Last night was the Harry Potter release party. It was the first such party I've been to, let alone worked at. It was fun. I'm sure our crowd was nothing compared to what all the big chain stores were getting, but it was a lot for us. The general party part of the night was fun, but it got really interesting at midnight; to me at least, since I haven't done anything like that before. I worked at one of our three cash registers, selling books for almost a solid hour. It felt like maybe thirty minutes, if that. I continually felt like I was forgetting something, since we were trying to be quick and we aren't yet computerized.
Check if they've pre-ordered, mark them off, verify that they still want the same number of books, explain the difference between the regular and deluxe editions if they ask, calculate the cost of the sale and the tax (I knew it was $26.51 for a regular copy with tax, but I didn't have totals like two regulars and one deluxe memorized), write the sale down (not being computerized, we use daily sales sheets; before we started I thought we could just write it down once and then use check marks down the rest of the column for a tally, but with people buying different quantities and editions and sometimes other books or magazines at the same time, it just didn't work like that), take their credit card, ask if they want a receipt, have them sign or put in their pin number, put our receipt away and give them theirs, give them their books, ask if they want a bag... ask for the next person in line.
Really, it was all pretty simple. It's not like I haven't done sales before, and this was pretty much the same process. It was just the time pressure, and having to doublecheck prices for a while, which were written on a taped up sheet rather than in the books like normal, that gave that feeling of forgetting things. I don't think I actually did forget anything. In fact, I think I did pretty well. I don't think I was all that slow, but I tried not to rush, as the Benedictines advise (and as you have to avoid doing when you're trying not to forget things... not that any customer would really let me forget to hand them their books!), and I think I was able to give each person my attention. Go me. (=
The only thing that really bugged me about the night was hearing a huge book six spoiler for the second time. The first time I heard it (also from a customer), I was almost able to block it out and forget about it. Well, kind of. But a second time, with a little more detail? Not a chance. Still, that's my own fault, for going to a book seven release party when I haven't read the sixth yet. You can't blame customers for not guarding their mouths in that sort of situation. Especially when they weren't even talking directly to me this time. Yeah, I can understand that, although I don't like it. The other time not as much. To me, you just don't go around talking about major spoilers to random strangers, even if they do look nerdy and work in a bookstore. Oh well.
Please, please, don't let me hear book seven spoilers, please... Let me wait and get it in Canadian paperback, like all my other copies... please...