Saturday, October 06, 2007



It's only three o'clock and it's been a very long day already. A brief vent, because frankly, I'm fuming. I try not to blog about annoying customers because I already have to live through it once, so why relive it again, if you know what I mean. But today...

Dear customers (and one in particular): please do not ask if my prices are set in stone and then insult me by telling me that you would buy many books if all the books you saw for fifteen dollars were ten dollars or less instead. I say politely that I have many books in stock for five and six and ten dollars, and the better books are priced at more than that because they are BETTER. You say you have yet to see a six dollar book (they are everywhere in this shop, in every section...). You then ask how much I'd take for a very nice leatherbound set of Macaulay's History of England. Priced at $125 because it's VERY NICE. Five volumes, really a lovely set. I look it over and say $100 and you're not interested. And when I politely say no when you ask me if you can buy all the fifteen dollar books you're interested in for ten dollars each (because at this point I am fiercely determined not to sell you anything if I can possibly help it), when I politely (and earnestly!) explain that I only give twenty percent off (or more, oftentimes) to other booksellers or to really really REALLY good repeat customers (to whom I often simply give books to), and that I can't pay my rent if I sell my better books for peanuts, please don't further insult me by saying, "Well, you can't pay your rent if the books don't sell at all!" Oh, really. Thank you. I didn't know that.

I have books in the shop priced from two dollars to many hundreds of dollars. And I hate feeling like I have to justify my prices to anyone. But I'm an over-explainer, so I usually give people too much information - as I tell customers who ask, and as I told this person, I do my best to price my books very fairly, and if they don't like the prices, they are very welcome to try and find the books elsewhere for less (Good luck with that being the implication).

Whew. Okaaay.

Maybe you just need to find your:


Now he was chasing whales again,
with everything ahead,
with time as vast as the Pacific,
infinitely rich,
and in his favor.
Now he was more vulnerable,
For the sake of his wife and children,
than ever was any wife of child.
Now his parents lived,
and he had not watched them at their last.
Now he was free to fight and communicate
with the current and that which ran beneath,
and thus to know and feel it,
without doubt
or the necessity of faith.
Now his stroke was smooth,
life in full flood,
the city in motion,
the sun rising,
the river running.

(Guess who?)
How lovely. The Melville theme continues... Thanks, anon.

Re confrontational customers: my equilibrium tips sometimes and I get defensive far too easily. As if I had to justify my life to anyone other than myself... A quiet reminder to relax and let life roll on.
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