I returned to work yesterday after a rare 10-day vacation. This is not normally news, but I never go away for this long. The break was much needed and my staffers were all too happy to fill in my shifts for me so I could go away worry-free. It was delightful to get away and know that the bookstore was in good hands. I got very few work-related calls while I was gone – always a sign that things are running smoothly.
I walked in the store and was struck by how lovely it is. It’s so easy to take the store for granted when you work day in and day out. But to be greeted by our flying pig display table filled to the brim with Halloween books, and the cart of delectable autographed books, I was filled with an intense love of the place. The bright blue walls, the colorful rugs, our upholstered cubes dotting sections all combined to have me just fall in love with the place again. Then I looked at the displays and saw all the new books that had come out in my absence. October is always a grand month for new releases, and this one has not disappointed. Yummy books for adults and children filled the face-out cases. The first phone call I fielded was someone asking if we had a certain title. I hadn’t heard of the book, so almost said no reflexively. Of course we had it – in fact, we had two.
The beauty of a great staff is they get things done. Elizabeth had done a wonderful job on the Eileen Christelow event (see yesterday’s post to learn more). And I was sad to have missed that one. Nothing is more fun than a packed event with tons of kids all having a great time. I did little of the event planning, and wished somehow that I could have zipped back for it. We got a lot of teacher orders while I was gone, some big and some small. All were handled with speed and accuracy. In fact, the only teacher order mistake was mine, which I discovered when I came back. Somehow I had misquoted an invoice and still am not sure how I made a $20error. Things ran so smoothly with me gone, I wondered, in jest, if they actually needed me. Of course they do, but it’s a delightful thing to know that I’m not indispensable, because now that I’ve had a proper vacation I’d like to go away more, but not till after the fun and hustle of the fourth quarter.