What is it with Waterstones' counter staff? Are there ANY heterosexuals who work in one of their shops?
I remember when I used to go to their Kensington High Street branch which, several years ago, seemed to have 100% wimmin-based personnel. The emotion of profound, intense dislike that radiated out over the cash till was tangible. And that was without buying anything by Ted Hughes or Jim Davidson.
Last week I went to their Piccadilly mausoleum to buy Under the Sun, the Collected Letters of Bruce Chatwin, for a dear friend. Bruce was, of course, extremely fond of crashing the yoghurt truck with other members of his sex.
Waterstones seem to have slammed their employment policy into reverse in the intervening years. All the counter staff were male. Dressed in black. I tried to choose the least overt. To no avail. "Ooh" he trilled far too loudly, "you will JUST LOVE this!" I looked at my shoes as hard as I could. " Bruce was so, just so impossible, like a chameleon" (giggle) "Which we all are, aren't we" (glancing up at me whilst slipping the book just so into the bag), "whether we like it or not?"
Sometimes it's tough being a man in a bookshop.