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.


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.