John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Adventures in retail II

Just in case any of you had the impression that the life of a bookseller is all glitz and glamor, let me tell you what I did today. But first, a little background. A couple of weeks ago, while I was participating in a project to completely reorganize the Science/Philosophy/New Age aisle, I found a book that had slipped behind one of the shelves and remained there undetected for no less than four years. (We could tell how long it'd been there because it had a type of label on it that we've not used since early 2001.) I thought of it merely as a curiosity, but the GM took it as a sign that we needed to check behind every shelf in the store in advance of the inventory that was scheduled to take place this coming Thursday.

So yesterday and today, I spent most of my time probing behind the shelves with a long metal rod, in search of books that might have literally slipped through the cracks. And in fairness to the GM, we've turned up a handful of things. I found a two-year-old copy of Anime Insider magazine under one of the shelving units, and a pair of those tiny little gift books that, if the date on the price label is to be believed, have been lurking behind the fiction stacks since 1999. I've also found one pornographic magazine, five Pokemon cards, a lot of shrink wrap, and several tons of dust. Fun.

In retrospect, it's no surprise that the week went out with a whimper, because it started with a heck of a bang. On Monday morning, I was up at my register when I heard what sounded like a voice being broadcast over a loudspeaker. I looked out the window, trying to find the source of the noise, when a police car came racing by, pursuing a small sedan. Looking across the parking ot, I could see another police cruiser coming toward the sedan, which turned down one of the lanes and then pulled into a parking spot. As the first police car slowed to a stop, a Sherrif's deputy jumped out and leveled a rifle at the sedan. The second police car pulled up on the other side of the sedan, and another rifle-bearing deputy took aim.

Over the next few minutes, three or four other police cars came racing into the parking lot. One by one, four men exited the sedan with their hands above their heads, and were made to lie face down on the pavement. Then each was handcuffed and placed into one of the police cars. It was all very exciting, if a little baffling. Why the suspects thought it would be a good idea to turn into a parking lot while trying to elude the police is beyond me. And I still don't know what led to the chase in the first place. None of the local papers had anything about it. Damn our insufficiently sensationalistic news media! As one of my customers that day commented, if we'd been in California, there would have been a dozen helicopters hovering over the parking lot, and saturation coverage on every TV station.

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