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11:55 am - Thurs 9/9/04
End Of An Era

End Of An Era

Tues 9/7/04 (1:10 p.m.)

Well, I guess the top story today is that we have a new G.M. at the bookstore.

And it isn't John O.

There was a notice up at the store yesterday; the new guy is David Salas, who has been the sales manager at the Sunset and Vine store since it opened, late last year.

I guess he's been with Borders three or four years. Prior to that, he was the G.M. at the Virgin megastore where Phil used to work (Phil is currently "Training Supervisor" at the store).

A new G.M. is a pain-in-the-ass on a couple levels, but my main concern, as I've stated before, is whether this means John will now seek greener pastures. Selfishly, I hope he doesn't, but the message from Borders seems to be coming through loud-and-clear--"This is as far you're ever gonna get, buddy!"–so not only can I understand if he decides to move on, at some level, I hope he does. He's obviously too good for this lame-ass organization.

Thurs 9/9/04 (9:29 a.m.)

On Tuesday at work, John mentioned "cleaning his office".

But that wasn't exactly accurate...

He didn't just "clean" his office.

He cleaned out his office.

Down to bare walls, and an empty desk At the end of the night, the large wastebasket in the back was full of posters and papers and whatnot (And sadly, sitting on top of the heap of posters and papers and whatnot was a "John-as-G.M" stuffed doll, a doll that Marie--the G.M. before John A.--had made for him).

I didn't see him leave with a bunch of stuff at the end of his shift, but he has a backpack, and a guess he gave away some things to people who were in the back room as he was "cleaning".

If he is quitting–and it sure looks that way, doesn't it?–that's a huge blow, to the store in general, and more importantly, to me personally.

I don't think anyone at the bookstore would argue the point–John O. has been the heart of this store, the "human face" of a mostly inhuman, faceless organization. When people say that one of the nice things about working at the bookstore is the people, I have no doubt most people are thinking of John O. as "first on the list".

And personally, he's one of the people responsible for getting me through the earliest, darkest days out here. Beyond that–and that's a pretty big deal, all by itself-- he's been both a peer at the store, and a "friend in high places". It would make a bad day easier if I had him to confide in (And I like to feel that went both ways), and it made "the commercial thing" easier to have someone in management who understood, and was supportive, of what I was trying to do out here (Thankfully, in that latter regard, all is not lost; Joe and Tim, the remaining managers, have also become supporters over our time together. But I doubt either of them will have the ear of the new guy the way John O. would have).

Now, just as I'm feeling a new wave of "I need to do more out here", I lose my favorite person and biggest supporter at the store.

And of course, as people like John O. and Daniel C. leave, people I'd come to depend on and think of as friends at the bookstore, it makes me think about my own future with Borders, and how I'd like there to not be one.

But the trouble I'm having is that while I know there are worse jobs than Borders–"fast food" springs immediately to mind–I can't for the life of me think of a better one (Let me clarify that; I can think of a hundred better jobs than working at Borders. I just can't think of one that 1. Gives me a better income, 2. Works with the acting stuff, 3. Doesn't leave me more tired and disprited than I already am after a day at the bookstore).

(And once again, the agnostic finds himself wishing for some kind of "divine intervention"...)


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