I was a Borders, Inc. employee from about 1995 until 2004 and I have to say they were one of the better companies I have worked for. They purchased a large music store where I was employed (Planet Music in Virginia Beach) and when they sold the store two years later, I decided to stay with Borders and got a job at Waldenbooks, which they also owned.
They treated their employees well, and although I can’t say they always hired the best store managers, they did tend to hire some pretty knowledgeable, talented people. I had the time of my life working for Waldenbooks and made a lot of friends with other employees as well as customers.
The closest Borders store to me is the one in Virginia Beach, about 60 miles away. I played my music there once and they even sold my CD on consignment. Pretty cool. And their coffee was way better than Starbuck’s (sorry Starbuck’s fans).
One of the draws for me was the fact that they sold tons of multi-media, i.e., video, music and books. But not just in a little room in the back of the store—I’m talking aisles of stuff. They carried music that I just couldn’t find anywhere else without going online or to a specialty store. And as an employee, I got a really awesome discount.
At Planet Music, you could listen to any music before you bought it and we had a huge room that catered specifically to classical music fans. We sold new and used CDs and also had the biggest video and DVD selection you’ve ever seen. It was paradise.
But when they sold the company, I decided to stay with Borders and began as a bookseller at a little stand-alone Waldenbooks in Virginia Beach before becoming assistant manager. Then, writing called and I never looked back.
But I have to say that I will never forget my time working for Borders, shopping in their stores and making so many friends. They were a great company and I will miss them.