...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

the anatomy of a really great bookstore shift...

(Dude, I said SHIFT, not doody...)

  • "I'm looking for a book..."

Less than three minutes in! A new high score!

  • Hey! We're playing the Mamma Mia soundtrack! Score!

I love you!

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do!

Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains

Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains

Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains

  • Oh, look! Silly teenage boys, giggling at the pictures of boobies in the sex position books. You so silly, teenage boys! Have fun sharing that first porn magazine!

Who am I kidding? They're getting more at 17 than I even imagined at 27.

  • Did I mention Zombie Haiku?

I can see through you

Literally through your mouth

and out to the street

  • "I'm looking for a book on how to make money as a sex worker."

Let me find that for you as I pull down my minimum wage!

  • Hope you're OK, Lady Who Violently Threw Up in the Bathroom Stall Next To Me.

NOT a highlight of a really great bookstore shift.

In fact, there was, indeed, actually shit, too.

  • Are we really playing "Raindrops Keep Falling On Your Head"?



I bet something like "Close To You" will be next, just to spite me!

Wha? Wait a minute! Is that...




  • Did I mention Zombie Haiku?!

Blood is really warm

It's like drinking hot chocolate

But with more screaming

  • "I'm looking for a book..."

I see you're back.

No wait. You're not the first person I helped!

  • Sure, I'll cover a break in cafe!

Sorry if your iced mocha latte sucked, dude!

  • Mmmmm! Zombie Haiku!

Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains

Brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains, brains

Artificial hip?



Blogger Michael said...


Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger cat said...

God! Don't you hate when people always ask you to help them find a book? I mean, really! Don't they have eyes of their own? Can't they SEE? What the hell is their problem!

If there is an actual zombie haiku book I must get it for my hubby. However, if this is just an example of your awesome writing and humour skills, then you MUST write a book for my hubby (and that guy above me).

And lastly. You're just posting these bookstore life things to torture me as I deal with my own life changes and decisions and issues, right? You're taunting me with your superior "I work in a bookstore and I am sooooooo happy" life as I sit here and wonder if it's really going to be ok with th bank if I don't pay my mortgage for a while just so *I* can be soooooo happy?

Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger A.C. said...

Love the violently ill woman in the stall next to you. I work in a building with lots of lecture halls and that happens to me (as in, someone barfs in the stall next to me) at least once a week when school is in session. Yuck.

Does your bookstore have a transient camp? Our local bookstore has a little coffee shop attached and all of the mentally ill transients hang out there all day. It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't wasted, swearing or fighting all the time.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

I just tweeted the shift out of this post because the pacing of it was so perfect that I was laughing in anticipation of the funny that was about to reach my eyes as I scrolled down.

You are awesome.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle W said...

And I of course being a loyal lapdog, followed backpacking dad's tweet right on over. I must admit you had me at Zombie Haiku.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zombie haiku is in such high demand these days.

And is the sex worker book a "how-to"? Is this a difficult field to break into now?

Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:10:00 PM  
Blogger Manager Mom said...

As a mother, you get used used to barfing and shitting. But only for YOUR OWN KIDS. Yuck, yuck, double yuck. I fervently hope that you have a good janitor on staff at the store...

Thursday, July 17, 2008 1:57:00 PM  
Blogger Bunny said...

I was seriously thinking of applying at a bookstore after we move to S.C. since I won't be able to take the S.C. bar exam until next July. But you make it sound so very glamorous that I'm not sure I'll make the grade. Though I do have copious poo and barf cleaning experience as a SAHM for 7.5 years.

I can see myself answering "I'm looking for a book . . ." with "Well you sure came to the right place!" in a happy sing-songy voice meant to cover the obnoxious sarcasm but not really getting it covered. I'll be fired the first day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Great haiku. Would you like me to walk in and ask for something in a size 9?

Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

You are the Compleat Scatological Woman, with the doody/duty, and now the shift/shit; versatility, thy name is DKG. . . ;)

And, let's see. . .

I'm looking thru you.
Where did you go? I thought I
Knew you. What did. . . (rats)

Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:47:00 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

I have previously expressed my joy over the Zombie Haiku to you, my dear. However, as classic as the "hot chocolate" haiku is, I must point out that the middle line has eight syllables.

I will not stand for this.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 2:48:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

I'm intrigued by Zombie Haiku. Is this an official recommend?

Thursday, July 17, 2008 3:02:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

That's too much shit to deal with in one night. I don't know what this Zombie Haiku business is...and honestly, that's okay with me.

And uh, don't lie. It was Seth again, in the books with the sexual positions.

I know how he is...can't take him anywhere.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:07:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Sounds like a fun saturday night when there's absolutely nothing else to do and you don't have money for a movie. Hang out at the book store and bug the employees. =D

Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:40:00 PM  
Blogger Summer Rose said...

Girl you need are real vacation! And one that doesn't include someone vomiting in the stall next to you, sorry hun you had a rotten night at work. It's a good thing I'm not into Zombie Haiku, the cover is too awfull for me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was hilarious!
Hope you didn't have to clean up the bathroom before serving that latte'... :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008 5:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you think I'm going to break down and buy that zombie haiku book... well you would be correct.

BUT if you think I'm going to start peppering my daily conversation with them... well, you'd still be correct.

HOWEVER, if you think I'm going to spend the remainder of the summer teaching them to a 6 year-old so he can recite them to his classmates and teacher as he starts first grade... it's possible you know me too well.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

DAMN!!! I'M #18

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:18:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

I need to point out that on your previous post, we all reverted to those giggling teens. ;o)

Also, I'm looking for a book...

And because I'm watching VH1 and the tribute to the rocking mothereffin WHO, who told Jack Black he could sing? that person needs to be shot and/or licked by ugly people!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008 8:20:00 PM  
Blogger April said...

OMG I hate stupid people. And people who can't control their vomitting until they get home. We were in a bookstore a few weeks ago and someone did the whole "I'm looking for a book..." and my husband, who is not good at minding his own business, said "No shit??" right out loud and within ear shot. I had to cross my legs to keep from peeing my pants.

Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

That so rocked. Did I mention during our little love fests that I did a two-summer term at a Waldenbooks back in HS? Me and a 40-yr-old guy (who I've now become) battling it out over whose mixed tape to play on the PA. Good times.

BTW - the CD you missed in my contest was Eric Clapton's "Money & Cigarettes."

Friday, July 18, 2008 2:42:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

You know those summer reading list books that schools force our kids to read during their "vacation?" Buy like 400 copies of each and display them prominently in the front of the store. Then we won't ever need to ask you a question!

Friday, July 18, 2008 9:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zombie Haiku is brilliant! I like the blood and screaming one.

I hate customers. I work in a job that involves customers, as well and I seriously, SERIOUSLY think people are getting dumber. It's the hormones in the chicken.

Or the zombies eating their brains.

Friday, July 18, 2008 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dude! Don't go hatin' on The Carpenters!

Friday, July 18, 2008 8:29:00 PM  
Blogger Lollie said...

Hi. Totally new here...just found you through Mind of a Madwoman. Definitely coming back - the Zombie Haiku made me laugh out loud.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 8:36:00 AM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

You are seriously only 27? Wow.

Was that your implication?

Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

And you know, if the 17-year-old boys were gettin' all that much, they wouldn't be hangin' out at B&N, giggling at the sex-position books. . .

But then, I never knew you when you were 27. . .

Sunday, July 20, 2008 7:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! oh, too funny, diff gal.

Hope you had the bestest weekend evah!! :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008 1:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ryan Mecum said...

Hi. I wrote Zombie Haiku. Glad you liked my book. I'm posting to defend my haiku that one of your readers thought had 8 syllables in the second line. "Chocolate", although one could easily argue does have 3 syllables, in this case only has 2 syllables. There are two reasons for this:
#1 Zombies tend to slur.
#2 The author incorrectly pronounces it as "choc-late" and his editor apparently does too.

More arguing could ensue over this matter, but I'd prefer that we all just be friends and agree that the world needs less poetry about romance, and more about dead people eating people. Your blog is lovely.


Monday, July 21, 2008 1:04:00 AM  
Blogger Bogart said...

How often do you have to cover your face in laughter or embarassment when some of those people come in?

Monday, July 21, 2008 8:51:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

If I did, truly, get the author of "Zombie Haiku" to drop by and defend his poetry, I think my life is finally complete.

But I still argue it's eight syllables. At least from a literary standpoint. For spoken haiku however, since all the zombies I've met do, indeed, often slur their words... I'll concede.

Plus, as you said, the world needs less poetry about romance, and more about dead people eating people. As a fan of all things zombie-related, I agree wholeheartedly.

Monday, July 21, 2008 9:49:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Michael - Hope you enjoy the book as much as I (and pretty much everyone I work with at the bookstore) do!

Cat - While I am a big, big fan of both zombies AND haikus, I most definitely can not take credit for the art shared here. These are the glorious works of the author of Zombie Haiku, and I suggest rushing out to your bookstore and picking one up for your husband. To save you the grief of having to ask a bookseller you're looking for a book, I'll just tell you now that you'll find it in the humor section.

a.c. - I often say our store's bathroom is a crackden. I'm not familiar with what goes on in the men's room, but the women's room, I swear, feels like you're walking into a Quentin Tarantino movie some days. Some days, you just cross your legs and pray for the end of your shift. We're in a mall, so the number of transients isn't that great, but we do have some routine squators who make the days into evenings interesting.

BP Dad - You're totally more awesome, Captain Pimptastic!

Michelle - Thanks for following Captain Pimptastic's suggestion and stopping through. I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of Zombie Haiku!

Kateanon - It's in high demand because, when it comes right down to it, zombies are awesome. I daresay they are moreso than sex workers. Unless they were zombie sex workers!

Manager Mom - Good is a relative term in the case of our janitor. What is good is that it's not me. What's also good is the speed at which I ran out of that bathroom as soon as I got my pants back up!

Bunny - Definitely apply at a bookstore. It is nothing but glamour and celebrities and the random stalker!

Mike - Some nights, that inquiry would definitely break up the monotony, and we'd all look at you a little weird, trying to figure out what was going on, for we are a bit slow in addition to being sarcastic!

Des - If I ever have a business card, I am putting that scatological bit on it!

ftn - Oh, you will, indeed, stand for it, mister. You will stand for it while quivering in fear as zombies approach lumber slowly toward you and your succulent, juicy, three syllable counting brain!

Alice - An absolute must read!

kimmy - You know what's cool about Seth? I have faith he's gonna grow up and not be some Creepy McNastysten, sitting around in his house (or his mom's house), stalking ladies like some overgrown 15 year old.

Heather - You never know what you're in for when you punch in for a shift!

Summer - I hear tale of these things called vacations, but eh, some shifts are quite relaxing and definitely no stress. Plus, I get to read things like Zombie Haiku on the slow nights!

Chexmate - I dashed out of that bathroom like I was being chased in a horror movie!

M - The book is well worth the money. Also, it's been well worth the time my fellow booksellers and I have spent shifts quoting from it.

Bee - But FIRST!!!!!!! in my heart!

Bee - Licked by ugly people? Wasn't Dave Grohl on that tribute? Because I don't think he's ugly, and I'm ok with the licking...

April - While we'll never admit to this, we sometimes mutter these same sentiments under our breath. Maybe.

Always Home - I would pay cash money to get to bring our own music to the store for an evening of 'bookseller recommends' playlists. How lucky were you! So speaking of mixtapes, since I was so clearly close to what you were showing, do I win part of a mixtape?!

Cocotte - I'll concede, that would make things easier, but the schools don't give us their summer reading lists, so we spend a lot of time looking up stuff. Mostly for teenagers who have waited until the last minute to get their reading done.

Meg - It's definitely the hormones in the chicken.

Chag - I'm so down with the original Carpenter's version, but this was some horrible, horrible cover!

Lollie - Glad to have you stop by and comment. I appreciate it.

RS - In my mind, I'm a fully functioning, highly sexed 27 year old.

Des - I assure you that when I was 27, I wasn't as enamored of 17 year old boys. Now that I'm 40 though, those 23 year old boys are kinda cute.

Katie - It was a well done weekend. Hope yours was the same!

Ryan - As a fan of all things zombies and choc-late, I concur. Additionally, I like car-mel, so if you ever write Zombie Haiku 2 and want to work that tasty treat in, I'd definitely continue to support your two syllable style. The book is a big hit at my bookstore, where we quote from it regularly and suggest it to shoppers always.

Bogart - Sometimes we laugh right along with the customer. Other times, we barely make it back to the breakroom before we unleash whatever terror we must to get through the remainder of our shifts.

FTN - I think I'd maybe be up to arguing the three syllable thing with Big Foot, because I'd like to think I (or you) could outrun a Sasquatch. Zombies? Well, I love them, but I am NOT messing around with zombies!

Monday, July 21, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

You let Seth out again didn't you? :)


Monday, July 21, 2008 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! Stumbled here from Eternal Sunshine of an Empty Mind and I'm so glad I did. I can't believe I found another bellydancing bookstore-working chica.

yeah, working in a bookstore is glamorous, alright. Someday I'll post about the guy in our store who took off his clothes in the bathroom and tried to make a break for the door naked.

Don't forget the 300 people a day who yell at ME because the book they want is out of print, unreleased, or available only from the author. Like I'm hiding it from them. I mean, I do hide books, but only ones that suck.

Monday, July 21, 2008 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Stacie - There's a little bit of Seth in everything I do!

Stella Blue - Ah, the people who don't understand why a book that's eons old isn't readily available, or why we don't have every book ever written on the shelves. I love them. And what a coincidence we seem to have this much in common! I'm glad you found your way here and left a comment. I'll make my way over to your place soon, too!

Monday, July 21, 2008 1:38:00 PM  

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