Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Zen 4

I decided today that my life is pretty fantastic.

My shift at Vroman's didn't start until 12:45 this afternoon, so I had the morning free to get some things done. I started off by completing some very important business I've been putting off... by watching some cartoons in my pajamas while eating grape nuts. This was something I meant to do on Saturday morning, but I dallied too much and never got around to it.

THEN, I went into Jameson Brown, roasted a couple batches of coffee and had some great conversations before I headed into Vroman's. My job today was to call customers who had special ordered certain books we don't keep in stock at our store and let them know their orders were ready to be picked up. And this is how 95% of the conversations go:

Me: Hello, is "Bla blah blah" * there?

Lucky customer (in a VERY suspicious tone, especially if it's clear I've mispronounced their name): yyyyeessssss?

Me: This is Laura Jane** from Vroman's bookstore in Pasadena to let you know the book you special ordered has arrived at our store and is ready for pickup at the Willcall window.

Lucky customer: OH!!!! Great! Thank you SOOOOO much. I'll be there to pick it up in a few hours! Thanks again!

Me: No problem, have a great day :) ***

* In this case "bla blah blah" stands for the name of the lucky customer
** there is another Laura at Vroman's, and she happens to be my my name is now, officially, Laura Jane. Because Jane is my middle name, you see.
*** Smiley face inserted into text to convey to you (the reader) the way my voice sounds when I say this with a smile over the phone.

It was just after one such call that I realized just how cool my life is. Check it out: I am a coffee maker and bookseller! In the mornings I get to wake up and make coffee that will eventually be served to people who will be exchanging ideas, reading a good book, talking to their best friend, getting ready for work, or opening presents on christmas morning. In the afternoon, I get to go to a book store, and tell other people who love books that their special book is in and ready for them to take home (!!!) and when they do come in to pick it up, we get to talk about it. I can ask them about authors they particularly enjoy, and why they chose this book. I had one lady come up to the window today and ask if there were any books titled "The Third Eye" So I did a title search for her and let her know that there are about 24 books with that title...most of which we'd have to special order from our distributor. She decided to buy all of them. YES. All of them. Apparently she's into metaphysics. She didn't even care what they were about...she just figured if she ordered all of them, at least a few would be interesting.

And then I started looking back at my employment history.

My first job was at an amusement park in Kansas City. First, I gave people temporary tattoos and on tuesdays I sold sand art (the plastic bottles where they get to layer different colors of sand and take it home) THEN, I got to dress up as Snoopy every day and hug little children. Then I worked as a waitress at cracker barrell and talk to random trucker type men (awesome). Then, I was an RA in college and I got to play games ("teambuilding exercises") with college kids. THEN, I worked at Disney for two years making tv and cartoons. Now, I'm a coffee maker and bookseller. I am determined never to have a normal job.

I'm thinking about looking into teaching english in Japan, then coming back to the US (AFTER I've mastered the Japanese language) and translating Japanese comic books into english. Or some other strange type job. I just think that I may never have a real career and that my jobs will always be the kind you expect a teenager to have. I'm tired. It's time for bed. I'm going to write about tea (maybe) tomorrow,

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