Friday, June 21, 2013

Curveballs and Game-Changers

Life's a strange old thing. Just when I think I have the next block of time figured out, whoosh! Curveball!

For example, the week before BEA, I found out my store was closing. Not the whole chain of stores, mind you. There was nothing Borders-ish about this situation. But foot traffic through my little world of books had been steadily decreasing since the neighboring electronics store shut down last year, so our particular location was closing its doors.

I was stunned, of course, but not terribly worried. I already work full-time somewhere else, the place I refer to on Twitter simply as Other Job, so I don't have to worry about food or rent money or anything like that. Working at my bookstore has always been a side gig from day one, something my boss insisted on so that I didn't try to pull together some savings from a part-time, minimum wage job. I knew my coworkers already had plans as well, so other than being sad that another bookstore was closing, there was no overwhelming swarm of negative emotions.

I even started to get a little excited. If I didn't work as a bookseller anymore, I could change. Grow. I could redesign (and probably rename) the blog. I wouldn't have to be anonymous anymore. I could actually -gasp! - tell my friends that I write online! I even wrote a lovely blog post explaining the news to you all.

Then, a day or two before leaving for BEA, I found out that the store was not closing after all.

Apparently, our neighbor stores heard and rebelled, so the complex made nice and we got to stay. Great, right? Yes, except... I was back to square one. All cause for excitement, poof, gone. Blog changes went from an exciting necessity to an unnecessary hassle. I was back to being anonymous (except for in my BEA post, where I thumbed my nose and posted pictures anyways).

My boss called me to find out when I could work next, and I put off calling her back. I love my store. I love my coworkers. I love my boss. I love organizing books and making things look pretty and helping customers. What I do NOT like is standing behind the register, unable to budge for eight hours, which is what my job has become. It's what my boss needs. I'm good at selling magazines from the register, I'm very personable, and I'm not there enough to be put in charge of a section. But I pictured coming back in and giving up my day off from Other Job to stand there and shill discount cards and magazines, and I felt sick.

So I quit.

My other job pays much better than the bookstore, so it's not like I need the minimum-wage paycheck to live. Working in a bookstore looked great on my resume, but so does being an established blogger. None of the perks of being a bookseller (not even using the store like a library - sob!) could make up for dreading work as much as I did.

As for what this means for the blog, I'm not entirely sure yet. I won't have to be anonymous anymore, that's for sure. I'll get to be more free about personal details, such as where I used to work and what state I live in. I don't think I'll go too willy-nilly, though. It's been pretty fun holding onto the mysterious routine. :)

For now, I'll stick with the "shelver" motif for the blog. I am still a shelver, just a former one. The thought of completely renaming and rebranding my blog and social media presence as a whole is too much for my post-BEA brain to deal with right now. But over the next few days/weeks/months, I'll be looking into different options and hitting people up for ideas and opinions. (If you have any, send them my way.)

Anyways, just wanted to keep you all in the loop. My last day was this week, and I've officially turned in all related employee doo-dads. It's been fun being your anonymous Shelver skulking somewhere at a bookstore near you, but I'm looking forward to the next chapter, whatever that happens to be.