RECORD STORE TALES #1047: A Pretty Good Day
The worst and most tiring kind of days at the Record Store were the ones with customers bringing in endless boxes of discs for us to buy. These took up a lot of time and counter space to keep organized. I hated it when multiple customers with multiple boxes arrived at once. All you could say is say “leave your name and number and we’ll get through these as quickly as possible. It could be a couple hours.”
Some customers understood, some did not. That’s retail.
By contrast the best kind of days were often the ones without the pileup of CD boxes. If everything came in at staggered times, that was ideal. Even better if all the discs were in good shape. Icing on the top of the cake if the customer wasn’t a jerk about pricing. Everybody assumed their discs were worth solid gold. To be truly the best kind of day, customers would be bringing in good stock that you wanted for yourself! Whether it be a new release or something rarer from a back catalogue, those were the good days. You’d slap your name on a post-it note, stick it to the CD and claim it for self-musical enrichment.
I may have mentioned this a couple times before: the Big Boss Man hated when we bought stock for ourselves. But that was 50% of the reason people wanted to work in a music store. The best of days were those when the Big Boss Man and his underlings were not around!
One factor that didn’t affect whether the day was good or bad: who I was working with. I liked virtually every single person that worked in my store. There were one or two who made me pull my hair out, but they never lasted very long. I was very fortunate to have good working relationships with just about everyone in my staff. I tried to show my appreciation by buying them CDs or dinner.
Speaking of dinner, one of the best days I had was in the late 90s. A Jack Astor’s restaurant opened in the plaza across the street. I was working one afternoon minding my own business when a guy showed up at my door with a “Jack Attack”. I was shaking my head “no” as if to tell him I didn’t order any food, when he explained it was all complimentary! A bucket of wings and six bottles (bottles! Not cans!) of root beer. He dropped off a menu with ordering instructions for delivery. That was a very good day. I was working alone, but I left a couple bottles of pop for the night shift. (A couple. I was thirsty.)
I liked working alone, but eating a meal on a lone shift was tricky. Even the best of days were food-free days. The boss absolutely hated when we ate meals at the counter, but where else was there to go? We were working alone, we couldn’t leave the store. We couldn’t go into the back room to eat for 15 minutes. So most days, at least the ones working alone, were junk food only. Chips, pop, candy bars, pepperoni. That was it.
But combined with good tunes and no bosses, a pretty good day!