Saturday, 4 August 2007

Don't put those books on a chair...

Late afternoon husband and I went to a bookstore as we do almost every Friday. It is one of those bookstores with overstuffed chairs and couches distributed throughout so that way I don't have to stand in the aisles to read the books that I have no intention of buying. It also has a coffee bar and tables and cafe chairs.

Usually I go through the bookstore and meet husband at the cafe with my bunch of books and magazines to thumb through. Husband comes back with four books. We sit at the too small table. Husband goes up to get the drinks. I like rasberry-chocolate freezes and cherry-chocolate freezes. In the winter, I like hot chocolate with a shot of coffee in it. Husband likes caramel freezes. In the winter, he likes hot coffees. I usually snag an extra chair and pile the rejects on it. This has not been a problem in the more than ten years that I have been going to bookstores in this area.

A man in a brown suit made his way over to us. He stared at the 14 books and 5 magazines which I had gone through and which were in the reject pile on the chair. "It is against the rules to put the books on a chair," he told us seriously. "The chairs are for other customers to use."

"I don't see a crowd of customers waiting for that chair, but thanks for telling us that," I said. "Are you buying any of those books?" When I indicated that I wasn't, he said, "I have to put them back," and he walked off rather stiffly with an armful.

I don't mind following the rules if I know what they are and if they make some sort of sense. But that rule was (a). one I had never been confronted with before in my entire life of going to bookstores and (b). made no sense, especially given that there were no customers who required a chair. The bookstore was almost empty. There were four other customers in the cafe area; and three adolescent gamers sitting in the overstuffed chairs discussing the idea that the next president has to have both charisma and experience.

The man in the brown suit had a fancy tag by which I took that he was some sort of mucky-muck manager. When he told us he had to put the books back, I couldn't figure out why he was telling us that. We were done with them. It appears to be the habit that most people leave stacks of unwanted books around. If he hates his job that much, he can always go get hired by the human servitude agency where I used to work and find out what real aggravation is. Those were some of my thoughts. I refrained from saying things that I really wanted to say since I don't like cops being called and I do want to go back there again sometime.

Rather baffling it was.

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