other companies and I have never been treated like I am now.
It should be interesting next week when everyone has their kickoff for Christmas time. Are we going to have a .99 cent package this year and hope to sell some extras?We are going to suffer the consequences after Christmas this year since we have harrassed every customer that has been to Sears or PMPS. Yes we will have some more customers during Christmas but I for one will have something lined up afterwards.Beware you long time employees there will be lots of discharges of employees after first of the year. We will be lucky to have one customer a day selling a $1.99 package. Therefore the company will have to cut expenses and that means if your making 10.00/hr you might be taking a paycut or fired. I see plenty of Manager's in Training (MIT'S)jobs posted at this time. They are training quite a few of them to replace us. Don't sign any discipline papers ever or any reviews bad or good. They are documenting their cases right now against us. Let them prove their case with unemployment services instead of you proving it for them.I have been doing this for 15+ years and have never seen customers this poor before. People are holding on to their money more than ever right now.
To second what some of the posters have said about replacements. Several DM trainee jobs are posted as well so I know I need to look for a job soon because my district is in the red. There is no hope for my district to get out of the red, the economy is really bad in the midwest. I am not resigning either. They have wrote me up for mgrs sales being down so then they threaten me to give them their writeups. I can't let my employees know what is really going on so I try not to look them in the eye too much. I try to go in and out of the studios quickly. I just don't want to get close to them like I used to, it hurts too much when you have to let them go. Yes CPI is not in good health. We are squeezing our customers to the bone.Maybe it will be a great burden off my shoulders when they let me go. I don't have anyone to fall back on at home so I will have to do something.
It's really sad and pathetic when long term employees are rewarded for their time by being written up on studid things just so the company can fire them because of their pay. As an SM, I have had to do this for my studio. It makes me sick and I want to throw up and cry everyday before going in to work. We're not people or valued employees to this company- we're just part of their bottom line.
Quitting my job at SPS was the BEST thing i've ever done. like many others, i didn't leave because i needed to job to keep a roof over my head, but by the end, i'd taken way too much S*** and took a pay cut and hours cut to keep my sanity. I can't believe all the crap CPI is doing anymore, what ever happened to 'creating memories' for the customers? now it's just 'rob them blind' and 'harrass the hell out of them'. i will never be a SPS customer again because after i quit, my name was still in the database as a customer and i've received 57 missed calls from SPS in a months time. all trying to get my to schedule my next appointment i'm sure. you know CPI, it's called harrassment and i have a good mind to call the police for it too. maybe then you'll pull your heads out of your asses and realize that you're not getting more customers and sittings you're driving them all away. what was a great company to work for 10 years ago is a nightmare now and i'm just waitin to see when the news report shows up saying that CPI is out of business. run while you can CPI employees, the B.S your'e being put through now is not worth the measley paycheck you're getting. hell working two fast food jobs at minimum wage would be better. good luck to all of you, you're gonna need it if you stick with the company.
amen to that.
I totally agree with the person above... I was in this business for almost 16 years... 7 of those was with SPS,I will never forget the first time I saw a picture that I took on somebodys wall and realized that what I did WAS really important and that these people would keep these for the rest of their lives... it changed how I thought of my job and I think made me better... I left SPS 6 months ago after months of BS and I cant believe what they are doing to this company and the people that work for it, they have made them nothing more than telemarketers and it is sad!! What we all do IS an art form and we USED to be appreciated for it but no more... My health suffered so bad that I now have ulcers, though since I have left the migraines have stopped. I used to look forward to going to work, before I left I would cry while I was getting ready. I will just say, if your a robot like I was and just going though the motions, get out now.... they are making the SM's write everybody up but they are next.. noone is safe, and trust me this captain wasnt going down with the ship!!!
I think it is pretty sad when former employees who got let go for performance has to help the new employees ring up their sales......
Yeah this company is going down the tubes, not to mention what I just read about Sears on Yahoo. They are predicting Sears will go belly up soon. I wonder where that would leave us if they go under. Do we get the chance to switch to the Wal-Marts to keep our job with the company?
If Sears closes (I saw that on yahoo too) I think they will get rid of people from PMPS (you know the "under performing associates") and send "the best of the best" from SPS to PMPS and then some will go to GoPortraits.
This has nothing to do with this topic but my best friend worked at sps in maryland and they just got terminated because of an asst manager told the district and LP that he stole cameras, and everything else the was missing from sps. When in fact it all points to them because they were after the manager position and were trying to get all new staff. my friend never stole anything in their life and never lied about anything their job was perfect for them minus trying to get their prs up and every stupid phone call was monitored but it was all about making memoires. and just because they have a bg record they let them go its so messed up. i am telling everyone to go else where to get their pictures taken a homeless person could take better pictures...sorry i just needed to vent.
Have you seen how much new associates make at Portrait Innovations? Have you seen all they offer their employees?????? I just may quit and drive 5 more miles and work for them.....
I seen the Portrait Innovations. At Picture Me I will make close to 30,000.oo this year but I can't take it anymore. They are ruthless. I guess I make too much money since they have moved a MIT (Manager In Training) in with me. I figure I can make it right to about Christmas and then they will let me go. Hopefully I find somewhere else to go before that happens. They won't let me use any of my PTO at all. So I guess I will forfeit it.
Never, Never, Never sign any of those job performance reviews. It will haunt you. Remember your second write up will be the last one. You will be fired the next time. If they start giving you bad reviews and give you a course of correction and you sign it you might have just wrote off your unemployment. Don't do them any favors to get rid of you. The manager that has the MIT in her studio. Your DM will tell you that she is going to another studio or she is a backup for vacation times. Yeah right. They just don't want you quitting before you get her all trained to replace you.
As far as the "Bad for your health" i just want to know if anyone else in here has reaccuring Bad dreams about work.At least 5 nights a week, i dream about being at work, bored all day long, and then at 6pm while i am closing i have a person come in for a walk-in and then while im taking their photos another person walks up and then another walks up and they dont stop coming. Then my sitter walks in and SCREAMS at me because shes been in the car with my kids for hours waiting on me to come out.It really does freak me out, because that DOES happen. Maybe not to that extremity, but it happens. I hate those dreams!
Girl, I've had nightmares about work for YEARS!!!! I've also answerd my home phone, "Sears Portrait Studio" especially at Xmas, as most managers have!Am thinking about asking my Dr. to prescribe a sleepping pill before the busy season starts.... I know how hard it is too fall asleep as you are OVERTIRED and overworked. You are exhausted and still can't fall asleep. Lunesta or Ambien... hmmm.... any preferences???
What is scarier is that the reality of the job is worse than any possible nightmare!
my reoccurring nightmare for years when I worked for CPI was that the studio could not close because people kept coming in. There was always a lady saying, "I'm so glad you are open at 3am when my baby is wide awake and happy." So the night would blend into the morning and I kept trying to tell people to come back later but we couldn't turn them away. I always woke up feeling like I had just worked a 12 hr shift but I had to get up and do it all again. Most days during Christmas, I would go straight home from work, not eat dinner, and go lay in bed 'til I fell asleep (I don't have kids). I was usually able to get 8 hrs if I did that but for weeks that would be my entire life. Once I left work after 9 hours with my fiance and step-kids to go pick out a tree, figuring I would be gone less than an hour so I could go back (I was on salary and boy did they take advantage of that). Before I even got to the tree lot across the street, I started getting phone calls from my DM and visiting HO photographers to find out where I went. My staff didn't need me or bother me and I had not taken a break that day, but the fact that I was out "having fun" was apparently against policy. The bunny lady
Im the one who asked about the dreams, and ive been thinking alot about why i even have them. Its because when my schedule says i am OFF AT SIX, thats a lie. And im worried because any person ive ever had babysit my children, has quit on me because of me never actually getting off when im supposed to.Is there a possibility thats illegal, i mean.... arent i allowed to leave AT 6 since that is what my schedule says? Reguardless of the company saying i have to take a 6pm appt, the comapny ALSO is who said i am to be off at 6!!!!
as far as i know it IS against the law. they can ask us to stay beyond our schedule but not DEMAND it. not make it a condition of our job. too many of us stress over this fact and noone speaks out. those that still work at the company fear losing their job and those that are gone are too happy enjoying freedom. we have to stand together or nothing will ever change and the company will keep walking all over us, but its almost impossible to do
Count me in!! I may not still work there, but they have messed up too many family memories and dinners and gatherings to get away with it. What can I do? I already have a lawsuit against them but if anyone needs me to do legal research for their state, or make a phone call, just let me know.
There is no federal law on work times unless the state says there is. Your employer can change your hours at anytime in Ohio and not let you have a break at all unless your 17 or younger. The only workers that mandatory to get a break in Ohio are like pilots, truck drivers, train engineers. If you belong to a union and have it in your contract that you get a break at certain times you can get a break. Overtime can be forced on you at anytime unless these above rules apply to you. Most states are the same as Ohio. Sorry.
California has VERY strict labor laws with rest breaks and lunch breaks mandatory for every shift over 3 hours. I know every state is different but most do protect their blue collar workers somewhat.
Seeing as how im in Ohio too, uve answered my question =(
Yes Ohio is an "at will" state, meaning they can fire you or you can quit without any legal recourse unless your covered under a union contract. Walmart has been known to hold 3rd shift at their jobs to cover 1st shift because of incliment weather. They complained that they wanted to go home when their shift was over but were told they were not permitted to leave. They had to stay until 2nd shift got there because of level 3 snow emergency's. The company threatened write ups.
Hope your lawsuit goes well!!! I'm sure we ALL would LOVE to give input to help prove and backup your case! We all have lots and lots of similar horror stories from there and would enjoy telling someone who could actually do something about it. But alas, I am still there (why, oh why, couldn't I have been one of the lucky ones and my store close?) And "dreams"... er NIGHTMARES oh yeah, continually, about being stuck in the store AFTER it closes, staff not showing up, DM continually calling for #'s, can't aswer the phone and Sears MOD yelling at us to answer the phone!!(Only the faces change in the "drea" year after year!) Nope, doesn't get any better than this!
Our Regional Manager is always threatening the DM's, Managers and such. I hope she gets what she deserves not what she thinks she deserves. The constant fear she throws out is destroying morale. She probably doesn't even know half her best employees are looking for jobs right now. Good luck to her making her bonus after all of good photograpers are gone.
As many DM's that are leaving PMPS you would think something might be wrong with this company. Retention is going to be a big problem. I guess CPI can hope after Christmas that it will be super slow so they can unload the rest of their high priced baggage. When they signed the contract with Wal-Mart they paid way too much to that place. No wonder they are squeezing the life out of everyone. Gotta make those shareholders happy you know. The heck with us they say they can train baboons to do what we do.
i have a job interview tomorrow.....fingers crossed
Wow I got one Wednesday at JCPenny. Hopefully I can say goodbye to The Big Box Store.
Geesh what is with all the JCPenny jobs opened up. Well I think I am going to put my 2 weeks in next week. I got 2 days of PTO to use up. So I am going to try my best to use them up before leaving. My DM told us a while back that if anyone quits they will be let go immediately upon giving their 2 weeks notice. I am going to be the manager at a JCPenny. They recently got rid of a manager that I will be replacing. I hope the grass is greener on the other side. Here it is really brown and burnt out.
Congrats to the JCP job. I wish I had a JCP in my city that had a studio in it. I would love to jump ship. You'll have to let us all know if the grass is greener!I've only had one interview and it's for a position I'm not really interested in but seems better than SPS.
I also went to work at JCP, although not in the studio. After 15 yrs at CPI, I no longer loved photography. The atmosphere at JCP is totally different from Sears- they are really into community, making staff feel appreciated and seem to always find a reason to celebrate with a potluck. During the big back to school sale they even had a caterer bring food in for all associates. Run, don't walk to the nearest JCP.
Get this.. I was FIRED for no reason after 17 yrs (I'm the Bunny Lady) over a year ago, and TODAY the new DM asked someone I used to work with if I am rehireable!!/?? Are they crazy? For 2 years they fired everyone that made decent money and now they can't keep people for any amount. My old studio that I ran solid and perfectly for 7 years has had 5 managers since I left.
I guess we are all going to lose our jobs at SPS after this Christmas I am afraid. Sear's future looks pretty bleak.
Lots of MIT's in training as well as DM's so yes I can see it happening.
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