In my years of working retail, I've come to believe that our brains just shut off when we walk through the threshold of a retail environment. I must say that Borders took pride in our customer service, and really, we spoiled all of you. We used to come up and ask if we could find something for you, type it in the computer for you, walk you to the section, and put the book in your hands. If we couldn't do that, then we'd walk you through the online purchasing process.
Since liquidation, we can do none of this. Our stores are a mess. Nothing is where it should be. And people are pissed.
I've had several people become upset over the fact that we can't look up books, we can't take checks, and we can't accept returns or exchanges. That's understandable to a degree. However, a few days ago a woman flipped out when I told her we can't hold items. I mean, she flipped completely off her handle. Things got so out of hand that we had to call the police. There was a few hours where we all feared for our lives. We had no idea what she or her crazy family were going to do to us. The crazy thing is, it was over THINGS! Merchandise. It is now human nature to threaten lives of people in order to get THINGS. Really?
The whole time I was defending her in my head. Maybe she has a mental illness and skipped her pills. Maybe I was going through the motions at the register and not paying attention to how agitated she was becoming until it was too late. Maybe... it wasn't my fault at all and sometimes people just flip out for no reason. And for that reason it's a sad, sad world.
I don't want a job that I fear. Working at a bookstore should not be scary. But, then again, we sell blankets, perfume, make-up, and games. We're not really a bookstore anymore. We sell things "cheap" for the people who want but can't afford to want. It's a sad, sad world.
As I get ready to sleep and wake to another day at the store, I send out a little prayer that people will be understanding, that we as employees will have patience, and no one will get hurt.
And hey, it rained the other day, so maybe it's not such a sad world after all.