October 20, 2014

Monday Five's - The (un)fun of working at a bookstore! (Part II)

Last week I shared all the fun that working in a bookstore can be in Part I, but you know how it is, inevitably there is a dark side too. As much as I do think fondly of those book selling days, I never forgot that there were a select few downsides to it as well. Not enough to spoil the whole experience, but still making for cautionary and somewhat entertaining blog post material ...

Empty bank account
Now that might be exaggerating things a little, but being constantly surrounded by book-shaped temptations I left a fair share of my wages right in the store. Not exactly a complaint, more of a fact, really.

Battered hands
As much as hauling around books did for my upper arm muscles, my hands embraced *haha* what I jokingly refer to the well-read construction worker look. I was covered with paper cuts and other book-induced nicks and dents all the time.

The mess
It was all a never ending cycle of people going through the shelves and stacks leaving an incredible chaos behind. My favorite pet peeve was that it was never enough to have one sample copy open to browse through. Nope, some folks had to tear at least three copies out of their original plastic wrapping which consequently no one wanted to buy as they all soon ended up looking as if someone had dragged them across half the continent.

Brain-dead customers
There will always be people who assume that working in retail means you're an idiot. The fact that working at a bookstore requires the ability not just to read but also to have a grasp of books in general has sadly escaped the notice of some customers who'll treat you like imbeciles. They will spell out what to them is a rather complicated book title (erroneously, but don't tell them, because they usually do not appreciate being corrected by someone who they consider to be an idiot) while you've already typed it into the computer and are half way to the correct aisle to fetch a copy for them.

Dreadful fatigues
Many shops will not just put a name-tag on your shirt but require you to dress in company wear. (Un)luck would have it that during five years I progresses from a grey vest to a red one straight to the unspeakably ugly neon-colored shirts we had to wear one summer. Neither option did anything for my complexion.

Have you ever worked in a bookstore? If so, can you relate to some of the things mentioned above? Which of them is the worst downside in your opinion? Please share.


  1. the mess...; first in your case they are not book lover to make that to a book. in my case it's not shelves to served theùself we are here to do it but still some try to do it making everything tumble and sometime sbreaking thing but it's our fault

    and yes some idiots really... like with a coin celebration the 150 anniversary ( 1830-1980)......logically if they are two date only teh later one is the right one but no for her it was coin dated of 1830 and we were trying to rob her.... it had teh face of all our king ( a feat to know what they would look like before their birth) but no...1h 30 of complain and she still left assured to be right and in possession of a treasure

    1. There's this saying that the customer is always right, but it's safe to say, we both know that they are NOT! And it's so rude to just take things from shelves when you're not supposed to *shakes head in disbelieve* and I'd put up a sign that tells people they have to pay for things they break!!!

    2. if only a sign worked^^
      or there is teh problem of those who order something even péay a accompte and don't come back ( or years later expecting us to wait)