The Services We Provide.

I am the manager of a large chain bookstore, the good one, not the one that sucks, and in my tenure there, I have been asked a number of questions that seem a little extreme.  It is not unusual to have someone ask for a copy machine to copy pages from a cookbook or an article from a magazine, and in my lifetime as a bookseller, I have been asked for everything from goldfish to unleavened bread.  True story.

My bookstore, Let's call it the M&J, is a little bitty store in a little bitty town, and when we first opened, many people were confused as to why on earth anyone would need that many books.  If I've heard it once, I've heard it a thousand times, "You people surely do have a lot of books," or my personal favorite, "This is the biggest libary I ever seen."

I have counseled people who just lost loved ones, either through death or through divorce, I have listened to people who had just received devastating health news about themselves or a loved one, and I have helped people choose a new diet, a new tattoo, and a new baby name.

But there's a new trend lately that I'm seeing, and it's widespread.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, my somewhat rural customer base has decided that the M&J must be the go-to place for all information about their fancy new gadgets, and they pretty much assume that my staff and I can help them configure, setup and operate these shiny toys.

I recently helped an earnest young man on the phone set up a new facebook account.  He assumed (and as it turned out, rightly so), that since we were a BOOKstore, we would know about faceBOOK.  I talked him through the setup process, but balked at giving him my information so he could friend me.  A girl's gotta draw the line somewhere.

The very same evening, I got a call from a woman who asked for books on the iphone.  She had a pretty new one, and as she relayed it to me, she was having trouble texting.

I dutifully walked to the iphone books, determined to help her.  As I was asking a series of smart sounding questions, she seemed to get more and more confused.  Finally she said, "I know HOW to text.  I just don't know what these texts that people are sending me mean.  What's LMAO?  What's TTYL? "  Hmmm.  At that point, I walked her through using that crazy thing called the interweb to look up a text abbreviation chart.  Her praise of me and my bookstore was unsurpassed.

Unsurpassed, that was, until a few days later, when I helped a sweet little old man who was quite likely a peer of Thomas Edison to set up his ipod touch on the store's wireless connection so he could check his email.  He was expecting some sort of very important email from his girlfriend and needed to get to it ASAP.  He, too sang my praises, and came back a few minutes later to let me know that - Good News! - his girlfriend was going to be able to meet him in the store for coffee a little later after all.  Their plans were up in the air a bit because she was unsure if she would be able to get a ride.  He hoped that once she arrived, I could come meet her, too, because of how nice and helpful I was.

And these are just a few of the services we provide.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Pin It button on image hover