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...?
~Celtic knot puzzle solving
...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.