Is this what middle age is? trying to remember the crap that made you who you are? I was just rooting around in the shoe box in the closet trying to find the name tag from waldenbooks circa 1979, why? i dunno. I just wanted to see if had turned to dust after all these years. I did find the one from barnes and noble circa 1997.
I started flogging old books when I was a teenager running the library booksale – yes running it. then i remember spending three years as an indentured servant at the Waldenbooks in the mall with the leaky roof. Neither the store nor the mall remain, but two of the folks i worked with are now my oldest friends. If I didn’t have them around, i may well have forgotten that entire period. I do remember certain things, like working the day before Christmas, during a blizzard and spending most of the day playing a Cosmic Wimpout because there were no customers and the mall was still open. Company policy was that if the mall was open we were open. Mercenary bastards.
Things don’t change. Twenty years later Barnes and Noble had a similar life threatening policy. But by then I was much less easy to intimidate. It’s amazing the shit people put up with because the asshole in charge has their fingers on our paycheck. Probably the major reason I now flog books and book junk for my own damn self, granted I live hand to mouth and spend a great deal of time wondering if ends that meet in the middle are just an urban myth.
Personally my snow policy is much more humanitarian, if snow is coming down from the sky, I don’t leave the house. That doesn’t mean I don’t work, in fact I probably work more when I am trapped. Idiots driving SUV’s just don’t know how to drive in snow, they know the tank they are driving will protect them while they maim others. I have very few things that need doing that are worth dying for.
The only part about retail bookselling I miss, is selling books at Christmas, 50 customers to a clerk, multitasking like a maniac, picking up the slack for temp clerks who can’t find their ass with both hands and a GPS unit. The adrenaline keeps you conscious while the shifts fly by. It is the balls to put the right title into the hands of a person who only comes into a bookshop once a year. The look on their face, that you can miraculously find one book among thousands. As if they were all identical and randomly shelved and being able to reach out and find one in a two story store was nothing short of pulling a white tiger out of your backside. That ruled.