The days are long this time of year. Often at the store by 8:30 in the hopes of a few quiet minutes to plan my day and get some work done, I find myself downright punchy by four. The onslaught of customers with lists of very large families; receiving hundreds of books from distributors and publishers, shelving said books, selling them and then wrapping them creates days that are constant motion and work. Lunch is often a mythical meal that gets eaten by 5:00.
Yesterday was such a day: crazy from the moment I got there until I left. I felt like I was going a little bonkers, but in a fun way. Laughing with staff over all our attempts to actually get to the bathroom, only to discover our sink wasn’t working (something about the battery in the automatic sensor), made it more fun. The stacks of books that needed to get wrapped, and ribboned, was daunting to say the least. In the midst of this chaos a very nice man came up to the counter and asked for a $35 gift card.
Instead of saying, “Let me get that for you,” I did something I’ve always wanted to. I countered his amount with, “How about making it for $37.50?” My staffers regarded me oddly. The man asked me why $37.50? I told him that I hate expected numbers (which would explain why my alarm clock is often set for 7:14 or 6:48, never on a 5 or 0). Plus, it’s fun to have a gift card in a goofy amount. In 17 years of bookselling I’ve never actually asked a customer to reconsider his gift card amount, and I was gratified that this gentleman just went along with my crazy bookseller idea.
It’s these little moments that can brighten a long day. So, the next time you get a gift card, get a weird amount because, well, it’s fun for the bookseller and honestly, if someone gave me a gift card for $32.45, I’d be thrilled.