I Need To Share This...

...because I'm getting to the point where I just don't know what to think anymore. I went to a big time bookstore today, and all I wanted was Shakespeare's Othello. I'm familiar with the place and the usual lack of interest and even plain manners by its employees. But this time I was just overwhelmed by them. I spotted an attendant, this girl, and went on to ask her where I could find Shakespeare's works. She was sitting down and just looked at me, like someone just waking up from deep sleep and still kind of slow, and started looking around at the shelves. She did this for a while and then muttered something like "...I think I saw something like that over there..." and pointed towards one of the sections. I didn't know what to make of it, so I went on to those shelves and found his complete works editions, but none of the books alone. I looked over and she was still pointing at the books, so I told her I didn't want his entire collection and I imagined they should have a section with his books, organized together, on display. She didn't seem to understand any of it, muttered something else, which I have no idea what was, turned to a computer and started doing something in it. I wondered if she was looking it up or something, but as she didn't make anything clear and didn't seem to be dealing with my request, I thought I'd ask someone else and they'd soon let me know where was Shakespeare. I spotted a guy, and asked him the same thing. At the beggining he seemed more receptive, and asked me if I wanted his works for the theater or the other ones. I said I wanted one of his novels, and that I wanted to take a look at what they had. So... he turned to another computer. He asked me for the name of the book, and I said "Othello". He had a huge trouble getting any results, and they all showed zero in stock. So he said he would have to look up the author's name, and it was then that I found out he had no idea how to spell Shakespeare. I spelled it to him about a dozen times, as he battled with the machine in order to find some directions to where the books were located. No sucess, so he went to the fiction section and started searching the shelves following the alphabetical order of author's last names to which the books were organized. And then the guy was like this "Yeah, we've got nothing, see here? He should be at P, and he isn't, see, over there is already R, so, I guess there's nothing else besides his theater plays" I stopped for a second to think it over, and was amazed to find out, at least in theory, that the guy must have thought his name was something like Shakes Peare, and omg. I wasn't brave enough to correct him, so I just said "yeah, ok, thanks, I'll just have a look around". So I started searching for S, and while I was in it he showed up again and said to have found something. He took me there and there really were a few books, 3 or 4 of them. Not Othello. I wanted to keep looking around those he had found, but the guy had sat down in one of the benches they had laying around, right in front of the shelf in which the books were. I walked around him a bit, trying to get an angle, with no use, and expecting him to notice it, but he didn't. He just sat there like a statue. So I went back to the other section, the one with his complete works, and looked around untill I found Othello, in a beautiful edition. The guy had asked me to let him put it through the system, I guess they must have sales fees or something. But when I was ready to go and looked for him, I found him leaving the store. As I thought I had already been too patient I just asked someone else to do it and left. But not without great amazement. What kind of zombies were these to actually look like zombies? I don't know if all that was natural stupidity or pure brainlessness. They actually had dead eyes, like they weren't really there, and seemed to have no life. I'm scared. I need to laugh it out........
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4 Responses Feb 10, 2010

Yeah, I agree with the conundrum.

About the underpayment, reconsider the point I was making. <br />
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1. There are plenty of people, especially now, that would do that job for peanuts and do it well. I think part of the problem is that people don't realize how lucky they are. These employees you describe, whether virtual slaves or not, obviously have no integrity. Integrity is with you, no matter what. It's what makes a severely underpaid employee work diligently and with pride even though he knows he's not being paid even a tiny fraction of what he's worth. To dwell on what's missing is to feed misery. I know because I'm pretty good at it. :(<br />
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2. It sounds like the real problem - the management of the store - is still causing people misery by putting them into jobs they have no business in. This makes both the employee and customers unhappy.<br />
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I think if we did what we loved, we could easily end up disliking it. For me, if I do something I don't like, I just dislike it that much more. But, at this point in my life I've realized I can enjoy most things as long as I feel I'm being fairly compensated and work with good, decent people. Of course, how likely is that to happen?

Sad. I guess the book store gets what they pay for which probably isn't much. I always hope these young bookstore employees are paying their way through college so they can get a better job. At least they are working in this economy.

Awesome imagery. I can just see their faces now - the young ones, right? Pale with rubbery lips and quaint haircuts?<br />
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Some will say, well they're just kids working in a bookstore - you can't expect them to be very passionate, or educated. But, are there no people out there, in the entire city, that could do the job adequately? I've never slacked off at a job, no matter how much I wished to be elsewhere. What are the chances that the only three zombies in the entire city just happened to end up at that bookstore?<br />
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Who hired these people? Who fails to notice?