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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Crazy Customers

Little hey, little ho, people! So I was busy last week and didn't have time to post anything, but I can write, and boy is there a lot to talk about.

So remember when I said how much I liked the old people customers that come to the B&N a few posts ago? Unfortunately, I've had my first run in with a rude customer this past week, and I think I also met my first real crazy person in my whole life while working customer service. Both situations were weird and something I don't want to go through ever again, but maybe it's a good thing such meetings happened so I can be prepared for the next time I run into such people. And it's not like I had nothing but bad customer meetings this week; there was this really nice customer WHO GAVE ME THE BOOK SHE BOUGHT.

But bad guys first. The rude person was this old lady in this nasty lavender jumpsuit with a neck brace and a voice like a frog who came asking about books by an author with the last name Kinley. I look it up, but I don't find anything, so I ask the lady if she could spell the last name. She acts all offended that I don't know this guy's work, because supposably he writes a really popular kid series, but she starts spelling out the name. But she gets distracted halfway into the name, and when I politely ask if she can continue (while eyeing my co worker Kari in case I need to ask for help) she basically tells me to find someone else to help her that can ACTUALLY DO THEIR JOB. At this point Kari steps in and I step back; I didn't say anything for the rest of the interaction, but believe me, I was mad. Not that I showed it in any other way besides crossing my arms. Kari told me later that while she was leading the woman and her daughter to the kids section to look for the book, the mean bag was rude to her too, still in disbelief no one knew what she was talking about, and instead of the daughter telling her mom to knock it off, she joined in the berating too. Afterwards Kari and I worked off some steam with some bad-mouthing, so I felt a bit better. But still! Just because you're wearing a neck brace, sound like you swallowed a toad, and have no fashion sense doesn't mean you have the right to be rude to people. (And for the record, she got the author's name wrong; it was Kinney. No wonder I couldn't find anything!) Bad karma on you!

The crazy customer came a few days later. I was helping some old guy with finding some pocket datebook refills when this other old guy comes up. He's hard of hearing but asks if we have a book about 'hollow earth'. The first old guy tells me to help the hard-of-hearing guy, so I do, but while plenty of books entitled 'Hollow Earth', I didn't know which one he was talking about. So I tried to figure out which one he was talking about, and it turned out 'hollow earth' was the book's subject. As it turned out, the hard-of-hearing guy was one of those conspiracy nuts, and when prompted by the pocket datebook guy, he went into this long rant that basically was him talking about how there's a city of aliens living under some city in California. Eventually he left, and the datebook told me that I 'owe him one', because he got the burden of the whole rant. And I was grateful, because he did save me, but good lord! I was not expecting to run into my first crazy person like that!

But there was one good customer this week. She was a girl my age, very pretty, who I was checking out at the cash register. She was buying one of those religious inspirational books, and we were chatting, with her talking about how she'd come in before (of course, I didn't recognize her). But after everything was said and done, she GAVE me the book she bought, saying I looked like I needed it. I was surprised, and said I couldn't accept it, but eventually she convinced me to take it, said she'd see me later, and left. It was one of the nicest things someone had ever done for me, and it proves that there really are decent people out there. As for the book, it's sitting on my bedside table, and every night I read a little bit of it. Very nice. :)

Other than a handful of bipolar customers, I was very busy these weeks with new experiences. I was placed in two sections I haven't worked before: second floor customer service and the kid section. Talk about two different beasts from what I'm used to. I had some help with the customer service part when it came to figuring out where stuff goes, but I was basically set adrift doing the children's section and accidentally put some books back that had been taken off the shelf for removal in the first place (because no one tells me anything!). :P Thankfully the bosses were understanding and told me to take this as a learning experience, which I will, so all's good there.

Editing is the same as always, which basically means I have two writers who do very well and one who makes me want to pull my hair out. I keep telling her over and over again how she links her source websites is wrong, but she either doesn't understand or isn't listening. It's not like I'm going to drop her for this, but I did write my feelings in the editor notes, so hopefully this will all work out. But for now, she hasn't posted this week's stuff yet, so I'm really hoping she does soon because I don't want to spend a late night doing editing work when I could be sleeping

And there actually is something concerning the writing department this week: I finally got my first royalty check! SHP finally got everything together and sent it to me, so there's some cash in the bank (I'm not saying how much, though). Otherwise, no new news.

Bi-Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: I saw a friend at the B&N. Tina is one of my greatest friends from high school, and we met each other totally by accident. Turns out she lives nearby and said I could stop over after work anytime. We chatted for a few minutes, and it was great catching up. Love you, girl!

Like 2: The mythical creature display. Our local museum had a display all about magical creatures from around the world, and I went to see it with my grandma. Hands down one of the best displays I've seen, and so informative considering I'm a fantasy writer and want to include these types of animals in my books.

Like 3: Red dot sale at B&N. Basically a few tables are set up in front of the mall entrance and are loaded with stuff with a red sticker on it, which equals 50% off. With my employee discount that becomes 80%, so I was able to pick up a nice how-to book concerning cats and their care (because I really want a cat someday).

Like 4: The nice customer and the book she gave me. See above.

Like 5: Being a membership sales master! For this weekend only if someone becomes a B&N member, they get 20% off their whole purchase instead of the usual 10%. I was able to sell and renew many memberships during my time on the register, so I feel rather accomplished.

Like 6: Souvenir from Las Vegas. My mom went there on vacation and was nice to send this beautiful gold and green cocktail ring that's awesome to wear. Thanks mom!

Dislike 1: Rude/crazy customers. See above.

Dislike 2: People who leave stacks of books lying around. This turns out be a phenomenon on the 2nd floor, and of course it drives me nuts! People can't take the time to put everything back where they found it? Yes, I put books on the shelf, but for one time only, because I am no janitor, plus I have other more important things to do than to clean up your unbought crap. If anyone's reading this, please put something you're not buying back in its rightful place, please.

And quote!

"Few of us get anything without working for it." -William Feather


Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Music Department

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BLOG TIME!

So this week at work, I actually got to man the music department by myself for the first time. Now, I'm watched the music department before, but this was the first time I've been in the section for a whole work shift. At first I thought it was going to be like working the mall cash register (meaning that barely any people buy stuff and I'm bored to tears), but not so! Apparently on a weekly basis there's a DVD and CD tag check, which basically means we go through the CDs and DVDs and make sure they have a price and security tag on them and there's no loose tags lying around. When I was working in the department it was time to check the CDs, so I basically spent my whole shift, when not ringing up customers, flipping through the entire CD rack and making sure everything was tagged and writing the amount of tags found on a chart. I didn't know flipping through CDs could take so long (on the bright side, I found a Black Veil Brides CD that's only five bucks; hooray for hidden treasures!) Not only that, it was a closing shift while I was in the music section, which meant closing that up, which entailed vacuuming the floor with a crappy vacuum, sanitizing the counter, phone, and computers, making sure the CDS and DVDs were all in place, dusting the shelves, and taking out the trash and whatever cardboard boxes were lying around. It's a lot of work, but it's nice to be in one section of the store while everyone else is out all over the place. I wouldn't mind doing the music department again.

The internship is going well. The writers are posting their stuff, and I'm editing while nitpicking all sorts of little mistakes. Nothing really going on this week except that I got assigned a third writer to look over. That might sound like more work, but she is by far the closest to professional out of all my writers with the least amount of mistakes. She is no problem at all.

No news for writing, so it's time for another BURN IN LIGHT character profile! This week we have Uncle V, Enid's uncle and legal guardian. His full name is Vincent Delacroix, and he's a Protestant preacher for a nearby church (he actually used to be Catholic but had to convert to be able to adopt Enid). As said, he adopted Enid because her mother died in childbirth and her dad's not in the picture, and all in all he's a good father figure; he loves Enid deeply, and she returns his affections by respecting his wishes and trying not to make him worry with her hunting ghosts (which he can see, by the way). He's also good friends with Al and Thad, and he's just a really likable guy that's hard to hate.

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Black Veiled Brides CD find. See above.

Like 2: Extra shifts. I was asked to do an extra shift this week, and I was more than happy to take it. That may be surprising to others, but I'm happy when they ask if I want extra hours. Yes, it means some extra cash, but in asking me, the bosses are showing how capable they think I am and they trust me with these extra shifts (that's what I like to think, at least).

Like 3: Dining out with the grandparents and their friends. I got to eat out twice this week with my grandparents and some of their friends at two different restaurants, and it was great both times. I ate good food and had good conversations with my grandparents' friends, who I have a lot of respect for because of how awesome they are and make for good conversation. Good times.

Like 4: I got a somewhat new charger! My grandma read about how my old charger was cracking, so she gave me the one that came with her old laptop. It's in perfect condition, so thanks Grandma!

Dislike 1: Being sick. I haven't been feeling good the last few days, and it's not like I'm dying or not taking care of myself. I just feel like I want to doing nothing but sleep, and I hope I feel better soon.

And quote!

"We are what we believe we are." -C. S. Lewis


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Labor Day Rush

Yo, dudes!

Talk about being busy this week. I had my first taste of holiday rush with working Labor Day at B&N, and it was crazy. I was supposed to divide my time between the cash register and customer service, but I ended up working the register the whole time because of all the crazy amount of people coming to buy stuff. And there was a lot of people; they seemed to come in waves, like for a time there wouldn't be anybody, then one person comes, and you help that person, and by the time you're done with them, a whole line is staring you in the face and you have no idea where they came from! It's stressful, but the upside is all these customers keep you busy, which means no time to get bored and possibly goof off and get in trouble (not that I actively try to do that). I wonder what the holidays are going to be like?

So B&N is good, and so is the internship. My boss talked with the writer who's been giving me trouble, and said writer has one more chance before being let go. That said, this writer didn't let me down this time; she got all her articles posted on time, which means I didn't have to stay up late editing them. That's solved; now it's a matter of getting her to properly link stuff. With the way she does it, I basically have to track down the specific webpage the picture came from so we can properly source stuff, because she just gives me the main page of that website. But baby steps, people. We're getting somewhere.

No update on the writing front, so to tide you over, another character profile from BURN IN LIGHT. This time I give the gentle gentleman Al! His full name is Alastor Bachman, and he's the ghost of a nineteen-year-old lawyer in training. In the late 1800's his family integrated from England to Philly (he still has a bit of a British accent) so Al's dad could live the American dream by starting his own law firm, and Al was more than happy to study under him. Sadly, Al was killed in a mugging gone wrong by a slashed throat, and he's been a ghost ever since. Out of fear of what came after crossing over when it was earned, Al decided to be a guardian ghost (ghost version of a guardian angel) to prolong his stay, and for the past hundred years he's guarded many people. His latest 'ward' is Enid, and the two of them have been friends since the day she was born. Having been there for her growing up, Al knows all about her and can be somewhat of a father figure. But something in him might want it to be more, despite all the obstacles in the way.

Weekly (Dis)Likes:

Like 1: Got a new book. It's the second one in Lev Grossman's 'Magician' series, and I got it for four bucks when it originally was 26! Ever since I heard the trilogy was basically a grown up Harry Potter, I've been wanting to read it. Can't wait to get my hands on the first.

Like 2: Closer gym. I've recently started going to the gym that's in my grandparents' neighborhood country club, and it's great. It's close by, it's got all the usual equipment, and it doesn't feel like a total drag to get up and go there.

Like 3: Writers who get their stuff sent in on time. See above.

Like 4: The fact they finally discovered Jack the Ripper's identity after 126 years. Who doesn't like a mystery being solved? (Click here for more info). This can't help but bring me to ...

Dislike 1: Serial killers. Who likes those guys!?

Dislike 2: Dumb questions people ask at the B&N. "Do we pay at customer service?" "Where is customer service?" "Where do we pick our books up?" "Where's the bathroom?" Granted, the last two aren't exactly stupid, but since when have you ever paid for something not at a register, and how can you not notice a giant 'Customer Service' sign? It makes me want to make a Q&A poster and hang it around the store (and before you ask, no, Mom, I didn't actually suggest this to any of my bosses. :P)

Dislike 3: My charger cord for my laptop has a tear in the plastic covering the cord part, exposing the wires. It's not big, and I've patched it with some tape, but I REALLY hope I don't have to buy a new one any time soon. Those things are expensive!

And quote!

“By doubting we come to the question, and by questioning we may come upon the truth.” -Pierre AbĂ©lard