Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bookstore Ambitions

This morning I’ve been reading blogs about what it’s like to work in a bookstore. That’s because I’ve applied for a job as a bookseller.
This is the third time I’ve applied to this particular store, which is located a few miles from my home. I figure its proximity might reduce my driving stress once winter arrives...if I ever get the job.
Honestly, I thought that hiring me would be a no-brainer for the bookstore manager. I’m presentable and articulate. I have related experience and a proven work ethic. What’s not to like? The first time I applied I was on high alert for a few days, expecting to be called any minute for an interview. Really, why did they they even let me leave the store after I’d handed them such a stellar application? It was all I could do not to look behind me on my way to the car. I would not have been surprised to see an employee chasing me through the parking lot: “Please, come back! We need you now.”
The real surprise unfolded when absolutely nothing happened: no chasing, no call, and no interview. I got up my nerve and asked a bookseller about the hiring practices of the store. She was quite chipper and encouraging when she said, “We discard our applications after a few months. By all means, apply again.” I went home and completed my paperwork for the second time, put it all in a folder, and handed it in the same day. I saw no point in playing hard to get.
Nothing happened. Months passed, and I knew that my application and resume had again hit the trash can. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t even been given a chance to interview, but after two tries I let my bookstore ambitions go. Until now.
I know someone at this bookstore, which is how I heard a few days ago that they were hiring. Should I try again? Why not? Maybe the third time really is a charm.
Back in January, my hard drive crashed and many files were lost. My resume was one of them, and so I redid it. I completed the job application—again—and took both documents to the store. I made it safely to my car afterward, and so far my phone has not rung off the hook. At least I’m not surprised.
And that brings us back to the blogs I’ve been reading, the inside scoop about what it’s like to be a bookseller. They keep secret journals of stupid customer questions. They have to clean the public restrooms. The worst assignment in the store is magazines, because people are pigs. Kids run wild. The same in-store music repeats for months until you want to bash in your skull. People try to read entire books without leaving the store.
Do I still want to be a bookseller? Yes. I will let you know if it ever happens.


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