No secret here that own a used bookstore in a small town. My business kicks my a** (not to be confused with my business kicks a**), but I love it. On most days (and 99.9% of the time), it's a wonderful, fun, cool job - harder than anything I've ever done, but still fulfilling. There's that dreaded .1% that does want to make me want to saw a blunt object across my carotid until I'm flopping around on the floor. But, hey, nothing is perfect, right?

Before I go further, let's digress, shall we?
Let me 'splain something about owning a business in a small waterfront touristy kinda community - most people here don't seem to take their business too seriously (totally perplexing to me, but hey...). They open when they want, close when they want, do want they want...well most, except US. I mean, good for them, but I think if you run a business you should, well, RUN YOUR BUSINESS. We have RELIGIOUSLY and CONSISTENTLY stayed open within in our posted hours for the last year-and-half. Well, OK, except those times in the first 3 months of the pregnancy when I was spewing Exorcist-Alien type of matter from my mouth - then I closed ('cause really? Who wants to clean bile off a book before they buy it?). IF we were going to be closed, say on the slim chance that we took a day or two off *GASP*, then we posted it well in advance, put it on our VM and our website. Why am I telling you all of this? Because, aside from the KMART and CVS, we may be one of the most consistent businesses in this town. No arrogance, just fact.

So, imagine my surprise last Friday, when I'm sitting at the front counter paying bills 10 minutes before we open (also known as "getting here early to take care of the 'CEO' functions") and I hear an incredibly jarring *BANG*BANG*BANG* on the glass of our door. I look up in shock, anticipating the green hand of the Incredible Hulk to be hanging on the inside of my door. Instead, it was just a small crowd (4 people) gathered outside of the door. Before I go further, let me ask this question:

Have you EVER IN YOUR LIFE banged on a door of a store that wasn't open?!?
Me either.

I'm more than mildly annoyed because:
1. Getting here early is the only time I have to take care of the mundane side of business,
2. We were not open because it was NOT TIME FOR US TO OPEN, and

So, I open FIVE MINUTES EARLY MIND YOU (which may not seem like a big deal, but for those of you who own your own businesses, you understand. Oh, the things you can accomplish in 5 minutes without customers/clients around), to a public lynching. I open the door to a barrage (not in a nice barrage questioning way), of
"Why aren't you open? You're LATE!!"
"You saw us standing out here, why wouldn't you open?"
"What were you doing, anyway?"
(all of which is NONE OF THEIR BIDNESS, BTW)

The best part? Two of the people waiting to lynch me are just out for their morning walk and decided to get in on the early morning fun WITH NO INTENTION OF COMING IN THE STORE. HELLLOOOO...move along grandma and grandpa, you're going to miss the early bird specials at Big Boy...


As the Incredible Hulktress pushes past me to go inside, she grunts,
"You're LATE! It's five after"

and, I couldn't resist. Usually, when customers annoy me and I want to tell them where they can spend a toasty eternity, I just do my signature blank *blink*blink*blink* stare with no comment. This morning, I had had it:

ME: I'm not late, we open at 10.
Incredible Hulktress (IH): I said it's FIVE AFTER. Your clock is SLOW.
ME: Well actually, I go by my computer, which is callibrated and synchronized to international time, so, if anything, I would say that your watch IS FAST. Honestly, I have NO IDEA what 'callibrated and synchronized' to international time means, but it sounded DAMN GOOD.
IH: I don't think so. *sigh* I need to know if you have these books...whipping out a list
ME: OOOO...sorry...you'll have to wait just a few minutes. Since you're EARLY, I will need to finish opening my store...

What a juvenile and unnecessary exchange, but hey, I have an alien growing inside of my that says I have the right to have my head explode at anytime I want. SO, NAH NAH NUH NAH NAH.


Her list? Consisted of the morning's BEST SELLER LIST. (In case you missed it, scroll up, this is a USED BOOKSTORE). Of course we didn't have any of the TEN BOOKS ON THE LIST.

IH: Well, you know, I'm trying really hard to support your local business, but you're making it very difficult when you have NOTHING that I want. (btw-I love when people tell me how grateful I should be that they patronize my store. I'll be the judge of that, thank you very much).
ME: *blink*blink*blink*
ME: Well, let me explain something to you that you seem to have missed about this store. We are a USED BOOKSTORE. USED. Which means, we are NEVER, I repeat NEVER going to have the current day's bestseller list unless you've ordered them from us.
IH: *grunt*spew*pfflt* It says on your windows have a new books, too. Damn the advertising!
ME: True. We do have a limited amount of new books, but most people who want books off the bestseller list ORDER THEM FROM US.
IH: *grunt*grumble*spat*
ME: smile

Her last coup de gras? She tries to pay with a $50 dollar bill (for a $6 sale). Which I laugh at uncontrollably. Shockingly, she comes up with the exact change when I say to her (in a mom kinda way), "AHH. Now, you know very well, you are my very first customer. I cannot break a $50 dollar bill."

I hope she comes real back soon, it was a fantastcially fun way to start my day.
Don't let the door hit you...

Addendum: I should've listened to my friend Jeanne on this day when she said, "After that, close, go home, take the day off." I was really wishing I had listened later that day when my computer started doing a physical memory dump and completely crashed. I blame it all on the Incredible Hulktress...


Post a Comment