The next time you’re shopping at Best Buy, try not to get too angry when employees attempt to cram store credit cards down your throat. They’re not personally out to scam you, or hawking cards to line their pockets. They’re just trying not to get written up, reprimanded, or fired. A very insightful tipster who works at a Best Buy somewhere in the United States shared with us the impossible credit application quotas now in place. Update: The tipster reports that Best Buy management has backed down on this particular threat. Hurray!
I wanted to share some information that I received while at work today. I find it quite disturbing.
Our revenue and profits are way down not only at the company level, but at my particular store as well. Although management is constantly coming up with new excuses as to why this is, I know the truth is that the trends are in favor of smaller stores and large online presences. Thus, a new calling card within the company has been financing offers. It’s simple: each employee has a goal of one Best Buy credit card application per shift. Each one brings in roughly $50-$100 of pure profit for the store. We have been told ad nauseum for the past few months that financing is incredible because when the company wins, we win. Simply put, if we reach budget each quarter each employee receives a small bonus.
The problem is that this bonus is nearly unobtainable because corporate sets our standards so high. In fact, the majority of my fellow employees cannot recall the last time we reached our budget goals. In spite of this, we are continually told of the greener pastures that lie just over the fence of credit card applications.
Anyway, while working today I was approached by one of my managers and told that our district is being moved into a new territory. As you may very well know, a change in territory comes with a change in management. I was told that our new territory manager is very “big” on financing and will continue our goal of one credit card application per shift.
Here’s the kicker, though: if we go three shifts without a credit card application, we will be written up by management. If we go twelve straight shifts with no applications, we are automatically terminated, no questions asked! Plus, we are now required to check in with the manager on duty both at the beginning and end of our shifts to discuss our daily sales and financing goals, or risk being fired! I could only stand in amazement as both my manager and supervisor told me that although they strongly disagreed with this new initiative, they would have to enforce it or risk termination themselves.
I for one believe this is all outrageous, and will be leaving the company within the next few weeks. If corporate is that out of touch with the employees that do their dirty work, I no longer want to be a part of their operation. I am thankful for the fact that I am still a student and have another job; I can only imagine what those who are stuck in the corporate grind are feeling right now.
This insider’s story illustrates three things quite clearly. First: Best Buy is less of an an electronics store, and more of a credit card store that has some electronics in it for your convenience. Second: corporate management is so far out of touch with the experience of being a front-line employee that they set impossible goals. Third: contrary to popular belief, some Best Buy employees do have souls. (And brains.)