Interesting note to Andrew Sullivan from a former Borders supervisor. The chain, this person says, just wasn't run very well.
Back in '04 or '05, they realized they didn't have a decent web presence when it came to allowing customers to reserve an item on-line and pick it up later. So they rigged up something half-assedly that would send us e-mails when a reserve came through. They didn't trust store management enough to watch for the e-mails, so they sent every store pagers that would go off when an e-mail wasn't responded to in a timely enough manner. Pagers. For this purpose only. Every store.
A couple of years later, they decided they didn't like the way the overhead paging system worked. Whenever an employee would page overhead for a manager or backup, a loud beep would sound before you could say your piece. That was disruptive. And it truly was. Was the answer to have someone re-program the phones to eliminate the beep, and enact practices that require less overhead paging overall? No. For money-starved, payroll-strapped Borders, the answer was to send about 15-20 walkie units with earpieces (a la Old Navy) that would eliminate overhead paging altogether. 15-20 walkies. Every store. Hundreds of stores.
Liquidations always bring out disgruntled employees who are about to lose their jobs, but from my own experience Borders could be a frustrating place to shop, especially when it came time to making a purchase. And I do remember those loudspeaker beeps.