Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Fan Mail!

Bookseller posted this question in a comment to my previous entry:

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?

2:03 PM

Yes, Bookseller. It's true. I really quit Big Bookstore. No, I wasn't fired. I'm not saying that I wouldn't have been fired if I hadn't quit. Who can say? A manager at another store said that our new GM had "big problems with the staff" and "a lot of cleaning out to do." So, perhaps I was just the first sweep of the broom. Or perhaps I jumped the gun. Again, who can say what would have happened if I hadn't reached my personal breaking point.

As for the blog, I haven't really decided what to do with it yet. I certainly have a few more things to say, and will do so as time permits. And then? Perhaps I will be Disgruntled Civil Servant, although that certainly presents fewer comedic possibilities. And of course, I plan to continue being a Big Bookstore customer. It will be a luxury to spend time in the store actually shopping in a leisurely fashion rather than rushing around on a half-hour dinner break. So perhaps I will become Disgruntled Customer.

My next message comes from some anonymous individual, who apparently felt strongly enough about this to send me 100 copies of the same message:

From: lisa*

Subject: So sorry you were fired Lisa *, but, well, you ARE a slovenly fatbody...
Date: Tue, 09 May 2006 23:12:42 -0700 (PDT)

You poor thing, now you're a disgruntled EX-bookseller.

Ah, the satisfaction that everyone at Big Bookstore is now rejoicing at your eagerly-awaited departure! Your anal obsession with something as trivial as SHELVING is pathetic and childish. It's so sad that someone telling you that she has no intention on following idiotic mandates from a non-manager propels you to such a lowly state of cyber-rage.

By the way, Weight Watchers is an excellent program that you might want to look into before you have a heart attack, you unsightly spinster.

Cheerfully yours,

P.S. Maybe now you can get a life on those previously lonely Friday and Saturday nights! Well, then again, you ARE Lisa * and not especially charming...

A mature, thoughtful message to be sure.

I have no doubt that some of the folks at Big Bookstore rejoice at my departure. In fact, I'm reasonably certain that not a few people sang choruses of "Ding dong, the witch is dead." Being disliked by slackers hasn't ever bothered me. The job was not a popularity contest. I did my best to give Big Bookstore the best possible work product and I expected those around me to have the same work ethic. Those who didn't like me were generally those who felt hard work was either not a requirement of the job or was beneath them. I'm also not really surprised that the sender thinks shelving is "trivial." Those with bookselling clue will know that shelving, and shelving correctly are pretty significant elements of the job.

I've been really bolstered by all of those friends, coworkers and former coworkers from Big Bookstore who have called me or sent me messages of support. I had dinner with three of them last night and we laughed until our stomachs hurt. The friends I made during my tenure at Big Bookstore will remain my friends for years to come.

The P.S. brings up an interesting point. I never made it a secret that working at Big Bookstore was a substitute for the lonelies. Life can be lonely sometimes. There's no shame in admitting that. Perhaps the sender is lucky enough or, more likely, young enough not to have discovered this. And there's no shame in admitting that perhaps some of my weekends will be lonelier without the cameraderie of my Big Bookstore family. But I'm not the same person who started working there eight and a half years ago. As a direct result of some of my Big Bookstore relationships, I'm more resilient now. As for my future weekends? I've got three invitations for Memorial Day weekend: an invitation to visit friends (and former Big Bookstore coworkers) in Florida, an invitation to visit friends in NYC, and a tentative reunion with some old girlfriends I haven't seen in a while. It seems that perhaps there was no need, after all, to fill my weekends with work.

One final point. The sender calls me "pathetic and childish," talks about my "lowly state of cyber-rage," and says that maybe now I can "get a life." Let's note for the record that the sender sent the message 100 times, and that the first message was sent at 10:44 p.m. last night and the last message was sent at 11:13 p.m. That's 27 minutes of hitting the send button. I don't think I need to state the conclusion here.


Blogger Gerbera Daisy said...

I am sorry to hear you quit Big Bookstore and even more sorry to hear you may end this blog. After all, you are the one who inspired me to start my own. I agree with you 100%. Anybody with an ounce of sense would know there is nothing trivial about shelving and that shelving properly in a retail bookstore is pretty significant to the job description of a bookseller.

12:06 AM  

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