Another day, another new directive from the High Command at our Head Orifice. Today’s wonderful new ploy by the marketing twonks to help wipe the smile of a bookseller’s face: after each and every book sale we are supposed to ask every single customer if they have reserved the forthcoming Harry Potter book.

Now I don’t know about you, but I hate shopping in places where the staff are instructed to work to a script, especially if part of that script is trying to get people to buy something they have shown no interest in. I avoid shopping in places like that ever again in fact. It is also degrading and infinitely depressing for the staff. Needless to say we were less than impressed by this ploy thought up by some marketing fuckwit and spent the rest of the day going round asking “do you want fries with that? Do you want to go Large?”

And before anyone suggests that I should be more ‘retail-wise’ – surely a contradiction in terms – I sell a lot of books. In fact I sell extra books that wouldn’t always sell and I do this by the rather more subtle and professional expedient of knowing a lot about literature and providing reviews and recommendations. This is why one of my recently recommend new titles has sold more in one month on my Recommends display than it did for the preceding month when it was on a company-wide promotion, or why I can sell five times the number of a title than our sister branch at the other end of town. No scripted talk used – it’s all ad-libbed, baby. Any more impromptu and live and it would be on the Fringe