Thursday, October 06, 2011

A bookstore employee's lament

Entertainment Weekly recently posted a photo taken at a former Borders store of an employee's list of grievances:


Bits of it are funny, and there are elements I agree with (mostly the ones about returning used books and leaving kids unattended in the children's section), but mostly this just depressed me. Look, anonymous bookstore employee: I feel for you. I've worked in a big chain bookstore, and I've dealt with obnoxious customers, but people who don't know exactly what they're looking for are the ones who keep brick-and-mortar stores open. They wander in, they ask for help, they poke around for forty-five minutes, they buy cups of coffee and overpriced scones, and they eventually walk out the doors having spent thirty dollars more than they meant to. People who do know what they want shop online, armed with 30% off coupons and free shipping. You should be grateful to all those dithering shoppers with their "quick questions" and required-reading lists—they did their part to keep your store open.

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