Sunday, April 3, 2011

Notes from the Underbelly

"Hi, welcome to Barnes & Noble. How can I help you?"

"Yes, I'm looking for a book."


"I don't remember the title of it, or the author, but it had a black cover and was about this guy who did a couple different things, and saved the princess."

"I can't find anything like that, because you've given me almost nothing to go off of."

"Then what good are you? What are you doing working in a bookstore? Just use the computers, or point me to somebody who can actually help me."

Do people really think like this? I would love nothing more than to be this superhero bookseller who can find a book someone's looking for just because the word 'almost' is in it or something like that. Unfortunately, I cannot. Just because you can't remember what you're looking for, however, does not give you the right to be upset with me. I can't find this anonymous book you're looking for, sue me. Yelling and complaining and threatening to go to Borders is not gonna help you get your book, nor is it going to do anything to me besides make me less willing to help you (by all means, go to Borders. Hurry though, because they're closing).

Most people I've talked to know about my grand goal in life, should I ever become President: make every single U.S. citizen work retail for at least 1 full week. This will drastically reduce the number of annoying, stupid, rude customers who come in and make a mess, destroy the products, cause mischief, or what-have-you. Who's going to go into a store and leave a mess when they know that just last week, they were complaining about somebody else doing the same thing in their place of employment? Malls and stores will be cleaner, associates will be happier, customers will be happier, and the economy will slowly but surely rise.

Also, this is probably why I'll never go into politics... I'm a little too optimistic and unrealistic. Customers don't often give a damn. When I get a 'thank you' I'm genuinely pleased and flattered, because it actually means something. You know that phrase 'chivalry is dead'? Apparently, it's not the only thing. People are very self-centered nowadays, and even in groups where you would think people would care about each other, they only care if it boosts their rapport or something else in their own life. Need a favor? What will I get in return? You need help with something? Will it boost other people's opinion of me? It's sickening, really.

Don't get me wrong, I'm just as guilty as the next guy. I think the difference is that I'm aware of my faults, and actively trying to change this. I smile at my cashiers, and don't leave messes for them. I don't open things that clearly aren't supposed to be opened before they're purchased, and I generally try to make their work days as easy as I can as a consumer.

For some reason, I've been griped at, complained to, and yelled at several times in the past week at work. I don't understand why someone would yell at somebody else for simply doing their job, or for not being able to do something for whatever reason, but if you plan on coming back into a store, you might wanna make a habit of not pissing off the people that work there. You'll have more and more problems finding what you want when you need it.

Oh, and I'm aware that this isn't a book review, haha. I just finished Clive Barker's Sacrament about half an hour ago, but there's no way I'm getting a full book review out tonight. I'll get it out to you later this week; hopefully I'll have Conspirata by Robert Harris finished and reviewed before April 11th (the start of my spring break aka my deadline for both these books and book reviews).


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