Saturday, May 06, 2006

Epilogue

I moved this comment to my previous post here, because it deserves to be more than a comment. It deserves to be a post of it's own. Because it contained my name as well as the poster's, I've deleted the original comment, but other than editing out names, I have made no other changes.

K*** said...

Dear Lisa *,

Twenty-Nothing Cunty McSmartass here. Thought you'd post something about me on your bitchy little blog.

The fact that I work there forty hours a week means that I spend almost as much time as Border's as I do at home, which kind of makes it a second home. No matter how long you have worked there, your part-time status means that you are merely a former tenant, an unfortunate visitor in our (the larger staff's) home. In our home, the way that we shelve is decidedly different from your--yes, inefficient--method of shelving, despite your indignant declaration that "this is the way we've always done it." Which clearly is not true, not only from my personal knowledge, but the fact that you posted a diagram of how you want the book cart to look, indicating that you were upset at how things were being done even before I got there (for the record, I've been there for four months, not two).

I love working at Border's. The staff, even on their bad days, are smart, competent, hard-working, and largely delightful people. Despite your protestations and commentary to the contrary, the store functions just fine in the eighty-six hours of the week that you are not there.

Now this is a fine, fine rebuttal. But let's examine it in detail, shall we? (Sorry. I'm a lawyer. This kind of close textual analysis is what we do.)

First paragraph:

OK. Nothing to disagree with here. Cunty McSmartass seems to accept her new cognomen. That's cool.

I'm not sure what the second sentence means, but it seems to imply that I thought I would be getting away with something by posting about Friday night. Not really sure what that's all about, quite frankly.

Finally, it calls my blog "bitchy" and "little." Again, no disagreements. This blog isn't changing the world. And I keep referrer logs, so I know precisely how small my audience is. And bitchy? If it wasn't bitchy, what would be the point, I ask you?

Second Paragraph:

Much more meat here.

Cunty McSmartass (let's just call her Cunty for short, K?) asserts in her first sentence that being a full-timer at Big Bookstore "kind of makes it a second home." Again, full agreement here. I totally get how working someplace, particularly a place like Big Bookstore, makes it a second home. But watch very closely how Cunty goes completely off the rails in the next sentence.

In the second sentence, Cunty asserts that as a part-timer, I am merely a visitor in the "home" that Big Bookstore functions as for the "larger staff." I don't even know where to begin with this. Yes, I only work 18 hours a week at present to Cunty's 35. But in the course of the last eight and a half years, I spent more than four years working full-time. And even during the times when I had a day job, and was technically part-time, there were periods when I averaged more than 30 hours a week at Big Bookstore. I'm just not sure how I'm less qualified to call Big Bookstore my second home based on those numbers.

Let's crunch said numbers. For the sake of argument, let's say that over the course of the last 8 and half years I've averaged 25 hours a week. I think that's probably on the low side, but I don't want to overplay the hand. That would mean that over the last 442 weeks, I have put in over 11,000 hours at Big Bookstore. Cunty has been working at Big Bookstore for four months at 35 hours a week. That means she's put in 560 hours at Big Bookstore. 11,000. 560. 11,000. 560. Elevenfuckingthousand. 560. Now, who gets to call Big Bookstore a second home?

The second-place status that Cunty has accorded to her part-time coworkers, many of whom, like me, have worked at Big Bookstore for years, will come as a complete surprise to them, I think. Those of us who have become friends, seen each other through life's travails, loved, lost, and worked side by side for all those years? It's "our" bookstore too. In fact, I would even argue that it's even more our bookstore than Cunty's. Unlike the YPOT full-timers, Big Bookstore isn't a way station for us. It's not a stopping place on the way to some other, wished-for life or career. It's something we do, in addition to the lives we already have, because we love it. We've watched full-timers come and go and come and go and we plod on reliably year after year with no plans to ever leave.

You know, I was going to continue to pick apart Kari's comment sentence by sentence - discuss how she's wrong about how the reshelving should be, and has historically been, done. But quite frankly, after my last paragraph, that would be a retreat from the more meaningful to the picayune.

I'll close by saying this: Until today, Big Bookstore was not "kind of" a second home to me. It was my second home. In the past I've described "the sense of being enfolded by a place of belonging each time I walked in the door." It was the place I went to work alongside people that I love while doing work that made me happy.

Even the best of things, however, must come to an end, and I belong no more.

5 Comments:

Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...

You Go Girl!!!!

11:31 PM  
Blogger WONDERCHICK said...

damn.....I miss all the good stuff. Gotta say, I'll put my money on the disgruntled one. What is this anyway, some bizarre method of claiming alpha female status? Disgruntled's got that soooo covered.

12:47 AM  
Blogger ereshkigal said...

Hey, Wonderchick, I'll call you tomorrow while we're both at the pesky day gigs. I've had a brilliant idea.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Bookseller said...

um, just to clear up the air here.... eresh... did u really quit big bookstore? and, if not, are u still keeping this blog?

1:03 PM  
Blogger Nel said...

I'll agree that a large amount of bonding comes into play when wanting to kill people over their horrible habits. I would also like to add that you'll always be my favorite bitchy bookseller.

9:35 PM  

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