I stopped into my old B&N to start getting ideas for Christmas, and to browse the used books. Ended up chatting with a few people (not long enough with you, adrienne429; what gives with you being conscientious and helping customers rather than shoot the breeze with me? sheesh. :P) and spending far, far too long wishing I still had my discount.
In the time I was in the store, I was asked twice by booksellers to help with a customer recommendation, and paged once to call a specific extension. Which I totally did, by the way. And no one took any notice of me picking up a store phone and helping myself. hee!
Part of me really, REALLY misses working there. It's easy to forget that it was Retail first, Bookselling second (or third or fourth). It's easy to forget that there were problems with management, with favoritism, with scheduling. Easy to forget being expected to do the work of three people because you would, would rather work yourself to injury and exhaustion than not do A Good Job.
Not so easy to forget that I was so plugged in. I knew what was coming, had ready access to ARCs, and kept a keen eye on what came into the store every day I was there. I had fellow book lovers to talk to. I was pretty darned good with the school groups; there were MAJOR gift card sales because of my presentations to the kids (which, by the way, I compiled on my own time). I was seriously good at matching people with books.
I'd think about going back for a couple of shifts a week. Really, I would. But it would have to be on my terms, my schedule, and they'd never go for it. Ah, well. They don't know what they're missing.