dreadfulpenny: (Argh!)
[personal profile] dreadfulpenny
Brick and mortar bookshops are failing for lots of reasons. The big one, for me, is the horrible attitude and lack of knowledge of the people that bookstores choose to employee. One might not think of Hastings as a proper bookstore, but it has a large book department. It would not hurt for them to employee somebody who knew something about what they were doing. Or, you know, CARED. I went hunting for a book this afternoon at Hastings (because I had trade-in credit) and had to deal with one of the employees. He acted rather affronted that I dared to interrupt his conversation with an acquaintance, and then had no knowledge whatsoever. I asked him if memoirs were absorbed into the biography section (which is stupid, by the way) and his response was "Well, I'd think that they were. They basically ARE biographies." They aren't, and that was a ridiculous statement. Furthermore, he told me that the book I was looking for doesn't exist. Really?

I'm so frustrated. I try to support bookshops when I can but it's hard when I have experiences like this one. Why should I drag myself out of my house in poor weather, navigate the hideous afternoon traffic (seriously, the trip home was the most stressful fifteen minutes I've had to deal with in a long time) and subject myself to the horribly incompetent employees at a shop that smells like mildewy socks when I can stay in my own home, order the book I want, and PAY LESS MONEY? Nine times out of ten, whatever I'm looking for is available for my Kindle anyway, so I can even have it right away. If there's a new release that I simply MUST read, I don't even have to get out of bed to get it.

Date: 2012-05-13 01:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devilwrites.livejournal.com
Ah, Hastings... I used to work at my local one for a spell.... fortunately for the one I worked at, the book people were book people. I'm sorry your local one doesn't do a good job of doing such.

Do you have similar problems @ Barnes & Noble?

Date: 2012-05-14 04:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whitecrow0.livejournal.com
Many employees don't know their stock anymore; they're not trained to know. And current society/parenting seems to emphasizes etiquette (or compassion).

Date: 2012-05-14 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emerald-ibis.livejournal.com
I wouldn't expect them to know their entire stock :) But he couldn't find it in the computer and claimed it was out of print.

And current society/parenting seems to emphasizes etiquette (or compassion).

I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. Are you saying something about me, or the employee? :) Either is fine, I welcome discussion of all sorts.

The employee, by the way, was an older man. He was conversing with a friend of his about some function at their church. He seemed bothered that I asked for help. When I said something about knowing what one is doing, I was referring to the fact that he didn't know where memoirs were shelved in the store. If he didn't know, he could have asked the manager.

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