Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"I Even Dream About Booksmith" - Says Jodie

You guys!

We had no idea you felt this way!
I mean, we kind of did, we had an inkling, you stop in for your books and your sundries every now and then and we get that little glimmer of something in your eye, something that we both know is there, that we don't need to cheapen with unecessary words and phrases. We figured, maybe its for the best, you know? Maybe it's better if this, thing, whatever it is, remains a smile and a flicker. It's nice to feel pretty every now and again, you know?

But these past few days, our relationship has intensified tenfold.

We have added our usual fourth register up front, and have often used it, even during the daylight hours. Business has blossomed; booksellers are sent running around the store, grabbing books and gifts and restocking as if their very lives depended on it. The special orders have grown so numerous that an extra cart hard to be added last night to hold all the titles awaiting their new homes. I don't even know how many times I've restocked plastic bags, and it's still not enough, it's never enough.

Weirdly, despite my usual abhorrence towards labor of any variety, (Dana usually has to hide small candies in my overstock to get me to put anything on the shelves at all) I don't mind the extra work. Okay, the extra register hours are a lot, and every half hour when I look at my suddenly barren and gap-toothed sections my back hurts as I reach for a clipboard to begin a restock. But I must say, I have really been impressed with every one's attitudes this season. Customers and booksellers alike have been, for the most part, what I can only describe as frightfully upbeat. Maybe it's the holiday cheer, maybe its because everybody is cruising around on adrenaline and caffeine and will soon bottom out of their shopping high and probably need a nap and a snack, maybe we're finally pumping in that melatonin gas that I keep writing about in the suggestion box (I mean, that my close friend, Chloe Bookbuyer, keeps...writing about...) but whatever the change or whatever the reason, this Grinch's small heart has grown three times this season.

The best part is when this happens: when a really big line forms at the register, stretching all the way back to planners, all four registers are firing and we are all going as fast as we can to help you check out and be on your way, and a customer will come up to one of us with their purchases and say "You guys are just flying through this line, I can't believe how short that wait was. You're doing an excellent job."

That's happened to me like five or six times now, and I can't even tell you how wonderful it is to hear that. I pride myself on being a fast and efficient check out girl, and having you compliment me on the very thing I strive so desperately to attain is EMBARRASSINGLY satisfying. Maybe even more satisfying than when someone compliments me on anything else, appearance, writing, my totally effortless air of joie de vivre. All of that pails in comparison to the fact that you're impressed I just got you through a 20 person line in under 15 minutes. Excuse me while I go jot this down as a thing to talk about with my therapist later.

The store has taken on a life of its own. Staff is working as a team and a unit like I've only seen during Wolf week on the discovery channel. Every night when we close or I leave I'm certain that we've run out of everything, there's no way we could still have anything left to put on the shelves after all the stuff I just rang up. Customers are predominantly jovial. I have given so many high fives this past week.

Happy Hannukah and Xmas, thank you baby Jesus for being born, sorry about everything pagans, and thank you to my parents for being Santa all the rest of the year. Champagne?

(Image by Bryan Couchman)

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