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20 October 2005 @ 09:42 pm
Rantier than I expected - apologies!  
This is so completely girly. I'm just warning you.

Brave soul, aren't you? Well, here it is:

I was at work today. Bit cranky 'cause people who get paid more than I do are doing less work* than I am.

I'd made it to my lunch break. My leftovers were heated up, I had a bottle of water and my *shudder* manuscript sitting in front of me... when I was paged. I called the woman back. "There is a customer who needs suggestions for teen fantasy books." Gah. What could I do?

"I'll be right there," I told her. I waddled over to the section. Awaiting me was a very nice man, roughly my age, in jeans and a white t-shirt. Seems his 15 year old niece was big into fantasy (particularly the HP series, 'Eragon' and 'Eldest' (the latter of which I really should read). He was holding a copy of 'Redwall' and of 'The Sword of Shanarra.' Holding up the latter, he said, "I read this when I was younger. I remember thinking it was okay. And this," here he held up the Jacques book, "I've heard is good."

In short order, I'd pressed 'Alanna: The First Adventure,' 'The Secret Country,' 'The Dark is Rising,' 'Rebel Angels' and 'Stardust' into his hands. Just so he would have a selection to choose from.

"How many are you looking to buy?"

He thought for a moment. "Four, I guess. What ones do you think I should get?"

I laughed. "You know I'm going to pick from the ones I suggested!" He ended up taking everything I'd suggested less 'The Secret Country,' (but I am confident he'll be back for it). At one point he dropped the Brooks book and caught it on his foot. I looked up at him. "Soccer player?"

He grinned. "Used to be." I very nearly told him I could do that with a rapier. Only I'm better at kicking it up to catch it, but still....

And this is where I get so girly. I giggled. Yeah. 'Cause he was young-ish and athletic and cute and sweet and we talked Neil Gaiman (he'd been to the Union Square signing that I couldn't go to!!!!!) and shook my hand after and thanked me so kindly.

All I could think was, "I hope I don't have pepper stuck in teeth."

So it was a bit of a bright spot in a Day. And well worth ditching a good portion of my lunch break.

*Um, unless standards have changed in the past few months - or years - Lead Booksellers are supposed to carry the phones for their departments. And answer them. It goes like this: help the person in the store, help the person on the phone, do projects/tasks. In that order. Not so much anymore. Now, it is more like this: do your project and assume one of the three or four people who assiduously answer phones will do it for you. As well as doing shelving, projects, covering other people's breaks and doing general clean up and maintenance. AFTER helping people in the store.

Sorry. So cranky. And I know I'm not saving lives, and I know that not everybody has the work ethic I do (basically, I'll bust my ASS for you no matter what I'm getting paid, because that is what having a job is about, no? Not doing the bare minimum to scrape by)

And while I'm ranting: I did four full H-Carts of shelving in dept. 2 (reference (fine), decorating/remodeling (bleargh), languages, study guides (double bleargh, but mostly 'cause it is laid out so badly), pets, gardening, nature and science (yay!)). Then I did 23 bays of zone maintenance (scanning every book to make sure it is 1. in the right section 2. not due to be returned to the publisher and 3. in the proper alphabetical order). I also shelved a V-cart of teen frontlist (multiple copies) and another of general mixed teen fiction. While answering phones, helping various customers AND doing a round to pick up all the books and magazines that people leave lying around the store.

If I can do this much work - and granted, I'm a freak about this - surely lower management level folks can do it. I mean... grawr.
Mairearanturas on October 21st, 2005 02:16 am (UTC)
I hear you and always appreciated what you did -- was it always like this or is this more recent -- or has it gotten worse? And you heard my rant on straightening standards....grrrrr.
Adrienne C.adrienne429 on October 21st, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
Just My opinion
I think it's gotten worse.
Juliet: magdelicousfair_juliet on October 21st, 2005 05:26 am (UTC)
From my time in a retail bookstore I totally sympathize. But eventually I too became much more, "whatever" about the job because basically - if i see that i'm working hard and no one cares or i'm not being compensated well then fuck all I'll do crap like everyone else. That's not true in all things but in that wretched hole of a place you'd better believe I was slacking!
(no subject) - trongersoll on October 21st, 2005 08:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nimnimue9 on October 21st, 2005 03:33 pm (UTC)
That's not as girly as the warning made it sound -- there's nothing more cute-giggle-inducing than a man interested in teen fantasy for young women!