I work for an Australian university book store, so call me Bookboy. Just keep in mind our school year is reversed from the US - starting in Jan/Feb, and finishing in Nov/Dec. Crazy talk, right?
Anyhow, I've been working there for the last three years now as a casual - no guaranteed hours, but between the start of semester rush and the lulls in between, I earn enough to get by. All the staff get along, pull their own weight, we have a great manager, and even buy a cake to share and pass around a card to sign whenever someone has a birthday. Most of the year, work goes by like a charm - and then someone goes and pulls this shit on us.
We're in our second semester lull before exams, packing up excess books to send to the warehouse which serves as a centre for about eight different campuses spread across the city, making room for courses running over summer/Christmas. It also helps that with stock take coming up soon, we'll have less inventory to count.
Out of the blue however, it turns out the books we're sending back have been flagged to be used at the start of first semester next year, so they've just slapped new labels on the boxes and sent them straight back to us. We're not supposed to be getting this sort of stock until January, and we've got nowhere to store them - we only have an old office fitted with shelves as a small storeroom, and that's already filled with uniforms, uni branded clothing and stationary. We figure they're pulling this shit because they don't want as much to have to count during stock take either.
Next issue is how our POS system works with summer school. Normally we can look up what books a student needs by entering in the number or the number code for whatever units they're studying, but we can only search by the units running in 2014. Summer school however, is classified as 2015 so won't show up on our lists. We can scan in a book to see what it's used for, but if you can't find out what book to look up in the first place... In other words, it sucks to be students who are taking the initiative to find out their textbooks in advance to get a head start studying before the summer courses actually begin.
And finally there's the coup de grâce all within a two day period. Thursday, the head honcho of the company waltzes into the store with a bunch of other people. They're investors or something, I don't know, and someone taking photos all around the store to document it's layout or the like. Nobody has any idea why they're here, and nobody is game enough to ask. It's not a busy day and they're not in the way, but my first thought when they walked in was 'Here's trouble.'
Then Friday, we find out what the fuss was all about: out of the blue, they're deciding to dismantle all our current shelving which was less than two years old, rearrange the store, and put up new shelving. They're removing an entire row in the process, cutting back our available shelving by around 1/5th to 1/4th.
First semester is always the craziest time of year, and we have enough trouble fitting all the books on shelf as-is, and now they want to somehow fit the same volume of books into a smaller area. The kicker is however, they're dropping this bombshell on us to happen this very next week, and the manager had Thursday/Friday off, so won't even find out about this until Monday morning.
Given our lack of storage space to begin with, I have no idea where all the books currently on the shelves are going to go (not counting the extra they keep sending us. I can guarantee they'll all be mixed up in a giant mess by the time they're finished. The current timetable for the week is going to be shot to shit, so whilst I was looking forward to a nice relaxing four day weekend at the end of next week to catch up on my own study, that's all tossed out the window. I can guarantee that half the staff will be called in for extra shifts to help clean up this clusterfuck we've been handed.
Now that's a way to get children interested in reading!
From Viral Viral Videos:
B.J. Novak is most well known for acting as Ryan Howard on The Office and also co-producing the popular show. But now he has taken a break from television to become an author. B.J. recently released the children’s book, The Book With No Pictures. A group of lucky children had the chance to have the new author read the book to them at a reading. This clip by Penguin Kids has gone viral with over 1.5 million hits!
Oddly enough, I loved closing time at Horders. My favorite manager always made me do the closing announcements. Then at 11:01 had me go around and physically remove people from the store.
Yeah, he was the best.
We had one guy, Clown Man. Just as frightening as you can possibly imagine. His car was like Horders. Scary. Word on the street was that he was rich and had an inheritance.
I don't know. I know my cool ass manager was scared shitless of him. So, he sends me, Freckles, to take on a dude twice my size.
My managers reasoning: "You're a boxer, you're mean, you can hit people. I can't!"
Yup. True fucking quote. If anyone boxes, don't share it!!!!!
I used to work at a college bookstore. This happened right at the end of my shift, which coincided with closing.
It was a very busy day, since school has just started. A lady comes to my register with a number of items, then decides she wants to go look at some clearance items.
I agree to let her leave her items at the register, since there isn't a line, and there aren't any other customers.
I assumed she would only be a couple minutes. Nope. She took a good 10-15 minutes to look at stuff.
Then, to make it worse, she decided it was socially acceptable to pay in one dollar bills. Her total was 62 dollars.
It made for a good laugh, but it was annoying nonetheless.
All I have to say is, thank for the love of all that is holy on this earth I just turned 21 when this happened.
I was working for Horders at the time. This self righteous blonde; fake tanned, Louis Vuittion carrying woman with her mini-me 5ish year old daughter; came up to the info desk where I was marooned for five consecutive hours (on a Saturday). Blond Bitch (BB for short), approaches while I'm in the home stretch (45 min to lunch). And the exchange goes like this:
Me: "Hi how can I help you?"
BB: "Can you watch my daughter so I can browse for books for myself?"
Me: "I'm a stranger. You have no idea who I am, where I come from, what I've done, and what I'm capable of. Is that the message you want to send to your daughter? That it's okay to talk to strangers? If you're unhappy, and I can see that you are, allow me to call my manager. He will tell you the same thing." I delivered that soliloquy with a beauty queen smile that Miss America would be envious of.
I than called my manager. Lady Luck was on my side. My fave manager was on and he loved me. He flies up to info and looks at the woman.
Favorite manage: "Ma'am, kindly leave my store before I call the police and the CPS on you for child neglect. And if you ever set foot in here again the police will be called immediately. We have your photo on camera. I'm going to print it up and post it all over the back so every employee knows what you look like. You can exit quietly or we can make a scene."
BOO-YA!!! Best manager ever!!!!!
A new book about retail is out RHU!
Meet Alexandra Bowman, the author of A Little Rant on Retail, a funny and insightful look into the horrors and good times of working in retail.
If you are looking for an entertaining read about a subject we all know too well here on the Underground, A Little Rant on Retail is full of witty anecdotes and hilarious stories from Alexandra's experience working in the retail industry.
I'm also excited to announced that Alexandra will be sharing some of her experiences and knowledge here on RHU! We are looking forward to reading her book and upcoming posts!
I did a good deed today! Grade schooler was upset because his grandfather was willing to buy him a book on two conditions:
a.) Book is a kids chapter book and contains 80% text.
b.) Book is not a graphic novel or includes silly puzzles and games. It must be educationally related.
Grade schooler wants a book that contains items on b.). He starts crying and grandfather asks me to help.
After a few minutes of asking him basic questions like, "What do you like to read?" and "What was the last thing you've read?" he mentions Harry Potter and magic. Bingo! My mind goes directly to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (Google it.)
I sell him on the whole magic like Harry Potter thing with a mixture of humor and get him all excited. I even throw in that you can also check out the movie (even though it sucks but I didn't tell that) after you read it. Grade schooler and grandfather leave happy for the day.
Yes folks, I my gold star for the day!