Wednesday, 1 February 2012

When I arrived at the bookshop

yesterday afternoon the staff member on duty had forgotten to get the chairs from the store room. The chairs were needed for the knitting group.
         "Oh Cat! It's Tuesday isn't it? I have been thinking it was Monday all day. Mind the shop! I will go and get them now."
She rushed off with a shopping trolley in which to carry the chairs and I stood behind the counter hoping the 'phone would not ring, hoping nobody would want to buy anything or ask a question I could not answer.
This "selling books" bit is frightening, especially if you know nothing about the "selling" bit. It is not the first time I have done it - there was that famous occasion when someone wanted to know if I knew anything about books. What would they want to know today?
Of course someone wanted something almost immediately. "The book you ordered? What was it called? Yes, it is here on the special orders shelf."
          "The programme for Writers' Week? Yes, that's it."
          "Oh Cat, hello - I'm looking for the sequel to...."
          "I want a birthday present bought that? Then I can't. What else do you think he might like to read?"
         "What's the name of that book...?"
         "Where will I find...?"
Oh come on! Hurry up with those chairs!
         "Cat, can you tell...?
         "Cat, who wrote..."
         "Which one should I get...?
         "Holding the fort Cat? Can you tell me...?"
I have managed to answer everything and, wonder of wonders, the 'phone has not rung.
          "Ooh, a new assistant... I am looking for this book with the pink striped cover and..."
The last comment comes from behind a trolley piled with a stack of chairs. I take careful aim and hit her with an unattached ball of wool - just as the 'phone rings.
If I could reach the bolt on the top of the store room door then I could go and get the chairs!


jeanfromcornwall said...

Oh how you make me wish I could still be there in the bookshop! I so loved the off-centre questions we would get. As for the lady who wanted that book which had a pink striped cover - by the time we had established to her entire satisfaction that it was This Book she was looking for, it would turn out to have had a plain blue cover always.

widdershins said...

Cat shows great restraint!