Monday, August 4, 2008

Regular Grunts


Yesterday was a particularly slow day in the music department of Booth and Noble. Besides the few stragglers who wandered around for hours and then didn't buy anything (a common practice), there were only a few sales of any worth.

So, instead of describing some of the society's rejects that shop at Booth and Noble, I think I might describe some regulars that are in the store every Sunday (the day I work).

The first I shall call Carl. Carl calls Booth and Noble every Sunday and requests a CD - his taste, judging from his purchase history, ranges from the hardcore (Aimee Mann) to the more subdued (Aimee Mann). He also likes Jazz and showtunes.

Carl has the habit of bending very close to the CDs as they are splayed out on the rack and thumbing through them quickly. He also has a rather large rump. Imagine, if you will, a large-rumped beast bent over a the waist, eyes three inches from the surface of the CD, scanning as quickly as possible. He will scan through most of "his" sections (Pop Rock - M, Jazz, Shows, and sometimes Blues) as quickly as possible. I don't know what he's looking for, or even if he can see it when he scans that quickly.

Carl also ends every conversation with me with a high five. This started about 8 weeks ago. He holds up his hand in the air, and as much as it depresses me, I cannot leave a man hangin' like that. So I slap him five.

I hate to encourage this behavior, because I do not believe that people who do not know each other should give each other five. A firm handshake would also be ok, although shaking the hand of an employee who just sold you an overpriced CD is a tad odd. But the high five - really? Is this a new thing, a "fad" as the kids say? Is it possible that I've missed out on the new cultural greeting?

What an interesting experiment: go into various stores and high five the people that work there. Here're my predictions:

Wal-Mart: Total high five back, if the person who works there hasn't already given up on life.
Old Navy: Possible high five. Only high five if the headsets are not working.
Famous Footwear: No high five, due to the fact that their backs are completely curved over.
Target: High five with an added "Whoop! Oh-yeah" because everyone knows that people that work at Target are clinically insane.
Abercrombie and Fitch: No high five, and a withering look of disdain.

Carl does not, I imagine, work at any of these places. He might work in a Hobby Shop. Or maybe in a factory making toys for overprivileged children.


lil1inblue said...

When I worked night audit, there was a bellman that would always throw his hand up for a high five when I saw him. I would half-heartedly give him five. He would then spend the rest of his shift trying to get me to go out with him. And by "go out," I mean "go to bed." Apparently the high five was some sort of mating ritual for him. I guess this really isn't relevant to your story, but that is my high five experience.

book wench said...

i have a coworker that high fives, and he will not let you leave him hanging. i've tried. he'll follow you, hand held high, waiting for you to break down and slap his hand. it makes him look like a deranged nazi. he even gets customers to do it. why do people want to slap our hands? isn't slapping bad?