Monday, February 05, 2007

McCann's Field Guide to People Who Get Under My Skin Like a Tropical Fungus, Vol. 1

I am officially the old man who sits on his porch just trembling with anticipation that an errant ball will land on his lawn so that he could keep it. I'm old, crotchety, and ornery, and I think that I like it. I plan to add Donald Rumsfeld to my friends list tomorrow.

I hate the people at work. Not my co-workers, they don't suck too much, but the customers, pee-yew! Mind you, it's not all the customers, just that select few who endear themselves to you in a manner that reminds you of an angry, red, pulsating boil on the back of your neck.

Okay, let's start McCann's Field Guide to People Who Get Under My Skin Like a Tropical Fungus.

1. The Cell Phone People. I fully understand that retail people are untermenchen who don't deserve common courtesy. While some might consider it rude to take a call in the middle of a conversation, the cell phone people don't have a problem taking any call, no matter how trivial. Listen up cell phone people! Go ahead, take your call. Please don't be upset if I turn on my heel and walk away while you're on the phone. You might not realize that I have a number of tasks that I have to complete every day. My raises and continued employment are dependent on my completion of those tasks, not on my standing there, grinning like Buster Brown's dog, Tige, while you talk to your friend about how gassy the sardines made you.

2. The Researchers. Researchers are those people who confuse a bookstore with a library. No, we don't have last quarter's American Sociological Review. No, we don't have this quarter's issue either. This is a book store. We sell stuff. I can guarantee you that, other than you, no one is coming in to buy professional or trade periodicals. They want to find out if Jennifer Aniston's boobs are real, not the results of Ball State University's research on the effects of merit pay for nurses.

Wait, don't go, I'm not done with you yet. In answer to your question, yes, we DO have a copier, and it's a very nice one, but you can't use it. Again, this is a book store, we're trying to sell books. I know, you only want a few pages out of a forty dollar book. I sympathize with you. I wouldn't like to pay forty dollars for four pages either. That's why I go to the LIBRARY to do my research. At the LIBRARY you can borrow books and not have to pay for them. What's more, the library is chock-full of copiers. You can copy stuff until your eyes bleed. Also, you might not realize it, but a library has a greater collection of books than any bookstore could possibly boast. With a library you can take advantage of inter-library loan. Bookstores might seem like they have more books, but the truth is that they have greater quantities of fewer titles.

Another thing researchers, if you're coming in just to do research, and you have no intention of buying anything other than a cup of coffee and a scone, then don't ask me to help. You're keeping me from actual paying customers, and you're keeping me from doing tasks assigned to me by the great book gods in New York. Remember the LIBRARY? At the LIBRARY there are these folks called REFERENCE LIBRARIANS. Reference Librarians actually have advanced degrees in helping people find materials on rice v. sugar cane agriculture in the antebellum South.

Finally, if you're going to get a stack of books that you don't intend to buy, don't just leave them where ever you happen to be sitting. I don't expect you to re-shelve them, but I would appreciate it if you had the common decency to put the stack on the customer service desk and not on the floor in the men's room, or between the cushions of the armchair.

I'm starting to ramble, but that's what we crotchety old men do best. I'll do another post soon.


Alison said...

Damn, you ARE crotchety! It's time to get the cane and start thwacking the young people in the back of the legs!

So, how do you feel about people who drink a cup of coffee and read a magazine while they're in the bookstore? I always want to do that, but I always feel too guilty. Plus, I don't think I've ever actually left a bookstore without buying something.

brian said...

It's okay to read magazines. But (and here's the important part), if you can manage to find a copy of a copy of The Economist, you can manage to put it back.

Morgan said...

If it makes you feel any better... I too am a crotchety old man, but sadly I'm 24 and female. Retail has the worst effects on people.