Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Noah Speaks!

Noah, the DU Bookstore's Stockroom Coordinator, now has at least 50 part-time people helping him unpack textbooks in preparation for DU's winter quarter. I reminded Noah that he once stated he could easily unpack all the store's textbook boxes by himself. As a matter of fact, I think that was during his job interview. Tristy, the Bookstore's Director, was very impressed. In any case, Noah states that that was before 9-11, which changed everything. Not to mention the fact that Noah is not getting any younger.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Textbook Time Again!

It is textbook receiving time at the DU Bookstore once again. In the next week or so, almost all of the winter quarter textbook shipments will arrive. It is always fun to see the hundreds if not thousands of boxes stacked to the rafters in the back room, with nowhere to walk, wondering how Noah, the Stockroom Coordinator, will deal with the deluge. As always, Noah asked for - and received - additional help with the receiving. I personally have always thought that Noah could handle it all himself as long as he stayed organized, but once again I was overruled. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease, I say.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Rental Return Hell

Today was the last day to return rental textbooks at the University of Denver Bookstore. It was a very hectic day on the sales floor, what with having to take back rentals and having to buy back textbooks. Meanwhile, the Bookstore's stockroom staff (see photograph above) was having a great time, taking the thousands of rental returns and putting them in alphabetical order. It is like being paid to do a giant crossword puzzle, while the sales floor staff has to slave away. Life is so unfair.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's the Holidays Again!

Somehow it's the holiday season again. It seems to me that it was just summer, and now we have to deal with Christmas shopping, not to mention holiday music in all the stores, including the DU Bookstore. I ordered the holiday Muzak for the store personally, requesting Mitch Miller and Gene Autry 24/7. Unfortunately, the company we deal with does not have any Xmas songs by those particular artists. The staff will just have to bear up.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Big Blue Bear

It was a brisk sunny Saturday - a good day for a walk downtown. I could not resist taking a photo of Denver's "Big Blue Bear," the landmark statue peering into the Denver Convention Center. It was created by a University of Denver professor. I wonder if we could convince him to create a giant red tailed hawk - the school's mascot - peering into DU's Ritchie Center? On the other hand, let's not.

Friday, November 25, 2011

MCA Denver

Tonight The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver was open until 10:00 P.M, charging only a $5 admission fee after 5:00 o'clock. The entire museum was dedicated to the hippie movement of the 1960s. Although I have enjoyed going to the MCA in the past, I must say that this exhibit appears to have been put together by burned out hippies, and I mean that with all due respect. However, I did decide not to ask for my $5 back. Maybe I'll just request it back in a letter.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

I had Thanksgiving dinner with my sister Susan and brother-in-law George tonight. Susan cheerfully remarked that except for our uncle in California and a few cousins, we three are all that is left of our family. I think Susan's point was that if the family had been larger, we could have gotten someone else to cook the holiday dinners, since she was sick of it (even though George did all the cooking). Susan informed me that from now on I would be expected to cook every holiday meal. Time to start looking for those roadkill turkeys!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fight Club

Darrel is feeling better today after having surgery for a detached retina last Thursday. We medical experts at the DU Bookstore have been pondering how Darrel could have a detached retina with no obvious cause. We then remembered that Darrel was a Golden Gloves boxer when he was young. Could this be the cause? However, a few years ago, Larry - another former Golden Gloves boxer that worked at the store - started promoting the idea of a DU Bookstore Fight Club. In addition to Darrel and Larry, Bill - a former Operations Coordinator, and textbook buyers Doug and Brittney - also expressed interest in the idea. I was told the Fight Club was never established, but could they have been lying due to possible legal complications? Could this be the real reason Darrel got his detached retina? Sounds to me like there needs to be an investigation on this one.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Toast To The DU Bookstore!

Chuck (on the left) and John (on the right) toasted the University of Denver Bookstore tonight at the Bull & Bush Brewery & Restaurant. As University of Denver insiders are already aware, the university is contemplating outsourcing the store. If that happens, this will be the last book buy at DU for Chuck and John and the other Nebraska buyers. Whatever happens, it's been great working with you Chuck and John!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Signs of the Time

It was busy enough at the book buy and rental return desk at the DU Bookstore today that we decided to print signs to direct traffic. We posted the signs on stanchions, but after seeing Noah (shown above) holding up these signs, I think it would be a better idea to have him stand on the sales floor and hold up, twirl, and wave the signs to direct traffic, just like the individuals you see advertising condos and restaurants on street corners these days. If this works out, we can send Noah outside to advertise the store along Evans Avenue. For Noah's sake, I hope it's a warm winter.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Quiet Before The Storm

John (on the left) and Dean (on the right) report that the number of books bought back from DU students this quarter is way down. However, this could mean that everyone will come into the DU Bookstore on the same day to sell back their books - possibly this very Monday. The same thing happened a few years ago. On that day the book buyback line stretched out the door, down the hallway, and outside the building, all the way to the Jerusalem restaurant, several block away. As I recall, on that day Chuck - one of the Nebraska book buyers - fainted dead away. John had to throw water on his face, slap him several times to revive him, and then lash him to his computer terminal to make sure he didn't collapse again. It was a very stressful period for the Nebraska book buyers, but frankly quite amusing to watch. Good luck tomorrow guys!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The View From Downtown

Today was a sunny, beautiful, crisp fall day - perfect for a walk through downtown Denver. This was also World Toilet Day. I spent much of the afternoon wondering what kind of photograph would be most appropriate to celebrate Thomas Crapper's famous invention, but finally decided to flush the idea down the drain. Let everyone celebrate World Toilet Day in their own way.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dave R. Goes By The Book

Dave R. seemed crestfallen today when I mentioned that I was taking the Tom Peters book "Re-imagine" home with me. It was on the "free" table in the DU Bookstore's break room, so I thought nobody wanted it. Evidently Dave has been reading it on his lunch hour each day and has been thoroughly enjoying it. I didn't have the heart to take it home after that and put it back on the break room table. However, I insist that Dave be put in charge of implementing the book's recommendations, chapter by chapter.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Still Another Nebraska Book Guy!

Dean, along with Chuck and John, is here at the DU Bookstore for the next week or so buying back textbooks from students. Dean, like Chuck and John, lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. I asked if Nebraska didn't seem to him to be overrun with cows and corn. Dean admitted this was true, but also mentioned that it was very windy in Nebraska, and the reason for this is because "Colorado blows and Iowa sucks." Could that be some kind of crack? In any case, welcome to the DU Bookstore Dean!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chuck Is Back!

Chuck, one of the Nebraska Book Company representatives here to buy back textbooks from DU students over the next week or so, insisted during the last buyback that he and the other reps wanted the DU Bookstore to stay independent. That is why I was so shocked to see Chuck - in a suit no less - touring the bookstore with a group of executives wanting to make bids to take over the store. After all these years, we find out that Chuck has been moonlighting as a corporate raider. Who would have thunk it?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nebraska Books Has Arrived!

Marty, the DU Bookstore's Textbook Manager (on the left in the photograph above) welcomed John (on the right) back to the store this afternoon. John, our Nebraska Book Company representative, along with Chuck, our other Nebraska rep, will be buying back textbooks for the store over the next week or so. Not only is that a great service to the Bookstore, it also gets Chuck and John out of cow-infested Nebraska for a little while. "Win Win," as we business types like to say.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Sale!

The Bookstore staff is all excited about the holiday sale going on at the store this week. Not only that, but the end of quarter bookbuy will start this Wednesday, the time of year when you offer students $5 for their $200 textbook and then duck. Thank goodness Chuck and the other Chuck - John - from Nebraska Book Company will be here to take the abuse. No wonder everybody is in such a good mood.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beyond Iconic

On the recommendation of my friend (and former DU Bookstore co-worker) Valarie, I went to see the documentary film "Beyond Iconic" at the Starz Denver International Film Festival this afternoon. The film celebrated the life of photographer Dennis Stock and was tremendously inspirational. The afternoon started inauspiciously enough - it appeared that only I and one other person would be viewing the film. However, as 3:00 o'clock approached, the theater filled up, and the movie was followed by a Q and A session with the film's director. My only question is, where were all these people until 5 minutes before the start of the film? There must be some sort of open bar somewhere where the "in crowd" hangs out between films. Since today was the last day of this year's Denver Film Festival, I will be able to spend the next year figuring out where that open bar is located. "Wait till next year," as Chicago Cubs fans are fond of saying.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Visit From Susan & George!

My sister Susan and brother-in-law George came in from Fort Collins this afternoon to visit me here in Denver, and we decided to drive over to Jordan's Irish Pub - a local University of Denver hangout - to have dinner. The place was very lively, and it was a great people watching experience. As a matter of fact, at the table next to us, two couples were still wearing their Halloween costumes. Is it possible that they haven't been home yet after their Halloween outing? That's DU students for you - they never go half way doing anything.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Positive Energy

Trish tells me that she needs some positive energy from the DU Bookstore's management team. We can do that, Trish! I'll just have to remember to bring my taser to the store on Monday.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Closing Down The Saucy Noodle!

Valarie and I had dinner at a local Bonnie Brae hot spot - The Saucy Noodle - tonight. In fact, we closed the place down. We were so involved in our conversation that we didn't even notice the waiters standing around looking at their watches and the janitorial staff vacuuming around our feet. They need to be a lot less subtle than that if they want us out of there, especially if they close the place up and roll up the sidewalks at 9:00 P.M. This isn't Lakewood, after all.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Case For Journalistic Integrity

I took a photograph of my friend Stuart at Jordan's Irish Pub tonight. I really thought it showed his inner soul. Granted, his mouth was open and he had the look of a wounded wildebeest, but still, it was a great portrait. Stuart objected, mentioning something about people he could hire if that photograph ever saw the light of day. The question was, maintain my journalistic integrity or cave? In answer to this question, I have to point out that there is a very good reason why I have been able to stay employed at the University of Denver Bookstore for almost 28 years now. In short, above is the photograph Stuart recommended.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Of Us?

Tony - pictured above - is the Manager of DU's Quick Copy Center, now located in the University of Denver Bookstore. The Quick Copy Center was located in DU's Penrose Library for many years, until they were evicted and told never to return this past spring. I have no idea what the circumstances of THAT incident was, but in any case, the issue of whether Quick Copy is now officially part of the DU Bookstore is currently a significant issue. In point of fact, we must now decide if Quick Copy employees can attend the Bookstore's annual holiday party. I say they can attend, as long as they stay at a table located in the kitchen. Welcome Aboard, Tony!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Noah Recovers

Noah is still recovering from his beating from Maria. She would not stop beating him until he agreed to put the heat on in the DU Bookstore's stockroom. Maria made sure that Noah had no visible bruises. We at the DU Bookstore strongly believe in plausible deniability. I am very surprised that Maria - a fairly new Bookstore employee - picked up on that so quickly. In any case, I had to inform Noah that injuries suffered from a personal vendetta do not qualify for workman's compensation. Noah was perfectly fine with that. Way to keep a stiff upper lip, Noah!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Face Seemed Familiar

Today was the first day in 3 weeks that I could sleep in and do absolutely nothing - and it was wonderful! Granted, two fellow condo residents knocked on my door at 10:15 in the morning to lobby for a seat on the HOA's board, but that was okay - although I have to admit not being crazy about receiving visitors in my jammies. In any case, last night I went to the Denver Art Museum and today took in a photo exhibit, so it was definitely a cultural weekend. I even spotted some artwork that looked vaguely familiar, but I'll have to do some research on the Internet to nail it all down.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wilson Joins The Quick Copy Center!

Wilson, a Bookstore student employee, works at the DU Quick Copy Center (now located inside the DU Bookstore). Wilson was thrilled about having his photograph appear on this blog - evidently he hasn't looked at it until now. No problem Wilson! In just a couple of hundred years, this will be considered "The Blog" of the 21st century. If not, just give me a call.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Heat Is On!

Maria (pictured above) has worked at the University of Denver Bookstore for several months now. She is the new Textbook Coordinator, and as such works for the most part in the DU Bookstore's stockroom. As faithful readers might recall, Noah, the Stockroom Coordinator, insists on keeping the stockroom at around 33 degrees, just cold enough to hang meat. Maria felt that it would be a good idea to have a little heat in the stockroom, and therefore beat Noah until he decided that heat in the stockroom might be a good idea. Way to go, Maria!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marty Takes Charge!

Marty, the Textbook and General Merchandise Manager, has taken charge of returning the past several quarters textbooks to the publishers. He has recruited the majority of the Bookstore's employees to accomplish this task, as well as a number of people who have claimed they just woke up on the stockroom floor one day and then been ordered to start working. Whatever works, I say. Let the mission dictate the means.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joe Has Returned!

Joe is back, working in the DU Bookstore's stockroom, processing textbook returns. I was very surprised to see Joe back at the Bookstore, and he felt the same way. He claims he just woke up on the stockroom floor today, and was immediately put to work returning textbooks. It sounds to me like Noah, the Stockroom Coordinator, has learned a lot about the recruiting practices for sailors back in San Francisco in the 1800s, and is embracing the idea of "shanghaiing" new employees. Joe is perfectly comfortable with the idea - at least he is working at the same place every day, and won't end up in some place like Sumatra. Glad everything has worked out, Joe!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy All Saints Day!

Yesterday was both Halloween and the quarterly meeting with DU's Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance. I was hoping to wear the above costume to the meeting, and not speak - just nod or shake my head when spoken to - but that idea was vetoed. What has happened to our sense of fun these days? Go figure.