Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crunch Time

And by crunch time, I don't mean that Christmas is in 10 days and it's time to optimize my bookselling prowess.

I mean 'crunch' as in the sound of my fist connecting with someone's maxillofacial area.

ONE more person asks me why we don't have a book in the store, right now, on a subject like...?

~Mule training
~Celtic knot puzzle solving
~Manny Pacquiao

...etc, etc, etc.

ONE more person tells me I ruined their Christmas for x reason?

ONE more person says, "Yes, I know you have 5, 576 bibles in the store, but I don't want any of those, it has to be this one."

It's bang, zoom, to the moon Alice!

POW, right in the kisser!

Yesterday a dude came and and asked, "Where are your Elf on the Shelfs?"

I stifled the urge to say, "You mean Elves on the Shelf?" and smiled and told him instead, "I'm sorry sir, we're out. But I can see if there are any available to order."

"Oat?" he said.

"Yes, we're out," I replied, highly aware of the fact he was making fun of my accent. Because I'm not an idiot.

"Oat?" he asked again.

"Yes. And I'm Canadian, I can't help the way I say 'out'. Do you want me to order that Elf for you?"

I was so pissed off. I've never wanted to jersey someone so badly.

There are some good customer stories. One woman came in last week, frantically looking for a 'How to Draw Dinosaurs' book for kids.

"It's all little Timmy wants for Christmas! I hope you have one!" she exclaimed.

I took her into the children's department and handed her a book on drawing dinosaurs. "Oh! OH! You saved my life!" she cried. "I love you! You've made my day! Little Timmy will love this! I would have been SO dead if I hadn't found this! Thank you!!!!"

That made me laugh. "Well," I said, "it's not very often that a bookseller gets to say she saves lives for a living."

But that's how it goes.

People will tell me that I'm the most amazing customer service rep they've met in a long time. People will tell me that I'm stupid and ruined Christmas AND their wife's birthday.

All on one week (last week, in fact).  Sometimes in one day.

This year I'm not feeling too Christmassy. Even with the job I have, I usually like it anyway. I enjoy giving gifts and sending cards and decorating and all that.

But I'm so tired of it all. The only thing I enjoy this Christmas is reading by the lights of the tree. I come home, pour a glass of wine, and settle down next to the lit tree with a good book.

Right now I'm in the middle of reading 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes'. All part of the current obsession.

I posted some of the things on my bucket list a little while back, and I mentioned that I wanted to read some immense classic just to say I did.

Well, I'm glad I picked this one (even though they count as several stories and not just one massive one, but who gives a shit about the details) and I'm kicking myself that I haven't read all of them sooner.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (from now on I'm referring to him as The Notorious A.C.D.) was a fucking literary genius. Master of the first line hook. Master of quick, witty dialogue. You can't help but get pulled in, it's ridiculous.

Anyway, I read. I've also been inspired to write again (and not just in the ol' blog, I actually fancy myself a 'real' writer at times). I work. I rest.

No time for Christmas, my plate is full.

Besides, it never feels like it's Christmas here in NC. The temps are still awesome enough to go for picnics and sit on the back porch playing cards. People are still wearing flip flops and shorts (silly people, but they're doing it nonetheless).

10 more days.

10. More. Days. To not punch people in the face.


John Gray said...

The next person who says "those words" sweetly into middle distance.... then very quietly repeat over and over again "kill...kill....kill them all!!!!!"

believe me..... it will work

Alison said...

If I worked your job I would need more than a book and a glass of wine st the end of the day. I actually worked for four years as a waitress when I was in college. God, what an awful job. I'm one of those weird people who almost always tip generously.

Enjoy Sherlock, isn't he the best? I read those when I was in college too. My husband knows a lot of Sherlock puns.

Good luck with the writing.

Liz said...

Hi Kyna,

Just be grateful there's been no poo accidents this year! I don't get why someone would take the mick out of how someone says out?? Clearly someone who could do with reading a few books and educating themselves.

Good luck with the next 10 days; I can't believe it's so close! Jesus, when am I to find the chance to get the last presents I need??!!! Arghhhhhhhh.

People are going mental, it's that time of year. I saw THREE car smacks tonight on the way home. One was a major one which resulted in me sitting and not moving an inch for an hour. Fun fun.

Al said...

You North Americans all sound the same to us!
Sorry I just couldn't help that.
Now you'll want to smack me :-(
Seriously working in retail sucks. Hang in there.

Sarah said...

You should always be nice to retail people.

Either because you've been one at some point in your life, or because Hey!they get you the stuff you need, and sure enough, honey does better than vinegar.

Being a gigantor reader myself, I'd be terrified of pissing off any bookstore workers for fear they wouldn't let me back in.

Sarah said...

You should always be nice to retail people. Always!

Either because you've been one at some point in your life, or because Hey! they get you the stuff you need to live your life, and honey works better than vinegar, yes it does.

Especially bookstore people. Being a gigantor reader myself, I'd be terried of pissing anyone off in case they wouldn't let me back in.

Sarah said...

You should always be nice to retail people. Always!

Either because you've been one at some point in your life, or because Hey! they get you the stuff you need to live your life, and honey works better than vinegar, yes it does.

Especially bookstore people. Being a gigantor reader myself, I'd be terried of pissing anyone off in case they wouldn't let me back in.

Sarah said...

oh lord, I didn't see the "blog owner approval" thing at the top of your comment page.

So sorry! Feel free to ignore or post them all with a snicker

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

But Kilt Makers need the MOST love! Whenever I taught short stories, the Doyle stuff was always among the favorites of the kids. He had some amazing talent.

Chad B said...

I also fancy myself as a "real writer" and someday I intend to do something about it. I just wish I could come up with one really great idea for a book. I was going to write a book about how to draw dinosaurs but apparently someone beat me to it. But since you guys don't carry any books about mule training I might give that a shot. People frequently tell me that I'm an ass so I should be able to write with some authority on the subject.

Jess said...

This obsession you are having I had a few years back, which included reading the entire compendium, watching all the different versions, even those in early black and white, and then preceding to watch other british detective duos including Midsomer Murders, and The Detective Lynley mystery series on PBS.

Now that you mention it, its still not fully gone... also when you get done with all the compendium, I would highly highly recommend at the very least the first Mary Russell series, "A Beekeepers Apprentice." It is a must for Sherlock fans.

Marguerite said...

Hang in there Kyna, you can't hurt your hands punching people now when you have to rest up for the havoc that christmas returns will surely bring ;-))

Kyna said...

John: Good tip!

Alison: I'd be a shit waitress. Not only am I clumsy, but I also have a memory like a goldfish. It'd have to be one of those places where you're allowed to write everything down instead of just remember it.

Sherlock's fucking awesome. He's just an amazing character. There's a reason why everything's from Watson's point of view, there's no way to transfer the working of a mind like Sherlock's onto a page with any coherence. I read a great fanfic once where someone DID successfully write Sherlock's POV, and it was amazing. But tough on my own brain to comprehend. :)

Liz: It really makes me angry. I don't mind people taking the piss about my accent if they're my friends, but strangers? Fuck that shit. Because they just say every word 'normally', don't they? Fuckers.

Five days left now. *sigh*

Al: You New Zealanders too. :P Oops, I mean Australians. I just get you all confused! ;)

Sarah: Haha! I was going to delete the other two until you told me I didn't have to ;) That was awesome. You're definitely my kind of person. It's something I would have done and then told someone it was ok to laugh about it! :D

You know how some countries have mandatory military service periods, well I think everyone should have mandatory retail duty for at least 2 years of their lives. It would make everyone a nicer human being.

Cal: I just don't understand why people think we have every book ever made on our shelves. And why it's our fault that they waited until the week of Christmas to suddenly want said book. I'm just going to have to get better about pulling them out of my ass.

Chad: Haha! Well, if you do choose mule-training, at least you can be sure you won't be copying my ideas and I won't have to sue you.

A co-worker told me the other day that the company I work for has a program to promote aspiring writers from within the company. I think I'm going to look into it.

I don't know what form it's going to take yet. My friends and family think I should make it like my blog. Write about my observations on life, and things that happened to me and make it funny. As I said, just like my blog.

I don't write fiction as well as I write non-fiction. Unless it's fanfiction. Then I'm fantastic. But I'm also stealing characters, so it's not like I can make a living off of it. Not to mention that some authors (Anne Rice is famously one of them) are highly against it, but I always like to think of it as a flattery to the original author instead of creativity-theft. Most fanfiction is based off of well-known works. Everyone knows who the real author is. I guess my point is that I'm a big nerd.

Jess: Most of this year I was on a smutty paranormal fluff reading kick. Basically vampire porn.

It was a nice vacation for my brain (I used to be really snobby about books and wouldn't have read such 'trash'), and I think that's why I'm suddenly enjoying Sherlock so much. It's nice to have my brain engaged in what I'm reading again. You'd better believe I'm reading and watching everything Sherlock I can get my hands on.

I think the Cumberbatch one will always be my favourite though. It's amazing how you can put ACD's original characters and situations into modern day so easily. Down to Watson being able to say he came home from an Afghan war, just like the originals. Using texting instead of telegraphing. Nicotine patches instead of pipes. But still have the man lounging around bored on the sofa in his dressing gown shooting patterns into the wall. Except it's a smiley face instead of a VR. Pure awesomeness.

I will definitely take your rec, I heard about that one! Even Chuckles gave me a good one. I think I'll have enough material for this obsession to be fed until next Christmas.

Marguerite: Oh, you're a cruel one, aren't you? LOL

Prairie Chicken... said...

What the eff? No kilt making books? What kind of douche baggery is this? Pffft.