"Sales Associate does not need
to know about Your Life.
Thank You for Not Sharing."
Now, I do appreciate people being friendly. If someone wants to chat a bit while I'm ringing up their purchase, that's fine. It's the others that I'm not so fond of. The ones that are used to having people nervously edge away when they start talking to them. The fact that I don't also hurriedly leave indicates to them that I'm interested in what they're saying, not that I'm staying because I'M WORKING AND CAN'T JUST WALK AWAY. And it's not like these people come into the store to buy things. I think J liked the company, and now these people are conditioned to just go talk to the Person In The Book Store, which is now, me. If people are lonely and want someone to talk to, that's what community centers, psychologists and bartenders are for.
This is why I swore I would never work retail again. Also, this week I got to meet:
1. Several people who had previously sold books to the store, and apparently now assume that everything they bring in will be purchased. One man had the courtesy to call in advance, and said that the books he had were indeed newer and in excellent condition. He brought in about thirty books in garbage bags (a bad sign); twisted spines, torn dust jackets, most published last millennium and NOT that clean. If a friend served me dinner on a plate that was as comparably dirty, I would promptly lose my appetite and never dine at their house again.
2. The cranky old man in the powered wheelchair. The store isn't wheelchair-accessible, so he pounded on the window for my attention. It took a lot of effort for him to speak, and it seemed to piss him off even more that I didn't always understand him the first time. I like to think I'm a patient person, but I wondered how rude a disabled person had to be before it was considered excusable to just walk away from him. Maybe he felt bad after I went back and forth into the store several times to look for particular items; I think he was trying to make it up to me by telling me about his life. This is rather like rewarding a vegan by offering them liver.
3. The parents who brought their little girl (I assume it was a child, but it seemed more like an Autonomous Whining Device) for some books. They obviously had some grasp of parenting skills, because they repeatedly threatened that if she didn't stop whining, they wouldn't buy her anything. They spent $12 on kid's books. I pity the men or women that child will one day date.
4. The mom who wanted to brag about her two teenage kids. Her son didn't care, but the look on the daughter's face indicated that if a Flaming Gateway into Hell spontaneously opened in the floor, she would gratefully hurl herself into it.
5. I was glad, however, that I was there for the college-aged woman rushed in and asked to use the phone. An older woman, one of the mentally challenged that wander Glisan, had accosted her in the Fred Meyer parking lot, and started screaming that she had slept with her husband and stolen her bike. The FM security people lost interest when they determined that no actual theft had been committed, but the young woman was rather freaked and just wanted to get away from the crazy woman. She used the phone, calmed down a bit and left when her friend showed up.
I know it's possible that there may be fascinating and delightful customers, but this week was not a shining example of random humanity. Maybe I should just go back to selling stuff on eBay; at least then I only have to deal with people via email, and I have a Delete button.