Midnight with My Diary and My Water Bottle

Midnight with My Diary and My Water Bottle
Taken at Goodale Park, June 2010, during Comfest, by Scott Robinson (1963-2013)

Search This Blog

Continued From Blog on LiveJournal

For entries prior to April 2010, please go to and read there. Nothing has changed about this blog except its hosting site.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Saturday for the Books

Day One of spring quarter 2011 at Columbus State is Monday.  Usually, the Discovery Exchange closes at 2 p.m. on Saturday, but today it remained open until 4.  And yours truly was there from start to finish.

The alarm is never a pleasant sound to me, even less so on a day when I usually sleep late.  For one vain moment, I hoped that I just forgotten to disable the alarm when I went to bed last night, but as I reached to shut it off, reality returned to me.  This was a day I was working at the Columbus State bookstore, an eight-hour shift (8 a.m.-4 p.m.).

When I worked for the Cincinnati post office, I thought that it was a unique job; it was the only job I ever had where I switched back and forth between blue- and white-collar tasks so many times in a single shift.  Sorting letters was clerical (and, in fact, my title was "casual clerk" or "rescue clerk"), whereas tending letter-sorting machines was definitely labor-intensive work.  Sorting second- and third-class mail was quite aerobic.  I wasn't putting letters into pigeonholes or casing them, I was throwing bundles of magazines or flyers into canvas hampers (like the ones hospitals use to collect soiled linen).

I wouldn't have thought this possible when it came to bookstore work.  I was wrong.  A co-worker and I spent the first two hours of the work day bagging prepaid Web orders, so they would be ready when people came to pick them up.  I ate a nutritional breakfast of Diet Pepsi and M&Ms during this task.  The work was somewhat repetitive, but not as mind-numbing as an assembly-line job, where you can effectively zone out while your hands fit Part A into Slot B repetitively for years on end.  Bagging prepaid orders meant checking to make sure all the books before you matched the list, putting the books in the transparent bag, sealing it with a tape gun, and taping the recipient's name and address on a hanging tag, visible when the cashier checks the shelf for it.

After that came the more physically demanding part of the job.  Many wooden pallets groaned under the weight of cartons of unpacked books.  Once I knew which books went on the shelves, and which were going back to the publishers and/or distributors, my task was set for the rest of the day.  I unloaded books at a rather brisk pace, stacked them on V-shaped dollies, and began filling gaps on the shelves with them.  I was never able to establish any real rhythm, which would have made the task go more smoothly, because I constantly had to stop what I was doing to answer customers' questions.  (My new pet peeve is when they lead off with "Can I ask you a question?"  I used all my self-restraint--and for me, self-restraint happens about as often as Halley's Comet--to keep from saying, "As long as it isn't that one.")

The Discovery Exchange, Columbus State Community College's
bookstore, 283 Cleveland Ave.  Also accessible on the Web

Very few books are on the Discovery Exchange's first floor.  There is a magazine rack in the small convenience store in the rear of the first floor (it's much like any other convenience store, except that they don't sell alcohol or cigarettes), but most of the books are on the second floor.  Because of the nature of the business, over 90% are textbooks, but on the other side of the second floor is a modest selection of leisure-reading.  The first floor features most of the "spirit gear"--Columbus State apparel, license-plate frames, coffee mugs, stuffed animals, etc.  The front windows advertise the variety of things available, besides books, such as clothing, graduation announcements, coffee, gifts, and others (I meant to jot down the list today, but reached into the breast pocket of my shirt only to find I left this morning minus my notebook).

As I wait for my post-work bus, and see the items advertised on the front window, I think of a small convenience store I went to when I lived on Commonwealth Ave. in Boston.  It wasn't part of a chain, like 7-Eleven or The Store 24, so the owner could be creative with his signage.  I wish I had taken a picture of the sign, but I will remember it as long as I live.  When I rode toward my apartment at night, it would be over the front entrance, promising


Any competitor had his work cut out for him!


  1. Does your website have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd like
    to shoot you an e-mail. I've got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.

    my weblog :: at porn photo
    my web site: more

  2. Hi there, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts,
    that's really fine, keep up writing.

    Also visit my site; visit website

  3. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though
    you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your site
    when you could be giving us something informative to

    Feel free to visit my website;

  4. As the admin of this web page is working, no hesitation very shortly it will be renowned, due to its quality

    my website college
    my webpage - click here

  5. It is not my first time to visit this site, i am visiting this
    site dailly and get good data from here daily.

    my webpage:

  6. Informative article, totally what I wanted to find.

    Also visit my web-site: visit

  7. Wonderful, what a webpage it is! This weblog provides useful facts to us, keep it up.

    Feel free to visit my web blog; visit

  8. A person essentially lend a hand to make severely posts I would state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page
    and so far? I surprised with the analysis you made to
    create this actual post extraordinary. Great

    my blog: mouse click the following internet site

  9. Good post. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep writing!

    my page; with This Blonde Babe Has Some Huge Natural Tits

  10. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in
    web explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a
    good element of people will omit your fantastic writing because of this problem.

    Also visit my web-site; click here

  11. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem together with your
    site in web explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is
    the marketplace leader and a good element of people will omit your fantastic
    writing because of this problem.

    My blog ... click here

  12. This is the perfect blog for anyone who really wants to
    understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with
    you (not that I really would want to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic
    that's been discussed for many years. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

    My web site :: Follow the entertaining activities of the selection of old age pensioners that.

  13. Woah! I'm really digging the template/theme of this website. It's simple, yet
    effective. A lot of times it's difficult to get that "perfect balance" between usability and appearance. I must say you have done a awesome job with this. In addition, the blog loads super fast for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

    Also visit my web blog - Email Console

  14. Excellent post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well.


    Here is my web site: see more

  15. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words
    in your content seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I'm not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I'd post to let you know.
    The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon.

    Here is my blog ... blonde babe fingering

  16. Wrіte moгe, thats all I have to say. Litеrally, іt
    ѕeems as though you гelied on the viԁeo to maκe your рoint.
    Үou obvіοusly κnoω ωhat
    yοure tаlking abοut, ωhy thrоw away youг
    intellіgеnce on just posting videos to your ωeblog when уou сoulԁ be giving us sοmething informatiѵe to read?

    Have a look at my web site diet hcg