Monday, May 26, 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged...

...That a bibliophile in possession of a large book collection must be in want of more books.

Okay, that altered quote doesn't have much to do with what I'm going to say, except that it introduces the topic of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice.  This is obviously a parody of the novel's opening line.  The line I want to talk about, somewhat indirectly, comes toward the end, when the heroine's father Mr. Bennet has found that three of his five daughters are married or engaged, and he only has two more to "unload" before he can be sure of their future security:

"If any young men come for Mary or Kitty,
 send them in, for I am quite at leisure."
~ Chapter 59

As part of showing how books are relevant, I often try to record here the times in my so-called real life where I make direct connections to something I've read.  Today's episode in the Life of Laura has to do with Pride and Prejudice, and since no one else at the time understood my reference, you, dear reader, get to be afflicted blessed with it.

Almost ten months ago I started my job as an administrative assistant for a retail store.  "Administrative Assistant" sounds lofty, but really it is sales support/clerical and secretary  work/receptionist duties all rolled up into one.  It means I have a lot of time to read IF I've first had about fifty phone conversations, emailed coworkers a gagillion times, and slogged through a lot of data.  Don't get me wrong, I actually like to email and slog.  It's the phone conversations that sometimes get me rattled.  I'm not a phone person. Given a choice, I choose a phoneless cord over a cordless phone any time. 

Part of the reason I sought this kind of job was to get over a phone-phobia.  Little did I know that it would teach me more about human nature than I ever desired to learn.  Because when someone makes a phone call to a retail store, the disembodied voice they hear is not human, and so customers don't really treat me as such. 

Have a customer service problem?  Yell at the receptionist!  Have a grievance with a salesperson?  Yell at the receptionist!  Need to talk to a manager?  Don't let that receptionist transfer you to the correct extension without first making sure she understands in gruesome detail all the things that are wrong with the company she works for, and make sure she knows you're not mad at her by convincingly YELLING AND SWEARING THE ENTIRE TIME.

The other day, after about three incidents along this line--one of which in particular the customer CAME INTO THE STORE to GET A LOOK AT THE RECEPTIONIST (yours truly) to see the FACE OF WHOSE FAULT IT WAS (because of course it was my fault that I gave him the correct information; sometimes I could just kick myself for my commitment to accuracy)--I turned to my coworker and told him I was going to lunch.

"If any other customers come in wanting to yell at someone, page me up, for I am quite at leisure," I said. 

Not that it was all that brilliant or witty, and of course he didn't get it.  But for a moment as I was referencing that quotation I became as disconnected and aloof as Mr. Bennet, which gave me the feeling that I could face a bunch of silly, unreasonable people and not only not be upset by them, but actually be amused at them--though obviously in secret.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Library Binging

I don't know what it is about summer coming up, but around this time of year I always have the urge to borrow library books like crazy. I call these "library binges," in which I have to use not only one hand to hold my books but both. Sometimes the chin comes into play as I try to steady a tall, precariously leaning pile of books I'm trying to carry up to the checkout counter. 

Maybe one reason is that the summer is so short. The days are long, but it's over so fast. It makes me remember that life is short.  And my list of "books to put on hold" is so very, very long. 

It's downright overwhelming at times, seeing how many books I actually have to read. There are hundreds, even thousands of years' worth of literature to catch up on, and as if that's not enough there's always thousands, if not MILLIONS of new titles being churned out that fairness dictates I can't ignore. 

Yet overwhelming as it can be, there's nothing quite so satisfying as the feeling of your shoulders and elbows straining at their sockets, your vertebrae being smooshed, because you're carrying about 126 thick chapter books to your car. Sometimes it's worth renting a trailer or moving van for these sorts of summer expeditions to the library.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Arthurian Legends Illustrated: Part I

Don't worry I won't go back to my The Waste Land ranting for quite awhile now.  I'll even hold off on my reviews of some other Arthurian Legend-related books.  But this link is pretty cool taken just by itself.  I love when stories impact art.

Monday, May 5, 2014

SomeECards: Book Humor Selections

For more SomeECards Book Humor, see Our Favorite Bookish Someecards | Alice Marvels.