Category Archives: bookstore

And Now…. Back to the Show!

Ok.. Lets see…

What number day is it?  …The 8th? …Ok…

What day of the week is it? …Monday? ….Huh…

What month is it? ….. ….March?!?!?!?! ….Are you sure?!?

That’s the typical conversation that goes on in my head whenever I have to write down the date on something. I can’t believe Spring is already here! Honestly, I haven’t even sent out my Christmas cards… (Which I guess I’ll just throw everyone off and try to pull off a “Christmas in July” celebration….)

I never realized that working in retail could alter one’s perception of time passing. I mean, I’m vaguely aware of holidays passing since I have to put up displays and take them down; but overall, time means nothing. Maybe it’s the fact that I have no set weekly schedule so I never know what day of the week it is. (When customers call and ask me what time the store closes that day, I always have to ask them “What day of the week is today” before I answer.) Maybe it’s the fact that holiday displays are up so far in advance that it’s more of a joke in some cases. (For example, I had to put up the Halloween kids books while we were still in the month of August.) Or maybe it’s because customers tend to ask the same questions over and over again so much that I feel like I’m in the movie “Groundhog Day.”

No matter how it happened, it did; March is here. The biggest silver lining to come from this though, is that I can officially start using my vacation days! Since this is my first full-time job, these are also my first paid vacation days. Therefore, I will be paid for hanging out in Seattle, Vancouver, and Whistler! Even though I’ll be gone for 6 days, I’m only using 2 of my 10 vacations days since my regular 2 days off a week can be moved around to my benefit when the need arises. So hopefully I’ll have an exciting post when I get back!

Speaking about posting, I’ll try to post more. One upcoming post will deal with the shaky state of my bookstore. However, life comes first… And if I don’t get around to regular posting, so be it!  😉

Today’s silver lining: Even though I found out recently that I have to do jury duty this month, at least it’s not during the vacation that has been planed for months!

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2010 Personal Challenge

1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up by Julia Eccleshare

As soon as I saw this book, I knew I had to have it. Not only am I certified to teach elementary school, but I am also currently in charge of the kids’ department at the book shop I work at. I love how this book is set up in sections based on intended age level and gives descriptions of each book. After going through the book quickly, I realized that I have honestly read 100 books on the list in their entirety. That simply cannot do. Therefore, I have challenged myself to read as many books as I can in the next year. I’m excited to see how much I can accomplish. “And now, let the wild rumpus start!”

View all my reviews >>

Retail Realities

Before I start my rant, let me just say two things. 1) I love bookstores. 2)Since I can’t get a teaching job, working in a bookstore is my next top choice.

That being said, I don’t think I can work in retail for much longer. Here are my reasons why:

  • The schedule runs from Sunday to Saturday and following week’s new schedule gets posted on Friday nights.  This means that I can’t plan out weekends since I never know if and when I work the connecting Sunday until a day and a half before.
  • During the week, the schedule gets revised numerous times. This is usually don’t without the knowledge of people and no one calls to them to notify them when they are not at work to check themselves.
  • The days and shifts I work change from week to week. I need a set schedule. I like to have routines and have the ability to plan.
  • As booksellers, we are supposed to greet every single customer EVERY time we see them. We are also supposed to push particular books to them, regardless whether we think it’s a good book or not. I’m sorry, but as a customer, I would want to be left alone in a bookstore and not have things pushed on me or have my thoughts interrupted needlessly while browsing.
  • Two weeks paid vacation. Period. I want summers and all holidays off like the career I’m certified in.
  • I only make $9 an hour. This means I make less than $19,000 a year, before tax and medical. People complain that a teacher’s salary is horrendous but a starting teacher in my county makes $38,000 a year. That’s double my current salary and way more vacation days.
  • Customers can be downright mean but they’re always “right”. People think they are tremendously entitled and that everything should be served to them on a silver platter immediately.

I also have some frustrations with my particular store but that doesn’t pertain to retail as a whole. I know I’ll have frustrations in any job and that I have just have to work through them. I just wish I could get some of the perks I’m certified for. The scheduling and vacation time are my biggest frustrations right now. Mostly because I want to see my boyfriend and friends more often as well as take multiple trips. I’m a traveler at heart and I’m getting restless.

Today’s silver lining: Even though I complain a lot, I’m still thankful that I have a full-time job right now since schools still don’t have any openings. Plus I do love my 33% employee discount…  😉

Where Does The Time Go?

I really don’t know how other bloggers have the time to blog regularly. I work full-time (around 40 hours a week) but it’s the kind of work that I don’t take home with me. I don’t have any kids or pets to take care of. I try to see my boyfriend as much as possible but that works out to about twice a week since we don’t live near each other. I maybe throw in one night a week where I hang out with other friends during the week. I don’t really have a “full schedule” like some other people.

And yet I still find it hard to take the time to blog. Maybe it’s because I like to sleep. Maybe it’s because I’m interested in a lot of tv shows and I spend a lot of time freeing up space on my DVR. Maybe it’s because I’m a little obsessed with a Facebook application called “FarmVille”. Maybe it’s because I like to focus on one thing at a time, especially when I’m writing. Maybe it’s because my schedule changes from day-to-day and therefore I can’t get into a daily routine. Maybe it’s because I like my “alone-time” where I just veg out and relax.

I don’t know how bloggers with two jobs or multiple small children can blog regularly but I certainly bow down to them. I will try to be more consistent on writing posts in the future though.

Today’s silver lining: Even though I have to work overtime this week, I found out that I don’t work at the bookstore on Black Friday! Woo-hoo!

The Shoes I Can’t Live Without

I’m not your typical shoe-crazed girl. Sure, I have a good amount of shoes for a variety of occasions. I also have multiple shoes that I have no intention of wearing again (which reminds me that I need to either put some up some eBay listings or make a box for goodwill). Yet the main difference between me and most shoe-lovers is that I refuse to wear shoes that I can’t walk in or hurt. I’m sorry, but beauty does not justify pain. Some might call me crazy or lazy, but I feel confident when I feel comfortable with who I am as well as what I’m wearing. Needless to say, I don’t own any stilettos.

That being said, I do have a pair of heels that I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT!

=D

They are Born shoes from a previous season called Brit. I got them at DSW at an unbelievably low price, even though I would have paid triple for them. First, I love the mary jane aspect. Really, I love anything with an ankle strap since I can’t walk in heels if they don’t have one. Second, it’s a heel but not a high heel. I was looking for a pair of shoes to wear to work and since I’d be standing all day long in knee-length skirts, I needed shoes to be comfortable yet cute. Third, they have a cusion-y (yeah, I make up words from time to time) foot bed. Fourth, the souls are really flexible. Flexibility is important because when a book is in overstock, I must climb up high rolling ladders (think Beauty and the Beast but more sketchy). Fifth, they feel like they were made for my feet. So simply put… I LOVE these shoes! I’ve also gotten a lot of compliments on them. Many people say they like them and that they look like a dancer’s shoe or one inspired by the roaring 20’s. Others just wonder how I’m able to run around (sometimes literally) in heels all day at the store. I only wish I got my hands on them sooner so I could have bought them in red as well… Haha… But that does remind me about something else, I should head over to DSW soon just to keep my eyes out for another diamond in the rough.

I wonder if other people have a certain pair of shoes that they can’t live without….

Today’s silver lining: I own an awesome pair of heels that I can run around all day in perfect comfort. No clouds here….   😉

Caution: Toy Avalanche May Occur

Today I realized why my boss wants me to work overtime this week at the bookstore. There is just so much to do in the kids section. The problem is that our location sells the most in our district. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome that we sell a ton of merchandise. However, we are a much smaller store than most of the other locations of our chain. So corporate sees how much we sell and decides that we need a couple of tons of new merchandise for the holiday season. Yet with our small location, we can’t fit everything. Therefore we are trying to cram everything in and when everywhere is full, they send us yet another truck full of product. It’s a never-ending battle.

This week, in addition to shelving cart-full after cart-full of kids merch, I have to change the appearance of certain sections. Today I changed face-outs of picture books and board books to what corporate wants and tried to make them “pretty”. I love how all my bosses completely trust me to do whatever I think is best in the kids section. For the rest of the week, I’ll have to deal with multitude of toys and games we’ve accumulated . To my annoyance, the kids section is half toy store. Right now, we’ve crammed all that we could on our shelves, piled more on top of the shelves to reach the ceiling, created “barges” (random areas where we pile multiple items on the floor in a group) throughout the store, and we still receive lots of toys and games each day. To make matters worse, corporate has this crazy idea of wanting us to face-out all the toys and games instead of having everything spine-out like how we have it now so we could fit the most on the shelves. If you think about how wide toy boxes are, you’ll see the insanity of it all. I really can’t comprehend how I’m supposed to magically make everything fit. I guess only time will tell.

Today’s silver lining: I’m literally working my butt off at work. With all the standing, walking, climbing, and carrying heavy books, I’ve lost about 10 pounds since I started working at the bookstore in April and I continue to eat some form of dessert every day! Mmmm…