pilesofbooks

ReTales: Life Behind the Counter

Most of us have worked in retail, or a service industry, for at least a small amount of time, and if you haven’t you should have. If asked about their experiences most often the reply would be, “The best thing about working retail is the people, and/or the worst thing about working retail is the people.”

As a small business we have an amazing amount of wonderful people we come across, plus the added bonus being able to have in depth conversations that are rare at a box store. (Since I was “most likely to own a bar” according to several of my high school friends it seems Village Books would be a version of Cheers for the bibliophile set.) Some of the best conversations stem from that joint profession in retail and the ability to trade horror stories. One of these surfaced into the middle of a sale the other day when I was thanked for asking about identification with a credit card purchase. We talked about the people who appreciated being asked for ID, those that hated it, reasons, motives, and all the emotion behind pulling out that dreaded DMV photo.

Today’s story came after a nice long discussion about magazines on the topic of, and specifically the magazine,  “Off Grid.”  Everything was jovial until the person refused to show an ID for a credit card purchase………. We’re going to let that sentence sit there for a bit, let it simmer in the back of your mind.  They were so incensed that purchases were thrown on counters, before storming to the door to yell that parting shot. “I’m not showing my ID to anyone because I’m staying off the grid!” At the end of retelling of this story is when we both started laughing. FYI if you’re staying ‘off the grid’ and using a credit card then you’re doing it wrong.

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