‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

Bookstore Reminiscing

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One thing I miss about working at the Crapters is how I used to be fairly well informed about new reads or new editions of books that were coming into the store. I was always familiar with the best selling novels, the most discussed or controversial books. But let us be clear, that is probably the only thing I miss. I could certainly do without inane conversations about the latest ‘Oprah Reads Picks’, or people who conflate fiction with literature.

I am glad to say though that the feeling of walking into a bookstore with a hot cup of coffee, that wonderful feeling has returned. Years ago when I worked at the bookstore, I soon realized that this feeling had vanished. Ask most workers who are in the book selling industry and they’ll attest that once you start to work at a bookstore that wonderful feeling of walking down an aisle with coffee and browsing is lost. What happens is that you tend to see only the worst of the bookstore. People who pick up books and then file them in the wrong sections, or even worse, simply leave them laying around for another worker to refile at the end of a long night. It would be nice if people had more bookstore etiquette, but alas the vast majority of shoppers at the particular store I worked at did not have such manners.

It’s surprising the types of behavior and acts that I’ve witnessed at this store.

  • Two women planning a wedding, pulled 47 magazines off of the magazine racks and spent two hours looking at them and then walked away leaving the magazines in a pile.
  • This next one I found to be most amusing. There is a book entitled “The Pagan Christ” by Tom Harpur which is shelved under Christianity. This one person, someone we never actually caught, would consistently walk to this section, to this particular book and move each copy of “The Pagan Christ” into the paranormal section. Apparently this customer was displeased with the categorization of this particular book.
  • Two children were left in the Children’s section of our store for a period of six hours. The lady in charge of this section noticed the children, a little boy and a little girl, aged 5 and 7 and inquired about their parents as she had noticed them sitting in this section for a significant period of time. The children were unaware of their parents whereabouts and after making several store announcements asking for the parents, the police were called at which point the parents some how showed up informing our store manager that they had been shopping at the Zehrs grocery store which is attached to the fairview mall. They apologized and all of that but by then the police had already arrived and were filling out a report, so regardless of the fact that the children were now safely with their parents, a formal investigation would be undertaken. I’d like to feel bad for these parents but screw that, how is it that people will leave their children for hours and hours in a public place and wander off, but if they lose their cell phone for a minute, they start to panic. We need to get our priorities straightened out here, ugh.
  • Being one of the few males working at this store, whenever there was an issue relating to the men’s room, I was usually called into check it out. This job consisted of wiping down the counter around the sink as it seems most men cannot use the washroom without throwing water all over the floor, the mirror, the sink, the counter, etc. This one time we were informed of a mess within the bathroom stall. Whenever I hear this I become frightened. I walked into the washroom and there on the floor were discarded pieces of bologna. Now I do not know about your own personal eating habits, my fellow bloggers, but I am not normally in the habit of eating bologna from a package within a public stall at a washroom in a bookstore.

So all in all, I miss the workers, my friends at the bookstore, but not the customers. Remember, pick up after yourselves while in the bookstore, if not, you’re simply pissing off an employee at the end of the night, and they have enough to deal with as you can see from above.


Written by thebeliever07

August 27, 2008 at 6:07 pm

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