Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A couple customer stories for you!

Well, it's been forever since I just wrote a post. Lately it's been all about the reviews, which is SUPER awesome. I love getting books and reading (obviously!), and writing reviews is seriously one of my new favorite things to do!!

But, I miss telling stories. I really miss telling library stories, but I don't really have a choice in that matter right now. There is not much happening in the MN library world right now, which is unfortunate because I am a ROCK STAR librarian (and modest, too, right?!) and could do great things if given the opportunity!!! Too bad the MN government is billions of dollars in debt...

Anyway, I thought I would give you some stories from my retail job. Gotta love some customers, right?

In my store, we are trained to give bra fits. This isn't something I love doing, although it is cool to get a woman in a bra that actually fits and doesn't leave her girls hanging down to her belly button. My latest bra fit adventure had a lady trying on pretty much every style of bra in the store. She also had her two rambunctious little girls (probably ages 4 and 6) in the fitting room with her. They were CRAZY!! They both had their shirts off and had the bras on - it was hilarious!!! Anyway, I am frequently asked to come in to the fitting room and give my opinion on how the bra fits. Again, not my favorite part of the job, but hey, you do what you gotta do, right? At one point, mom whips off the bra she is trying on and reveals the girls in all their glory. Note to all women trying on bras - please wait until the associate has left the fitting room...I don't need to see the ladies.

Here is a phone call I received the other day:
Woman on Phone: So, I was just in there on Saturday, and I bought a pair of pants, decided I wanted two pair and then grabbed another. I got home, took the tags off and washed them. When they were drying, I noticed I grabbed a petite, and I am NOT wearing flood pants. Now, I live 4 hours away, and I'm not coming back to the area until July, can I mail them back to you and you can credit my account?
Real Librarian: Oh, I'm sorry that happened!! But we can't do returns or exchanges through the mail, we need to have the credit card they were purchased on in house to credit your account.
WoP: Well, you need to figure out what we can do, then because I am not spending that much money on gas to get there to return these damn pants.
RL: Well, my name is Real Librarian, and if you come back in when you come in July, we'll be happy to do an even exchange or a return at that time, just bring your receipt!
WoP: Unbelievable. I don't understand why I can't just ship them to you and you credit my account!

Well, it went on like that for a little while. Sorry honey - I'm not losing my job because you were an idiot and grabbed the wrong pair of pants. We finally worked something out, or rather *I* figured something out.

And here is another tip for the shoppers out there... We are more than happy to put the clothes that don't work for you away - it's part of our job, we know where it goes, and we have a system. However, we would appreciate you putting the clothes back on the hanger rather than leaving it in a pile, inside out on the floor of the dressing room. That's just rude. Oh, and we don't like your deodorant stains on our clothes, so be careful.

I have to be honest. While I wasn't thrilled to be working retail, I am actually quite enjoying my job. I am LOVING the girls I work with, and honestly the customers for the most part are pretty cool. Plus, my new wardrobe is SLAMMIN!!! =)

I've got a couple reviews in the works!!! Look for a review of Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble and Sunnyside Blues by Mary Carter!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

And the winner is...

Kat Bryan!!!!!!!

Congratulations, Kat!!! I hope you love this book as much as I did!!! I've sent you an email asking for your snail mail address!!

I have to thank Danny at Harper Perennial once again - Danny, you are a ROCK STAR!!!

And thanks to everyone for entering and for reading my blog!! I'll have another giveaway soon, I promise!

WHOOOT WHOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!! Sequence generator was used to pick the winner for this contest:
Timestamp: 2009-04-16 18:17:28 UTC

Monday, April 6, 2009

Review: Ballad of West Tenth Street and Giveaway!!

I have been very fortunate lately to be able to read some great books. The one I am about to review is no exception. The Ballad of West Tenth Street by Marjorie Kernan is a debut novel that grabbed me from the minute I picked it up.

It follows the family of the late rock star, Ree Hollander, his wife Sadie, and children Gretchen, Ondine (Deen) and Hamish (Hames), making their way through the life that their father left behind after a drug overdose. Sadie, a devoted mother, is also quite devoted to her vodka. Gretchen is fighting a battle with some inner demons and has been taken to an institution. Deen and Hames, who are both quite musically gifted are given reign of the house and are free to roam New York on their own.

There are several other characters who are introduced along the way. Brian Brain, a band mate of Ree’s, Cap’n Meat, a bum who lives on the streets of New York with his cat Titus, and the Colonel, a southern gentleman who welcomes the whole lot into his life are just a few of these memorable and lovable characters.

This book took a hold of me from the start and didn’t let go. I finished it wanting more – I definitely didn’t want it to end!!! I felt like I was a part of these kids’ lives, a part of the family, seeing their struggles and going through their trials with them. These people are all so good-hearted, but in a totally realistic way – like they could be your neighbors and friends. I love it when you feel a connection to the characters and the story, there really is nothing better.

I definitely recommend this thoughtful and captivating novel to everyone. In fact, I'm gonna do one better. How about a giveaway?!?!?! I'm gonna give away my gently used copy of this fabulous novel to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post, WITH your email address!!! Yup, that's it! So, leave me a comment, leave my your email address, and I'll pick a winner. Last day to enter is Wednesday, April 15, and I'll announce a winner on Thursday April 16. And, why don't we open up the contest to anyone, how does that sound? Good luck!!!! (p.s. If you don't leave your email address or a way for me to contact you, then your comment will be deleted and you won't be entered. Sorry!!)

Thank you so much to Danny at Harper Perennial for sending me this book to review for my blog!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Review: Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?

I am very happy to tell you about a wonderful memoir called Do I Dare Disturb the Universe? From the Projects to Prep School by Charlise Lyles. This memoir is about a young girl’s struggle through life. She grew up living in a housing project in Cleveland with her single mother and siblings in the 1960’s and 70’s. This book dives into deep issues such as race, education, and opportunities for a poverty stricken class. Some of the experiences she talks about in this book include race riots, the burning of the Cuyahoga River, marching of the Black Panthers, and a murder which happened right outside of her building in the projects.

Charlise was fortunate to have a mother who would do whatever it took for her children to receive the best. She worked a number of jobs to provide for her family, and took advantage of every program the city of Cleveland had to offer in order for her children to excel. Charlise was accepted into, and received a scholarship to a prep school due to a program called A Better Chance.

Another theme of this book is the relationship, or lack thereof, between Charlise and her father, Charles. He appeared once in the book, though the idea of him was a recurring theme. Charles was an absent father, was unable to find work, and alcoholism was a definite part of his life. However, during the time he spent with Charlise, he showed intellect, a strong desire to read and learn and potential to have become something great. Those traits were the ones that Charlise clung to, developed in herself, and used to achieve great things in her own life.

I highly recommend this book to anyone!! Charlise was able to take all of the challenges that she faced growing up and educate others on the importance of race relations, education and several other issues, which are very poignant in today’s society.

Thank you to Gray & Co. for sending me this memoir and allowing me to read and review it for my blog!!

Read the first chapter online!!