Monday, July 24, 2006

Mind Over Matter...


I have this little indulgence I practice every couple of weeks: I'll go to local Borders Books & Music, pick up a few of my favorite magazines off the shelf, then sit in the cafe and browse through them. To understand where this story, one must know that I usually go there after work and that my work 'uniform' consists of a black angst-laden t-shirt and jeans, with my i.d. badge around my neck.
Anyways, a couple weeks ago I was at Borders and when I finished with my magazines, I was kind enough to put them all back in their designated spots. So it came as no surprise when no fewer than 4 customers came up to me and asked me various questions, mistaking me for a store employee. The first few instances I explained that I wasn't an employee, but then I began to just steer people in the wrong direction: "You actually have to have a special permit to buy anything out of our Religious Studies section" or "We're entitled to alert the FBI anytime someone buys that magazine."
I should really fill out an application, since I enjoy talking to the customers more than Border's own employees seem to.

4 comments:

S. Earnhart said...

You know, lately, they have been really unhelpful at the one down the street, especially in the cafe. I don't remember it always being that way. But it just so happens that my latest cup of coffee was served by a very unhappy young man wearing a black angst ridden t-shirt,,,,,,,,,,

Scully said...

Having spent more than 1 1/2 years working at a Borders I can confirm that most employees are indeed angst ridden and disinterested in helping customers. This is because the mass majority of them are:
• between 23-30 (and likely still live at home or best case scenario in a rented house with 10 other borders employees)
•have at least a bachelors degree (and probably a master's) in one of the following subjects: ENGLISH, JOURNALISM, HISTORY, ART HISTORY, ART or LITERATURE
•believe they are (and probably actually are) smarter than 90% of the customers that come in the door and therefore don't need to be bothered with the mundane questions they will be asked (including "I'm looking for a book, but I don't know the name of it, who the author is, or what it's about really, but it was on Oprah" and "Can you tell me where I would find the 'easy listening' section")
• make $8.00 an hour and have at least $30,000 in student loan debt

Colin Morris said...

That's incredible. You're a man after my own heart.

Colin Morris said...

Also, I like Jenn's profile of the Border's employee.