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Monday, August 04, 2008


Peter and Desiree: A Love Story

My wife and I met when we worked at a huge bookstore that was part of the Barnes & Noble corporation. And yet, despite that wonderful association in our history, I really kind of hate that company. Maybe it's because they're part of the mall-ification of America. Maybe it's because I've heard their corporate training vampires talking about targeting independent book stores and doing their best to drive the little guys out of business.

But I'm also a giant fucking hypocrite, because I shop at B&N. Well, shit, man; they've got a lot of books.

In fact, my wife and I will occasionally pass very pleasant evenings stopping in at a local Barnes & Noble, grabbing a bunch of books we've no intention of buying off of the shelves and sitting down for an hour or so of reading.

We were engaged in this very activity recently when we witnessed the smoothest operator either of us had ever seen in action. A little tale I'll

He was a bookseller. A sales associate. A team member. A page monkey. Whatever the fuck you want to call him, he worked at the store and was paid, one assumes, for putting books away and for helping customers find whatever tomes they were looking for. But this guy was doing more than that. He was also doing his best to help certain customers find a love connection.

One young lady that asked for help finding something was apparently looking on the wrong floor. But this guy didn't lose his cool. He told her exactly where she needed to look. And then he added sexily, "Make sure you come back down and show it to me." I ask you, what woman wouldn't just take off her panties and hand them to her right there.

Our hero didn't stop there, though. He wasn't the kind of sales associate who can be limited to one lovely little lady. No. Yet another book-starved filly approached him, this one looking for something that was...right in his section.

Now would it have been seductive if he'd pointed and said, "Yeah, it's over there"? Naw, baby. He took her right to the shelf, pulled the volume down and put it in her hot little hands. Then he casually leaned against the shelf and engaged her in a little convo. "Where do you go? Really. I'm over at Parson's." (He could sense that anything associated with Project Runway would get this girl's motor running.)

He took her hand, moving in for the kill. "I'm Peter." She told him that her name was Desiree. She walked away, but you could sense the connection. As she rounded a corner, he turned to a colleague and gave a triumphant fist pump. He knew she'd be back for more Peter.

I've got an awesome independant book store in my town. All the books I want and then some.

But B&N has better coffee and comfier seats.

Hi. Shallow.
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