Friday, October 16, 2009

On the Border

Borders. Not the best book store going, but not the most evil, either. Every time I need to ask a clerk for something, though, it becomes a nightmare of retail proportions. This day was no different. All I wanted was a copy of Apocalypse Culture for a friend's birthday. She likes studying the dark side of humanity, so I thought she would enjoy it.

The clerk, a bespectacled young man who looked like he enjoyed the musical stylings of Hootie and the Blowfish, walked over to a computer and typed the title in. Of course, he spelled it wrong ... a few times. "I don't think we have it," he told me.

"You might want to spell it differently."

"It's not spelled the normal way?" he asked.

"No. It is."

He shrugged and tried it another way. It was wrong, but close enough to get the title to come up on the screen. Bingo.

"We don't have it in stock," he said. "We can order it."

I wanted to tell him I could order it, too. Possibly even find it new and cheaper on eBay. I just thanked him, however, and told him I would look around instead. He answered with a shrug.

Getting competent help at Borders has been a problem for me for far too long. I'll usually ask for a title of either a book or DVD and will be told to look in some section that has nothing to do with the title, or have it typed into the computer (usually misspelled), or be told no such thing exists (that's my favorite). I don't know what it is with the staff, but that is usually how it goes.

I'm not a fan of big book stores, and this is one of the reasons why. I'll still shop there when I need something right away and nobody else has it, but if I can avoid it I will. Like all book junkies, however, I can't stay out of there. There's something about a book store ... the smell ... the way they look on the shelf ... the possibilities ... the comfort in knowing I will never run out of things to read.

The staff still sucks, though.

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