Friday, April 15, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
The store is half-empty . . . or is it half-full? I'm reminded of Dalí and Buñuel's Un Chein Andalou: In the springtime, the couple is half-buried in the sand and insects devour them.
Me? My nose got runny. Spring in Phoenix. Snot bubbles and dribbles don't bother customers any more than blood.
People keep asking about what day we're closing for good. I had to make a DON'T KNOW WHAT DAY THE STORE IS CLOSING! sign for my name tag – a few people laughed, most still asked.
Customers quibble over every discount – wanting to know the percentage off of each item. They're asking for items to be taken off the transaction when the total is too high. Or they have their children “decide” what to put back if it all costs too much, and of course, the parent forces the child to keep something “educational.”
And they keep saying how sorry they are – a never-ending funeral! And some have just now heard the news about Borders.
The homeless guy who sleeps standing up still comes, propping an open book on an empty shelf, pretending to read.
All the fixtures have price tags. Even the shelves. Pre-fab, particle-board crap slapped together by bookstore clerks that will fall apart before your get them home. Get 'em while they last!
All we're out of Harry Potter – entire kids section squeezed into a pair of shelves up front.
And the computers are gone . . . no more looking up things
They've managed to do one last ridiculously complicated coupon to give customers an additional 10% off.
Frankly, I'm sick to death of discounts.
More people ask when our last day is, they don't notice my tag. They don't believe me.
A guy bought a heavy metal boxy thing for ten bucks: “I don't know what it is, but I like it.”
All products are looking like crap to me.
A family of bikers bought Hunter Thompson's Hell's Angels and Sonny Barger's book on motorcycle safety.
An old guy ransacked the history section. Most sections are melting away and getting jumbled.
Rumors about stores – not ours – closing this weekend . . .
Later, I dreamed I was working in the new, improved Borders of tomorrow. It looked like a Las Vegas casino with lavish décor, plastic plants, costumed dwarves, and live animals. And no sign of any products or even shelves. I was called to an office where I was given poor grades for my customer service.
Borders customers are like the inhabitants of Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, going haywire when their master computer dies .
A sign of things to come: “Our bathrooms will be closed as of 3-28-2011.”