Friday, November 12, 2004

So Pissed I Thought My Head Would Explode

I've got a newsflash. Federal holidays come at the SAME FUCKING TIME EVERY YEAR. Every fucking year we have the same goddamn holidays. Here. Let me list them:

New Year's Day
Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Washington's Birthday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Columbus Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Christmas Day

Am I burdening anyone with information they didn't already know? I didn't think so. And yet. AND YET, every fucking federal holiday we are understaffed. And every fucking federal holiday FOR SEVEN YEARS I have said, "gee, didn't anyone realize it was going to be a federal holiday and think to adjust the schedule accordingly?" And every fucking time I ask that question, there is no answer.

Now, this wouldn't be such a big fucking deal if my branch of Big Bookstore wasn't located in a place where a significant chunk of the population is employed by the federal government. And an equally large chunk of the population is employed by companies that contract with the federal government, and therefore observe the same holidays as the federal government.

I think you can put two and two together and see where I'm going with this.

On federal holiday weekdays, every fucking civil servant in the metro area descends upon Big Bookstore. Having nothing, apparently, better to do with their time, they come to Big Bookstore to dream. They dream about the exotic trips they'll never take. They dream about the luxurious houses they will never build. They dream about the lucrative sideline selling real estate that they will never pursue. And they dream about that great private sector job that they will never have the guts to leave the government for. And they do all this dreaming by pulling ten or twenty books at a time off the shelves on their chosen pipe dream and redistributing them in various places about the store.

You might think I'm being harsh about feds. I am. I was a fed for 17 years, and in a few weeks I'll be going back to work for the federal government. I know whereof I speak. Feds, for the most part, are people who have big dreams but small realities. They want to have larger lives. They want to do something more meaningful or more lucrative. They want to be interesting. But the sad fact is that they are not. They dream but don't do. They are shackled to their secure, safe, unspeakably boring jobs, afraid to take risks.

It's the same every federal holiday. Travel books, interior decorating, job hunting, home construction, and real estate books. These are the things that small minds dream about. And picking up after the daydreamers is what I face. The day crew, having been shocked and suprised (shocked I tell you!) by the volume of business on this federal holiday that occurs at the same time every year, has not had time to reshelve any of these daydreams. This is especially true because two of the three booksellers who worked the open or mid shift today are - how can I say this politely? - slackasses. (Attention, cow-workers! If you are reading this and think you might be one of the two slackasses mentioned, and you are offended, please read the disclaimer in the sidebar and then Bite Me.)

Tonight, I spent five hours doing nothing but reshelving. At high speed. It took me a half hour just to sweep all the big chunks in the Kid's section into a big pile so I could start the reshelving.

So, yeah. I was so pissed tonight that I thought my head would explode. I think I'm better now. Ranting helps.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you see the latest email for Big Bookstore? It helps you pick out a gift by mindlessly suggesting at random one of the 20 best sellers from the past year. Who are these morons at headquarters? How come they have good paying jobs while we who know books are continually rearranging the same 20 different on different displays throughout the year for tiny tiny amounts of money. Idiots!

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Black Friday darling. You thought our understaffing for Federal holidays was bad? HA! I laugh at federal holidays. Today. Today I will be picking up the pieces of your skull and the viscera of your brain when the vast, ponderous ineptitude of Big Bookstore's staffing decisions will TRULY make your head explode. Here's a thought. Maybe if they paid more money, people would be more willing to work. And maybe, if more staff were working, customers would be able to find the stuff they want. AND THEN, maybe, they'd buy it and Big Bookstore would make more money. Just a concept.

1:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home