September 12. 2000
a couple more pictures from South Street:
Another voodoo sculpture
A parked bike
I like my job at Barnes and Noble. Really. It's worlds better than the job from hell this summer, and although I can't say I like every aspect of the job, most of it is really cool.
For one, there's always something to entertain me. At the job from hell this summer, I was forced to make up all sorts of mind games to keep my brain occupied, but here I am never lacking when it comes to stimuli. The work may be hard, but the time passes quickly, with an endless flow of interesting people going in and out of the store.
The people. Ah, the people. The store is located in a suburb of Philadelphia, where most of the population consists of dot com yuppies, those who drive SUVs and have small children and sip designer java drinks while reading some book that makes them look enormously intelligent and sophisticated. Or we can go for the corporate grunt putting his feet up after a long day of work at the office look, complete with unknotted tie, Wall Street Journal and perhaps a palm pilot or a laptop sitting next to his extra large Starbucks coffee.
A lot of the customers at the cafe have small children. Now, I do not claim to know anything about raising children, other than having been one, but I can tell you that trying to negotiate with a two or three year old child on their choice of pastry for upwards of 10 minutes is unnecessary and futile. The small child would be held up to the pastry case, and choose their selection. I would wrap it up, and about to ring up the purchase when the child would change their mind. The yuppie new age mom would smile apologetically and ask me to get something different. I cannot tell you how many times some variation of this indulgent mom - spoiled child senario has occurred. Now, if I were this child, I would've been told "Tough - you already decided, live with it."
A couple days ago there was this chick who came up to the counter talking on a cell phone. That's not a big deal, the tinny rings of those infernal contraptions reguarly reverberate in the bookstore, but the unusual thing was that she had a friend with her whom she was completely ignoring in favor of this obviously much more interesting phone conversation, and that she continued to talk on the phone while ordering a drink. Yes, she could not tear herself away from the damn thing for even one moment to have any sort of interaction with me, Starbucks peon. I thought it was extremely rude.
There's a small foyer right near the entrance of the bookstore. I observed a man standing there, about to go outside. He had a clear cup in his hand, the kind we use to serve cold and frozen drinks. He was ardently licking the inside of said cup, and continued to do so for a good two minutes. I had stifle my laughter. It was the funniest thing I'd seen in a while.
But for every asshole or idiot or odd person that comes into the cafe, there's always someone who comes in, smiles, strikes up a conversation and treats you like a human being. And that really makes it worth it.
One Year Ago:
all writings, (c) 1999-2000, BRR