Yesterday at work I had an experience that I simultaneously hope is my future and hope is never my future.
An author came by to sign his book. This is a part of the book-tour thing I didn’t know about; authors go to bookstores not to read or meet people, but just to sit down, sign the store’s stock of their book, and then leave.
I also didn’t know that the publishers have relationships with freelance professional minders in every metropolitan area: folks who know the area, know its bookstores, and shepherd authors between all the bookstores they’re supposed to visit. That sounds like a really neat job.
Anyway, this author comes in to sign his book. I have heard nothing of this. Neither has my assistant manager. But hey, signed books; it’s all good. I go to find his latest book on the shelves.
We have two copies.
They try to play it off as a good thing, because it means it’s selling, right? I don’t tell them that according to the database, we only ever had three. Fortunately, his previous book just came out in paperback, which is really where the money is in mysteries, and I manage to dig up a dozen copies of that. Still, it was a little awkward.
Later in the shift, I reached a watershed moment in my retail career. I am now a purveyor of filth; a smutmonger; a corruptor of the public virtue. I sold my first porno magazine yesterday. Playgirl, to be precise. The customer was very particular about the magazine being in the plastic (which makes a certain amount of sense, I guess), and was very eager to get any back issues we had. Unfortunately, our adult backstock is meager.
It delighted me that I got to put it in a brown paper bag.