April 28, 2010

My Life, Such As It Is

Monday was hectic, almost frantic. I needed to finish a book and review it for PW, but my daughter needed some assistance on the job front, and at three in the afternoon I got a call from the bookstore asking if I could work a short shift that night. All of which meant I'd need to be done with everything before leaving at 4:45, which now included a shower and hair-dry along with finishing my review and helping with the resume and online job applications.

Because of where we live in relation to the bookstore, if I'm not on the road by 4:45, it can take up to an hour to drive what otherwise only takes 20 minutes. I'm not a happy traffic driver, so whenever I'm scheduled during the week at six or even seven, I leave home early and bring work to a Starbucks near the store (not the one next door, though - it has only two comfy chairs).

I'd forgotten TPTB planned a store visit Tuesday, which meant the palpable stress affecting store managers crossed over onto those of us working that night. None of us wanted our bosses to look bad, and the store had to be "just so." The night ended later than usual and I did something I'd never done: Shift an entire zone in accordance with B&N guidelines. Since I'd worked Kids, that was my zone to shift, and as it's a quite different zone than the rest of the store, it can be intimidating. Shifting - and I think I'm using the correct term - is assuring that each shelf has a mix of books shelved spine out and those shelved with their fronts showing. There are rules regarding the arrangement of hardcovers, trade-size, and regular paperbacks, as well as a rule about the number of books within a set of face-outs. To make one shelf look right might involve shifting three or four other shelves, so it can be a down-on-your-knees kind of process. Kids needed work, and I've had about ten minutes of shifting training, but with some advice I think I managed well. I went to bed sore and exhausted, but excited because I knew I'd be reading Chaos Bites Tuesday.

The next morning, then, after errands, I settled in for my treat by first downloading the book onto my Kindle and then reading it...in a single sitting. By the time I left for work yesterday afternoon, I'd already finished and decided to write my review a day early. I took my laptop to Starbucks, and because so few people read this blog, decided I could help the author more - which I want to do since I'd like the Phoenix Chronicles to live long and prosper - by posting it at Amazon rather than here.

I finished with about five minutes to spare - you can click here to read my review - then went to work. The atmosphere was far more relaxed last night, and when I realized Chaos Bites was in house, I grabbed it and the three books preceding it in the series, and took them, along with a copy of Sandman Slim, to Cash/Wrap. Within five minutes one of my regular customers came in and I sold her the entire Phoenix Chronicles. A little while later and I'd sold my sixth copy of Sandman Slim since the weekend. I short-listed the first three books in Handeland's series, which we were now out of, explaining in my notes that I can best sell the nine remaining copies of the new book if I sell the series as a set. When I work again on Saturday I'll see if they ordered Any Given Doomsday, Doomsday Can Wait, and Apocalypse Happens in the numbers I requested.

A while ago the store manager called to see if I could work again today, but I'd already committed to taking Rachael to the movies. I generally take any extra shift offered, but feel the need for some fun time with my daughter. I don't even know what she's picked out, but we're leaving at two.


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