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3.28.2011

Borders Bankruptcy Escape Plan: Fire Workers, Give These Wages to Bennnet LeBow...Can You Say 'Genius'?

According to news reports, the recently troubled bookstore chain wants to pay million dollar bonuses to its executives.

According to a Yahoo article:
The company wants to give its CEO, financier Bennett LeBow, as much as $1.7 million. In addition, it wants to give $1.1 million to executive vice presidents, $371,000 to the vice president for human resources, $2.4 million in other bonuses and $1.2 million in payments to 25 of its directors and a few other executives.
This while Borders is cutting jobs, cutting stores.

I recently went to a closing Borders (L Street NW in DC, the one where the guy made fun of me for wanting to see their section). The store was nearly gone besides stacks of James Patterson, a rack of Hello Kitty books, among a limited selection. The shelves were nearly all empty. Everything was consolidated into the middle shelves so the top and bottoms were empty. There were many faceouts, along with neon colored paper with bold fonted: "Buy today, it might not be here tomorrow!" There were even signs to sell the furniture. "Get your bookself today before its gone!" (Wish I took pictures, but I feel odd taking advantage of misery. People did work here).

Meanwhile, people walk up and down the steps bemoaning the lost of this major bookstore. One guy I overheard came to this location since 1996, or something like that. Others were shopping. Women with toddlers held stacks of romance hardcovers and new-ish dopey thrillers. The signs read in read "50% Off!" Which shows that people will take advantage of bookselling whenever they can.

Heck, I did. I bought something I've been meaning to read, but will probably not, but will stay on my bookself for a very long time because I have a fear that one day I will have nothing to read. At the cash registers they took off the Borders price tag and marked out the barcode.

I felt bad for the people working there. In a few weeks, maybe days, they'll be out of a job. Bennet LeBow, however, can buy:

212765 mass markets
113,333 fiction trade paperback
60,714 fiction hardcover

You know, if he actually had any interest in books...

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