Wednesday, January 12

Blogger Sacked! Oh My - and a Boo Hoo

Shock. Horror.

Truth is, old Joe Schmoe was sacked for looking like a cunt. Come on: ginger, bearded, John Lennon glasses, and a fucking flannel on his bonce.

For the record, I too once worked - briefly - at Waterstone's. What I learned was that shifting books was like selling shampoo, except that, while being paid the same as a checkout assistant at, say, Superdrug, because it's books you're supposed to have expert knowledge on every tome pushed at the public in the last few years . . . not forgetting the living dead with their interminable telephone enquiries.

I'm hear to tell you: HELL IS . . . WORKING IN A BOOK STORE IN DECEMBER.

The management, on the whole, were exactly what you would expect them to be: arseholes. And, of course, all the arseholes would be bitching about the real arseholes perched higher up the book publishing tree.

One quick memory: Steven Berkhoff came in to sign some books (often authors would be shunted around several London stores in one day); clearly in a foul mood, he called our Manager(ess) a "fucking useless bitch" - very loudly, in the centre of the store. Humiliating, for her. The result for him: his signed copies sat in a pile out back by the staff room, along with any other copies of his latest piece of fluff.

One day a customer asked me if we had a copy. I said, Hang on a minute: not only have I got one for you, but it's a signed one as well.

Other authors who trundled in during my spell:

Michael Palin: annoyingly, as nice (urgh - that word!) as you would expect.

Nick Hornby: personification of dull, as I expected. Smaller than you think.

Zadie Smith: Tall, unkempt hair; looking like she takes it up the arse - regularly. (I have a signed first edition of White Teeth, my friends. So I'm rooting for her to have the status of an Ian McEwan or a Martin Amis in a decade or so. Either that, or she dies young, in a Diana stylie. Either way, it should deliver gravy.)

There you go: the essence of the book trade done and dusted in fifteen minutes. Now go look at your bookshelves. How many of them are really any good? How many are art at all? How many are actually of more use to you than a bottle of shampoo?

So . . . Throw the fuckers away!


posted by DD @ 11:30 


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