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6:58 am - Monday, Jul. 28, 2003
Life After Retail

Life After Retail

Sun 7/27/03 Noon

(Doing a couple loads of laundry...)

We have a new GM at the bookstore.

His name is John-something, and he was GM at another Borders somewhere.

And that's pretty much all I know at this point; There's been no notice up in the backroom since he was hired, and even though he's been here for two weeks, I haven't met him, and I guess he hasn't introduced himself to anyone (Apparently, if he wants you to do something, he just walks up and tells you to do it, and you have to assume he's the new GM; Until Friday, I hadn't even seen him. If he hadn't been pointed out to me, I'd have to have guessed he was the new guy. It's kind of weird and disconcerting...).

Between his style, the fact that everyone wanted John O. to get the job, and unfortunate timing with the latest round of cuts in hours (More on that later), this guy hasn't made a lot of friends so far.

(There's always a lot of unhappiness whenever hours get cut, but adding insult to injury this time is that there was no notice, not even the usual "We know this is rough, but it's coming down from Corporate" lip-service.)

A few people–Jason and Pat come to mind–are bucking the trend of piling-on this guy, and I think, in spite of my tendencies to the contrary, that I'm going to try and join them. I don't want to just assume he's an asshole and expect the worst; instead, and until he proves otherwise, I'm going to assume he's okay, and expect things to be just fine (And in spite of the fact that I'm a closet "Shy Guy", the next time he's in the store when I'm working, I'm going to make a point of introducing myself).

John O. has to be circumspect–is that the word I want?–about the situation, but he confided to me that he's not happy (I wouldn't be either, in his situation), and is looking for another job.

As you can imagine, I felt a mixture of sadness and alarm when hearing that–John O. has been one of my "guardian angels" out here–but I certainly understand. And rough as it may be, life would go on without him (For that matter, life would go on without Borders, though the idea of having to find another job at this point, with all that entails, fills me with dread).

Well, maybe I'll luck out and get a big national commercial or two before he leaves (Okay, maybe three; The first one pays for my SAG membership, then the next two put me in the clear for a year or so)...


A question regarding the war; When you declare "victory", doesn't that usually mean their guys stop killing your guys?

I was just wondering...


Regarding the war, I thought this was kind of funny, in a very sick sort of way...

When US forces killed Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay (sp?), there was a promo on one of the local tv stations--On the 11:00 news they'd be showing pictures of the two corpses; It warned us the pictures were "graphic" and "disturbing".

The promo was accompanied by a photo of the two corpses.

Thanks for the warning, Channel 9...

The thing I keep thinking about when I think about the war--which I try not to do these days, to be honest, because I just get angry--is how, even though I'm not particularly astute politically, I saw the current, quagmire-ish situation coming a mile away, so why didn't the guys who are supposed to be the friggin' experts?

The latest idiotic "spin" I read on the situation suggests that the daily attacks on US troops in Iraq represent terrorist attacks that are being drawn away from the US proper (It was suggested that US troops are a "magnet" for terrorist groups that are coming into Iraq from other countries).

So I guess all of us on the home front should be grateful; Apparently all it takes for the US to be safe from terrorism is the daily sacrifice of two or three American soldiers.

And now it looks like we're going into Liberia, no doubt with even less of a plan than we had in Iraq (If someone more politically aware wants to explain this one to me, I'd appreciate it).


Last week I got out 15 submissions to agents (The mail came while I was in the middle of things, so six went out on Thursday, and nine more on Friday).

Even though there doesn't seem much to it, it's feeling like a slow and cumbersome process, so I've been thinking about what I can do to streamline it (Basically, I need to think in terms of improving my assembly-line; My tendency is to do each one from start to finish--cover letter, stapling resume to headshot, addressing the envelope, affixing postage--when what I need to do is have all that stuff at the ready, as "pre-made" as possible, so when the impulse strikes, I can get a bunch of these things out in a hurry).

(One thing I did with the dog-sitting money I got from Remerro was to buy a roll of stamps, and I think I'm going to do that in the future whenever possible; I go through stamps in a hurry, and sometimes running out of stamps is the difference between getting stuff out today, and getting stuff out two days from now. I'm also going to get address labels, if I can't figure out how to do them on my printer.)

And beyond the physical process of doing this kind of thing, I just have to go with the part of myself that knows something is going to happen, and ignore the part that feels like I'm throwing money down a hole; Yes, most of what I send out is going to be tossed in the garbage without even being looked at, that's just the way it is, but I only need one good "hit" on this stuff, and I've got an agent. And having a theatrical agent changes the playing field considerably.

The plan, such as it is, is to make my way through the whole book (Right now, I think I'm through the "G"s). By then, I'll maybe have gotten two or three "hits". If not, hopefully I'll have gotten another commercial or something in the meantime that I can use as "news" when I go back to the beginning and start all over, this time mailing out postcards ("Just booked another national for Mastercard...", that sort of thing).

Wanted to publicly thank Jane, both for giving my cover letter a couple "tweaks" (Just a couple word changes here and there), and for inspiring me to not just rely on the "feeling" that I'm going to be successful out here, but to actually do something to make that happen.

Speaking of which, I actually have more I wanted to write about in here, but I think I'm going to forego it, and get some more agent stuff out.

The new guy at work might be fine, and John O. might still be around for awhile, but something in the current set of circumstances at work is increasing my feeling that I really want out.

I've worked in retail long enough. I've been an actor playing a bookstore clerk long enough. Too long.

Now I'm ready to just be an actor.


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