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Career Story: Sales Clerk At A Chain Bookstore

Sales Clerk At A Chain Bookstore

Job Title: Bookseller

Type of Company: I work for a national bookstore chain.

Education: BA, Psychology, Central Connecticut State College •• MA, Education, Wheelock College

Previous Experience: I worked as a party decorator while raising my children.

Job Tasks: I work the cash register in the front of the store. In addition to taking the customer's payment, I make suggestions on books I have read and enjoyed and help people find what they are looking for. Many times we refer people to customer service whose main job is to locate books, place orders and give suggestions. I explain to customers about our membership program, how it works, the benefits to them and if interested, sign them up to be part of the program which entitles them to coupons, promotions and discounts for them and their entire family. I am partly responsible for the special orders they place either at home or using instore computers. Every day when the orders arrive both my co-worker and I call the customers who ordered them or make sure they receive an email alert. After a week, the customer is once again called as a reminder that we hold the book for 2 weeks from the date of arrival. The books are all filed alphabetically by the customer's last name on a shelf near the register. Daily the overdue books are purged which means they are returned to the shelves in order to make room for the incoming books. Making sure that our area is kept neat and organized is a job that all of us share. From time to time I may work in the Children's department either putting books away, waiting on customers or reading a story for story hour. All in all, it is a bustling environment and because I love books it is the ideal place for me.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being surrounded by wonderful, brand new books. Most of the customers are nice, intelligent people with whom it is easy to have a rapport. Talking about books I have read or making suggestions is very satisfying. We also have an area of staff recommendations in which any of us can write a little synopsis on books we have enjoyed. I try to steer customers to the area which helps them make a selection for either themselves or a gift. I really enjoy the interaction and the feeling of helping someone with a purchase.

The worst part is putting up with some of the more difficult people who are looking for an angle to return a book that clearly is not sellable. Another behavior I find annoying is the customer who does not get off their cell phone while trying to complete their transaction. I find that rude and inexcusable.

Job Tips: l. Try to make eye contact and be pleasant.

2. Try not to take anything personally while explaining the "store policy."

3. Try not to get frustrated because some people will clearly try to push your buttons.

Additional Thoughts: I believe it is important to have good comradeship amongst your fellow co-workers. Try to be tolerant. Go out of your way to get the jobs done and hopefully they in turn will help you when you are in need.

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