Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Borders Rant #1

I haven’t done much as a writer the past few weeks. To fund my writing career I'm working at Borders Books & Music as a supervisor, and recently as the point of contact for Educator and Business Services (Corporate Sales). This takes up most of my time and energy these days and it’s stressing me out. Working retail during the holidays is not my idea of a good time, and the brunt of the season hasn’t even hit yet. Can’t wait till it does…

Customers (in general) are so demanding and rude. It’s gotten to a point that I'm genuinely shocked if a customer is polite to me or my co-workers and thanks us for our help (and means it).

We have thousands of titles in our store, and they expect us to know every single one of them AND have automatic radar to where it’s hiding, even if it’s not in the section it’s supposed to be. They even expect us to know books that are not and have never been carried in the store.

They expect us to know what all of the book covers look like. (“I'm looking for this book… I don’t know the title or the author, but it has a blue cover…”).

They expect us to accept returns on books or DVD’s without a receipt, or receipts that are months old. One woman wanted to return a book because she didn’t like the ending! We’re not a library!

When we’re re-shelving and straightening sections of the store, we find erotica and sex books shoved into random sections – oddly enough, these are most found in the religious section and the kids’ section. I found a knife one day lying on the table in the kids’ section.

This list could go on for days. Next time I write about Borders, I want to write about a nice, friendly customer. I hope I don’t have to wait too much longer for that entry…


Nicole Johns said...

Hi Anne,
Thanks for your comment on my blog. I added you to my other blog's blogroll ( but blogger is being stupid and wouldn't let me download the app for the Purge blog. Thanks for getting in contact with me! I'm always interested in what other Mburgers are up to. That's really cool about your book. :)

Working retail sucks. Period.

I'm curious, and if you don't mind sharing, who is your agent?

Anne Greenawalt said...

Hi Nicole,

I also like to keep in touch with other Mburgers. It's such a great network to have.
My agent is Maya Rock from the Writers House agency in NYC. She's been great so far - she's helping me make edits right now and our thoughts have been very in sync. Did you have any trouble finding an agent for your book?


Anonymous said...

I hear ya'. I work in customer service at a hotel and deal with rude, obnoxious, idiots all time. I don't understand how people can be so ...... disrepectful.
It is not always and there are days I want to just walk away. I'm hoping that maybe my writing allows me to do that one day. (LOL)

Anne Greenawalt said...

Hey Mark,

I have that same hope! I'm going down to part-time now, to have time to write and do writing-related things, so that's a step in the right direction.

Good luck with your writing! Feel free to comment on here any time you want to talk about your writing.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anne,
I read about you cutting down to part time to be able to be 'creative' a little more. I am not moving from full to part time exactly, but I am trying to cut back my duties a little to concentrate on my book and my writing.