Comments

1
The sad part is no other corporate retail chain will hire her. She's tainted goods for the life in their eyes.
2
Farewell, Wet Seal. We hardly knew ye.

Seriously. Never heard of this place before.
3
@1: Take a bet on that? This is a great PR opportunity for another corporate retail chain. I'll bet she hears from brands that position themselves as socially conscious. Whole Foods, Starbucks, Gap, etc.

(Not saying those companies *are* socially responsible, just that they position themselves as such)
4
Typical corporate BS. The company has all the power so they can do whatever they want. This is why we need more people to unionize. Unionized workers at least have some power to counter the power of the company. Non-unionized workers have no power and are treated as such.
5
@1,

She might find it hard to get another management job, but, in my experience, retailers don't do a lot of research into applicants' backgrounds, especially when you're talking about the lowest paid scutwork at companies with the worst reputations (Wal-Mart et al).

Mostly they just want to know that you don't have a violent criminal record or a record of stealing from former employers.
6
Wait, Northgate Mall management told the workers to take the sign down? The fuck???
7
@3: From "brands" that position themselves as such? How does a brand take action?
8
Slog is now just re-posting reddit top stories?

is this performance art?
10
IT'S A RECOVERY KEEP SHOPPING
11
I think you're misinterpreting the employees' "19 weeks blacked out" part of the sign. It's not saying that they had 19 weeks of vacation saved up that is now lost, I think they were saying that there's a period of 19 weeks that are blacked out so that employees CAN'T take vacation, even if they have the time saved up - if I had to guess, I'd say it runs from Labor Day through the end of the holidays.
12
@6: That's not what I read. The DM for Wet Seal told her to take it down, presumably.
13
@9: Right. Companies engage in brand positioning. Despite what companies who now use brands as a way of manipulating public opinion instead of as a mark of quality would have us believe, a brand is not something that can take action.
14
@7

It's a shorter way of writing "companies whose owners and employees work to position those companies' brands as such," nobody is having any difficulty at all understanding exactly what was meant by the words, and you really need to take a long, hard look at your continuing effort to find conspiracies in completely innocuous phrases.
15
@13: Seriously? You want to debate the semantics of company versus brand? It's a very common synecdoche; Google "the brand announced" or "the brand's top" to see a lot of examples. But ok, consider yourself awarded one internet correction point... happy day!
16
@13

No, Companies don't engage in brand positioning, Phil. A company has no more agency than a brand.

People do the work of branding, not companies.
17
quite a brave employee!
18
This manager is AWESOME. She clearly cares for her staff and is terrified about the future for not just herself, but them as well. We need more managers in the world like her. I hope that she is able to find a new job quickly. And, oh, I almost forgot, Wet Seal is disgusting for treating their staff this way. Our service based economy sets up people for these kind of disasters, but the companies involved don't have to respond this way.
19
This type of shit should be illegal. All companies should be required by law to give two weeks notice and a severance package equal to at least one week of regular pay.

And if your business is so fucked up that you cannot budget for that you should not be in business anyway.

If the business declares bankruptcy, then the first people in line to collect should be the lowest paid employees, and do on up the chain.

These laws would have the added effect of lowering unemployment payouts and less tax dollars supporting disgusting business practices.

Other nations do this and we can too.
20
This company sounds awful, but the one day notice doesn't surprise me at all. Most people I know who have been laid off (in various positions and industries) were given no notice all all. it was just, "Sorry, we liked having you here, but budget cuts blah blah blah." Notice would be great, and I wish it were standard, but I've never heard of it for layoffs. Store closings, yes, but not layoffs.
21
@19, Exactly the kinds of things we could fix via the initiative process.

If only the left could get organized enough to do it.
22
Wet Seal always struck me as a pseudo sexual name. Or a sex act I don't know how to do.
23
@22, you're missing out! You need a 17-year-old girl to perform it....

Is anyone else humming Elton John's "Grey Seal" right now? No?
25
@23 I wasn't until you mentioned it... Bastard.
26
@25, And tell me Wet Seal,
How does it feel
To be so wise
To see through eyes
That only see what's real?
Te-ell meeeee Wet Seal!
27
No notice, sounds like a lawsuit to me WA has good labour laws.
28
This is a classic case of corporate keeping their employees in the dark and losing focus on what's important and that's to take care of their employees. If they had done this from the beginning they would not be closing doors.. Happy engaged employees will produce more and the company will reap the rewards. I've been in retail management for longer then I care to admit, and have worked for 3 companies that have closed doors. It's not fun you put so much heart into the business and you feel betrayed , but at the end of the day it is just business, and retail is always changing... The companies that stay innovative and ahead of the trends succeed, while other fall behind, I wish the employees the best of luck in finding new homes, and I hope they haven't burned their bridge so bad, that this hurts them worse in the end... No matter how mad you are you never want to burn bridges with your peers, boss and Companies etc.. You might need them in the future.
29
Good for them. My experience in retail is that the top executives and main office staff are not in touch with the reality of customers shopping in their stores. They listen to idiot consultants about what they should be doing to save more money, like ending full-time employees, making everyone part-time (few benefits, no insurance). Oh, wait, all those full-timers were the lifeblood of the stores, the individuals who knew the business and were enthusiastic about helping customers. These employees were the reason the public shopped the stores in the first place. Once these knowledgeable employees left (because they needed a full-time paycheck), customers quit coming in.

Companies that succeed can do so by actually asking questions and listening to the retail employees at their store level. I mean really listen and take into account what their workers are saying. AND STOP listening to consultants who just make shit up to justify their fees. Whenever something stupid comes down from corporate, we all know it is some idiot consultant who sold a clueless executive some miracle idea. Huh. Said executive probably never worked at the store level and has no clue what in the trenches retail needs.

Companies should do something equivalent to the "Secret Shop" (process of paying someone to shop at random places, random times and record their experiences to rate retail stores; this use to be the terror of all retail employees, but the Great Recession ended this practice in a lot of retail chains) and have "Secret Information Gathering." Hire a handful of employees as new hirees/transfer employees to different stores and write reports of what they learn from current employees.
30
This is very similar to what RadioShack is doing - they are going into "clearance mode" with some of their stores in order to liquidate and gain cash. They recently laid off about 160 (out of about 210) district managers (myself included), after cutting our severance to 30% of what it was. Memo came out on Thursday about the new severance policy, Friday we were all let go.

This is the new face of corporate retail. Three weeks before I was laid off, I had to lay off a 33 year store manager, who was beating his previous year sales, and one of the best business operators in the company. However, they wouldn't let me transfer him to an open store (I had 10 open stores at the time), because the company didn't want to open themselves to liability by picking and choosing who got to keep a job.

The CEO of the business gets a $500,000 bonus if he sticks around until March.
31
@4 The #1 thing these employees need is a union. It's all well and good to go down in a social media blaze of glory, but you're chances of changing corporate behavior with a flash in the pan boycott are slim to none. If these employees were union with a seat at the power table, this simply would never have happened.

@19 Fantastic idea. Where do I sign up to gather signatures?
32
Bitch got fired. Bitch is angry. Not news.
33
When a company goes into meltdown, as Wet Seal has done, it's employees go into meltdown with it. Been there; done that. No corporation owes employees anything but compensation for work done. Nothing is guaranteed beyond that. It's just a cold, hard fact of life, whether we like it or not.

These folks should put their time and energy into finding other jobs, not wasting it on bashing their soon to be former employer. Online grandstanding at its most unproductive.
34
@19- the company should give employees, now with nothing to lose, 2 weeks? Because no one ever would take it out on the company by stealing, giving massive discounts to whomever, etc. What countries follow that practice, do tell.
35
@ 33 - Purrl. You are everything that is wrong with the world, and I'm saddened to have to share the same oxygen with you. You should be ashamed of yourself for your inhuman lack of decency.
36
@34: Arrests for theft are totally looked on well around retail, right?
37
@34- while theft is illegal do you honestly believe an angry soon-to-be ex-employee(s) is the best thing to keep around for 2 weeks?
38
@35- thank you for the poignant comments re @33's post. You must have an idlyc view with your head so far up your ass.
39
And finally the Grampy-Pants Brigade shows up, defending corporate greed, malfeasance, abuse, and mismanagement. "That worker bitch, she should just suck it up and take it like I did, now that I'm relatively safe from economic hardship, while lost any hope of meaningful advancement. And she should get off my lawn, while she's at it."

Keep up the fight, you guys, to staying complacent and allowing others to do your thinking for you!
40
Life sucks when your industry has been commoditized to a bunch of faceless worker zombies in order-fulfillment warehouses.
41
@39- the smallest of small businesses know that keeping an employee on after informing them of their impending termination is just not good policy. While a severance package of a months wages would certainly be a nice gesture it is not the law. The stupidy of most of the comments here, yours included, is breathtaking. It is not a surprise that you would confuse my defense of common sense with corporate greed.
42
@39- please stay off my lawn, I've already removed one pile of shit today, I certainly don't want to remove another.
43
35 - Get a life. It would surprise you to know I am quite liberal in both politics and life. However, I'm not a liberal of the selfie-obsessed, entitlement generation, who seem to think that the world owes them something because they're all so, so very special. They represent the epic fail at parenting of my generation. We blew it.

All the world owes you is the oxygen you breathe, so suck it up because I'm sucking it up right along with you.
44
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45
43 - keep telling yourself that if it soothes your conscience. There are right ways to act, and right ways to respect your employees and fellow humans. And failure to respect and laud honorable actions and negative publicity for a despicable company pretty effectively undermines your case of liberalism. I call bullshit, kid.
46
I worked for a 'remaining unnamed' retail store. I was hired as a manager four months before the doors closed, which was hidden from me; even though they knew. I told them I was choosing between two jobs, they asked me to take that one even though they knew what was coming. They managed to 'taper down' the employee list as we closed in on the holiday which was confusing. We were understaffed and we weren't receiving the stock for the holidays we were begging for. They said we were moving. Before you know it, its a week before Xmas and we are all losing our jobs. PS. the severance pay retail gives you, isn't even a months rent- and it is only to not allow you to sue them or ask for unemployment benefits.

It is difficult to get out of retail just like any other career choice. Someone has to do it, just like someone has to be the garbage man- the dry cleaner- the deli clerk. Why are they not being shown respect, or equality when the money is there to be given. (Most frustrating is retail employee can see first hand HOW MUCH the company is making, because they are making the money FOR the company)

The most depressing part of any hard working retail persons life, - they can't even afford what they sell. Give tips, or give equality.
47
@ 46

Retail employees have no idea how much the company is making just because they see the sales. Of course, a public company makes the financials public so that is no secret.

If you don't like working retail do something different. Personally, I think it is a way better environment working with customers than sitting in a cubicle pushing papers, trying to meet random deadlines.

Most retail businesses give their employees steep discounts on products.
48
This is a very telling comment on the times we live in and a very supportive example of what social media can accomplish. to all those who exploit workers, murder school children in Afghanistan, corrupt the politics of your people and steal from the human population at large to benefit your own welfare - we see you! We are watching, and we will not forget or forgive! Shame on you!
49
I worked for "Easy Spirit" a store that is under the The Jones Group or Jones New York, Bandalino, Nine West, Easy Spirit Outlet etc. I had been with the company for four years , I was age 29. I had been hired as a full time employee had worked 34+ hours weekly at $8.45 an hour and always traveled to other stores to help out with employees vacations and call offs. I became pregnant the last year I was working for the co. I had paid into short term and long term disability, insurance etc. Well to make a long story short. I was in the middle of my 7th month of pregnancy the store location was not getting much business and there were rumors of lay offs and store closings. Well the next week, our district manager came in and took me to lunch and told me, were going to have to take you from full time to part time. You will lose all health benefits and your short term/long term disability. I just cried and cried! Well here I am about to have a baby and they do this to me! Then yes, they took away my benefits and disability pay (that I would have received $300 a week while on pregnancy leave. Oh yeah they also took away part of my leave time also.. anyhow they kept me at full time hours but named me as a part time employee, I had to get on welfare insurance so I could afford to have a baby and I received $74.00 cash for leave from welfare, oh did I mention the father was not astound either to help support me?? So my manager kept calling me asking when I am coming back. So I had to go back early still being given full time hours and was kept part time. Then 2 weeks back after leave I get news, your store is closing the day after Christmas. Happy Holidays! I was told I wouldn't qualify for a severance pkg since I was part time. But after we closed I was told I was since I was only part time for two months! Really I was never a part time employee, they just took full time away from me and called me that.. I wanted to sue them but could not afford a lawyer. Even to this day I feel wronged by them Jones Retail Group!! Oh and the District Manager who had to go around and tell weveryone the bad news, well after she did her job, they fired her! twenty some years with the co. no retail chain cares about their employees personally, I will be surprised if anything even comes out of these brave actions of the wet seal employees! My incident happened 5 yrs ago. My heart goes out to all of their employees!!
50
This and other anti-company acts are exactly why companies don't give two weeks notice. I've seen several, including property destruction and introduction of viruses into company servers (I had to clean up one of those messes). This example shows that even a day is too long - most big companies now will walk people to HR and out the door or back to their desks to pack.

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