I have finally made it through the holidays!
I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I don’t have the stress of finding the right presents, planning the perfect meal or making sure the apartment is ready for out of town guests.
But I do work in a large, high volume, chain bookstore in a major metropolitan area. So I have the great pleasure of waiting on hundreds of people a day who are going through the above stresses and most of the time they ain’t full of Christmas cheer. This year wasn’t as bad a previous ones. Not as many disgruntled customers as we usually have. We made or beat our sales plan everyday so that wasn’t a problem. I think we were better prepared. The buyers in our headquarters (most of whom have never actually worked in a store and therefore are our archenemies) made sure that we had adequate copies of high demand items. The most popular one was the Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth DVD boxset. Oprah featured it twice on her show – once when it debuted, and then again on her Favorite Things show. When she tells people to buy something they obey.
But there are also people that come in the week before Christmas and ask for some obscure children’s book that they grew up with (customers of this type are usually in their 80’s or older) and can’t understand that:
- We don’t carry it. Yes, our store is huge, but we don’t have everything under the sun.
- That book was probably published in the 1930’s and is out of print (unless written by Dr. Seuss or Hans Christian Andersen).
- If it is still available, we can’t get it by Christmas. Because the only copies are in a used bookstore in Flagstaff, Arizona.
But that is all over for now (I actually put up a Valentine’s display on Christmas Eve. I think someone may have gotten a nice pack of massage oils under their tree!) and life is almost back to normal.
I am preparing my home for the New Year’s and all the resolutions and life enhancements that come with it. Stay tuned!