Former Borders Employees Reveal Secret Book Store Gripes

Illustration for article titled Former Borders Employees Reveal Secret Book Store Gripes

This manifesto spotted in a decommissioned Borders store offers some insight into the many ways in which we annoy book store employees. Some of these are fair (no one wants unsupervised kids causing a ruckus when you're reading magazines you won't buy), but as it turns out, the employees probably should have been bothered when someone threatened to take their business elsewhere.


Here's the full list:

  • We hate when a book becomes popular simply because it was turned into a movie.
  • It confused us when we were asked where the non-fiction section is.
  • Nicholas Sparks is not a good writer … if you like him, fine, but facts are facts.
  • We greatly dislike the phrase "Quick question." It's never true. And everyone seems to have one.
  • Your summer reading list was our summer reading NIGHTMARE. Also, it's called summer reading, not three days before school starts reading.
  • It's true that we lean to the left and think Glenn Beck is an idiot.
  • We always knew when you were intently reading Better Homes and Gardens, it was really a hidden Playboy.
  • Most of the time when you returned books you read them already - and we were onto you.
    Limit One Coupon did not mean one for every member of your family - this angered us. Also, we did know what coupons were out.
  • It never bothered us when you threatened to shop at Barnes & Noble. We'd rather you do if you're putting up a stink.
  • "I was just here last week and saw this book there" meant nothing to us. The store changed once a week.
  • When you walked in and immediately said, "I'm looking for a book," what you really meant to say is, "I would like you to find me a book." You never looked. It's fine, it's our job - but let's be correct about what's really happening here.
  • If you don't know the author, title, or genre, but you do know the color of the cover, we don't either. How it was our fault that we couldn't find it we'll never understand.
  • We were never a daycare. Letting your children run free and destroy our section destroyed a piece of our souls.
  • Oprah was not the "final say" on what is awesome. We really didn't care what was on her show or what her latest book club book was. Really.
  • When you returned your SAT books, we knew you used them. We thought it wasn't fair - seeing that we are not a library.



I worked at a Borders for 6 months after a college. I was broke and my entry level marketing job wasn't covering all my bills. It was the worst retail job of my life. And I had spent over 10 years in clothing retail prior to this. Why so bad? The employees. Not the customers. I have never worked with such a large group of entitled whiners in my life. They were incredibly unprofessional and had no concept about how to merchandise or sell. Maybe this was because they were paid so little and management didn't seem to give a shit. Maybe it was just this location in particular. Judging by the above list, I can see that my old store was not the only Borders store filled with condescending people. It was really gross.

Back in my clothing retail days, I dealt with fitting rooms filled with literal shit, obviously worn clothing returns and mega-shoplifters. I think my former co-workers at Borders would faint at the sight. Seriously, don't get into retail if you don't have a thick skin. Bookstores are no different than any other retail store.

And getting annoyed when people want to read a book because a movie made it popular? Clearly you are a snob. Personally, if a movie inspires a person to read a book, I am always very excited. The goal is to get more people to read, not alienate them. Oh well.