Bookselling Part 1: I Love My Job

When I'm not parenting, stripping wallpaper or blogging, I spend approximately 15 - 25 hours a week in the role of "valued employee" at one of the largest bookstore chains in the world.

Okay, in the universe.

Now, without mentioning my exact place of employment (and thus risking the threat of non-negotiable early retirement), the names of two mega-bookstores might immediately spring to mind. Yes, both begin with the letter "B"...nope, that's not the one I work at...yeeeessss, thaaaaat's the one.

And to be honest, I truly do love working there. I do. No, really...I love my job and would probably spend 15 hours a week there even if they didn't pay me. In fact, I was spending about 15 hours a week at the bookstore which is why I eventually sought a job there. A bit circular, I suppose...but along with already spending a goodly chunk of my time in the comfy chairs sipping coffee, I was also dropping scads of money on lovely, lovely books (and coffee); so, I asked the folks at the bookstore if they wouldn't mind giving me a 30% discount - you know...just because - and the manager was nice enough to offer me a discount on some books in exchange for my time spent alphabetically shelving other books. So in fact, it's all a bit like volunteer work. Well! Now don't I feel good about myself!

To further illustrate how much I enjoy my job, very often in the course of mutual sussing-out interviews between myself and potential mommy-friends, the question will arise, "Do you work, or do you stay home with your kids?" (look for future blog entry: Henny Youngman's Guide to Etiquette and Loaded Questions) and more often than not, my response is "No. No I do not work." And then, "Hold on a sec...why yes, yes I do work!" And by this, of course, I mean that I am employed in some time gobbling activity away from the house and which nets me an income - which is what the other mom was getting at as opposed to determining whether I spend my mommy-time actively enriching my children's lives with papier mâché (look for future blog entry: You're Not A Good Mommy if You Can't Knit a Scrapbook). Although, as much as my temporary forgetfulness may be a testament to my easy fondness toward what others ruefully call "work", I recall one time when I wish I would have more immediately remembered that yes, I do "have a job" after a hissing woman accused me of being "one of those stay-at-home-moms with nothing better to do" - and just because I suggested having Girl Scout meetings in the afternoon right after school. That's a long story. (Look for future blog entry: Hissing, Rueful People and The Girl Scout Promise: Faith in Action.)


I love my job.

I love everything about it. I love being surrounded by the tall, dark faux-wood shelves of lovely, lovely books. I adore the sultry scent of the freshly-brewed coffee breezing out from the café and through the aisles, seducing my caffeine obsessed synapses into a perpetual state of roasty toastiness. I am absolutely besotted with the refined palette of deep green carpet beneath tone-on-tone walls of linen-white and olive, eggplant and plum all creating an ubermellow backdrop as from a dream sequence in The Martha Stewart Story. And the house music…a little urban jazz, a bit of guitar-jangling earnest-young-man pop/rock, a trio of folksy chicks, the ubiquitous world-beat drums…just like listening to my favorite membership supported radio playlist without the annoying interruption of membership drives.

It really is a spa-for-the-soul setting.

Next blog entry: More of Why I Love My Job, What I Do At My Lovely Job and Examples of My Good-Natured Tolerance Toward the General Public

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