Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Helen Stays On!

Helen originally planned to leave the DU Bookstore this Friday, since she has accepted a benefited position at DU's Penrose Library. However, once she learned that she would be working on the sales floor next week - and not in the stockroom - she quickly changed her mind, and will stay on for an additional week. I personally think Noah has once again resorted to beating employees to make them more productive. We on the sales floor do no such thing. Too many witnesses. Thanks for staying on, Helen!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Fall Quarter Nears!

The Fall Quarter at the University of Denver starts next week. This Sunday the freshmen class and their parents arrive, and will participate in orientation week. The following Monday, classes begin. It is an exciting period at the DU Bookstore, made more so by the need to steal away as many employees as possible from the stockroom to be cashiers. Noah, the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Coordinator, seems to be taking all this personally. Hey, fair is fair, Noah. No way you can't unpack all those boxes yourself if you just start working more efficiently. Think positive! If you like, I will put together some inspirational quotations to help you out.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Marty in a Tie?

The first thing I noticed this morning was that Marty was wearing a tie. That was a tremendous shock. Was it a job interview? A momentous occasion? Eventually I was reminded that today was our year-end meeting with the Vice Chancellor - a review of the past fiscal year. The Bookstore actually did very well in fiscal year 2011, so in point of fact it was a very positive meeting. It was congratulations all around, and then after that a very serious discussion of how strange Marty looks in a tie. No worries - it won't happen for another year.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge

I went downtown this afternoon to watch the conclusion of the USA Pro Cyclying Challenge in Denver. There were thosuands of people watching the event. Most of the people my age (younger middle age) were wearing their their Coors Classic T-shirts. I remember many years ago my brother-in-law took my sister and mother to see a Coors Classic event at the Tivoli. It was a very hot day, and the racers went around the Tivoli in the blazing heat again and again. When reminded, my mother remembered that day until the end of her life: the heat, the bicycles going around and around the Tivoli for what seemed like forever, the boredom. I am happy to report that bicycle racing hasn't changed a bit in 25 years.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Bar Bike!

I ran across the bar bike this afternoon across the street from a local watering hole. It is a bar/ bicycle that a group of people can rent and pedal from bar to bar. Everyone gets to pedal, sharing the burden on the way to the next tavern or nightclub. My friend Valarie originally told me about it, but I thought she was just telling stories again, as she tends to do. But in point of fact, it does exist. Go figure! My only question is, after visiting bar after bar, who is responsible for braking at stoplights or for pedestrians? Something to think about the next time your are in Denver's Lodo neighborhood.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jamie's Last Day!

Jamie has worked at the DU Bookstore as a Work Study Student for the past two years, and is now leaving to pursue a career in Social Work. Jamie has done a wonderful job with the Accounts Payable Department at the DU Bookstore, and before that was a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Africa. Pictured above is her farewell breakfast. Good Luck Jamie! We'll miss you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marty Steps Up!

Marty is the Textbook and General Merchandise Manager at the University of Denver Bookstore. One of Marty's employees - this means you, Owen - has accepted the position of Computer Buyer at the Bookstore, thus creating a problem this quarter in putting textbooks on the shelves in a timely manner. However, Marty has stepped up to the plate, helping out on the sales floor as much as he can. Not to put too fine a point on it, but it took 5 or 6 photographs of Marty to capture his true soul. I am not complaining, but if the Bookstore employees don't start getting it together, I might just have to start hiring models to impersonate the staff. In point fact, George Cloony is just chomping at the bit to play me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Burgers and Beers With Stuart!

After a long day at the DU Bookstore, it was good to go out and grab a couple of burgers and beers with my friend Stuart. It was also good to experience once again the exciting nightlife of Lakewood, Colorado. Everyone was out tonight, sitting in their lawn chairs, watching the suburban grass grow. At Old Chicago, the place was rocking. On the other hand, perhaps that was just one of the aftershocks from the Trinidad earthquake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Noah Celebrates

Noah (pictured above) is celebrating his good fortune today - one of his temporary stockroom employees gave two weeks notice yesterday, and their last day will be the day before they were to start work as a cashier on the sales floor. They will finish their work with Noah, and leave the Bookstore before they have to work as a cashier for me. I find that very suspicious. Has Noah been telling wild stories about what it is like to work as a cashier for me on the sales floor? In point of fact, whenever I walk into the stockroom these days and even glance at one of the temporary stockroom workers, they break into tears - even Joe and Robert. Watch your step, Noah! I am getting wise to you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Owen's New Job

Owen has been the Textbook Coordinator at the DU Bookstore for a number of years now. However, after Donovan - the DU Bookstore's Computer Store Manager - left DU for greener pastures, Owen became the "new Donovan." He is now the Computer Department Buyer, and has left his role as the "textbook guy." Of course, this means there is now nobody to take care of the textbook department, a mere 2 weeks from the start of classes. But I am certainly not bitter about this, at least not too bitter, at least not hysterically bitter, at least -oh what the hell - I am VERY bitter.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Happy 42nd Wedding Anniversary Susan and George!

Today was the perfect day to celebrate my sister Susan's and brother-in-law George's 42nd wedding anniversary. First we strolled through the Golden Fine Arts Festival, and then George treated for beers at the nearby Golden City Brewery beer garden. Then I treated them to an anniversary dinner at El Tejada, the upscale Mexican restaurant on South Broadway in Denver. Everyone was in high spirits, as the official 42nd wedding anniversary photograph above shows. Congratulations again Susan and George! Here's to another 42 years!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Chancellor Speaks About Penrose

The Chancellor issued an e-mail to the University community today, addressing the Penrose Library controversy. Penrose is being remodeled to become the "Academic Commons," a place where students can socialize and use the latest in technology in pursuit of academic excellence (i.e. surf the web). Unfortunately the faculty were not consulted on this project, and recently voiced strong reservations about the plan to not bring back any books after the remodel is complete. Evidently there are still some eccentric old birds on the faculty that actually want books in the library. How quaint! In any case, an agreement has been reached to return 50% of the books to the library, despite the aesthetic problems it will cause to the bold new design. Perhaps some students will be so put off they might surf the web elsewhere.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Helen Joins The DU Bookstore Team!

Helen, a University College student at the University of Denver, has joined the DU Bookstore staff, working in the stockroom, helping to receive the thousands of books needed for the fall quarter. At least she will be receiving these books until Labor Day, when she starts working for me as a cashier on the sales floor. Ha Ha, Noah! Another one of your employees taken away from you right under your own eyes! No hard feelings, right? Right? Right Noah?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pie Day!

Chris, the Account's Payable Assistant at the DU Bookstore, thought it would be a great idea to have Pie Day at the Bookstore this afternoon. It was a tremendous success, and helped boost morale at the store. Thanks Chris! We all appreciate it! Pictured above is Marty, the Textbook and General Merchandise Manager, enjoying a bit of coconut cream pie. This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "pie-eyed." Thanks to everyone who baked or brought in a pie today. Let's do it again next week!!!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Defensive But Not Hostile

Every day when I walk into the DU Bookstore's stockroom, Noah - the Stockroom Coordinator - fixes me with a look like in the photograph above. All because I am trying to recruit some of his stockroom employees to work as cashiers during the start of classes. He says he is simply feeling defensive, not hostile, despite those threatening anonymous notes I have been receiving lately. In any case, I don't understand the problem - as I recall, Noah once said he had no trouble with checking in all those thousands of boxes himself. We at the DU Bookstore firmly believe in doing more with less - much much less.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Service With A Smile!

Dave B. is stocking the shelves of the DU Bookstore, getting ready for the fall "rush" period. As intent as he is on getting the product on the shelves, he is always ready to help out a customer with a positive attitude and a cheerful smile. Thanks for all you do, Dave!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ceci Joins Both The Bookstore And Quick Copy!

Ceci started work at the DU Bookstore and the Quick Copy Center today, replacing both Pamela, the Bookstore's Coursepack Coordinator, and the Assistant Manager of the Quick Copy Center. She will do both jobs, continuing the Bookstore's tradition of "doing more with less." However, the sad thing is that Doug - known throughout the DU campus as "Mr. Coursepack" - will now have to go back to just ordering textbooks, instead of both textbooks and coursepacks, too. Don't let Doug's curmudgeonly attitude fool you, Ceci. He loves working on coursepacks - try to keep him involved with them as much as possible!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Working On The "Rush" Schedule

It is Sunday afternoon, and I have been working on the DU Bookstore's "Rush" schedules, the schedules for Labor Day week and the 1st week of classes. It is a lot like scheduling Patton's Third Army, but much more complicated. I don't think I will be slapping down a private who can't take the stress any more, like Patton did, although in point of fact I may very well slap down a textbook buyer or two. In any case, I am using the schedule that Bill - the previous Operations Coordinator - put together last year, as a model. It has all kinds of different colors that once meant something, but not anymore. I just like the colorful effect, and have decided to keep it as it is. Let everyone decide what the various colors mean to them in their own hearts. This is Zen scheduling at it's finest.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Derek Makes Plans!

Derek has worked at the DU Bookstore for over a year now, and says that he enjoys it very much. However, he feels that at this point in his life he needs less stress, and therefore has decided to join the Marines and go to Afghanistan. Derek is looking forward to long hikes in the mountains, trying new exotic foods, and shopping in colorful bazaars and markets. It does sound a lot less stressful than the DU Bookstore! Good Luck Derek! Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bill & Renee Pay A Visit

Bill, the former Operations Coordinator for the DU Bookstore, and his wife Renee, paid a visit to the store this afternoon. Although he didn't say so in words, I could tell Bill missed the place. Despite having the time to relax and take vacations to California, British Columbia, and wherever else he and Renee care to go, I really felt he wanted to come back. He didn't ask if he could work as a temporary cashier during rush in words, but you could tell he wanted to. What is an endless vacation and the freedom to do anything you want compared to working here? It hurt me to tell him that we had no more temporary positions available. He acted as if he didn't care - another "fabulous vacation" was looming ahead - but I could tell he was disappointed. Once you work at the DU Bookstore and leave, you just need to come back - the DU Bookstore is no doubt the last Shangrila.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kim Pays A Visit

Kim is a book buyer from a rival to Nebraska Book Company - our main used book supplier - and is buying textbooks for us during the end of the quarter buy. We are all very friendly to the used book buyers these days, since not only do they buy and sell used textbooks, but they also lease college bookstores, too. At the DU Bookstore, we all know that one of these days, we might come to work and find out we are now working for one of these companies. Put in a good word for us, Kim!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lauren to the Rescue!

The Law School web orders have been pouring in to the DU Bookstore, and Wally has been overwhelmed. Fortunately, Lauren is very skilled at processing web orders, and has helped us keep above water. She is younger, smarter, and faster than us old guys, which gives the rest of us extra time for our afternoon naps. Thanks Lauren!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Joe Returns

Joe has returned to the DU Bookstore to help the stockroom receive the hundreds and maybe even thousands of book shipments needed for the fall quarter. Joe has even agreed to work as a cashier during Labor Day week. Joe is the brother of Owen, the DU Bookstore's textbook coordinator. Owen, as you may recall, had his gall bladder removed last fall in order to avoid having to work "rush" week. Joe, as far as I know, has never had anything surgically removed during critical sales periods. Way to go Joe!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rylan Starts Work!

Rylan (pictured above), the son the the DU Bookstore's Director, Tristy, started working in the Bookstore's stockroom today. Not only that, but Darrel - the Account's Payable Supervisor - tells me that Joel - pronounced "Who El" - is also on the stockroom's work schedule. Joel is the name of Darrel's grandson. Darrel tells me he has migivings, since Joel is only 4 1/2 years old. No problem, Darrel! I'm sure he will work out fine. Welcome aboard, Rylan and Joel!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The 16th Street Mall Pianos

Denver's pianos on the 16th Street Mall are still a popular attraction. People are always playing music on them, taking photographs of family and loved ones sitting by them, or just banging away on them willy-nilly. The latter activity has inspired the Denver city council to propose an ordinance that will allow people to be arrested and thrown in jail for 3 to 5 days if they don't actually know how to play them. Harsh but understandable.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dirty Pictures!

I went to the Denver Art Museum today. It was the first Saturday of the month, and it was free admission today - not that that matters, of course. I am not cheap, despite what everyone (and by this I mean you, Valarie) thinks! In any case, I saw that the museum's photo gallery was featuring "Dirty Pictures," so I bounded up the steps three at a time to make sure I would be properly outraged. It turned out that the photographs were part of the "Marvelous Mud" exhibit at the museum, and featured photographs of mud, earth, and the natural elements. I was not impressed with the photographs until I saw Sebastiao Salgado's photographs of the thousands of workers at the Serra Pelada gold mines in Brazil. What a brilliant photographer! What an inspiration to photographers everywhere! Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A Message of High Importance!

I received an e-mail "of high importance" today from the IRS - at least the message said it was from the IRS. Unfortunately, it was written completely in Chinese characters. This is bad news. It appears that the Chinese government now intends to collect the money it is owed from the U.S.A. directly from the American taxpayers. I had no idea the debt crisis was this serious. Now we will all have to take lessons in Chinese before we can do our taxes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pushing the Outside Edge of the Envelope

Brittney, the DU Bookstore's law textbook buyer, is throwing caution to the winds. In a last ditch effort to help keep the Bookstore independent, she is stocking the shelves with used law textbooks. We have never done that before! It is unheard of! The DU Bookstore has only bought new law textbooks in the past, believing that law students will only accept new, pristine copies. Noah (pictured above) is so shocked he can't even bear to look. What a crazy kid that Brittney is!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Back From Florida

Trish is looking very introspective today after her return from a vacation in central Florida. Plus, she has been making some very disparaging remarks about Florida, citing bugs, humidity, hurricanes, wackos, etc. etc. Unfortunately, she does not realize that this is Florida's charm - life on the edge, doing battle with both nature and humanity 24/7. Deal with it, Trish! Just buy a handgun and head back there pronto. September is a delight in the Sunshine State!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cheap At Twice The Price!

Victoria and Robert are having a great time checking in textbooks for the fall quarter. Not only is it fun, but very healthy too. The kind of exercise they are getting rivals the very best that local health clubs can offer. I let both Victoria and Robert know that the Bookstore was deducting $5 a week for this benefit, but neither one seemed concerned. Both agree the benefits far outweigh the cost. Thanks Guys!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Owen Takes Charge!

Owen has been working hard lately, restructuring the textbook department, setting up the shelves for fall textbooks, and beginning to put out the books. Of course, Owen - as faithful blog readers will recall - had his gall bladder removed around this time last year so he wouldn't have to work fall rush. What do you plan to have removed this year, Owen?