Friday, May 11, 2012

A Shelver Secret

Would you like to know a secret? I mean, a real secret? A this-is-why-I'm-anonymous-so-I-can-say-stuff-like-this secret?

All that stuff in my store that you hate? I hate it, too.

Really! We're not really supposed to agree, because that would be speaking against "the company," but I totally get it.

For instance, all that brick-a-brack that clutters the front of our store? Hate it. I mean, I get why it's there. You'd be shocked how much money we make from people picking up trinkets at the checkout. And some of it, like the bookmarks and booklights and things, are actually conducive to reading the books that you really came for.

But candles? Gag gifts like humongous gummy bears and mustache stickers? Yo-yos? Wedding guest books? Completely unrelated to books. COM-PLETE-LY. Not only that, they're a pain to keep organized and stocked, and it's sometimes laughably hard to figure out what goes where. Books come with little stickers saying exactly where they go. Knick-knacks? There's just no telling.

Oh, and that music from the overhead speakers? You say it disrupts your concentration? Imagine how I feel, lady. Those songs are on a loop. The same freaking songs play all day, every day. Every. Single. Shift. I hate those songs. I know the lyrics to every single one, but not because I want to. They're just always there. I have to eat outside during my lunch break just to get away from the music. Worst of all is when corporate actually decides to add a song to the rotation and it ends up being a song that I liked. Liked. Past tense. As soon as it comes on overhead, I know any enjoyment I received from that song is dead and gone.

You hate waiting for a manager to process your return or void? Believe me, I understand. I have a phone jangling in my ear, two customers waiting for help finding a book, and three others standing behind you for checkout, but can I move? No, because your junk is holding my register hostage. Returns I can understand if I try really hard, but voids? ["Void": When a customer has a cashier scan an item with the intent of buying said item but then decides not to buy said item after all.] Really, if I wanted to rip off the company, there are so many other ways to get the job done.

Sigh. If you can't tell, it was a very long day at work today. I just needed to vent. I'm sure corporate has some form of reasoning behind each of the things we hate (some of it probably has to do with this). I probably would think their reasoning stupid and illogical, but whatever. In the end, there's enough about my job that I like to keep me going despite the minor annoyances.

What about you? What things do you wish your local bookstore would do away with? What drives you nuts during an otherwise pleasant shopping experience?