Knight Of The Mind

I'll do my best to present a philosophical and generally conservative look at current events and life, the universe and everything. Readers are invited to take all that's posted herein with a grain of salt. or if they prefer, a grain of salt, a slice of lime and a shot of tequila.

Name:
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Greetings and welcome. My name is Steve, I'm 35 years old and I work for the US Army as an Operations Research Analyst. Hence my blog title Knight Of The Mind.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Yet Another Method Of Censorship

It seems Borders Bookstore has gone over to the dark side in a big way. This delightful piece was posted on their employee chat board in a discussion of "Unfit For Command." Some of what these people talked about I had some sympathy for.

Retail customers can really act like jerks sometimes. I've done that sort of job and taken the verbal abuse. The stuff about boxes of the book having to be sent back because they were "damaged in transit," should be grounds for immediate termination.

This cute little incident is the best advertising Hastings, Barnes and Noble or Amazon could ask for. So rather than yelling at a Borders clerk, simply refuse to have your shadow darken the mat in front of their front door in the first place.

Borders Books - Unfit For Command

Arabicon - Aug 21, 2004 - 07:17 AMPost subject: Unfit For Command

Last night when one of our supervisors told a customer over the phone that we're sold out of Unfit For Command, the customer apparently heard either "don't have" or "don't carry". He said, "It figures you wouldn't have it, you're a liberal bookstore," then hung up. Later in the evening, another customer claimed to have heard on the radio that we wouldn't be re-stocking the title for the same reason. Leave aside that we bow to the almighty dollar like any good corporation and would sell How To Tap Dance Naked in Public While Engaging in Oral Congress with Rodents if it was a bestseller, does anyone know where customer #2 got this idea (I actually heard the same thing in the cafe later in the evening from another customer)? Thanks, y'all.

tigrrrlilly - Aug 21, 2004 - 08:24 AMPost subject:

We've gotten countless folks in the past 2 weeks who have said pretty close to the same thing to us at our store. Apparently it's pretty prevalent lately, which would explain BINC putting in writing their official policy on political books. (if customers get pushy enough we're to make this available to them on an individual basis) At the expense of sounding like I'm passing judgement, conservative types seem to fall prey to these type of conspiracy theories a little too easily. Now the democrats are in league with the nations bookstores and publishers and conspire to keep dangerous books out of the hands of inquiring readers..... Come on. I've found that it's helpful to explain to these customers where books come from. The fact is that Regnery didn't have the foresight to print enough copies of books to meet the demand. The book is backordered- no one has it right now, and as soon as there are more printed, the book stores will get them in.

withrow - Aug 21, 2004 - 02:00 PMPost subject:

You can probably get Regnery's corporate number from Books in Print or off the web. I'd keep it handy and then whenever a customer asks for this book, tell them that Regnery isn't keeping this book stocked and it may be because Regnery is a pinko-commie-fag publisher who's trying to bury this story by not printing enough copies of this book. Tell them you even read on the web that Hillary Clinton is on Regnery's Board of Directors. And, after all, you did just read on the web that she's on the Board and that it's pinko-commie-fag publisher so you wouldn't be lying. Well, maybe you shouldn't use "pinko-commie-fag". How about pacifist lesbian outfit? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

guenevere - Aug 21, 2004 - 04:00 PMPost subject:

We had two men come into the store about an hour apart to pick up the book (which, of course, we did not have) and became a tad nasty--one shouting "Then I will go to Barnes and Noble and get it!" (like that is some sort of threat). However, we did have a college professor come in looking for it. She teaches a writing class and wanted to use it as an example of a "false book"--something perpetuated to be one thing but is actually something else. She said no way could h the fellow soldiers gotten together, written a book, sold it to a publisher and actually had it published in such a short period of time. She said there are loads of those books. And isn't $27.95 a bit costly for such a skinny book?

dr_queerlove - Aug 21, 2004 - 10:14 PMPost subject:

withrow wrote:
You can probably get Regnery's corporate number from Books in Print or off the web. I'd keep it handy and then whenever a customer asks for this book, tell them that Regnery isn't keeping this book stocked and it may be because Regnery is a pinko-commie-fag publisher who's trying to bury this story by not printing enough copies of this book. Tell them you even read on the web that Hillary Clinton is on Regnery's Board of Directors. And, after all, you did just read on the web that she's on the Board and that it's pinko-commie-fag publisher so you wouldn't be lying. Well, maybe you shouldn't use "pinko-commie-fag". How about pacifist lesbian outfit? Not that there's anything wrong with that.I love it. I'll be printing copies from BIP as soon as I get to work. On a lighter note, we actually found a copy in our store today--SHOCKING--and the woman who bought it was nearly rabid in her zeal and excitement. We should be able to charge extra, don't you think? I mean, aren't these neocons all about supply-side economics?

takahashi - Aug 23, 2004 - 12:30 PMPost subject:

We're "finding" that most of the few copies we're getting are damaged and need to be sent back, so sad. Too bad, Bushies! Regnery needs to be more careful. I'm hearing from people at 2 other stores that this seems to be common. Why should we help destroy what's left of our country?

redheadpixie - Aug 23, 2004 - 04:07 PMPost subject:

We've had rabid people in our store due to this book too. From a week before it was even released, people had been coming in or calling every hour asking for it. Of course, we had maybe 20 copies IT to us, which we knew would be gone immediately. And they were (but for one copy on hold for an employee, which I told someone to take and sell--because if someone on staff wanted it that badly, they should have bought it that night). We got in an additional seven copies, which 3 went to our SPO clerk to give to special orders (yes, only three rabid customers actually ordered it after being informed we were OOS). The other four were left in the back with a note: For Staff. That amuses me. I personally dealt with two venomous customers, making the same accusation about being liberal and purposely not carrying it. Thankfully, I have a fabulous phone voice and can be sticky sweet in explaining that there simply were too few copies printed, that we had already sold out of the copies were had been sent, and would be getting some as soon as the made a second run. One guy asked when that would be, I pressed, "When they make a second run."


Aarontrz - Aug 24, 2004 - 07:49 AMPost subject:

It's funny how these people react to you telling them there is no book for them today. Especially when they know "it's on the best seller list". I'm not sure who is taking more slack for this book, Kerry or the lowly booksellers who most likely wouldn't crack the book open if given a free copy. I want to get just one copy so I can tear it to shreds in front of one of these old grumpy men bent on conpiracy theory. I wish they really knew how little respect I have for them, even though they spent so long in the morning dressing the part of the right-wing a-hole just for that trip to Borders. The funny thing is that when the hype has died down, there will probably be hundreds of copies in the back and a full shelf of these books that will remind you of these people everytime you pass by or have to shelve the occasional one that will fit.

takahashi - Aug 24, 2004 - 10:56 AMPost subject:

You guys don't actually HAVE to sell the thing! Just "carelessly" hide the boxes, "accidentally" drop them off pallets, "forget" to stock the ones you have, and then suggest a nice Al Franken or Micheal Moore book as a substitute. Borders wants those recommends, remember? I don't care if these Neandertals in fancy suits get mad at me, they aren't regular customers anyway. Other than "Left Behind" books, they don't read. Anything you can do to make them feel unwelcome is only fair. They are the people pushing retailers to cut costs, don't forget. And they would censor your speech, your books, your music in a heartbeat, so give them a taste of it! Don't get mad, get even!

makeitstop - Aug 24, 2004 - 11:41 AMPost subject:

I've had people threatening to call Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, etc...one lady "warned" me yesterday that she and several others are trying to determine if BINC is involved in a conspiarcy not to sell the book and that they're calling bookstores everywhere. BTW, we got the publisher's # from BOP as well...hopefully that will at least give them someone else to bother about it. We have a Republican customer base [store is in a ultraexpensive shopping center where the only store the average BINC employee can afford to shop at is...Borders] so I'll have to continue to deal with this 10-15 times a day for a while now. If the wingnut publishing company wasn't so unequipped to release books on a national scale there'd be no problem....

- Borders Union.

Update I: Michelle Malkin seems to find the attitude of Borders employees towards their customers less than inspiring.

Update II: Varifrank invites the Broders Union to "talk to The Hand." The KoTM bad pun threat advisory level just went to code Orange.

Update III: The Drudge Report suggests the Borders Boycott hasn't met with much success.

FLASH: SWIFT BOAT 'UNFIT FOR COMMAND' STAYS #1 BOOK IN NATION FOR 4TH WEEK WITH 49,400 SCANNED [271,406 TO DATE]... FRANKS 'AMERICAN SOLDIER 17,372 SOLD [212,047]... CLINTON 'MY LIFE' 12,398 [1,087,582]... DOWD 10,591; PAULEY 9,993; PARIS HILTON 9,447, ACCORDING TO NIELSEN BOOKSCAN DATA, SOURCES TELL DRUDGE...

"Reciprocals"

As you may or may not already be aware, members of the Watcher's Council hold a vote every week on what they consider to be the most link-worthy pieces of writing around... per the Watcher's instructions, I am submitting one of my own posts for consideration in the upcoming nominations process.
Here is the most recent winning council post, here is the most recent winning non-council post, here is the list of results for the latest vote, and here is the initial posting of all the nominees that were voted on.

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