Probably an innapropriate choice for the classroom

26 11 2008

At Chapters, I have the unfortunate mixture of “Cash” shifts and “Tasking” shifts, which means that some of my shifts will be spent chained to a cash register (“Have you heard about our iRewards program that saves you ten percent off all your book perchases for a year? *eye twinkle/mouth vomit*”) and the rest of my shifts are delegated to completing various tasks. Sometimes I shelve all day (omgyesplz.), sometimes I help with “merchandizing” the gift section, and sometimes I have other mundane responsibilities like “providing stellar customer service to EVERYONE FO-EVA!”. Yesturday, it was a Cash shift.

Halfway though my day, a man came up to my till, handed me his small stack of books and said “I’m a teacher and I’d like to get my 20% discount please.”

This is nothing out of the ordinary, we get teachers wanting a discount all the time, which isn’t a big deal, as long as they’re purchasing books for use within their classroom. So I started on my routine spiel… “Okay sure, I just need to see your teachers certificate and a piece of photo ID while I –”

And that’s when I noticed the books he was buying.

“Sir, you can only use your teacher’s discount on books that are for use in the classroom, and follow curriculum guidelines.”

“Yes, I know, these are for the classroom.”

I glanced down at the books in front of me and, understandably, had a hard time believing that he was telling the truth. He had chosen a Barbie Sticker Activity Book, a Kurt Cobain biography and Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk.

These books?”

“Yes, why?”

“Uh, I’m going to have to get my supervisor to approve the discount. I don’t have the authority to change prices…” This sounds like a lie, but its quite true. Since starting at Chapters, I was somewhat demoted from my position of authority at Coles. While at Coles, I was what is now called an ACEM, which is the position immediately below the Assistant Manager. I had ALL the codes and passwords and authority to do whatever needed doing — price modify, no sales, voids, refunds, etc. Now? I have nothing.

So I walked over to the Cash office, and explained the situation to the COD (cash supervisor). “Chay, I have a customer who wants to use his teachers discount on a Barbie sticker book, a Kurt Cobain bio, and Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk.”

Chay looked up and said “You’re kidding. Isn’t Snuff… -”

“…- the book written about a porn star who’s final performance is a gang bang featuring her and 600 men? Yeah, it sure is.”

Chay shook her head, and followed me back to my till. “Sir,” she began, “We can only give a teachers discount for books that are going to be used in the classroom.” And then, after seeing his valid teachers certificate, to try to catch him in his lie, she asked “What age are the children in your class?”

“Oh its a split level program. The students wrote me a list of books that they would be interested in reading, and this is it. I figure hell, if they’re willing to read something, it doesn’t matter what the book is about, as long as they’re gonna read I’ll do whatever it takes.”

“Right,” Chay said, having trouble masking her disbelief. “But do you really think a Kurt Cobain biography and Snuff are appropriate choices?”

I chimed in with “Are you aware of what Snuff is about?”

The man shrugged and said “Not really, but it doesn’t matter, as long as they’re interested and willing to read, it will further their education and greatly improve their reading skills.”

“O…kay.” Chay said. “I have a hard time believing that any school board’s mandated curriculum would approve Snuff as an appropriate book for use in the classroom, but unfortunately, I have no way to prove whether or not you’re telling the truth. I’ll give you the discount this time, because I have to follow store policies, but I strongly feel that these books are wildly innapropriate for anyone who is learning to read, mixed level classroom or not.”

So the teacher got his discount on what I hope to GOD are Christmas presents and not books for his students. Short of books found in the erotica or sexuality section, I can’t fathom a MORE inappropriate book for the classroom than Snuff. On Amazon’s description of the book, one can clearly see that “Chuck Palahniuk’s latest novel is an X-rated story suitable for adults only”. Why is it that Christmas always brings out the crazies, the cheapskates and the blatant liars?

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2 responses

30 11 2008
Christian P Mock

Brilliant! Found you via Twitter’d response to someone else I follow and LOVED this entry for SOOOO many reasons.

30 11 2008
forthesun

Heh, thanks!

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