Friday, February 15, 2013

Ten Things I Don't Like but Can't Complain About

Hey y'all.  So I failed my goal, which was to write a post every day for a week.  It's not fair...I had school and work on the same day, and that really takes a lot out of you.  That, and I forgot and watched youtube. There's a reason this blog is in the state it's in. Oh!  I have to vote for Ragegaming in his build competition!  Be right back!

Okay, so for today, I'll talk about my job.  It's a nice job.  I like working at a bookstore, for the most part.  There's stuff I have to put up with, and just can't complain about without sounding like a jerk.  There are things that are just part of the job, and have to be put up with because you can't really do that much about them.  Well, you can quit, but once you get a new job it all starts over again.

So here's some stuff that makes me mad, but I just have to deal with it.

10.  People asking for help when my arms are full.

It's inevitable.  I'll be heading towards the cart to take books and put them on the shelf, with nice empty arms, ready to help.  No one's there.  I gather up a bunch of, say, Stephen King and head over to his section.

"Excuse me!"

Son of a bleep. 

Sometimes this isn't so bad, as I can just pass by the cart again and put the books down.  That's not always true.  I may have to go away from the cart, or find a manager, or go search in the computer.  I really can't complain, because helping customers is more important than putting up books, but it's still annoying and it hurts my arms.  Books are heavy...

9.  People asking for help when I'm off the clock/going to the bathroom.

Again, it's more important to help the customer than anything else, but when I'm going to the bathroom, I gotta go.  Also, I want to eat food.  I want to go home.  There's no way for the customer to know any of these things, so I can't complain.  Sometimes I help, and sometimes I hand them to someone else, but I never ignore them.  Such is life.  I've learned to walk fast and just look straight ahead if I have a priority.  Like my bladder, for example.

8. People asking for help when I'm helping someone else. 

Now this one is just plain rude.  The other ones, no one can really help.  However, if you see I'm with someone, and you interrupt me just to ask to look for a book for yourself, then I'm judging you.  I won't say anything, but I'll be judging you.  The only exceptions are if the person being helped says it's okay, or if you need me to call someone to unlock the bathroom.  Or if I'm the only person at checkout and the person being helped as a list of books they want to find, and you just need to ring out your order and go. 

I suppose I could complain about this one, but really the proper reaction is, "just give me a moment to help this person first" and move on with life. 

7. People coming in right before we close.

Again, it's not something people plan on doing.  They don't memorize our hours, and I'm also one who will open a door before looking at the "open until" sign.  But that doesn't mean it isn't annoying when someone comes in right as we're about to close.  Come on, people.  If you here the closing announcement over the intercom, that means you're too late.

6.  Asking for stuff we don't have.

This is something I definitely can't complain about, because it's not really anybody's fault at all.  We're a used bookstore, and we only get what people sell us.  However, I'm listing things that annoy me, and it really annoys me when I can't help someone find what they want.  I want all of my books to find a good home -- except for teen fiction; I want everyone to simultaneously realize that teen fiction is the dregs of the printing world and never publish/read it ever again.  Encouraging young girls to be emo sluts while simultaneously ignoring the fact that young men want something to read is just about the worst combination ever.

In any case, I really am a cotton candy/rainbow/marshmellow/puppy dog/kitty cat sort of person, so I want everyone to find a book that makes them happy and read more.  It makes me sad when people don't find a new book to discover.

5. Not washing your hands in the bathroom.

So I'll be sitting in the stall, and I hear someone leaving the stall.  And then I hear the outer door.  There is no water going, and no hand dryer.  Do you really think the other people in the bathroom don't notice that?  Besides that, female hands get significantly more dirty when expelling the unfortunate substances.  Sanitation is very important.  I'd complain about it, but when I'm in a stall, I can't see who it is.  I only know that either me or one of my coworkers will have to ring out their purchases.  And there's no telling what else they've touched in the store.

4. Asking for a book by its cover or topic.

Wouldn't it be nice and lovely and dandy if we could just telepathically link our minds into a computer and then it would instantly tell us the title that obscure book we haven't read in years?  Unfortunately, that technology does not exist.  So if you come to me and ask, "it was a brown book, with a road on the cover" then chances are I'm not going to be able to find the book.  I actually did, once, but that was only because the questioner suddenly remembered the author's name.

Look, people, no computer search engine I've ever heard of has an option for searching for a book based on what it looks like.  I can't search for "it had a main character who was a spy and he fell in love with a coffeeshop patron".  It doesn't work that way.  Your best bet is Google, which is actually blocked on my computer at work because they want us to work.  Even still, I'm not sure how well Google does with "The main character was a spy..." sort of search. 

I can't complain about this because I don't want to be a jerk to the people I'm trying to help.  They're helping me out by shopping at our store, so I have to be nice. Just understand beforehand that if you're going to search for something like that, it's not exactly going to be easy for you.

3. Disorganizing my books.

I did a good job organizing cooking.  I swear.  It looked so pretty and nice, and everything was where it should be.  And then YOU PEOPLE scrambled it.  Come on, those little orange signs are there for a purpose.  I come over to cooking, and it's all a mess, with books from four other sections crowding out Cooking Methods.  International Cooking is slumped over, half of Baking/Breads is gone (and by gone I mean in every other section), and Cooking General is in shambles.  I did not leave it like that, people! 

This is half my problem with not being able to find books.  People will shove books everywhere.  I'll have people right in front of me put a book exactly where it doesn't go right after watching me pull it from its correct place.  When I recommend a book, you don't have to accept it.  Not everybody likes the same things I do, or maybe they just want to get a few things and are being a little picky about what they want to read.  It's absolutely fine.  What's not fine is waiting until I've left and cramming a history book into the fiction section just to "protect my feelings" and not show that you don't want the book.  If you don't want it, say, "Nah, maybe next time" and hand it back.  You're not hurting my feelings.

And if you pick a book from the shelves, don't put it back unless you know EXACTLY where it is, like between which two other books.  If you don't, hand it to an associate, leave it beside a chair, or put it on a cart with an empty shelf.  Don't do my job for me.  I do it better than you.


One day I'm going to get my revenge on the thieves, but for now I'll just whine about it.  Everyone who steals is a LOSER.  Period.  The only reason I can't complain about this one is because I don't know where the theives are.  But they take stuff, not realizing that getting a simple job will pay you more than thievery.  Or that a stolen game is one you haven't rightfully beaten.  Or if I catch you, you'll get rightfully beaten.  Well, I would do that, but our store has a policy of being non-threatening.

Actually, my plan is to discover your name and spread it all over the internet, so that every business you enter will recognise your name and stare at you until you leave, and so that you'll never get hired anywhere. I'll put your liscense plate number on the internet.  Don't play like I won't.  I fight dirty. 

In fact, Jennifer someone is very lucky I don't remember her last name.  She came in the other day, selecting various things from the store.  She claimed she had a limited budget, and when an expensive item put it over, she offered to put the video game back where it belonged.  Fortunately, I'm not stupid and my co-workers had already warned me about her.  I reached for the game and took it back, letting Jennifer "go back to her car for her ID" and drive off.  Two managers watched her leave, just in case.  I'm pretty sure they have her liscense plate number. 

Please come back, Jennifer, so I can look again at your credit card and see what your last name is.


I will admit, I see a lot less of this now that I work at a bookstore.  People who want food are way more grouchy than people who want books.  However, people still think that being a jerk to their child is going to make the kid respect them when the child becomes a teenager.

I've notice that men and women differ when they abuse children.  Women are generally more obvious, and do a lot of yelling.  Men tend to be more subtle, and talk in a gruff, ugly tone of low volume.  I've seen women yell at their children for simply touching something they shouldn't, as if that was a horrendous crime that every single child ever has never done.  Kids touch stuff.  That's just standard.  Yelling will not make them behave better.

I also witnessed a man trying to keep his child still by smushing him against the register counter.  He silently forced the kid to stay put, while the child squealed "you're squishing me, you're squishing me!"  I'm sure he wasn't actually hurting the kid, but that's freaking creepy and tends to make the child avoid the parent.  By trusting kids not to go too far (the kid was at least six) you communicate that your child is safe around you.  If you constantly tell your kids to stay within two feet of you, use a leash, or smush them against a counter, you're encouraging them to stay away from you because being near you only makes them uncomfortable.  You will get payback in the teen years. 

Well, except maybe some leash cases.  Using leashes generally just makes your kid unable to have self control unless you physically hold him back.

In any case, if I tell your child not to do something, I'm helping you.  I'm teaching them that obedience is good by reinforcing what you say -- a very important social function, because sometimes kids listen to others more than their parents, or judge what their parents tell them by the behavior of others.  I will not yell at your kid (8.5 years nursery experience), and I will only touch their hand, if I touch them at all.  So if I tell a kid not to touch the candy, you don't have to scream at them.  In fact, you don't have to say anything at all, besides maybe "come over here".  I've already to your kid not to do it in a polite voice.  There is no reason for you to jump in with a snarky tone and say "get your hands off that!"  Unless, of course, you want me to judge you.

Also, never ask your kid, "why did you do that?"  They don't have an answer, because they don't know.  Kids are exploring the world, and the reason why they do anything is to discover how things operate and what their boundaries are.  But of course they don't know that at the time.  So don't ask stupid questions.

Notedly, the main reason I can't really complain about this is because I'm pretty sure I'd get fired if I expressed by true feelings to bad parents.  We're supposed to have a nonthreatening environment.  I do little things, like correcting parents' behavior by hints.  I'll say things like, "Yeah, he's at that grabby age", hinting that the mother doesn't need to have an aneurism over a three year old poking at the candy bars.  Or, "baby, where did you put your mommy?  Mommies are so hard to keep up with" when I see a kid by themselves.  Or, "It's okay, sweetie, just leave the drum alone, okay?"

I feel better now.  :D

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