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Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Old 08-25-10, 06:04 PM
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Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

I'm not sure if this is the right place for this thread, so feel free to move it.

I was wondering if anyone here could give me a first hand (or close to it) opinion of what it's like to work for Best Buy's Geek Squad and Staples' & Office Depot's in-store I.T. departments. I am just about done with college (all I have left is about a week or so on an internship, then I'm finished) and what I've been hearing from people, and what I know to be a fact, is that I'm not going to find a job right away and might be looking for months. I majored in Computer Information Systems and was told by my supervisor at my internship that as long as I stay relevant to the field I majored in and continue looking for something better, it doesn't matter where I get my first job.

Please keep in mind I am not looking for permanent work at these three places. I just need a job in the I.T. field for a few months while I look for something better and so I have some money coming in. These also are not the only places I'm looking at; I'm looking at every I.T. job I can find in my area and these three stores are just three other places I'm looking at.

So, what are your opinions? Should I think about applying at Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot or not even bother?
Old 08-25-10, 06:09 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

My advice has always been that you never know where you'll end up on a career path, so don't be afraid to take a job that isn't exactly what you're looking for, especially when you're just starting out. Every job can be a great learning experience and create valuable contacts.
The myth of people graduating college and instantly landing the perfect job that pays six figures is mostly that, a myth.

And based on the current economic environment, though I'm not real close to the hardcore IT field - with a 9-10 percent unemployment rate pretty much across the board, and a job market full of people who are overqualified for many positions but are competing for almost any job - cast a wide net and don't be too picky.
Old 08-26-10, 02:00 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by dtcarson
And based on the current economic environment, though I'm not real close to the hardcore IT field - with a 9-10 percent unemployment rate pretty much across the board, and a job market full of people who are overqualified for many positions but are competing for almost any job - cast a wide net and don't be too picky.
You're not kidding with that last part. I've been on job websites constantly for the last 1 1/2 weeks and, besides the local university (Penn State main), there are hardly any I.T. jobs available. I'm applying at the university, but it takes them so long to process job applications. I'm thinking one of these stores might be my best bet until the job market gets better.
Old 08-26-10, 09:43 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

I work for Best Buy but not geek squad. Be ready to sell...that'll be a huge part of your life. Also, the morons await
Old 08-27-10, 03:33 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by amd555
Also, the morons await
the employees?
Old 08-27-10, 10:04 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by amd555
I work for Best Buy but not geek squad. Be ready to sell...that'll be a huge part of your life. Also, the morons await
This is something I'm not too keen on. I have 0 sales experience (even though I previously worked in a grocery store I wasn't required to sell anything) and I really don't like trying to push stuff on people. But, from what I've read so far, it does seem like Best Buy and Staples require that you do this (I really haven't seen that much on Office Depot).

Originally Posted by chino77
the employees?
I think he might be referring to the customers, although I know alot of people going into the IT field who don't know what the hell they're talking about. I get the feeling some of the people in the Geek Squad might be like that.
Old 08-28-10, 08:37 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

I really think your best course of action would be to apply at all places, get interviews and, assuming you get offers (which I don't think should be an automatic assumption), make a decision then.
Old 08-28-10, 09:59 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

I have an odd question ... no love from the company that you interned with?
Old 08-28-10, 10:13 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by chino77
the employees?
Anyone who works retail quickly realizes that customers are far, far worse.

Originally Posted by Doc Moonlight
I really think your best course of action would be to apply at all places, get interviews and, assuming you get offers (which I don't think should be an automatic assumption), make a decision then.
Agreed. If you're not really doing anything else and waiting for something better, no harm in doing this and keeping your "skills" fresh. My company has a couple folks that had a history working at the Geek Squad. If nothing else, it at least shows your interest in the IT field on your resume.
Old 08-28-10, 11:31 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by Abob Teff
I have an odd question ... no love from the company that you interned with?
Actually, my internship wasn't with a company, it was with a university (Penn State to be exact). My IT manager has hinted that he would like to hire me and there are two positions open, a PC tech and a Mac System Administrator. However, the PC tech spot is frozen and will not be unfrozen until the Mac admin spot is filled and it's kind of up in the air as to when the IT manager will get permission from the dean of the college to fill that admin spot. And even then, it's not guaranteed that that PC tech spot will open. The dean thinks the IT department can handle everything with two admins and a manager, when they really need the admins, manager, and two techs to help the admins. So, I'm kind of in a dead position with them. I have been applying at other IT jobs at Penn State, but I haven't heard back from any of them yet.
Old 08-29-10, 09:09 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by fumanstan
Anyone who works retail quickly realizes that customers are far, far worse.
Please. I've been told at BB that they don't sell the cables that are right behind the salesman telling me that.

I've had salesmen tell me that an upconverting DVD player is "HD". I've had people there tell me things that might likely blow my computer up.

They hire idiots.

Guitar Center is even worse. Oh man it is even worse.
Old 08-29-10, 09:42 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
Please. I've been told at BB that they don't sell the cables that are right behind the salesman telling me that.

I've had salesmen tell me that an upconverting DVD player is "HD". I've had people there tell me things that might likely blow my computer up.

They hire idiots.

Guitar Center is even worse. Oh man it is even worse.
Please my butt I don't disagree that a lot of idiots get hired, but on the flip side, from the eyes of a decent employee most customers sound like the iPhone user in that iPhone vs EVO video.
Old 08-29-10, 10:16 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by DVD Josh

They hire idiots.
And where do they get their idiots from? The cream of the crop of the customers.
Old 08-29-10, 09:57 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by DVD Josh
I've had salesmen tell me that an upconverting DVD player is "HD". I've had people there tell me things that might likely blow my computer up.
No. That's using a sales tactic. The idiot is the person who actually believes them.
Old 08-31-10, 10:24 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

It's all retail so just shoot yourself now because in 6 months you are going to want to do it anyway.
Old 08-31-10, 11:24 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by dtcarson
My advice has always been that you never know where you'll end up on a career path, so don't be afraid to take a job that isn't exactly what you're looking for, especially when you're just starting out. Every job can be a great learning experience and create valuable contacts.
The myth of people graduating college and instantly landing the perfect job that pays six figures is mostly that, a myth.
Agree completely, and this is coming from a gent with 25 years of work experience. Sometimes the wrong job can teach you more about how to do things right than the right job. I was on a chemical co-op back in 1984-85 and it showed me that chemistry was NOT a field I wanted to be in due to its rote nature.

BTW, I was laid off in 2002 and worked for Best Buy for a year. I think it'll be a great hands-on experience if you work in the Geek Squad section, especially if that type of work is new to you. The best education I got like that is when I worked for EDS at BellSouth - we had to come up with everything from scratch, including assembling computers for our use.
Old 08-31-10, 12:44 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by big e
Actually, my internship wasn't with a company, it was with a university (Penn State to be exact). My IT manager has hinted that he would like to hire me and there are two positions open, a PC tech and a Mac System Administrator. However, the PC tech spot is frozen and will not be unfrozen until the Mac admin spot is filled and it's kind of up in the air as to when the IT manager will get permission from the dean of the college to fill that admin spot. And even then, it's not guaranteed that that PC tech spot will open. The dean thinks the IT department can handle everything with two admins and a manager, when they really need the admins, manager, and two techs to help the admins. So, I'm kind of in a dead position with them. I have been applying at other IT jobs at Penn State, but I haven't heard back from any of them yet.
There should a way for the university to hire you as a temp until the job opens up. There is no requirement to create a position for a temp job. They just pay you an hourly rate.

Tel your manager that you'd really like to stick around and ask if you can temp until the tech position is unfrozen.
Old 08-31-10, 12:59 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by fumanstan
Please my butt I don't disagree that a lot of idiots get hired, but on the flip side, from the eyes of a decent employee most customers sound like the iPhone user in that iPhone vs EVO video.
Let's face it, there are more than enough idiot customers and retail employees to go around. The only difference is you can assume the customer is going to be ignorant about products, where you would think the retail employee would know something other than how to read the product card to you.

I can say this because I worked in Best Buy and I saw how little importance was placed on finding the customer the right product. It was focused on upselling accessories the customer most likely didn't need.

For the OP: You work at Best Buy, you need to sell. You will be CONSTANTLY reminded of this fact. I worked there quite a few years ago, but I remember hourly the manager would walk around and hand everyone the % of attachment sheet, and try to motivate us to beat some other department. Oh, and no, you don't get commission. So you get that scummy feeling that you're actively trying to fleece people, but none of the financial gain.
Old 09-04-10, 12:11 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by dtcarson
Every job can be a great learning experience and create valuable contacts.
This x 100.

I've never made any "lifelong contacts". But I had a job since I was 12 (worked full time hours by high school). And it's incredible how much you can do before you're 30 when you have this kind of mindset.

As an employer, I cannot stress it enough - if you don't care about doing a good job, people just won't learn about what their job is. Get good at your job. Then find out how the guys in the warehouse operate, and then what your superiors do. Buy some general books on your field and read them (home theater books, employee-relationship books, etc.).

I've had employees that put more effort into stopping by on Friday, to get paid, then they put in all week. It makes me really cynical about the modern workforce.

Last edited by Troy Stiffler; 09-04-10 at 12:16 PM.
Old 09-11-10, 02:33 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by Mopower
It's all retail so just shoot yourself now because in 6 months you are going to want to do it anyway.
This

Retail is very hard to get out once you get into it. I worked 6 years at Target and it was a miserable experience I look back on that time of my life like I was doing time. I made some great friends but professionally I could've just been doing nothing. No help at all in my current job.
Old 09-11-10, 11:20 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
This

Retail is very hard to get out once you get into it. I worked 6 years at Target and it was a miserable experience I look back on that time of my life like I was doing time. I made some great friends but professionally I could've just been doing nothing. No help at all in my current job.
This is my #1 fear, that I'm going to get hired and then be stuck in the same position 5 years later. As I mentioned in one of my above posts I previously worked in a grocery store for four years, so I know that "stuck" feeling. There was honestly no way of advancing at that store unless someone in another department quit, which didn't happen very often. I was a grocery clerk (AKA glorified bagger) at 18 when I started, I was a grocery clerk at 22 when I left to start to college and at 24 I have no desire to return to a "grocery clerk" position.

Something else I'm worried about is that since the Geek Squad is not very well liked by a lot of people, I may be unintentionally shooting myself in the foot by joining them. Would having the Geek Squad on my resume possibly cause potential employers to look at me in a negative light?
Old 09-12-10, 11:17 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Originally Posted by big e
Would having the Geek Squad on my resume possibly cause potential employers to look at me in a negative light?
IT is IT no matter how you slice it. I don't think working at Geek Squad for a year or two is going to get you past entry level work you could get without the experience and just using what you've learned at school.

Pretty much anyone can get in to IT if they know the field regardless of experience. You just have to be good. Working at a retail store won't give you an edge over anyone else.
Old 09-12-10, 11:43 PM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

I don't really see how taking an entry level job at a retail store would result in you being "stuck" unless it was because of your own lack of motivation to find a better job elsewhere, which from your original post doesn't seem like it would be an issue.

And I don't think employers would find Geek Squad a negative. It won't be particularly beneficial, but at least you can say in interviews that you took the job because of your entry in IT while you looked for something more long term career wise, and it would at least keep basic helpdesk level skills sharp as far as basic computer work and troubleshooting. Seems to be me that it would be better then nothing.
Old 09-13-10, 09:23 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Employers might not view negatively, but I'll say this: as a 12-year IT veteran in a large IT department, I wouldn't take someone's experience with Geek Squad too seriously. I'd assume they knew how to install antivirus software and that's about it.
Old 09-13-10, 11:28 AM
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Re: Working for Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot: opinions?

Unless you're in the "field ops" position (going out to houses & businesses), you'll be doing a ton of anti-virus/spyware stuff as a Geek Squad noob.

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