Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Me, decorating the dead pine 2 years ago

Wednesday Miscellany

This is, as you can see, a week of miscellany. I don't feel bad about that. My brain has been sieve-like, my energies otherwise engaged. Blogs for many of us are the first thing to go when life gets busy. So don't mind the weeds and the dust if you can.

First of all, as many others have noted, blogger's "beta" mode, which is supposed to be more user friendly is really about as friendly as a starved lion. It never remembers me so I have to sign in anew each time, and that includes when commenting on others' blogs; the "handy" new features are so simple as to be utterly confusing, and I don't really get the relationship between my gmail account and blogger: I think they're just platonic friends, but clearly gmail wants to get into blogger's pants.

This weekend there is a holiday parade and a festival of lights or some such in my town. Another reason to block off the streets, yay! It will be fun. I'm getting into the spirit.


I was trying to figure out why I like working at a bookstore, yet I have despised all other retail jobs I've had which have included selling: baby clothes; containers to hold crap in every room of your house; high-end boutique women's clothing; skincare products; and vitamins and health food. I realized today the reason is that I am a know-it-all. I'm coming to terms with this fact and even embracing it the way some women have started to take to embracing being "phat."

I am a know it all and know it alls like to be asked to provide information. I like to feel useful, but not utilitarian. The difference is that in other retail you are simply the machine that points to the product and takes the cash that allows the transaction to proceed (while cracking gum and rolling eyes). You might as well be a machine.

In books, you are granted knowledge, a brain, an opinion! Customers come seeking the grail that only you can locate ("Yes, we have Hooters: The year in photos."). And it's true that sometimes you can't locate it and they threaten to go find it at some big coporate bookstore --which, I would like to point out, are all staffed by robotic chimpanzees, and where funny gas is pumped into the air to control what you buy--but most of the time customers are grateful and kind and you don't have to lie to them about how they look in those tight jeans or tuck away your knowledge that no amount of vitamin health will reduce the years of heavy smoking they've got under their belt.

The reason that bookstore clerks get such respect, I think, is that people mistake us for librarians. And a really good bookseller will have nearly as much, if not the same, amount of information housed in the gray matter, as a librarian (please, no nasty comments ladies!).

Um...what else? Oh no, that brain I supposely have just went all short circuit on me. Oh I know! I'm happy because my editor at Writer's Digest Books gave me the thumbs up on the 1st half of my book, Make a Scene, due out next year. She was happy with my work and her edits are totally reasonable. I'm happy!

End Transmission.



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