Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, January 26, 2014

Garbage Girl

For five years, I worked in a bookstore.
The best of jobs.
For a writing/reading addict like myself, the most perfect of jobs.
In the years I worked there, I don’t think I brought home a single paycheck.
Does that reflect badly on me? I know Husby shook his head more than a few times . . .
My duties at the store consisted of (in no particular order): de-boxing, labelling and shelving, organizing, entertaining children, making new flannel dust cloths, receiving, ordering, cleaning the bathroom, decorating the window, answering the phones, smiling till my dimple showed, cashier, and security.
And it was all fun!
All of it.
I tried hard.
I did.
But, sometimes, despite my best efforts, I made mistakes.
Case in point . . .
The store had just gotten new phones.
Units that clipped to your belt.
Okay, I’m notorious for leaving the phone wherever I happen to be when I finish a call.
Call it a weakness.
Back to my story . . .
AND we had just gotten in a shipment of new books.
My duties were clear. De-box, apply price labels and shelve.
Oh, and collapse the boxes and haul them to the dumpster out back.
All was going well.
Then, the phone rang. Main console. I reached for the unit that was clipped to my belt.
That should have been clipped to my belt.
That was not clipped to my belt.
Panic did not ensue. I'm stronger than that.
That was reserved for AFTER I had done a complete and fruitless circuit of the store.
Oh, man!
I carefully retraced all of my steps.
I had been to that shelf. And that one. And that one. And that . . .
Oh. Let’s face it, I had been to. Every. Single. Shelf. In. The. Store.
Sigh.
That phone wasn’t around.
The only other place I had been to was the dumpster.
Oh, no.
By this time, the phone had long since quit ringing.
I had my co-worker dial again, from her phone.
While I stood out beside the dumpster.
Yep. The garbage was ringing.
I’m sure I don’t have to describe to you what happened next.
But I will . . .
The agitation of said garbage as I swam through, looking for one little phone.
The up close and personal interactions that should never be up close and personal.
The reek.
Then the having to stay at work for six hours after my little diving experience.
Working in a bookstore.
An adventure.
On so many levels.
All part of the job . . .
Once a week, Delores of Under the Porch Light, issues a challenge. Six little words.
Use them or abuse them.
This weeks words?
windowdimpleentertainagitateflannel and dumpster
Which did I choose? Use or abuse?

12 comments:

  1. You used them, and, very well at that. Another great story. Anything else interesting in that dumpster?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A LOT of interesting things. Of course, most of them probably wouldn't have been as interesting once they were cleaned off. And completely visible...

      Delete
  2. Excellent USE of the words! I was thoroughly entertained and I would hope that you learned your lesson after that experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally did! Never, ever use a phone. You can tell how that stuck with me . . .

      Delete
  3. I always wanted to work in a bookstore. But this gives it a different spin, for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you thought working in a bookstore had something to do with books! :)

      Delete
  4. Dream Job. I do almost everything you described but at a job I am ready to be done with. I enjoyed reading this. Great story.
    Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you've spent time in the dumpster in the name of working, you know it's time to quit! :)

      Delete
  5. Wonderful story! I was hoping your phone wasn't in the dumpster, but ... at least you found it - I guess that's a sorta-happy ending!

    Great use of Delores's words. Hmmm. How does she come up with them?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very creative use of the words, but I have to say it...I'm SO jealous of you working in a book store. I applied for jobs to do exactly what you did and was turned down every time. Apparently one needs "qualifications" to take stuff out of boxes and shelve it. Loving books and reading isn't enough it seems. Huh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had an 'in'. It was my best friend's store!

      Delete

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