I was speaking to some Wats booksellers yesterday and as we all know we are experiencing unprecedented economic times. Redundancies have been announced at Wats, which with the new Hub making goods in a thing of the past was always a possibility. The staff I spoke were aware that this would happen, but what disappoints them most is the way the process has been handled. I have only got one side of it, but having experienced having to re-apply for my job at an Academic publisher 9 years ago and go through the interview process knowing you're fighting for your job and competing for one position against fellow work colleagues, is not a pleasant experience. Experienced staff have had little if no information, rotas have been changed to make it very difficult, and people who have worked for over twenty years are so disillusioned they don't know whether they want to work for the big W anymore. One senior bookseller said to me.'To keep my job I will have to lie to make sure one of my mates doesn't get the position. If I don't I will either lose my job or have my hours significantly reduced.' Way to go Mr Johnson.
All this from a book company who, two years ago thought the only way out of the bookselling mire, was to introduce Fish Tanks into every store. Visionary.