Ten short months ago, during the bustling Christmas rush, I was sitting at a big red desk marked Area-E. I had been waiting, very patiently, for nearly 20 minutes, for my second interview. My first had been about three weeks earlier, but due to a sudden leadership change at the store, my application slipped through the cracks. Just about the point my feet were going to sleep from hanging them from the upper bars of the stool I was sitting on, the store manager came up to me. “Hi there,” she said. “You’ve got two minutes — why should I hire you?”
Whatever I said got me the job. By New Year’s Eve I was being trained on the registers and shown how to properly shelve books in their proper places around the store.
Tonight was the last night I worked there, three days before the store itself is closed down for good. By all intents and purposes, it was an abnormal shift. I spent barely an hour on the registers. Instead, most of my shift was spent in the staff offices and break room, bundling trash, sweeping and vacuuming carpets, and signing off on the removal of our employee lockers. I actually relished the chance to do something different. After seven weeks of seeing people behave like out and out revolting human beings over saving money, I was getting quite bitter.
That’s not the memory I chose to have of Borders. As we kept having to tell people who couldn’t use their discount cards or coupons, ‘We’re no longer Borders, we’re just liquidating what was once here.’ I have to remember that when I think about all the stress and unbelievable dumbbuttery (I used that to describe a canceled transaction the night before!) I’ve had to endure, it shouldn’t eclipse the fun and the overall great workplace I had this year.
Thus closes an important chapter in my life. Three weeks from now I’ll be starting a new one, and I can hardly wait for it.