I worked for a period at the Langley MEC store prior to its opening and for several months after it opened. Here's what I had for a takeaway from that experience with regard to the Craigslist poster:
Originally Posted by Craigslist Poster
Work at Mountain Equipment Coop at your own peril.
The self importance of this company is off the charts.
Useless out-of-touch management.
True. There is an enormous amount of hubris as you go up the management ladder.
Hypocrisy by management: they encourage employees to ride their bicycles or take transit to work while the upper managers drive their big Mercedes and BMWs to the office.
I didn't see this. Not at all -- not to say that it doesn't happen but I didn't see it. While some of the upper managers do drive nice cars, many also have nice bikes that they ride as well. In fact when the Langley store was coming together (before it opened) several upper management managers rode their bikes out to Langley from the Vancouver head office -- and back -- on several different days. As an avid cycle-commuter I was impressed.
They can't decide are they a for profit business, non profit, social organization.
They have decided this -- they are a profit oriented business that is far, far away from the grass-roots co-op that most of us have known for many, many years.
Bullying, harassment, and intimidation by middle managers and verbally abusive managers!!!
Saw this first hand and spoke up about it and against it -- that didn't go very well. When referring to 'middle managers' I'm referring to a specific store manager and the lower level corporate managers at head office -- and it needs to be said that all the lower level store managers (i.e., assistant managers) were not in this category -- they are treated only marginally better than front line sales staff.
Do not question anything management does; they ask for feedback but never act on it.
Pretty much true with very few exceptions. Way more truth than not.
Most employees unfriendly, self absorbed douche-bags.
Didn't see this at all, either at the Langley store or at the Vancouver store. From my experience the front line sales staff at Langley (and Vancouver) are some really nice genuine and decent people.
Expensive 'benefits': MEC pay only half of BC MSP premiums, employees pay the other half. Employees cannot opt out of any their benefits (STD or LTD) which employee must pay for every pay period.
Can't speak to this directly but I do know that a lot of games are played with part time people to keep them as part time so that benefits of full time employment don't happen. Saw this lots. Lots of promise and dangling carrots for full time positions but pitiful few positions came available. Part time people had their 'probationary contracts' renewed -- even if they were working full time hours (myself included).
Employees are treated like children; working there is like being in high school.
Saw this a lot -- probably a bit hyper-sensitive to it as I'm a 'mature' person.
Lots of make-work projects on the go to keep their too many employees busy.
Saw a bit of this but didn't look at it as a negative -- they were keeping people working. I saw more cases of being understaffed during busy periods but in all fairness keeping employees working/busy is a tough juggling act.
Most of what they do is useless but they think it's all very important. All they really do is sell outdoors clothing and sporting goods, but they think they are God's gift to Vancouver and are doing this city a huge service.
This is definitely apparent as you move up the corporate ladder. As mentioned, there's no shortage of hubris.
Very distrustful organization.
Hmmm... don't know about this one but there definitely is a reluctance to allow people to think for themselves and have their own opinions. I was there while the re-branding was going on and it was pitiful how you were treated if you had anything negative to say about any of it. Shocking actually.
When you start there, they take your photo and tell you to complete a personal profile which is then posted on a new hires board supposedly so others can "get to know you" (as if it's anybody's business) but in reality they want your picture in your HR file so they can give it to the police if there is any problem. I'm surprised they don't take employee fingerprints too.
I think this is a lot of bull. I didn't see this at all. It seems to me that the writer had some insecurities or perhaps got caught doing something he/she shouldn't have been doing.
If you are a left-wing communist granola munching cyclist who likes to work at doing nothing while being abused and screwed over then you may fit in there, but otherwise stay away from MEC!
Left wing leanings will definitely get you closer to the opportunity of front line employment -- perhaps even moreso at higher levels so long as you're also able to worship corporate profits.
PS: Their crap stuff is marked up over 100% and is mostly made in China in sweatshops by child labour.
I think this is crap as well. If there's one thing that the current MEC does do well is they have high standards and controls to avoid sweat shop labour.
Product with high markups is very real however -- especially on trendy and fashionable urban clothing -- how do you think they were able to afford that astronomically priced re-branding fiasco, the new flashy headquarters, and huge salaries and bonuses for upper management?
In all, as far as retail jobs go, MEC is a lot better than most and they do have some good employee benefits -- it's definitely not the worst place to work in retail. But the friendly, helpful, think for yourself culture that existed for many, many years is gone.
One thing that bothered me a great deal (because it was a load of BS) was that employees in Langley get paid a dollar an hour less than those in Vancouver and North Van -- when I asked about this I was told it was because it's cheaper to live in Langley. Right, sure it is.
I left primarily because of the BS that trickled down from head office and the corporate demand to abide by MECthink.
Hail the almighty dollar and the bottom line.