Circuit City Complaint - A manifestation of a deeper problem
VIRGINIA -- I am a former employee of Circuit City for over nine years.
The recent bankruptcy of Circuit City came to no surprise to me.
When I began working for Circuit City in 1984 it was a company that was the epitome of the American dream.
Like many other corporations from days gone by the most important commodity of Circuit City were its employees. Not upper management, and not the dollar. As a result the dollars came for circuit city and they came big. I remember in days gone by circuit city were closed Sundays and Mondays, had a nationwide company picnic that was completely paid for by circuit city, a kick off party in which the store closed for its employees, and gave literally thousands of dollars worth of electronics to its employees that included big screen TV's, stereo systems, as well as monitory prizes. Over and above all this, it's employees were well rewarded financially for good customer service, performance, as well as sales incentives. From my understanding the years previous were even better.
I can even remember attending a sales meeting discussing an up and coming electronics company named Best Buy. How that they would never be any real competition for Circuit City.
Somewhere between the early years and the last 25 years however Circuit City lost the vision that the employees are the bread and butter of an organization not upper management. I can still remember when Circuit City offered good health benefits, paid sick leave, and a good retirement program.
Unfortunately I can also remember when I noticed the company began it's downward journey to its current demise. It started with the stores being open seven days a week as opposed to five, then the next thing to go was the company picnics, the kick off parties and sales incentives became stingy-er and stingy-er. Then in a few short years I noticed that store supervisors and employees that were just several years from collecting on their retirement had been terminated for what seemed to be unsubstantiated reasons. Furthermore as new employees were hired they were not offered the same incentives or pay as those that were currently employed. Then as years went by the product knowledge, and the sales training program for new hires went from several weeks to several days.
The manifestation of this downhill slide is Bankruptcy. The deeper problem is the same the nation over. The lack of vision for a greater community, and country for the "middle class" worker has turned to the turning over of a quick buck for the CEO's.