Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ok, so I just barely posted. But now that I've had the job two weeks, I have some things to say about it... pros and cons, mostly.

-Books. Nuff said.
-Employee Discount. (20%off ; 10% off textbooks) I must remember that it is generally a good idea to NOT spend my whole pay check at the place where I work.
-Employees are allowed to check books out from the store, as long as they're returned in saleable condition. I have taken advantage of this-I've checked out and read two and a half books.
-ARCs. For the non-book-nerds out there, ARC stands for 'Advance Readers Copy', or an uncorrected proof. These are copies sent out to book sellers/reviewers before the book is released. (Random fact you don't care to know: ARCs are made out of cheaper materials than the published books, but are actually more expensive to make because they're produced in smaller quantities.) Our supervisor showed us the shelf of ARCs and told us to take our pick. So now I have the new Robin McKinley (which won't be released for another couple months), the new Terry Prachett (whose books have been highly recommended to me but I've actually never read one... I find it amusing that the first I'll read is one that has not yet been released) and another book that looked like it could be interesting.


-Customers can be... annoying. They get frustrated with you if the store doesn't carry the book they want (I don't make the orders!), they leave their drinks sitting around on the shelves (this happens more often than you'd think!) they pick up a book, carry it around for awhile, and then shelve it somewhere else Completely Wrong.
-I'm still figuring out where on earth everything is supposed to go. Sometimes it doesn't really seem to have much rhyme or reason--its just where things are.
-In order to take the job I had to change a class to 8 am. I don't like having to be to class that early.

Long time...

... no post. Sorry to whoever might possibly be reading this.

My big news lately is... I got a job! Two weeks ago, actually. I've been kinda busy since then, and haven't had much time for computer stuff, so thats why I didn't share this sooner.

The Full Story
Ok, so I am seriously so very excited about this job. Really. And I want to tell all of you ALL ABOUT IT. So... here I go. I'll try to make it a bit like a story, but I'm not sure if it'll be any good ;)

So there were two motor homes driving home from the foreverlong trip--dad took the big one to the lake to boat for a day before coming home, and the small one driven by mom going straight home. It ended up that I was the only (unmarried) kid who came straight home with mom. My excuse for coming home was that I needed to start looking for a job at school before the start-of-school rush so I could actually get something good.

We got home late on the third. I wasn't very helpful cleaning out the motor home because I was looking at the jobs on the school employment site. Most of those that I saw I wasn't really enthusiastic about--alot of food prep, custodial, and receptionist jobs, along with one here and there requiring certain qualifications that I couldn't even come close to. Then--General Book sales Juvenile Literature. I've been wishing for a job in the bookstore since before I started school. It said one of the job requirements was an enthusiasm for children's literature... I could fit that. It said that completion of a class in Juvenile Lit was required... I was signed up for one next semester, could that count? But... it said that the hours were NON-NEGOTIABLE, bold caps. My class schedule didn't fit the hours.

I continued looking.

I found nothing that I was as interested in as the General Book job... of course. After looking for a long while online, it was suggested that I drive down to school to look around since I'd have to go to Aunt Jill's anyway.

I looked at the jobs posted in the employment office, and they weren't anything different from what I'd seen online. There was still that General Book job, though. But the hours were NON-NEGOTIABLE. I went to look at the job board in the bookstore, and there were some things there that I hadn't seen in the Employment office. Maybe I could work as a cashier... it would only overlap my schedule by fifteen minutes. Could they possibly work around that? Hmmm...

Back down in the employment office I asked the guy at the desk about the hours in the bookstore. He said that I wouldn't even be allowed to have an interview if I couldn't fit my class schedule to their hours. So that wasn't going to work.

I went down to the computer lab to print out a copy of my schedule so that I could look at it while I was looking at the hours for the jobs posted. But while I was online I thought, why not see if I can change anything in my schedule around? Maybe I can squeeze it around to make it fit.

The three classes interfering with the General Book job were Physical Science (a University Core Requirement), Intro to Photo (A Visual Arts Core Requirement), and Judiasm and the Gospel (a religion elective that I could take another semester). I looked at my options for the Physical Science class, and the only openings were at eight in the morning (of course). I'd chosen my afternoon class specifically because all the reviews on said that the professor was very fun, funny, helpful, and made class very interesting... and I had a bit of a hard time getting to my eight o'clock classes last year. I looked at the reviews for the 8 o'clock professor. The reviews were less enthusiastic, but positive. Did I want the job, or the funny professor with an afternoon class more? The Job, definitely.

The Judaism class I dropped. I want to take it, but I have plenty of time left in school.

However, the only time that the photo class was offered AT ALL was the time I was signed up for. There simply weren't any other options. And anyway, I probably should have taken the class last year. The VA department might make difficulties for me if I drop it.

Did I want the job or the class more? This one was much harder... but I decided that I wanted the job.

After the shuffling around of my schedule, I went back to the employment office. The only requirement listed on the job posting that I didn't fit now was the completion of a class in Juvenile Lit. When I asked about it, the lady at the desk said, "Oh, that would just be nice, its not really a requirement."

So I had the screening interview, which I swear was just a test to see if I'd actually read the job listing. All the guy did was read down it and ask me if I was able/willing to comply with all the requirements listed there, so it took less than a minute. They handed me some papers to fill out and told me to take them up to the office in the bookstore, where I could schedule an interview.

After filling out the papers I went up to the office and handed my papers to the girl at the desk. She put them in a smallish (but not small enough) pile of other applications (for the same job, presumably.) After glancing at my application, she said, "Oh, they're actually doing interviews for that job right now. Do you just want to sit down for a minute and I can ask them to do you when they're done with this last one?" I told her that would be great and sat down.

I hadn't exactly bargained on having an interview that day. I would have dressed a bit nicer... but at least I was in my favorite shirt (which is button-up, and therefore niceish), and this way I didn't have a whole lot of time to get myself all worked up and nervous.

Only a couple minutes later a boy came out of the room behind the office, all smiles and dressed very nicely in a collared shirt and tie. He looked like he felt good about his interview.

The door closed behind him. The desk-girl got up and knocked softly on the door and opened it. She gave whoever was in there my papers and told them that I was there waiting, and I was invited in.

Inside were two older ladies, both with grey hair and bookstore lanyards and papers on their laps, including my application which the desk girl had given them. They looked nice enough. They asked me to sit down, and then to tell them about myself. I tried to sound at least a little interesting, but I'm not exactly good at talking about myself, so I kind of petered off after a short while. Next, they asked me about my favorite books. Then they got an earful. I told them that my favorite author is Robin McKinley (they nodded knowingly) and that I'm really excited for her next book that will be released soon, but that King of Attolia is my single most favorite book and it is Full Of Amazingness. (Well, not those exact words...) one of the ladies said that she'd never read King of Attolia but she had sold it alot of people. I then proceeded to tell them how the whole series is Full Of Amazingness. When I was done, one commented to the other, "Well, she can sure do a good sales pitch. I think I'll have to read those now." I was about to start on the Amazingness that is Diana Wynne Jones (they hadn't asked me another question! So that meant that I could go on as much as I wanted until they did! hee hee!) but I was stopped with a question. (Darn. I had so much more to say for this one!)

They asked me about picture books I liked. I had a bit of a harder time with that one, but I came up with a few that I like, including the Invention of Hugo Cabret, which doesn't really count but they seemed impressed that I knew that it had won the Caldecott.

They told me about what I would do in the job (shelve/organize books, answer customer questions, etc.) and asked me if I had any questions. I told them that the class I'd have to drop to fit their hours was a class that is required for my major and that I really should take it... what if it was still at the same time next semester? Exactly how NON-NEGOTIABLE were the hours? They looked at my schedule and saw that the photo class would only take one hour out of the shift Tuesdays and Thursdays, plus its a class that only lasts half the semester. They told me that there would be no need to drop it, and that they would be able to work around it. "We know that the first thing you're here for is education, and the job is secondary to that," they said. I had a couple other questions about holidays and time off, which they answered.

The interview ended after that, with us thanking each other (me maybe a few too many times) and me leaving. They told me it would probably be a few days before I heard back and gave me a number to call if I wanted to see if they'd made a decision. I walked away feeling pretty good about my interview.

I went straight to my car after that to go to Jills. I thought through every minute of the interview as I drove and began thinking of all the things I said/did wrong, and what I should have said/done. I should have asked more questions about the actual job, and less questions about the hours. I should have told them more about myself. Etc. etc. etc. I called Shanelle to tell her about everything, because I needed to talk to somebody.

I got a bit lost on my way to Jills but I made it, eventually. I was just telling her about the interview and how it went when my phone rang. It was a University phone number. I answered... it sounded like the desk girl.

"Is this Sarah?" she asked.

"Yes..." I said.

"You just came in for an interview at the book store?" she asked.

"Yes..." I said.

"Well, they've asked me to call and tell you that they'd like to hire you. Will that still work for you?" she asked.

"Yes!" I said.

"Ok, then if it works for you we'd like you to come in for training at two tomorrow. Does that time work?"

"Yes, yes, fine."

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah. I told Jill, who answered the phone when my mom called right then and told her.

The reason I'd had to go to Jills was to pick up Grandpa and Adam. We got in the car (I got to be in the back and not drive... I hate driving.) I called Shanelle again and told her the news. And then we proceeded to talk about books for the rest of the drive home. I don't think either Grandpa or Adam has ever heard me talk that much, ever. (Their fault for not wanting to hear about books, I say.)