I’m quite fucked off. So Tuesday I came in and there was moaning that stock hadn’t been rotated and I’m like, “Of course it hasn’t, we haven’t got much to replace it with”. Then the next thing is that today I come in and literally it’s all been rotated and guess what? I’m fucked if I know what I’m going to do next week when all that stuff has to come off the shelves and be sent on to another store, because unless we get a massive influx of new books the shelves will be nigh on empty.
The other thing is that I spend a lot of time tidying up after people. I can spend hours getting my stock sorted, come back two days later and it’s a tip. New stock has come in and people have just randomly put books on the shelves. The same is true of the shelves on the shop floor. I can spend a good quarter of my time putting books in their proper categories.
The problem is that there’s no appreciation of the reality of the job. So paperback biographies and history books sell, or at least history books sell if people would stop fucking around with my displays. Nothing else sells. There’s always talk about how the gardening and cookery books sell well, but the truth is that they don’t. There have been times when I’ve pulled a set of gardening or cookery books of the shelves, sent them off to another store and got the exact same set of books back two weeks later. So I decided that rotating them made little sense and I’ve probably saved the company money by eliminating the costs of transporting them around. Sports books are the same, I can rotate the same set of books umpteen times.
There’s this assumption that the book section works just as a book store does. Which is nonsense. A book store can call in stock which it’s stock system informs it will sell, or is selling, and avoid ordering stock that it knows won’t sell. We get whatever gets donated which, by definition, is mostly stuff that isn’t wanted so it all just kind of gets rotated ad infinitum unless I chuck it in the recycling in which case it fucks off to online book seller who flogs it for a penny or something.
So I found myself sitting there wondering what the fuck I was doing volunteering at this place.