RECORD STORE TALES Part 313: Not Allowed Lending!
By popular request, here’s a story about loaning your CDs out to people who don’t appreciate or take care of them properly.
Really, I should have learned my lesson in Grade 12. I loaned my brand spanking new cassette copy of Van Halen I out to this kid at school, Jamie. He was a nice kid, so I didn’t have a problem with it. What I did have a problem with was the condition in which he returned it: without the cover! How could he possibly have lost it? He did eventually find it and return it to me, but he didn’t seem to understand why it mattered. Who does that? Lots of people, I’m afraid.
At the Record Store, I befriended a customer named Len, who I actually went to highschool with, but didn’t know until after. We had the same group of friends who were all into the same music. I turned Len onto Marillion and he began borrowing my Marillion discs to burn. What upset me was when I loaned him my limited edition copy of Anoraknophobia. Remember how Marillion put out limited edition digipack versions with bonus discs? If you pre-ordered, your name would make it into the CD. My name is there inside Anoraknophobia, and the followup Marbles as well.
Len returned my copy of Anoraknophobia – a sold-out limited edition – with a crease in the spine. Probably from trying to photocopy the booklet. I wasn’t happy and I told Len I wasn’t loaning out my CDs anymore. He was sorry he had done it, and understood that I was upset, but that didn’t take the crease out.
Later on, I bought a condo. I moved into the same building as a friend of ours, somebody we all had met via the original record store location. Her nickname was “San Francisky” – a long story that involves my dad and his inability to pronounce things correctly. She was a nice girl most of the time, but very pushy. I have issues with people who try to persistently try to push me around, so I had begun to distance myself by the time I moved in.
A few weeks after I moved in, she came down to my unit. She was having a party upstairs. She needed some music.
“Do you have any Beatles?” she asked me.
“Yup, I have the Red and Blue albums. They’re excellent. The Red one probably has all the songs you’d want for a party.”
“You’re going to take care of these, right? And you’ll return them tomorrow morning?” I asked pointedly.
“It might not be tomorrow morning but I’ll bring them back, of course.”
I knew how this girl took care of her own CDs. I had bought enough used discs from her at the store. She always bitched when I told her the discs were scratched up. She never put them back in the case, and left them out all the time. Knowing her ways of handling discs, I added additional instructions.
“I want you to be careful with these discs, and put them back in the cases when you’re done. I also want you to make sure nobody else touches my CDs. Only you. I want them back exactly as they are.”
She gave me this flabbergasted expression. What she said next was the sentence that ended what was left of our “friendship”:
“What do you care if they get scratched?! You work at the store!”
That was it. I told her I wouldn’t loan her the CDs if that was her attitude. She went upstairs in an angry huff, and we never socialized again. I ran into her now and then, and she was always bitchy. The friendship was over.
I really had no regrets about that. One thing about me is that if you want to be my friend, you have to accept me as-is, quirks and all. You don’t have to understand them, but you have to accept them. Nobody can change me. The only person who will ever change me is myself, and taking care of my property is one thing that doesn’t need changing!