09 December 2009

Introducing the Bookstore Clerks

If my life were spontaneously turned into a screenplay, I am convinced that it would be an indie French comedy, and this is for no other reason than the fact that I am constantly amused by the people with whom I work. It's a common enough theme of American cinema, but the people I work with are way too eccentric (in the most lovable way possible) to not belong in a French film.

Take, for example Mr. Knowledge Brain. Mr. Knowledge Brain knows absolutely everything there is to know about everything, but not in a "know-it-all" kind of way; in the sort of way that makes you wonder why he is still single, why no woman he's met thus far has realized the subtle genius in the way he pronounces "Memoirs" without the "r" at the end. He was a Classics major at college back in the '70s and thus is probably the most secretly erudite person in Juneau. I imagine that he goes home to his studio apartment at night with an overly pampered dog and listens to Brahms on cassette while sipping tea. Mr. Knowledge Brain has perfected the fine art of being everyone's buddy while keeping the most professional relationships humanly possible inside the workplace.

For example, he was standing in the receiving room earlier today when I walked by (on my way to "the Little Bookseller's Room") and clipped my shoulder on a rogue cardboard box. An empty cardboard box. Seriously, in the greater spectrum of pain, this little accident sat somewhere between being tickled by a caterpillar and a falling into a pit of that Tempur-Pedic material they make in Sweden or Finland or wherever it's from. Still, Mr. Knowledge Brain, ever the buddy, cried out, "Oh you poor thing! Are you alright???" I mumbled some sort of response and continued on my merry way to my destination, where I fought a battle of epic proportions with the paper toilet seat cover (a battle which merited the "Oh you poor thing!" much more than a fender-bender with an empty box, but of which Mr. Knowledge Brain was blissfully unaware). When I returned, I passed him in the receiving room and he said nothing. No, "How's your shoulder?" No, "Does that still hurt?" Just a professional nod and a return back to work after having been there for me in my moment of need.

Gosh I love my workplace sometimes.

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