Monday, December 15, 2008

Bad Day at Work

So yesterday was pretty awesome. Today... was not. Well, today was actually pretty OK until I got to work.

Ok, so maybe I'm a wimp, but work today was NOT HAPPY.

First, I did not have breakfast this morning and had only a quick small bowl of granola before dashing to work. I had a steadily growing headache throughout work, maybe from lack of food or stress or both. And I had a bruised knee--I don't know where the bruise came from. This wouldn't be so bad except for shelving books on the lower shelves is usually made easier by kneeling down, and even if I didn't put pressure on the knee its one of those bruises that hurts when you just bend your knee.

And it turns out that my supervisor wasn't there. She hadn't mentioned to me that she would be gone, but maybe she's sick or something. (Along with failing to mention she might be gone, she also failed to mention why :-).

Supervisor Gone. This means that for all but the first hour of my shift I'm the only employee in the childrens book section to help customers find stuff. And shelve things. And oh, my were there things to shelve. There were 4 v-carts( filled with books (double stacked) waiting for me when I got to work. I shelved all the books on one of them and took the empty v-cart to the back room, to find that another big cart had just come up from recieving, nearly all of it childrens books. So I filled up my v-cart, and another as well, and decided the rest of the books would just have wait in the back room, so there.

So I'm shelving like a madwoman and helping ALL the customers in the childrens section (usually more than half would be handled by my supervisor, who usually stays at the desk and therefore they go find and ask her) when the Full Time lady who works in the Religious Book section comes with a customer.

"Where is the Eclipse book?"
I told her where they should be. Then the customer asked her, and then she asked me, which book was the second in the Twilight series. I had never realized until that moment that I didn't know. (I know Twilight is first and Breaking Dawn is last, but I don't know if Eclipse or New Moon comes first. Well, I didn't then. Now I know its Eclipse, then New Moon... I think. Actually, I've forgotten already. *facpalm*)

When I admitted that I did not know which book was the second in the series the Religious Book Full-Time lady gave me a YOU ARE A VERY BAD PERSON (Who Hired This Idiot?) Look. "You work in this section," she said, looking disgusted, complete with wrinkled nose and tightly-pressed lips. "You should know these things."

So then I felt like an idiot and a Bad Employee. And also very frustrated and defensive--I've never before been asked what order the books go in (all the squeeing fangirls seem to know it already), I've never been told its something I have to know, and anyway, I Hate Those Books. (My hatred of those books has only increased after working in a bookstore. Gah.)

A bit later a guy comes looking for a boxed set of the Twilight books. The computer says we should have six in the store, which is usually a safe number. (One is a Very Unsafe number. If the computer says we only have one copy of a book, that just means probablyhopefullymaybe we have it.)

So the computer says there are six in the store. I look on all the shelves where we keep the Twilight books... we have all the books individually, and special editions, and books on CD, but no boxed sets. I went to the General Book desk to ask the Full Time Worker there if she knew where they were. Her answer was very clipped and impatient, with a definite edge of "You should know these things yourself... who hired this idiot?" To it. Heading back to look again at the Twilight Shelves I ran into one of the general book student employees and asked her if she knew where they were. She, at least, was very helpful, and even kind of took over the customer for me so I could get back to shelving.

So I'm trying to shelve the Massive Piles of Unshelved Books crowding around the Childrens Book Information Desk, dealing with a headache and a painful knee, helping all customers doing their Christmas Shopping both in person and on the phone, feeling rather stressed when Religious Book Lady comes back with another customer. I was on the phone helping a customer, but she waited loomingly while I finished up the call.

"You have all the v-carts in the whole book department at your desk. You just can't do that, others need the carts too. You can bring one of the big shelving carts back here or something, but you have to make some v-carts avaliable for everyone else to use," she said, leaving almost before I answered her with a very timid "Okay."

I'd forgotten that most of the v-carts were upstairs on the textbook floor, being used for textbook sellback this week. But the other general book employees in the backroom had seemed totally fine with me using the v-carts.

Bring a big shelving cart back to the childrens desk? Was she blind? I wouldn't want to have to maneuver it all the way through the shelves to get it back there, and there would be absolutely no room to get through to the cook books with another shelving cart at the desk.
I chose the v-cart that seemed to have the least number of books and squished and balanced them as well as I could onto the (very small) shelving cart we keep by the childrens desk. I dashed around shelving and helping customers and got another cart empty and brought it to the backroom. The cart I had emptied before was still sitting there, and another one I hadn't been using was next to it. I had all the v-carts in the department and everyone else needed to use them? Liar. I am stressed enough with finals, thank you, it would be much nicer if I could not stress about work too.

Well, anyway... the rest of my shift continued in much the same vein. Then the girl who works in childrens book after I do was ten minutes late, as opposed to her usual five minutes early, which I was kind of counting on. Well...she was not a full ten minutes late, but since she immidiately got busy doing helpful things I didn't actually see her until ten minutes after my shift was supposed to end.

So, yeah. Bad Day At Work.

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