Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 10

Today is a rough day to write about.

I don't' want to be the guy who takes to the internet with every little thing that torques his bean daily. I don't want to devote my time, you're brainspace, and resources which can go to highlight things that are far more pressing or more positive just to tear down a man who chose a career path that I find revolting. I don't want to write a "jackhole customer of the day" blog, plenty of people have done that, probably better, and have already gotten book deals for them.

Today is a rough day to write about because it sucked. I'm tired, sales have slowed, we have inventory tonight, customers continue to be mean and I'm sick to death of the viper. But I don't want to write about all that. I really don't. But dammit they make it so hard!

Okay maybe a little.

Look when I said way back in day 2 that he was probably a nice man, I meant it. Deep down I don't think he means any harm. I just think he lives in a weird world where he is both central and unnecessary. The writery part of my brain thinks of him as almost mythological. His personality seems to need validation from those around him, but his position holds him far away from us and forces him to do things we deplore. Of course he could choose not to do those things in a deplorable fashion.

"Hey lady, clean my toilets." That is how he greeted one of my co-worker this morning.

"The Pressures on you, Sweetheart". That sexist bullshite is how he greeted another. I flinched like she was going to get hit him instantly. She didn't. That is Ahimsa in action if ever i've seen it.

"This is me angry, this is as pissed off as i get" Okay...and?

"I don't care about that-" Right but I'm "not talking to you, I'm talking to Linda right now"

Yes, I'm positive my 50+ year old IPT Zen master and a 25 year old history and linguistic student can master the fine art of putting a 20% off sign above science fiction, yes i'm sure they can duplicate that success in romance..and true crime...and popular fiction.

I'm aware that when the delivery bell rings, I have to open the door. That is why I have a key.

"So What kind of toilet paper do you use?" 10 minutes of this. 10. Minutes.

"Look I got cookies. Don't miss the cookies. Look at all the cookies i bring you" Okay that last one isn't a quote but based on texts from a reliable source I'd say it's a really close estimation.

I think his strangest behavior is his insistence that he be liked. Not just tolerated, or dealt with professionally, but liked, yet he's unwilling to do what it would take to actually be liked. It's almost as if he wants you to forget everything you've ever learned about human interaction, and to rewrite your source code with his standards, which are really low. He wants to be liked, but he wants you to like him because he's just a tool, not a super-ultra-mecha-power tool with kungfu grip. He wants you to like him on his terms and that's just not how the world works. When you do something nice, wait for organic thank-you's, don't force some processed ones. A Small niceness is appreciated, but once you point out that you did's not a niceness any more, it's a bribe or a guilt trip.

There are things you give up to work for Borders. You give up nights, and weekends. You give up days off in a row. You give up Holidays with family. You give up the respect generated by a better "class" of job. To work for borders you give up raises for the last three years. But what you get back in many ways has value that is hard to measure. It's what they called in the more gentle 90's, intangibles. It's being able to borrow nearly any book in the store. Its working with people who aren't just interested in talking about their work drama, their life drama, their boyfriends life drama. Its having an enthusiastic and pervasive love of something that you share with each and everyone of your co-workers. It's being 36, hopelessly out of touch musically but still being exposed to "Me without You". It's hearing the new Decemberist album before anyone else. It's having a job you don't want to run from at the end of the day, but instead you want to browse, because today's pallet had some amazing cookbooks on it. It's a hot chai on a cold day during your 10 minute break. It's an iced coffee on hot day, all day. It's having friends who are 19 and friends who are 66. It's Promo posters all over your CSR's "space" declaring her love of Nathan Fillion. It's interviewing that young woman you know is going to be an amazing barista, and finding out you were right.

And it's hard work. My feet are tired. My arms, ache. My back hates me.

And this liquidation process multiplies everything by 6. So my feet are 12 tired, and my arms are 12 tired, and my back 6 hates me.

And the Viper, the Viper who has done nothing to earn our trust or our kindness and who when all is said and done is here to sell our jobs away. He wants to buy a dozen costco cookies have that be his intangibles. He wants that to somehow engender the same loyalty and enthusiasm that Borders crafted an entire culture over decades to get (only to slowly dismantle it over time, i must admit). He wants to set up shop, not be the biggest ass he can be, and bask in the glory of our adoration and low expectations.

Are you kidding me? I created Hogwarts in a strip mall in Manchester CT. I trained untrainable people in the craft and science of coffee. I terminated a friend because of Occurrences. I stared down the violent twitchy guy in Manga and got him to go away. I have mentored people who went on to be General Managers. I got punched in the nuts while dressed up as Arthur. I have done fantastic things with this company, little and big sad and sensational. I have given this company more than I received for reasons that are my own. And you want me to be impressed with cookies? Thats what YOU bring to the table? Thats what ellicits the same level of devotion and pride I give to my company?

No, I'm sorry.

Transport 150 4th graders, each with a full cup of butter beer, onto a quidditch pitch in the middle of july with a 100 dollar budget, and then we will talk.

or Perhaps just try being truly nice, with no expectations of profit from it, you'd be amazed the mileage you'd get from that.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean. I am at a loss of where I am going to discover new authors, getting those promos, & feeling like one of the cool kids.