Off to NYC

S leaves tonight for NYC. I am very sad. But I am already going down there next weekend for his birthday.

You better come back to Boston after the summer or I am going to be very upset.

Get Naked

No, this is not a post about how considering how hot it is I wish it were acceptable to walk around naked. Public nudity scares me, ugly fat people should not be able to be naked ever- let alone in public, and for that matter spandex should be outlawed.

OK, now that I am done with that politically incorrect and degrading rant, this post is about the book Naked by David Sedaris. I just finished re-reading it today on the train and it was just as funny as I remembered. I love his wry sense and his keen observations.

This book doesn't need to be reviewed, his essays are fun and to the point, and unlike Augusten Burroughs he is even "mom friendly." Yes, he is a gay man but I think most moms can handle this and it is not a centerpiece in many of his essays. So seriously, take some time out and read some David Sedaris (or re-read some and remember how much you like it).

I am moving on now to Blink by Malcolm Gladwell author of The Tipping Point. I hear it is very good, we shall see.

Buyback Bonanza

Buyback happens a couple times a year when students are in finals. Usually, the spring buy is much larger because students are graduating or going home for the summer and cleaning out their rooms. The main idea behind buyback is that students can sell back books they don't want or think they will need for cash, and the bookstore then can sell them as used if we have orders for them or we can sell them back to our wholesale partner. The price is determined by the demand for the book. If we need it we will pay the student 50% of what they purchased the book for and if the wholesale company needs it they will get 10-30% of the list price of the book. Unfortunately, old editions and damaged books have no value. Can you see where this is going to cause a problem.

I love buyback it is a fun time and in my mind a fantastic service for the students. It is a win-win situation. You buy a book use it for four months and then return it for money at the end of the semester. We sell books at the start of the semester and then can sell them as used the following semester, saving the students money and increasing our margin. I can go on forever about the retail benefits of this program but i will stop here and begin a recap of why students think buyback is bad.

1) Ugh, do I actually have to bring my books all the way to the store to find out how much you will pay me for them? Can you create a spreadsheet and email them to me? Tell me the prices over the phone?

No, we have a couple off site locations where you can sell back your books but you will need to bring your books there I can't give out prices over the phone because the demand for books changes ever time one of you fellow (non-lazy) students brings back a book.

I can't create a spreadsheet specifically for you, nor can email you our entire 900 page list of books we are giving money back for, it a big university, there are a lot of books and a lot of students I can't do this for all of you, it is an impossibility.

Ah yes, and most importantly, I spent a majority of my days lugging books back from our off site locations on carts in sweltering heat, you lazy fat bitch get no sympathy from me. Put those books in a bag and carry them over. Walking is good exercise and believe me, YOU NEED IT!

2) Why are you ONLY paying me this much for this book, I didn't even use it.

Well lets begin with the fact that it is not my fault that you failed your class because you never even took the book out of the shrink wrap. Second, i don't decide the price I am paying you, it is a set price.

You cant haggle with me, I will show you my screen or my list and the price won't change, I am a big business not a sidewalk vendor. If you were buying a hemp necklace from a folding table on the street, then you try to haggle. If you are selling your books back to a large corporation, haggling will get you nowhere.

3) Can i leave these books with you, I don't want them?

No, if I wanted your books I would have given you money for them, I am now not going to be responsible for throwing away or recycling the books that you don't want.

4) Are these the only 30 books you buyback? Why can't you give me a full list?

No we buyback thousands of books dumb ass, some of you even have 30 books in one semester. This is our top 30 list, see in bold print where it says "The bookstore will give you CASH for these titles and THOUSANDS MORE!"

Another part of buyback i that we have competition in brick and mortar and online, so we have to aggressively market buyback on campus. We put up fliers on all the public bulletin boards (which have way too many rules). We email students, and we get the final exam schedule and pinpoint fliers to the big books and exams and flier outside of these exams. This is actually very easy except when the students get pissed. Things were going smoothly until I went to a business exam where students were receiving $84.25 back for their book. I was handing out fliers and telling them the amount when a woman grabs a flier crumbles in after she reads it and yells, get off of my campus, you shouldn't even be here!

Apparently, she bought the entire campus and as an entity contracted by the school to provide a service to students she felt I was not allowed here. And this powerful woman who bought an entire college campus apparently failed her business exam!!!

Buyback and finals sure brings out the best in people!!

Antonella and Sanjaya

Just when I thought I would be free of ever seeing Antonella and Sanjaya ever again as Idol winds down tonight they had to feature them. They even showed Antonella with her obnoxious full of herself friend walking around saying how great they are.

Just as my rage had subsided they have to force these three asses back on us! I am full of rage once again it all came rushing back!

Fall Down Go Boom

A few posts ago I mentioned that I escaped my first rollerblading outing without incident. Since then I have gone rollerblading quite a few more times, usually on weeknights, and I have not had any problems. As a matter of fact I was getting very comfortable on my blades this year.

Today, I drove to my old store and parked my car and strapped on my Rollerblades. I headed for the bridge and down to the river for about an hour skate. I had my sunglasses on and my I-Pod blaring (oh yeah and no pads or helmet on). I was skating along nicely, but it was very busy down by the river because it is so nice out. About 500 yards up the path I see a group of people walking slowly but there appears to be enough room for me to go around them. as i approach I enter into the other lane to pass and see a man running with his dog.

CRAP! I am alongside this group of tourists walking calmly along the river and have a man walking with his dog approaching me on the other side, I try to speed up and jut barely get around the tourists and seem to avoid the running man, but unfortunately I get tangled in the dogs leash. I try to free myself but I loose my balance and head down right side first with left leg tangled with a barking dog. I hit the ground hard and I am like roadkill as the tourist walk around me without asking if I am OK. The man comes running over to claim his dog as I dislodged the leash from his hand as I fell. He asks if I am okay, and besides a few scrapes and probably some bruises I am fine, just a bit embarrassed. I wish I had seen this man before I went out for the pass but I didn't and now I am laying in the dirt on the side of the path bright red and somewhat battered.

The worst part is that I am still a 20 minute skate away from my car, so as embarrassed as I am I have to get back up on my skates and head back to the car. I skate tentatively for a few hundred yards and start to think that this is ridiculous. I hope I don't fall again but I was doing well so even though I fell down and went boom, I will be OK. I returned to my car without incident and took off my skates. But the worst part was still to come, I had to get home and clean out my wounds, as I scrub the gravel out of my knuckles with an alcohol swab and mutter and scream in pain at I decide that maybe I will take the rest of the week off from rollerblading. Or at least some time, because the threat of falling again and needed to clean out my wounds is a little bit unsettling.

No Seriously I Hate the Train

My train ride home from work was horrifying. I am not sure if it was the T or the fact that Spring ceases to exist in New England but I waited in three very warm stations and rode three trains, two of which had no air conditioning. I waited for 10 minutes in K Square for the first train and got on with about 200 people, it was warm on the train but at this point not unbearable. What was unbearable was the fact that a man was blaring his music from a good ole fashioned 1980's boom box. I can deal with I-pods blasting in peoples ears but seriously keep your music to yourself.

So I witch to the Orange line to get home, and as I wait on a very hot platform and watch two trains go by I am furious because all I want to do is get home and take a nap. I get onto the next train which wreaks of god knows what, and it is close to 100 degrees. I actually get a seat but I begin sweating immediately and need to stand up in the middle of the floor, where I continue to sweat. I am now three stops from home and pretty much soaked through my dress shirt and the conductor comes on and says that this will be the last stop for this train and all passengers will need to get off.

Damn the T, why does this always happen? So I get off three stops before home and debate taking the walk, as a train approaches I decide to take the train I have already paid for and require this system to complete its job.

I just want to know where all of this money I pay every month for my pass goes to? From the time I moved to Boston until now a single fair has gone from 0.85 to 2.00, and the system seems to be worse, except for these cool plastic fare cards, that only work half the time. So, I do seriously hate the train!

I Win!

I beat the book, for a long time I was worried that I wasn't going to conquer The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano but six weeks (yes six weeks) after I started reading the book I finished. I know you are thinking that after six weeks I would have been able to finish War and Peace, but I really am a slow reader unlike what the people on my jury thought.

It was a hard read but I did enjoy the book. The Savage Detectives is a sprawling novel that is divided into three major sections. The opening and closing sections consist in the diary, written by one of the main characters García Madero, who along with fellow poets Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima set out to find the Mexican poet Cesárea Tinajero, who apparently disappeared in the Sonoran Desert in the 1920s.

The middle of the novel is very dense and it covers numerous characters over several continents and they narrate their experiences and interactions with the main characters over a twenty year period. I am sure that everybody will have a difficult time navigating through these page, however, these stories create a creative and incredibly well written novel.

Now, I am going to read something much easier to tackle I may even re-read some more David Sedaris, I was thinking about Blink by Malcolm Gladwell but I think I need a reading break, and a great laugh.

Full Moon??

There must be a full moon today because the customers were absolutely insane! I am serious I had two customers that must have been off of their meds, or were just plain nuts. I mean approaching Bible Lady nuts, yes like eating pages of the bible crazy.

1) A woman comes in and asks to see the GMM, I ask her if I can help her with anything because the GMM is busy with another customer. She says that she wants to buy a class ring and I tell her that any of the associates at customer service can help you complete an order for a class ring and I bring her up there so O can help her with the order. About halfway through completing the order she begins asking for the GMM again. O is understandably confused and since I was trying to fix the phones which inexplicably crapped out for half of the day, I asked her if I could help once again. She really wanted to talk to my GMM so when M finished with her customer I called her over to finish the order with Crazy McCrazypants!

I stand beside M, and help her with the order just in case Ms. Crazypants looses her mind and starts throwing things, I also assign a few tasks to the girls away from the desk to get them out of harms way. As we work on her order, we reach the part where we need to know her ring size. Most people don't know this off of the top of their heads so we have a series of rings on a big ring in all of the typical sizes. We explain that oddly enough your shoe size is a good place to start, but to also keep in mind that in the summer your finger may swell slightly due to the heat. She says she has a size seven foot, but she inexplicably shoves a size 5 ring on her finger. M looks in horror as this woman's finger turns all sorts of unnatural colors as she tries to pry this ring off of her finger. She goes to a size 5.5 and decides that it was too loose even though her finger was turning purple due to limited blood flow.

After changing her mind 8-10 times she decides to go with the size 5. M tries to talk her into a slightly larger size but she doesn't want the ring to fall off. Apparently, not loosing the ring was more important than not loosing the finger!!

2) G calls me out of my office because he has a customer who wants to make a return but it is past the 30 days. He fails to tell me that the customer wants to return electronics that she bought over two and a half years ago. Why me? I have to explain to this woman numerous times that our refund policy is 30 days and not 1000. I understand that she does not need these items and I am very impressed that she still has the receipts. However, only one of the items has not been discontinued. She kept wanting me to give her cash back for all four items and I explained that it was simply not possible.

I decided that the best I could do as a compromise, which was more then any other one of my managers would have been authorized to do was give her a $90.00 store credit for the one item that had not been discontinued. I was very friendly about this and explained that I was bending all of our rules for her on this opened electronic device. She was still furious and demanded to speak with my boss. HAHA, I love when people ask to do this! I explain to her that I am the boss, and she looks at me and tells me that there is no possible way that I am the boss, she has underwear older than me.

Ummm, GROSS! Ma'am, I am the person in charge of the store at this time and I am making an exception to my policy in and giving you close to $100.00 back on a gift card (merchandise credit). She responds with, "I hate you punk ass kids who think you can rip off your elders without even batting an eyelash." Now, I can feel the blood rushing to my face and I am forcing myself to bite my tongue because what I really want to do is actually be a "punk ass kid" and throttle her. But I keep my calm demeanor and explain that I can give her this credit now or if she likes I can give her a phone number she can call to speak with my regional (who will not give her any money back). She mumbles mean things about me under her breath and opts for the money instead of the phone number. I process the return for her and kindly tell her to have a wonderful day and to enjoy the weather.

Deep down, I hope she trips and breaks her hip, but I hope she does this after she is off of my property, because I don't want her to be able to sue me for falling down. Or maybe she will be run over by one of those punk ass kids on Rollerblades, and then they will steal her merchandise credit for 100 bucks.

Oh the joys of working with the public, every once in a while you end up with the nutty ones, and man oh man today did I ever end up with the nutty ones.