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.


Blogger mimi said...

He does have a nice ass. :-)

5:02 PM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

I know, right?™ Like I said, it's like a pillow-top mattress - soft on top but firm underneath.

5:32 PM  
Blogger MarkFarley said...

You can feel my ass anytime you need.... LOL. Lovely to see you back, I hope that you blog more often, we MISS you.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...

Your cafe employees sound much the same as ours. One girl that had been working for only a short amount of time, clocked out for break and never bothered returning!!

Glad you are back. I love your blog!!

9:34 PM  
Blogger bushmeister0 said...

I remember back in the day when I worked for a certain big bookstore, they were always trying to get me into the cafe. If you've worked there any amount of time, you know they're going take complete advantage of you.

They never got me, though. They did, however, get my friend the special orders guy. Sucker.

I don't know if anyone recalls when this particular store "moved the cheese" (The big restructuring in 2000 (?)) as Anne Kubeck put it, but soon after, all the cafe managers quit in our region, except for one, who then had to train all the new "cafe supervisors." ( It seems asking cafe mangers to take a big pay cut but to keep doing the same job didn't appeal to many.)

I had been the inventory coordinator (For 6 and a half long years), but after the cheese moved the SPO guy and me split recieving (UPS,RPS,etc.,)sorting regular books and remainders, inventory (boxing up RPLs etc.), Special Orders, a daily shift in music and a shift at the info desk.

Oh yeah, and we unboxed and shelved all the magazines! I'm not kidding, this is what they wanted the two of us to do.

I also shelved the history section and had to walk around for an hour every day with a clip board and make sure everybody was doing their job, check and clean, if nessesary, the bathrooms and greet the costumers. ( None of which I ever did.)

They told us this was the new way and it had all been tested and all this work could be done if we just worked hard enough.

One big problem with this whole scenario was SPO guy worked more and more hours in the cafe because they couldn't hold on to anyone, which kind of cut into our guality doing everything time.

Later on we found out every store in our region was doing it a different way and they were using us as quinea pigs.

Apparently, this restructuring was done in some haste. If I remember correctly, this particular company had taken a big hit buying up all the Billy Basses they could find in the world, and took a bath. (You remember, the fish that sings "take me to the river" while it flaps its tail?)

Also, every board member at the corporate level sold every share of stock they had in the company.

They claimed they just had to or they would lose them, but they just paniced.

I remember seeing an article in the Wall Street Journal saying investors had lost faith in Big Bookstore. Oh no! The investors aren't happy, hari-kari!

Typically, when they called the main office for a comment on why the entire board bailed out, the spokesperson was on vacation.

11:32 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home