CPI Corp Employee Reviews

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absentee management + unqualified staff + low quality products = unhappy customers
Photographer/Sales Associate (Former Employee) –  Calgary, AB5 February 2013
Every day presented new challenges:
-There were a lot of unhappy customers due to poor quality printing from the lab or poor quality photography from the untrained/unqualified staff.

-The most difficult part of the job was trying to help the unhappy customers. Many of them had been ignored/left unresolved by either the manager or previous staff members, and their cases often became long term issues.

-There was no system in place to track and monitor the quality, nor shipping/receiving of the products.

-The management seemed to only care about the sales numbers, rather than the individual clients or the quality of the products.

-The number of tasks assigned for the day was often unrealistic; many of the tasks, such as cold calling customers, are for strictly increasing sales numbers/bookings.

-Tasks that would benefit the productivity and general maintenance of the studio is discouraged in favour of tasks that increase sales, resulting in messy/disorganized studios.

-Co-workers are not necessarily photographers, as the rate of pay is too low for any serious photography professional. Despite the Sears Quality Guarantee, the photography unfortunately reflects this.

-There is a discord when the high expectations of customers are met with the low level of product quality.

-The most enjoyable part of the job is interacting with the nice customers and children that come into the studio, and creating their memories through photography.

-Genuine appreciation from the customers that were happy with quality photography.

-I learned a lot of techniques for photographing
  more... groups and maintaining control in the studio.  less
1 hour lunch and (low season)
long hours, often without a break (peak season)
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Awful company with shockingly terrible treatment of employees!
Associate/Photographer (Former Employee) –  Central Alberta, Canada14 October 2012
I spent three years in total at this job. All I can think of to begin with is that they need a complete make over.

I took the job thinking that I would be trained properly on how to work the camera and the equipment in the studio, only to learn that there was no real training available from head office. I was thrown in during busy season (December) and expected to run the studio by myself within the first week of working there.
When the manager left the company to pursue another career, I was offered the managerial position WITHOUT a pay raise.

For the two following years, I was never offered a raise, but the work load piled on higher and higher. I am to understand that the raises are given out once per year in April, and even though I was working sometimes 6-7 days in a row, I was still not eligible for a raise, because my 'PRS' or 'sales' weren't high enough.

In December of 2011, I finally got the opportunity to spend some time abroad, so I quit my job with an offer from the current manager to come back if I wanted to.
I came back home after my opportunity came to an end, and resumed my position, after a complicated re-hire.
I spent three weeks without a paycheque because they changed the system in the computer for clocking in and out, and because the DM had forgotten to contact head office about me being a rehire.

The first phone call in which I spoke to her about it, she had the audacity to ask me if I was going to "stick around this time" (after being an employee, working two consecutive Christmas seasons with only myself and the current manager holding the studio afloat,
  more... both of us being the only reliable employees they could find to work).
Meanwhile, I was 'promoted' to full time hours, seeing as we were in need of extra coverage at the studio.

Not two months later, the studio hours were cut, meaning I could no longer be afforded the hours to obtain full time, seeing as the manager was required to have full time. I asked the DM why, and as she explained it to me, she did not see our studio to be "high volume" (even though our goals were chillingly similar to the busiest studio in our district with four employees, as opposed to our two) and that there needn't be more than one employee working per day.

After this happened, the goals were raised and instead of having to shoot 6 poses per session, we now had to incorporate 12 'sellable' poses, meanwhile taking passport photos and delivering printed portraits to previous customers... all with one person a day. I can safely say I've never wished I could clone myself more.
When the equipment broke down or got dirty, it also became the employee's prerogative to fix and/or clean the item. Technical help was based in the United States and would usually be unreachable by telephone (eg. ~30 calls ahead of you etc.) and once reached would be largely unhelpful. In my three years of employment, I had only seen a field tech twice. The camera was loose on its tripod and the lights malfunctioned frequently. The curtains used for floor posing would often get dirty and needed to be taken home to be washed.
The software was dated and unable of fixing blemishes, and the print lab was printing things wrong, more often than not. Customers complained constantly about not having Photoshop and misprints, and only having one employee working per day.
When the studio ran out of things like envelopes and paper and till tape, the DM told us to purchase supplies out of pocket and wait until she would be around to refund us.
On Wednesdays, the manager or a tenured employee would be required to take half of their lunch and spend it on a conference call ("but clock in for it!"), and on Mondays, you were required to take the monetary deposit of cash to the bank... on your lunch hour.

And that was only the tip of the iceberg.
getting to see cute kids on a daily basis, customer relations.
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