Thursday, March 31, 2005

Our Life in Toons

Check out Ed Brisson's Sob Story (via bookslut).

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

I Am a Lazy Blogger, But a Kickass Barista

Whip me, spank me, tie me up in chains. I have not blogged in twelve days. This is partially because I am now working six days a week at Big Bookstore. (Actually, last week, because of the inventory, I worked seven days.) I volunteered to cross-train in the Cafe. Why did I do this after seven and a half years of being a bookseller? Excellent question! I have been asking myself the same thing over and over and over for the last couple of weeks. It seemed like a good thing at the time. I needed more hours, and didn't want to pick up early shifts. So I picked up two additional closing shifts by volunteering to work in the Cafe those two nights. And Calendar Boy, who is my favorite boy, needed the help over there.

Here's the thing about the Cafe, though. It is the black hole of Big Bookstore. Once you are trained there, you are circling the event horizon, just waiting to be sucked in. You cannot escape the gravitational pull of the Cafe.

There's a reason the Cafe exerts such an inexorable pull on those with the barest of Cafe training. Physically, it may be the most demanding job in the store. It's also the grubbiest, bar none. So convincing people to work there, and then convincing people to remain, is one of the biggest personnel challenges of Big Bookstore management. In the last six weeks, Big Bookstore has hired five people to work in the Cafe. Of those five, only one remains. Two quit after working only two days. The first because she "got a better job." Well, DUH. Any job is a better job. The second one quit because he "didn't think the amount of work was worth the pay." He was 27 and his parents had supported him up until that point while he went to school. I guess he wants a job where he doesn't actually have to work. Good luck with that, bitch.

One kid quit because he just couldn't make it to work. He had "transportation issues." Also, intelligence and anger management issues, but, hey, he was a warm body. The fourth...well, the less said about him the better. Perhaps some time in the future I will be able to devote an entire blog rant entry to him, but for now it is best left alone.

As a result of this sad parade of flatleavers and losers, I have been closing in the Cafe almost every night rather than the two nights a week for which I originally bargained. Grumbling aside, I don't really mind. I like being where I'm needed most, and God knows the Cafe needs me. And I get to work with Calendar Boy almost every night. He lets me squeeze his ass, and honestly, getting to squeeze 19-year old Cute Boy heinie and getting paid for it? Priceless.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I Am Both Old and Cranky

Did you know that Being Female is an illness? The folks who assign subject codes at Big Bookstore Headquarters seem to think so, since that is where this book is supposed to be shelved. Subject codes and the morons who assign them is yet another subject on the long list of things I would rant about at length if I had the energy.


So I'm standing at the registers ringing up a Young Person of Today with some nouveau punk DVD and listening to the new Joe Cocker CD on the overhead. I say to the YPOT, "ya know, Joe Cocker just isn't the same without the visuals" and I do the freaky thing Joe does with his hands when he's singing. The YPOT looks at me like I'm completely insane and says, "who's Joe Cocker?"

Who. Is. Joe. Cocker.

I shit you not.


Disgruntled Bookseller: Thank you for calling Big Bookstore, this is [Disgruntled Bookseller], how can I help you?
Woman with Severe Boundaries Issues: I'm looking for a couple of titles.
DB: Alright.
WWSBI: I'm looking for The Secret Life of Men and The Way of the Superior Man.
DB: OK. I should have both of those in stock. Let me check the shelves.
[Pause while DB locates books]
DB: I have them, ma'am. Would you like me to hold them for you?
WWSBI: Do they look good?
DB: I really couldn't say, ma'am.
WWSBI: I want my boyfriend to read them because he has problems with intimacy, and we need to work on becoming closer. Do you think I should put them on hold for him?
DB: Again, ma'am, I really couldn't advise you.
WWSBI: Well, I'm also looking for Your Long Erotic Weekend and How to Have Magnificent Sex. They're by the same author. Do you have those?
DB: The inventory shows that I have them, ma'am. Hold on again, while I check the shelves.
[Another pause while DB checks shelves again.]
DB: Ma'am, I'm sorry, I can't locate either of those titles on the shelf, but I'd be happy to order them for you.
WWSBI: Hmmmm. I'm not sure. How much are all the books?
DB: [reads prices of four books WWSBI has requested]
WWSBI: Well, what do you think? Do you think it's too much for my boyfriend to read? I don't want to overwhelm him. I don't know what to do.
DB: [silence]
WWSBI: Hold on. I'm going to call him and ask.
DB: [on hold, glaring at phone for three minutes]
WWSBI: I couldn't get an answer. Let's go ahead and order them. Oh! I just remembered. Do you have the book He's Just Not That Into You?
DB: Yes, ma'am. Would you like me to hold a copy of that for you as well?
WWSBI: I guess so. Is it on sale?
DB: I think so, ma'am.
WWSBI: You have a Cafe there, don't you? (note complete change of subject which just confuses my shit completely)
DB: Yes, ma'am.
WWSBI: What kind of things do you serve there? Do you serve meals?
DB: Well, no, not really. We serve cake and pastries and sandwiches.
WWSBI: Are the sandwiches good?

I could go on, but I think you've gotten the drift by now. I was on the phone with this woman for fifteen fucking minutes. I COULD NOT SHAKE HER. I'm guessing that the intimacy problem she's having with her boyfriend is that he knows she's completely fucking inSANE and he can't get far enough away from her. I so wanted to tell her that I knew the reason he just wasn't that into her, but I did not. Because I have: boundaries.

Monday, March 14, 2005

badcat Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 12, 2005



Saturday, March 05, 2005


I am at a complete loss for words at the news that Pamela Anderson will be starring in a new sit-com called Stacked, in which she will play a: bookseller.

I don't know whether to laugh or be completely offended to the core of my being.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Tonight, in the space of one hour, I went from losing my mind over the condition of the Kids section and the fact that Calendar Boy did not save me one measly freaking cookie, to crying while reading a children's book about a bandicoot with a stone egg. From this, I can only conclude that I am PMSing. Cow-workers, you are hereby forewarned.


Mr. Assclown: I have a CD on hold. The name is "Assclown."

Pause while Disgruntled Bookseller searches the CD holds for Mr. Assclown's CD.

DB: I'm sorry, sir. I can't seem to locate it. When did you call?
Mr. Assclown: This afternoon. The guy said he had it in his hand and he would hold it for three days.
DB: Let me check with Music.

DB calls Music. Billygoat ascertains that the CD is not at the Music Desk. Billygoat also checks inventory and says that we don't actually have Mr. Assclown's CD in stock.

DB [addressing Mr. Assclown]: Sir, are you sir you called this store? Because our inventory shows that we don't stock that particular CD, but a few of our sister stores do.
Mr. Assclown: Yes. I only called one store, and I'm absolutely sure it was this one.

Another pause while DB scours the hold shelves again.

DB: I'm sorry, sir. I don't have your CD. I'm not sure what happened. I do apologize. Here is a coupon for $5 off your next purchase for your inconvenience.
Mr. Assclown [looking disgusted at our incompetence]: Fine. Never mind.

Mr. Assclown, and his lovely wife, Mrs. Assclown, have other purchases. So, I let the Holler ring them up while I surreptitiously call our closest sister store and ask them if they are holding a CD for "Assclown." Of course they are.

DB: Mr. Assclown? I just talked to Sister Big Bookstore, and they say they have your CD on hold there.
Mr. Assclown: I don't know how that could be. I called this store.
DB [gently]: I think you must have actually called Sister Big Bookstore.
Mr. Assclown: No. I called this store. You must have called them and had them put on hold there.

Disgruntled Bookseller gives Mr. Assclown the Basilisk Stare. Mrs. Assclown hustles him out the door. Disgruntled Bookseller feels sorry for Mrs. Assclown because she gets the feeling that Mrs. Assclown deals with these situations a lot.


Tonight, I'm adding a new occasional feature to my blog entries. I will be tallying the amount of damaged kids merchandise that goes into the Crap Basket at the end of each night because nobody else can be fucking bothered to sweep the fucking Kids section on any sort of regular fucking basis. I have begged and I have pleaded with everyone to check Kids periodically - to never let a half hour go by without at least making an appearance. But my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Tonight, in the hour and half that I was on my dinner break and then at registers, our lovely customers destroyed $43.88 worth of merchandise. The destroyed merchandise included, inter alia, a set of flash cards opened and spread around the floor, one "Spy Kit" with pieces removed, one book and tape set with the book missing, and one opened and played with Klutz craft kit.

Kudos on the vigilance, guys!