#373: Check Yer Section!

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RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#373: Check Yer Section!

Don’t you hate shopping through a CD store that has a loose grasp on the alphabet? You could be looking for ABBA, only to find that somehow they had wandered over to the AC/DC section, or further. It’s not really the store’s fault that things go missing all over the place. It’s your own fault for not putting things back where you found them! But we came up with a method to minimize “CD drift”™ and keep the different sections looking great.

Each staff member would be assigned a section of the store that would be their responsibility to check and keep straight and organized. We might have rotated these sections among staff monthly or bi-monthly, whatever worked. The goal was to get somebody to check and reorganize every section of the store, every few days. Hard work but it was the only way to keep things where they should be.

Checking your section entailed the following duties:

1. Ensure that all CDs in your section are in their correct location.
2. Replace any CD cases found to be broken or excessively scuffed.
3. Ensure that no more than one or two copies of a CD are visible. (If we displayed all 47 copies of Collective Soul’s first album, we’d never sell any of them.)  Don’t prominently display any duplicates.
4. Correct price if discrepancies found.
5. If the header card for an artist is peeling, make a new one.
6. Make a header card for any artist that needs one.*
7. Keep section looking generally neat, even and organized. Don’t have one row with only five CDs in it, while the next row is bursting with 25. Balance them out, keep ’em even.**

Managers had to keep on top of the staff’s sections. Nobody seemed to really like checking their section. They got messy very fast, especially Rap/Dance. That section needed fixing on a daily basis, pretty much.  One of the managers used to purposely put CDs in the wrong places to see if her staff had checked.  The Rock section was bad, and so were DVDs. They were always getting thrown around, people didn’t care.  Just throw ’em back anywhere, not their problem, right?

Checking sections became such a habit that after quitting the store in ’06, I still instinctively fixed my section when visiting! Old habits die hard.  But it’s all for a good cause — even though nobody liked doing it, it absolutely needed to be done, and often!  Check yer section – a monotonous but critical part of CD store operations!

Can you spot the "section sin" in this picture?

Can you spot the “section sin” in this picture?

* Determining what artists needed header cards and which can just be filed under “misc” was a whole set of rules in itself, which I won’t bore you with.

** Trust me on this, I’ve gotten enough shit from bosses who didn’t like uneven shelves!

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76 comments

  1. People don’t realise the amount of work that goes into running a record store. I know I never did. I’m curious though, did you list albums by Jefferson Starship under ‘J’ or ‘S’? I’ve seen it done both ways.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Exactly! Not that illogical is it?…

          But people do get confused with some bands. Max Webster — why are they not under W? (It’s a band’s name not a person’s). Pink Floyd — same thing. Some people think “Pink Floyd” is somebody in the band — “and by the way which one’s Pink?” That still happened, in the store, when I was there. I’m trying to think of more examples.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t really spot the sin in the picture, but I do know I spy two (2) copies of “Monster” by R.E.M., often considered by many to be the most common of all used CD’s! I am quite sure you’re aware of this, but “Monster” reportedly holds the rarified place atop that mythical “DO NOT BUY” list often posted at record shops both dead and living, populated by other discs such as “Cracked Rear View”, “Jagged Little Pill”, “Blind Melon”, and that one Paula Cole album.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You found the “section sin”! Displaying two copies so prominently.

      Yes we had a “do not buy” list as well, and that is a GREAT idea for a future post. Thanks for the idea! You’d see Hootie, Titanic, and yes the Rembrandts. I’d come in and if somebody wasn’t paying attention and actually bought an REM Monster, I’d be furious. LOL. I liked to swap the orange CD tray and use it on better CDs :)

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      1. Ah, yes, the orange tray! I did noticed those two were still present. Now, if one of those orange plastic see-through cases that’s housed Biohazard’s “State Of The World Address” turned up, I’d get REALLY hyped!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Perfect example of such usage! T-Rev and I had made a science of it. His whole collection (almost!) had been had their trays replaced with cases of various colours.

          Remember Madonna, Bedtime Stories? That sky-blue tray? Looks awesome on Kiss – Hot in the Shade.

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      2. I guess I did spend enough time in independent record shops (before all those closest to me went the way of the dinosaur), to spot the sin, and of course, appreciate good organization in any section, both new AND used!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Those would always get so scuffed up! But I did snag a couple. One is currently housing an Iron Maiden bootleg on my shelf called “Another Live”. A couple of my Zappa Ryko’s still have the green case, but not Sheik Yerbouti :(

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        2. Sad how so many shops have gone the way of the dinosaur. I was just speaking of that with Aaron the other day. In my town, we had two Dr. Discs, an awesome downtown Sam the Record Man, at least 3 good HMV stores, a great Sunrise store, and 4 outlets of the store I worked in.

          Today, the 4 of our stores are still there. Downtown Sam’s is long gone. Dr. Disc, also long gone. Sunrise closed. One of the HMV stores (my favourite one) closed. There are only a couple really good stores left in town.

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        1. The self titled with ‘No Rain.’ It’s one of those albums where the first half is really strong and rocking, but by the second everything starts to sound the same and you just really wish it would end.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I always have a weird vibe about “Soup”. Of course, it’s the “difficult follow-up”, and of course, the specter of Shannon Hoon’s death that hung over it, not long after release. It makes me want to enjoy it more than I should/could/would/can…the disc coming off as a kind of jumbled, tune-free, drugged NOLA-recorded mess, which, unfortunately, and truthfully, is.

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        3. Strange. I know that the self-titled album was reissued last year (think it was for RSD, though I might be wrong). It’s Soup that interests me most … I missed out on a copy on eBay a fair few months back (bidding got a tad too rich!).

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  3. Sadly, my chosen still-open brick-and-mortar record store is a half-hour trip both ways away from me, making it quite the commitment to undertake. When I do make the trip, which I wish was more often, I usually overspend (not a bad thing), really enjoy the whole experience (a really good thing), and pledge to do the trip more often (a thing that, of course, doesn’t get followed up on). Sadly, I should be doing that most every New Release Tuesday (soon to be Friday!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you brought that up! New releases have been changed to Friday pretty much universally now. I’m not used to that! Even Blu-rays are coming out on Fridays now. I missed the Hunger Games Catching Fire Part I yesterday so I’m picking it up today. If I can find it in Best Buy’s messy sections ;)

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  4. I have noticed on the very-frequent occasions where one of your posts sends me rummaging through my Banker’s Boxes for a CD I had long-since forgotten/filed-away/possibly sold, I often have to resort to the ‘net-based secondary markets for a replacement…9 times outta 10, whatever distinctive packaging element the original featured has been altered or removed altogether! I guess you snooze, you lose!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I know what you mean. An outer cardboard case can often be discarded. Sometimes an outer cardboard case was only for the first few thousand copies, too.

      I remember in Canada, when Maiden did a series of reissues, you could buy them for a limited time with a Canadian exclusive cardboard sleeve overtop, with Eddie dressed as a “Mountie”.

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  5. Heh, I think I spy MY old copy of Monster! Is that the sin? lol

    Oh man, I know what you mean about the misfiling…I have had proper cataloguing techniques engrained in my brain for ages.
    In libraries, making sure the stacks are shelved appropriately was the most important thing. Staff are made to study the shelves to ensure any mis-shelved content was put back in its rightful place. That’s why they have book carts at the end of stacks begging patrons to place their removed books onto the cart – DO NOT reshelve yourself – because people are careless and just “Meh, I’ll place this book back over…HERE!” And the next person looking for that book can’t find it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah and they think they’re being helpful sometimes. I had one boss who was such a nasty awful boss and she’d ream me out any time she was in a bad mood and found a CD out of place. She eventually gave me a nervous tick in my eye…I tried my best to keep my store in proper order but MY FUCK you can’t perform miracles. My mother in law has a saying, “You can’t fix stupid,” and unfortunately the people in this town are both dumb and couldn’t give a shit, so they’d leave your store a disaster area!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To this day, I still check the sections just before and after the artist I’m actually looking for – the number of times people think it goes the opposite of how the store does it is incredible. I often find the CD I want in the next band’s section!

    I also see another error in that photo: It’s Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. I would put that under C for Cochrane, not R for Red Rider. If i went into a store looking for them, I would go to the C fo Cochrane first.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Bonus points! A Winner Is Me!

        Haha I was gonna get REALLY picky and say the R.E.M. should come at the start of the R section because of the “.” after the R, but I’d let that slide…

        Looking at that pic, too, I’d say those are the racks at BMV on Bloor.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. On further inspection, I think that is technically a Red Rider CD (Over 60 Minutes With) rather than Tom Cochrane & Red Rider. NO prize for you indeed!

          ;)

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  7. Went to our local Walmart by our place today and I wandered over to the music section as my wife and daughter were doing there own thing! There A-Z music section is a mess….the only things that grabbed my attention was the Hips Fully Completley reissue for $10 and The Stones (hello Aaron) Hampton 81 blu Ray. …I gave up,bought a $50 ITunes card came home and preordered the live VH Tokyo release ( got Runnin and Panama on th expos from that show with the preorder)and preordered as well Randy Bachman’s Heavy Blues release….still itching about Priests Defenders preorder..shit…….there goes my $50!
    Ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. $10 for that Hip is decent! I’d buy that for Jen!

      I don’t have any music on pre-order currently, I’m just kind of buying as I go. I’ll probably pre-order the deluxe of the new Whitesnake though.

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      1. I don’t know about that Whitesnake Mikey, reason being I’m burnt out on remakes of songs especially when played by 80s shredders on guitar. Reb Beach is good don’t get me wrong but nothing comes close to the originals….in sound and technique…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I bought the double one Geez I can’t Remember it the one after the Japan live one! It’s good but I dunno …I guess I’ll sit tight and wait to listen to Dave Roth screech out the words to the live Halen….I listened to the two tracks on the headphones after I preorderd that puppy and the Bros and son are locked in and it’s like Dave is locked out! Hahaha….I may reveiew those two tracks as a preview…..

          Liked by 1 person

        2. There was Made in Japan and Made in Britain. Both were double lives. Japan came with a live acoustic bonus CD with some demos etc. Japanese Bonus track was a writing demo of “The Badger”.

          Made in Britain’s second CD had rarely played Whitesnake tunes like Bad Boys and Deeper the Love, live. Two bonus tracks on the Japanese version of that one.

          But anyway, yeah, may as well get the Purple album deluxe, since my collection doesn’t like holes.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I do my very best to put records right back where I found them. Particularly difficult in my favourite haunt, right enough – an especially unique filing system that I’ve yet to fully understand!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I worked at Tower I always thought they should assign everyone a section to take care of. And slightly off topic why the eff does iTunes file artists by first name?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, there is a science to organizing a Record Store. I never worked in one, yet I still feel like I have (and still do) every time I go to a Best Buy or fye… I cannot help organizing a few CD’s while I’m looking. The local used CD store I go to have their act together, which is nice. Now if only I could organize my own collection!! :) \m/

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Your lucky… I have CD’s still in containers from when we moved to Ohio 2 years ago and I dig for titles… and have been missing several… yet I know their somewhere!! The movers DROPPED a huge storage container of mine filled with CDs too!!! I wanted to cry like a baby!! LOL!!

          Liked by 2 people

        2. When I moved, I insisted on moving the CD boxes myself. I packed ’em, moved ’em, and unloaded them myself. In fact they were the very first thing I set up, the day after I moved in, before anything else. Got all my CDs back on shelves in order.

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  11. People thought I was strange back in the day because I arranged all my vinyl and cassettes in alphabetical order according to artist. The system worked for me. At the time, when driving at night and I wanted to hear a particular cassette, I would know where it was. Oh yes, those cassettes were stored in those now famous ammo cans.

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