Monday, July 4, 2011

Waiting for the Titanic to sink.

So, the place I work is closing in a week. I'd like to say that's the reason I have been bad at blogging, but sometimes you don't have things to say. So why blather on about nothing?

Those of us who work at Borders have a 'social media policy'. Which means we are not allowed to blog, tweet or facebook update about the goings on under administration. To me, it's a sad and hilarious policy. It's going down like Titanic guys. If I write about working during the book apocalypse, that's not going to cause the apocalypse. You can't out-apocalypse the apocalypse.

Maybe I haven't written here because this crap is sucking up my poor fragile mind, and when you think you can't be candid about something, it kind of shrivels up that part inside of you that wants to communicate. Don't get me wrong, I am writing fiction. But slowly. The pathetic thing is that most of the conversations I have these days will somehow always end up being about Borders. I am like one of those old people who can't stop talking about their menopausal leakings or prostate. Seriously, I am the crabbiest, most annoying person to be around right now, as I whinge about how shitty and depressing things are in Clearance Land. And though the staff rock like hell, it is depressing. You're seeing the former means of your financial independence being taken apart and sold piece by piece. You are answering stupid, inane questions. The same ones. Over and over like some kind of End Times robot.
1: Oh! Are you closing? But I thought you were staying open?
2. Do you have a new job yet?
3. Do you know what they're going to put in here? (means the giant emptying gulf of shop space being left behind like the soul-shattering void that once was my employment).
4. Do you have (name of book that we haven't had in six months/a month/ever)
5. I am so sad about this!!! (sadness that I am sure is genuine but I am tired of acting out these scenarios of sad with people I don't know.)

Repeat, with variations, until insane.

Though the other day I found out that Readers Feast was closing too, and the feelings of book-related grief were such that I felt like I had a window into the sadness of the customers who talk to me. And I know they probably do mean well.

Mostly, I am sick to death of talking about it, sick of going around in circles like a fish in a tank that will never be cleaned again. Tidying up the few things that are left. Making everything-must-go announcements. I will miss my friends there like crazy, but I am not going to lose them. I think the place I worked is no longer there. I am so ready for it to close. Then maybe my next update wont be another long pathetic retail whinge.

In other news, I am reading 'The Valley of Horses' by Jean Auel. And 'Beauty Queens' by Libba Bray. Both are very good.


  1. 3 more shifts! You can do it!
    Though I was also really upset about Reader's Feast's imminent closing, but I know the manager and believe her when she says the store will rise once again out of the ashes.

  2. thank you ;)

    I am filled with hope about what the manager said about opening a new Readers Feast. That place is my utopia of the perfect mix of new release and back-list and ambience and independent publishers. It can't die for good. I must work there!



    I'm still terribly sad about this. It seems unfair that Borders is going, while Angus & Robertson (which, at least when I worked there) had inferior staff and was generally less fun to work OR shop at is sticking around. I know A&R have the history as an Australian icon, but it doesn't seem right somehow.

  4. Yep:
    It's so sad that it has to die too. As far as Borders is concerned, I think Redgroup did a rather spectacular job of running it into the ground. Though I do think it's a kind of unwieldy retail dinosaur, something of that size. you can't just fill it with a trillion copies of Jodi picoult, James Patterson and Wilbur smith and expect magic. I don't know if they really got books. I do think A&R's closing announcement will come. Apart from the few that seem to have been bought out.