When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Adventures at Barnes & Nobles

I am enjoying my time at B&N. And I'm absorbing people again. Taking in all their habits, and flaws, and quirks, and patterns. It's how I navigate--by understanding the human landscape so that I can manuever my way through it. (My own landscape--well, that's a horse of a different color)

There are at least a half a dozen customers in the B&N cafe that were regulars back when I used to work there on the first go 'round. Creatures of habit. And I tell you, they come and sit for hours. Nightly. It saves them LOTS of money, not having to buy all that material they read.

But it makes me realize that I'm not alone in my propensity to isolate myself. These folks aren't at the cafe with partners--they are alone. They dig into a book and that's all she wrote until their coffee runs out.

And then, there are the employees. Another half-dozen quiet people who have been working at the store for years.

Asperger's Disorder, I tell you! George claimed that he and his son had it, but they were embarassingly shameless and pushy. These quiet folk at B&N are more like my style of Asperger's. (Style as in preference. I'm still debating whether I have it or not.) These B&N type of folk are the folks I would be glad to number myself among.


Anonymous said...

I guess the thing is being ok with being a quiet soul. Who says being a social butterfly is the best way to be, if that's just not you, it's not you. Lots of people prefer quieter, reflective people anyways.
Why is it when I look up any 'disorder', I think 'oh that could be me today'! lol I think the study of psychology can be very limiting sometimes in terms of how you see yourself/label yourself.

GrizzBabe said...

Whose footing the bill for all of those gently read books? Or is B&N making up for it in coffee sales? ;)

Alan said...

Anon, lol! I agree with you. We do all display the characteristics of any given disorder through a day, a week, etc. But the DSM-IV will give you the exact criteria that you have to display in order to be labeled as having one. My quick way of defining a disorder is that the symptoms you suffer from has to greatly impair your ability to function in society. If you function (can pay your bills, can live independently, etc), then you don't have a disorder.

Now, the way George lives, I would say yes--he has a disorder.

As for myself ... autism might explain this severe delay in my social development. Or not. I'm not worried about labels. I'm just concerned with my symptoms.

Grizz, I couldn't tell you! B&N has goals each day that it wants to make. They announce to all staff after we close if we made the goal or not. So I'm guessing the cost of returning the gently read is factored in. As a point of ref, my store made about 34K yesterday, which was over their goal.

So let the regulars read away!! :-)

Little Wing said...

What an awesome place for you to work!
So peaceful and quiet, you are so fortunate!

Scott said...

I think I would like working at B&N too, and I wouldn't mind spending some of my time reading there and finding my own center. And what a place to people watch!