Sizzlin’ Squirrels!

Scientist have discovered that the humble squirrel can use his/her big, ole bushy tail for more than just looking cute to get nuts out of you. In fact, when faced with a deadly rattlesnake the squirrel waves his tail around while increasing the heat output from it. Rattlesnakes use heat signatures to hom in on prey and warn of potential threats. No, this isn’t just Joe at it again, it’s real, honest!

Going underground

Well nearly at the end of my first week down in the Pit at work. I’ve been relocated to ‘oversee’ the goods-in. Well, that’s what I was told in the whole minute Evil Smiling New Boss gave over to ‘discussing’ the change with me. Not overly happy with the move and even less impressed with the lack of consultation and the fact he made these changes even before he has held his one-on-one chats with staff (he’s only been here a couple of months). Seems to me it would make sense to have the chats, get to know your staff then think about moves – preferably in consultation with your staff. I have to wonder why one of the most senior booksellers/buyers is now moved to the stockroom’s underground concrete cavern into a post where they neither sell books nor do any of the buying. I’m not knocking goods-in, it’s the msot basic function in the business and without it running smoothly the entire sore grinds to a halt. But it does seem to be rather a waste of resources of one of your most senior and experienced staff members. Can’t see that it adds anything to my ‘career’ path either… The cynical part of my brain wonders if it is a plan to make me feel unappreciated and so leave. If so they needn’t bother since I have felt that way at Bastardstone’s for a long time and would leave tomorrow had I another decent job to go to. Carrying in crate after crate today and then later taking out the empty cardboard for recycling and the trash bags it was, I reflected, nice to know my page-full of qualifications, my four year honours degree and years of skills and experience were being put to such good and fufilling uses.

Not all bad though – at least I can avoid those pesky customers for a while and I can listen to music while I work. Although as we only have a battered old tape-radio in the stockroom I had to look around for some old tapes to play. I’ve been all-digital for a long time now (bollocks to those who espouse vinyl and tape, I hated both and was first in line for a CD back in 85-86 – vinyl was only ever good for skinning up on at parties). Sneaked a couple of talking books from an incoming pile to listen to as well and managed to fit in the entire BBC radio version of the Hitch-hiker’s Guide this week. So, it ain’t all bad (except today where my stockroom colleague Kerry (Olly’s other half) was too hung over/still drunk and left me to unlaod the bigger deliveries and then lug all the smegging boxes down to the basement all by myself. I would have made a catty comment but she so obviously had a dark hangove cloud over her head I thought better of it. Plus she’s bigger than me). Well, if I am to be stuck down in the Pit for a while I guess I may spring to a cheap portable system so I can at least play some CDs. May as well have some enjoyment out of my internal exile.

Speaking of Olly – happy graduation and welcome to the select group of Extremely Clever People, otherwise known as graduates. Never more shall our Olly be referred to sneeringly as a ‘little undergrad’. Now, of course, it is his duty to look down on undergrads in the time-honoured fashion.Although I have to take exception to his ‘we then had to wake up for work’ claim on his blog, since my sources tell me that he nearly didn’t make it to his new job (he has a real job outside Waterstone’s, the lucky bugger) and only woke up in time because his mum phoned him! heh. This report was not sexed up in any way.