I’ve read and understood what the Bookstore’s CEO has written about merit increases — which is to say, that until the company is on more stable financial footing, they’re just not going to happen. This coming April, I will have been a bookseller at the store for two years. I make $8.75 an hour.
I recently found out that new booksellers are being paid $9.00 an hour.
I’ve tried to tell myself, “Hey, don’t let it bother you.” I mean, it’s only a quarter, right?
But it does bother me. Last year, that extra quarter would’ve pulled in an extra $260! Imagine how many books that is! (Answer: it’s a lot).
I’ve been with the company for two years, and new people — new people who have to be given tours of the store and trained on the register and Atlas and what RPL is and why you never, ever, pull things off carts that say “Do not remove any items” — make more than I do right out of the gate.
I’ve gone to my Ops Manager, and she told me her hands are tied. I went to my GM, and he told me the same thing. I’m tempted to ask, “So if I quit, you’d rehire me at the higher rate, right?”
Most of the hires made at the end of last year have gone — some have been fired, many have quit as they found better jobs or moved across the country. I’ve been with the Bookstore for two years. I’m not going anywhere (well, anytime soon). But if I were to leave, my replacement would run the store’s budget .25 an hour more than I do. And that doesn’t factor in for all of the training it would take to replace the two years of knowledge about the store that I have. Really, it doesn’t make any economic sense at all not to increase my base pay.
So forget the merit increase — can I at least get a raise to what new people are being paid as their starting hourly wage?
And if not, anyone know of any other bookstores in the District that are hiring, and what their starting wages are?
And in the meantime, since the store’s management’s hands were tied, I did the only other thing I could think of: I e-mailed the CEO.