I know I’ve already shared one thrilling tidbit of my days working at a bookstore, but like any retail job, there’s a lot more where that came from.
I started out as an on-floor employee, so my job was mostly shelving books and helping customers find what they were looking for.
SIDENOTE: This one time, I was shelving books and as I moved one book aside to make room for another, a CRICKET jumped OUT of the bookshelf and nearly ONTO me. It was like it came out of nowhere. I covered it with my stepping stool (you know those funny hollow roundish ones they have at libraries?) and ran to find a manager. I worried for a short period of time that there was some sort of bugapocalypse taking place, because what the hell?
Anyway, then they decided to teach me how to be a cashier, and within a couple weeks I was a cash supervisor. I’m quick at getting through line-ups and not panicking, and the location I worked at was busy all the time. I was happy because it meant I didn’t have to pace the floor all day and I could help customers from behind a counter, which is SOMETIMES safer and easier.
So we had some sort of sale going on. I believe it was something like 30% off all of the newly released hardcovers or something. This guy walked up to my till with a basket full of books and started to pile them on the counter. I greeted him as usual and started doing my thing, ringing through all of his purchases, asking him if he was a member of the points program, blah blah whatever. Everything was fine until he asked me what the sale price of one of the books was, because he wasn’t actually purchasing any new releases. I had to break it to him that none of the books he was buying were 30% off. I learned very quickly that he was holding a hardcover when I broke the news…
Because HE THREW IT AT MY FACE.
(Who the fuck does that?!)*
Luckily, I have quick reflexes (and apparently a strong survival instinct), so I moved out of the way, leaving the book to slam into the wall behind me.
SIDENOTE: Hilariously, although it was a hardcover, the book that got thrown at me was not a new release, and was therefore not on sale either.
My manager jumped into the scene, like a boss (haha), but the dude was out of his mind angry, muttering and complaining over and over again that his purchases should have been 30% off. Honestly, I think I was in shock, because all I remember after the book got thrown at my face is hearing my manager say, “Sir, you cannot throw books at my employees.”
But let me tell you, over the years, I’ve had many experiences that continuously prove and solidify the fact that people are just crazy about sales.**
So this holiday season, please think of the people who are helping you find things, ringing through your purchases, etc., before you yell at them, throw shit at their heads, and so on.
*Not to mention the fact that he was in his mid-40s and I was 19!! That’s like kicking a puppy or something!
**These experiences may be the reason I will do almost anything to avoid a sale at a big box store or mall. Or maybe that’s just because I hate crowds of people (see: I kind of hate people in general).