The ABA Really Does Work for You

Josie Leavitt - December 14, 2009

They don’t just advocate on our behalf, they come work at your store. It seems Oren Teicher, chief executive officer of the American Booksellers Association, wanted senior staff to spend some time in the trenches during the holidays. We were lucky enough that Jill Perlstein, director of member services, has family in the Burlington area, so she kindly offered to work all day Sunday and Monday at our store.

And work she did! She began her day by stating she was there "to do whatever needs doing." She was a trooper. We had her dusting, something that tends to fall by the wayside when the store is outrageously busy, shelving, re-alphabetizing picture books, tidying up the board book area and when I left to walk the dogs, she was reorganizing the stacks of special orders. These may seem like mundane tasks; they are, but they are really important mundane tasks.

Oh, and the best thing Jill did was wrap, a lot. Not only did she wrap customer books, she wrapped all the books that were part of our book angel program, saving us a ton of time on Wednesday morning when the books get picked up. If you ever need a wrapper, I can heartily recommend Jill: fast, crisp corners and nice ribboning

When she wasn’t busy doing work for the store, she was showing me the best way to use the Givex portal so I could better manage my gift cards. This was invaluable and will make my holidays go a lot more smoothly.

Jill might be vacuuming this morning before we open and then helping rearrange the window displays. I’ll be sad to see her go. She was a cheerful extra set of hands that we needed. And like most bookstore employeess, she ended her shift by shopping.

I wonder what the ABA will cook up next: maybe for a week they could pay all our bills?

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