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Danni
For the Greater Good
A former coworker made a note on Facebook about the bookstore because we are closing tomorrow. I started to write a response, but it turned into an essay and so I’m posting it here.

Sam, it’s really nice to read a post from someone who actually understands.

Reading this has brought me back to my love of the bookstore and all the good times we had. These past two months of liquidation have been absolute hell. It’s all the stupid customers we’ve ever had multiplied by a thousand and then coming at you nonstop.

At least once every hour we have some customer saying some variation of “I’m so sad you’re leaving” as they walk out with a measly notebook and some pens. I don’t believe any of these customers and I am so angry at them. If you actually liked this store, why didn’t you come in more than once a year? If you actually liked books, why aren’t you buying more?

They pretend to be compassionate as they ask us, “So do you get to keep your job?” and when we say “no” they respond “oh, that’s too bad” before marching out the door. They go on their merry way. I have worked at the bookstore for almost three years and now I’m losing my steady source of income. And I hate that I’m losing my job and I hate that nobody seems to really care about it.

I hate liquidation. I hate the customers who think I can calculate discounts in my head (65% off of $24.95? Get your own fucking calculator). I hate the customers who don’t notice the huge red and yellow STORE CLOSING EVERYTHING MUST GO signs and ask for a job application or ask when our next shipment is or ask where the rest of our kids books are or ask why don’t we have the new book that just came out yesterday. I hate the customers who try to negotiate discounts with me, because $10 for a $30 book is not enough.

But you’re right Sam, we had some amazing times at the bookstore that I’ve forgotten because of the hell of liquidation. These past months have been sadness at condensing sections and moving the back of the store forward and having absolutely nothing left. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to put out the new books every Monday night and do planner changes for endcaps and see kids all excited that we have the Wimpy Kid books. I miss the times when the crazy customers were the exception, not the rule.

I am working tomorrow for our last day of sales, and it will be a sad day. By early afternoon I will be exhausted and frustrated and want to punch customers in the face, but I will try to think about how lucky I am to have had this job and to have worked with some amazing people.

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