Well, that was intriguing and daunting.
Sabrina called in sick, so I showed up at the store on Wednesday, otherwise known as "New Comic Release" day. I grabbed the comics off the counter and started putting them out. So far, so good. I'd spent the previous Sunday and Monday exploring the nooks and crannies of the comics shelves, trying to figure out what the current titles and trends were.
Luckily, I had the comics out before the onslaught began. In piled a bunch of shelf customers. (We have a shelf system where we hold comics for regulars.) Half of these customers I didn't even know. But I was enthused about how interested they seemed.
Ringing up $4 and $5 comics is still a bit of a wrench for me. I bite my tongue. Time has moved on. The past is a foreign country. This is the way of things and those up-to-date have no problem with it.
Anyway, before I know it, I'm swamped. I stay swamped for the next hour. Toward the end of the hour, the most voluble of my shelf people come in and start talking about comics and I don't really have a clue what they're talking about, and I try faking it for awhile (which I'm pretty good at and have plenty of practice) before I finally throw up my hands and admit, "I have no idea what's going on."
So every time someone asks something I don't know, I look it up on my computer. I'm in full steaming research mode by now, as well as trying to reorder everything people are looking for, and trying to figure out who wants what.
I ring up the total when there is a moment of temporary quiet, and I realize I've rung up more than our daily average in just one hour. And it sort of freaks me out.
The two guys are still talking about comics at the top of their voices and I interject a comment here and there (mostly historical context--that's what an old guy is good for--historical context) and finally I just stop mid-sentence and say, "You guys need to get out of here, I've got work to do."
Thankfully, they don't take offense.
The rest of the day is more normal, but I'm aware the whole time how deep in the pool I am and barely treading water.
What's amazing is this was normal for me for 25 years or so. Could I do it again? Man, I don't know. I'd probably find a way, but wow.
It makes me appreciate Sabrina even more. I've left her to deal with this stress, and bless her, I'm going to try to help out more.
6 days ago