Friday, August 06, 2004

The Announcement

So, I work in a bookstore.

It's a big bookstore. A really big bookstore. One of the biggest. A really big bookstore with, of course, a cafe. Because what kind of really big bookstore would it be without latte?

I hate the Cafe. We all hate the Cafe. The only people who like the Cafe are the what we like to call the "Study Buddies". The Study Buddies are men (mostly) who spend hours and hours, every single day, day in and day out, studying in the Cafe. They are studying for software certification exams, the United States Medical Licensing Exam, nursing exams. You name it, they are studying for it. And they are studying for it using our books, which they have not purchased. Sometimes they "borrow" pens and paper from us. Some of them bring their own food and drink, thus completing the trifecta of freeloading.

Occasionally, real customers want to sit down in the Cafe and browse a few books or magazines while having a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. But they can't. All the tables are occupied by Study Buddies. One Buddy to each table. Because a Study Buddy needs room to spread out his study materials.

When the Cafe reaches Study Buddy critical mass, we make The Announcement. The Announcement goes something like this:
"Good afternoon, Big Bookstore Customers. This is just a gentle reminder that seating in our Cafe is limited to one hour. This is so that all of our customers can get something to drink and a bite to eat and have a place to sit down and enjoy their refreshments. So if you are studying in the Cafe, and have been here for longer than an hour, we do ask that you gather your belongings and move elsewhere in the store. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding."
My cow-workers always like me to make The Announcement. Somehow, I am best able to convey the subtle subtext of the The Announcement, which is this: " Get the fuck out, you fucking freeloading scum. Yes, you! I am looking right at you while I'm saying this!"

To be Continued...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey! now i know where to come to study! thanks, disgruntled bookseller!

9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They make really good peach iced tea there.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what would a bookstore be without a latte? How about profitable? The real estate wasted on a stunningly unprofitable cafe could be merchandised with, GASP, books, magazines, or related sidelines that might actually contribute to the bottom line. The bookstore/place to hang out/study hall/restaurant concept is dated and boring. The question BIG BOOKSTORE corporation needs to ask itself is if it wants to position itself as the Sears (staid, your parents always shop there, stuff you could get anywhere) of the bookstore market, or if it would like to be the cutting edge, quirky, unsurpassable place for people who love literature and music.

9:28 PM  

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