Tuesday, March 1, 2011

BookWench: Secret Origins

 “This was the most unkindest cut of all.”

The following is the brief, but harrowing, tale of my worst customer moment in BookWorld. The one question where I walked away and refused to help, sending a co-worker to find the book in my place. This may be the moment when I turned permanently to the dark side. Before I get to the tale, it requires some background about BookWench the person.

I love Shakespeare. As mentioned in the opening post, I have a line of his tattooed on my body, because it's a love I know I won't be ashamed of or abandon. (Unlike most of my relationships) My parents started taking me to local Shakespeare in the Park productions when I was five. I own seven copies of the Complete Works. Shakespeare has his own bookcase in my bedroom. Not shelf, case, five shelves. Are you starting to catch on to my crazy devotion to the Bard?

Therefore questions concerning Shakespeare are treacherous waters for the unwitting customer. I often think my co-workers point me out to the people asking stupid Shakespeare questions just to see what color my face will turn. Most of us in BookWorld who truly love books have a topic/ author/title like this, so a question that would only mildly annoy me would send a co-worker into the whimpering fetal position. (We have a special place in the back room just for that.)

With that firmly in your brains, here is the recreation of the question that sent me over the dark abyss, never to return:

It is lovely summer day in Texas, and BookGirl is standing at the information desk, it is her first summer in BookWorld and she has hope in her heart, two years of college completed and a job she likes. Enter another college-aged girl.

BookGirl: Hello. How may I help you?
CustomerGirl: I need a copy of this book for school.
BookGirl: Alright, what's the book?
CustomerGirl: Umm, it's called something like Romeo and Juliet. I think it's by some guy named Shakespeare. Did he write plays?
BookGirl's brain cannot process the stupidity of the question presented her and she slowly turns and walks away from the customer. She sends the closest of her co-workers to help the offending moron. As she walks silently away, her brain finally gives up trying to understand a world in which a person can make it through high school with no knowledge of Shakespeare's existence. In that moment BookGirl stops, sits down on a stool and puts her head between her legs. In a few moments she raises her head, there is a new, hardened look in her eyes, and a firm set in her shoulders. Thus Book Girl is no more, and in her place BookWench rises. Literary idiots, beware….

BookWench is reading Why We Read What We Read by Lisa Adams and John Heath


  1. I imagine this happening more like a dying Phoenix melting into a pile of ashes. Then a burst of flame, and a new terrible being rises from the ashes. Not like Clark Kent entering a phone booth and Superman emerging.

  2. Dark Phoenix Saga. Part Deux.

  3. I don't think the world is prepared for me to have the full Dark Phoenix powers. Though I would like the magical superpower that keeps your bust perky with no visible means of support.