Please Take Care of This Shop

Cynthia Compton - July 12, 2017

Dear Staff:  Cynthia will be gone July 1st–8th, but reachable by text and (in emergency) on her cell phone. Please be aware of the five-hour time difference in London, and plan accordingly. As always, she trusts your judgement on returns, refunds, and other customer service issues. There is an extra set of keys at the dentist next door, and plenty of snacks in the fridge. Daily project lists are on the front counter, and most of the purchase orders you should receive are in the top drawer. (Let’s not get creative with pricing on these, OK?) Most importantly: any last-minute shift changes need to be logged in on the scheduling app (NO POST IT NOTES!), and please remember to bring the giraffe inside every night.

Hi, Dr. Kristy! Cynthia from the bookshop here. Just a quick note to tell you that I’m on holiday next week, and I have left an extra set of keys to my shop with your receptionist, just in case one of the staff locks herself out… it only happens when I’m far away! Thanks so much, and I’ll return the favor when you take the kids to the lake later this month. Also, we have a stray box of toothbrushes that was delivered to us by mistake last week – it’s in our back room with some books for your waiting room.


Dear Mike, Hello to my favorite man in brown!  I’m on vacay this week, so could you be sure to check the outgoing shelf in the back room each day? There’s going to be a lot of incoming product… I went to a toy show last week…. so just do the best you can with stacking boxes. I left you a couple of books by the back door – just pass them on to your loader or someone at the terminal when you’re done.

(LEAVE THIS PACKAGE ON THE HOLD SHELF)  Dear Anne, Here’s the donation for the fundraiser – thanks for stopping by to pick it up. I hope the event is a smashing success, and I’m so sorry that I can’t join you at the Chamber committee meeting next week. Feel free to assign me to whatever job no one else signs up for, but if there’s any way you could get me on the same committee as the new superintendent of schools I would be so grateful!
(INCLUDE THIS ENVELOPE WITH WEEKEND BANK DEPOSIT)  Hi, Monica! Just a heads-up that I’m going out of the country next week on holiday, and wondered if you could keep an eye on the store accounts activity for me? I processed payroll early, and am attaching a list of expected charges from vendors please feel free to email me if you have any concerns. Anything we can do to avoid last year’s debacle with the stolen cards and the electronic spending spree would be appreciated! Oh, I tracked down that book for your mom, and it’s at the shop if you want to walk over during lunch.
Staff Note, round 2:  Hey guys, here’s the craft for Monday’s Paint-a-Story. Just cut out about 35 of these when you have time this weekend. There are googly eyes, stickers, and lots of new bottles of paint in the party room cupboard, so you should be good. Also, I’m out of town, so I won’t know if there’s glitter involved…. as long as you use the Shop Vac. Enjoy.
Dear Book Club Friends, I’m so sorry to miss you guys! I’m off for a week, but I promise to bring you something from my trip. I made a list of questions to start the discussion, and I’m leaving you a stack of other books by this author in case anyone is interested. There’s a pizza ordered for you (and a gluten-free small one, for Paula) and drinks in the staff fridge help yourself. See you next month!
For HVAC technician (expected Monday afternoon between 12 and 4….)  Dear Tony, the vent in the back room is on strike, and the AC on the left side of the store is rather anemic again. Could you check the unit on the roof? I think that big storm might have done some damage. Here’s that list of books I promised for your daughter – tell her to stop in and see me soon! I want to hear all about marching band. Thanks for working us in to your busy schedule right before the holiday – happy 4th!)

Staff note, round 3: Thanks for your extra help this week, everyone. Coffee’s on me. 


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About Cynthia Compton

Cynthia is the owner of 4 Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville, Indiana, a 2600 sq. ft. childrens store founded in 2003. She serves on the board of the American Booksellers Association, is a past president of the Great Lakes Bookseller Association, and is a former member of the American Specialty Toy Retail Association board of directors. 4 Kids was honored with the Pannell Award in 2013 and has received numerous "best of" awards in the Indianapolis area. The opinions expressed in her posts are her own, and sometimes those of her english bulldogs.

2 thoughts on “Please Take Care of This Shop

  1. Summer Laurie

    I love this post for so many reasons! It shows how beautifully you are integrated into the community and how your employees and vendors are part of that community. (A certain online behemoth doesn’t even have neighbors, let alone know them by name.) It also shows the many varied tasks that are part of being a bookseller–toys, book clubs, customer credit protection! Truly, I am wowed by your organization. And of course, Paddington. Thank you!

    1. Cynthia Compton

      What a kind response, Summer! Of course, the notes you DIDN’T see were those like: “remember to check in online” (which I forgot to do, leading to a truly depressing seat assignment on the plane) and “pack snacks in carry on bag” (how is it that I remember to feed EVERYONE ELSE but forget a handful of Kind bars?) Still in all, a wonderful trip.


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