Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Waterstones

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.

16 comments:

Wojtech Huunt said...

No-one will think any less of you if you now 'come out'. Go back and buy 'Maurice' and see what happens.

Diplomate said...

Oh Ron - and I bet you forgot to get his 'phone number you shy thing you. Get any good beer down you on this trip ?

alastair fox said...

Assistant's gaydar obviously well-honed ..

alastair fox said...

.. lucky you were in travel and not (uphill) gardening

Wartime Housewife said...

I'm with Wojtech. When ARE you going to come out Ron? We have a person in the Waterstones in Market Harborough (dressed in black)and I have no idea whether they are a boy or a girl. Charming but androgenous.

Diplomate said...

only one sure way to find out WH - do let us know.

Ron Combo said...

Diplo: yes, a few pints of Fullers' Discovery in The Mitre, just off High Holborn. Excellent ale, ancient pub, excellent pork pies (probably from Leicestershire Affer, sorry) served with Colman's best.
The rest of you: sod off, I'm not coming out and that's an end to it.

Affer said...

Hmmm. The Mitre. Frequented by Mathematicians, Academics, dodgy PR people and not a few pooftahs.


So I'm told.

ChrisP said...

The Mitre used to do the best Welsh rarebit in London. Mmmmm....Welsh rarebit....

Toby Savage said...

Steady on boys. Ron is, I assure you, no friend of Dorothy's. God knows I've tried. I suggest, Ron, you buy your books on line at Amazon, or, if within these hallowed shores, you go to a proper book shop. I know there is one in Harborogh that Mr. Ash Leigh goes to and another here in Kibworth (Village currently soaring up the ratings on BBC 4) These are run by nice old ladies dressed in tweed, or chaps that know what a Bugatti is. `let me, or the wild one know what you need and we'll post it on.

(Still necking the Barbara - 9 months on)

Percy Weiper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Percy Weiper said...

I think you should give up growing tomatoes, and get a proper job. Italy is the home of Chocolate Valley and could offer an opportunity for re-training? Of course, you would have to start at the bottom, perhaps wrapping truffles or packing fudge.

Ron Combo said...

Toby: thank you for your sound advice, but there is always that tug of pleasure paying £25 in a chain bookshop knowing that it's probably £12 on Amazon with free UK delivery.
Percy: I don't need re-training. I went to a third-rate boarding school in Devonshire run by Methodists.

Peter Ashley said...

Blimey, I've missed all this. What a shame. But, the bookshop in Michael Wood's Kibworth is run by my very attractive neighbour. I've never seen her in tweeds, but time will tell I suppose.

Jon Dudley said...

It's a coach trip to the bookshop if Mr A tells true...

Morag said...

Please don't buy books at Amazon. They take enough money as it is.

Instead, can I recommend www.thebookdepository.com who have similar prices to Amazon (they are also a seller on there) but their prices include delivery ANYWHERE in the world. I always look there first nowadays.