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Ramblings of a Mad Bookshop Woman

So yesterday was one of those days where I was like ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life?’ No, this time I wasn’t hanging tiny toy trains and cars on a shelf, but dealing with the beginnings of a 4-day super sale.

I would have thought the set-up was pretty simple. Put up the signs and … well yeah, just put up the signs. But oh no, putting up signage can be an all-consuming mindfuck of a task when you have too many chiefs and not enough indians (are we still allowed to use that phrase?)

Let us rewind roughly 30 hours to yesterday morning. There was signage strewn all over the shop floor like a sign factory had exploded and I casually enquired, ‘what can I do?’ Can you guess the response? Put up the signs.

So I grabbed some signs and put them up. 30% off cook-books one read; 20% off children’s books, 25% off all books, I know: ALL BOOKS. But no. There was no 30% off cook-books, nor 20% off kids books or even 25% off all books. But I had the signs, ‘why would head office send us the signs if they didn’t want us to use them?!’ I wailed. 

No response. Turns out it is just 20% off all books, and we didn’t have any signs that said that. Go figure. So what do we do? Just fill every bloody ‘paddle’, (just a side m

oment here, I was asked to fill the paddles. What they fuck are paddles?! Yes, I know. Turns out paddles are just a fancy-arse way of saying plastic sign holders, and the term ‘paddle’ is only used by those who are trying to sound more important and ‘in-the-know’ than newbie Assistant Managers) with Super Sale signs. But do you think we had enough signs? Nope!

And then guess what I did? This will shock you. I went into the toy section and put up the toy signs. Aren’t I naughty? I had no idea that I wasn’t allowed to put signs up in the toy area because they toy area is ‘not your area, you only do fiction,’ to which I replied, ‘I was just putting up signs.’ Fuck. You’d think I have envaded France with my team of sign putting-up nutjobs who just want to TAKE OVER THE WORLD one toy section at a time.

Then I was even more naughty, and grabbed a pile of cardboard card thingys that you slot into the shelves just incase the customer didn’t see the giant signs, but also needs small bits of card sticking out as well. But oh no, I grabbed a pile of already folded ones. NO Hayleigh – what were you thinking?! Clearly someone had taken the time to fold the card, and here I was, bold as brass just swooping on in and taking whatever I wanted. And then I couldn’t even put the cards in right. Turns out there is a card-placing structure that has been around for centuries, used by Roman Gods to showcase their godliness and god-forbid I change things up a bit.

So I gave up and went out the back.

But when I came out the front, someone had touched my precious stands that I worked 5 hours on the day before. So I’m standing there thinking ‘what the fuck am I doing with my life?’ if I can’t even put cards in a shelf or merchandise a stand properly. Clearly I had a troubled up-bringing and my mother and father never taught me the basics of how to adult.

But can I just show you my stands? I’m quite proud of them.

This one is the fashion stationery stand. Can we take a moment to appreciate the hanging things? I hung those. 

And this one is the gifting stand. No doubt when I get back to work on Sunday, the gifting stand either won’t be there or will no longer be a gifting stand.

And that my friends was that. I am happy to report that the Super Sale only lasts until Monday and then I get to do it all over again for Father’s Day! Hurrah! Let’s cross our fingers that I know how to hang signs and put books on a shelf, otherwise our father’s day sale will be pretty fucked.


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Bookstore Manager by day, reader and writer by night.
I enjoy:
reading books,
touching books,
stacking books,
writing books,
talking about books,
other people who work with books,
sniffing books and photographing books.

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