Sunday, February 17, 2008


Coffee shop and laptop again today, still far from home. But it has been a fabulous weekend. Hopefully yours has been good as well.

So, I though I would share an experience I had yesterday and base the Sunday Question around it. My partner and I were in an independent bookstore happily perusing the shelves in literary bliss (bet you can relate). Now perhaps this is a new trend in bookstores and I am oblivious, but as soon as we entered the clerk (owner, God Forbid) was all over us, trying to help us. She managed to suggest a book of NASCAR stories for my partner (who would much prefer a Gerald Seymour type of reading experience and has never ever, though American, never paid any attention to NASCAR). Luckily we were rescued with the arrival of a new customer. I find this book on political satire and bring it over to my partner, who I knew would appreciate it. He thumbs through the pages and reads a few selections. Over floats the clerk who suggested NASCAR.

"That is a good book," she says, "May I put it up front for you?"

Pushy, pushy, pushy. Before I could even think, "Back off," she did the most astounding thing. She condescendingly began to lecture my partner and I about how this was an independent bookstore and unlike the big chains, she only has one copy of the book. If we stand there and read it then the book becomes a used book. This isn't a library, you know.

How sad. Buy a book for its cover? Whatever happened to "don't judge a book by its cover?" It would be like buying a new dress and not being able to try it on or return it if it did not fit (my partner's analogy).

So, we were unable to support the independent bookstore. We put down all and any of the books we were thinking of transporting home and after a few minutes of recovering from the shock we left (as did a few other customers who received the same lecture or her busy-body ways). One has to wonder how she has manages to stay in business (we know she has been there for at least five years if not longer).

This all leads to the Sunday Question, which can either be a contemplation or a legit question:

In business or work - are you there to serve and help others or are you there because of another reason (other than to make money)? In other words, what motivates you to pursue a certain career path and does this help with your success in your field or does it hinder progress?

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