Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I was looking at my resume this morning, and realized that it's finally time to remove all my retail experience. It's been 10 years since I worked in a bookstore, and wow, that kind of sucks. Because it means I'll never be a kid again, right?

Not that I'd really want to work in a bookstore now - the hours, the wages, the uncertainty - but I miss the fun of it. The stores I worked in, for the most part, were full of fun, smart, interesting (and sometimes crazy and/or idiotic) people, and I only had to work with a couple of (known) drug users. I miss the customers, too, and that's weird, because I usually don't really feel comfortable talking to strangers (Patrick and I took our first Lamaze class on Monday, and when I saw that the teacher intended to go around the room and get us all to introduce ourselves and to also talk about our pregnancy, I almost asked Patrick if we could leave). And hey, let's be honest, I miss the books.

Anyway, before I remove it forever (unless of course some day I reapply for another bookstore, if any are still around), here's the retail section, which really only includes my last bookstore job. If it doesn't sound all that impressive, I had trimmed it down years ago and removed the jobs I had right after high school. And maybe it's not all that impressive. My experiences at Crown, Bookstar, and 20/20 Video have already been excised because that shit was so loooooong ago:

January 1998-September 2001
Boutique and Operations Manager
Rizzoli Bookstore
Santa Monica / Beverly Hills

Ah, it's not much, is it. My functions, in a nutshell, were: I was a manager, therefore I managed. I had keys, and the combination to the safe. I added up all the money and credit card slips and counted the registers. I made the schedule. I tracked the sales of my boutique items (cards, t-shirts, gift items, etc.). I was amazed at the hand-drawn sales history graphs that my store manager would painstakingly draw out every week. I stood around and joked and talked and fooled around with my co-workers (I made an awesome giant pencil hat for my friend Bo, which I think I still have somewhere, as well as a picture of him wearing it). I shelved books. I read books. I created intricate displays of pens and pins and t-shirts and boxed cards and whatever else we were selling in the boutique. I cleared printer jams. I got parking tickets. I worked on holidays and weekends. I approved store returns (and once, famously, did not approve a store return, and the asshole who was trying to return about $500 worth of books without a receipt made me cry). I met famous people. I helped Eric Stoltz find the one book we had in the entire store on divorce. I talked to the homeless people who wandered in occasionally. I gossiped about my strange co-workers. I made very good friends, and a few enemies. I slept in the daytime and worked in the nighttime, I worked with students, housewives... drug users, artists, musicians, actors. No offense to anybody else but the actors were the most entertaining. Funny, that.

OK, so that's over.

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