I am not working at Barnes and Noble.
I began my journey with Barnes and Noble (route 36 in West Long Branch, NJ) my first year of college. Little did I know at the time (especially after I messed up at the cash register my first week, and as I was hysterically crying in the cashroom and telling the manager that this would NEVER happen again, and she raised her eyebrows and said, "It BETTER not happen again, or you won't be here much longer") that I would end up staying there all throughout college and four almost two years after graduation.
I worked parttime throughout the schoolyear, and during the summers, I would work fulltime. (Except for that one summer I interned with the PR firm and pretty much gave up sleeping for four months.) For that reason, the bookstore will always make me think of summer...people running in and out smelling of suntan lotion to pick up books on their way to the beach...kids coming in with summer reading lists (my favorites were the ones that waited until the end of August, and then their parents would act like it was MY fault that their stupid kid waited until the last minute and now had to finish Moby Dick in four days.)
I never thought I'd say this...but I actually really miss it. I haven't been referred to as "the curly-haired girl who works in the kid's department who knows everything" in over a year, and I feel like I am missing a part of my identity without it. That place was my second home for a long time!
Recently, I stumbled upon a letter that I posted on the bulletin board in the breakroom of the bookstore after I began my job with Shubert and gave my notice. (I was intending on staying at the bookstore on weekends, but after three months, realized that there INDEED a reason why we have weekends and finally decided to just hold my breath and quit.)
This letter was taken seriously by several people, they became upset and thought I was really expecting the Muppets and tears...and I just take that as a compliment that I can really WRITE when I want to!
After over five long years (the past two of which I spent every moment I was NOT at Barnes and Noble sending out resumes and running around New York City in heals, clutching my portfolio and resumes and trying not to cry), I am moving on from Barnes and Noble.
It was a difficult decision to make, and although I left with no fanfare or formal announcement (I wasnt expecting muchI just wanted Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang to make a special appearance and sing "Sayin' Goodbye" from The Muppets Take Manhattan) I dont think they have been too hard to book these days.
Dont want to leave, but we both know
Sometimes it's better to go
Somehow I know we'll meet again
Not sure quite where, and I dont know just when
You're in my heart, so until then
Wanna smile, wanna cry
And a DVD montage of my many years of service at the store with Madonna's "This Used to be my Playground" playing in the background. And perhaps the lights in the childrens department to be dimmed (just for a week or two.)
And I got to work last Sunday and was told, "Diana, you're not on the schedule. You are not working today. You are not working here ever again."
That is that. Last Sunday was my last day ever, and I never really got to say goodbye so here is my goodbye. I will convince myself that it is much less painful this way...(the same way I found it comforting to tell myself that it took me so long to find a job after graduation because I just came off as too much fun in interviews and they were concerned they'd never get any work done with a riot like me around.)
So, goodbye, my bookstore...goodbye to that crazy old lady who calls every Sunday and asks for advice (well, she used to call, I wonder whatever happened to her and worry about her often)...goodbye to that 9 feet tall British woman with the limp who homeschools her children (I never did figure out if her child was a boy or a girl)...that really cute young male preschool teacher who loves his job that I always liked seeing...the millionaire Brooklynites that come down for the summer and treat us like garbage...the people who stuff pornographic magazines in the children's department and think it's hysterical.
I hope that Broadway showtunes, the color pink and Anne Frank will always remind you of meand when the next Harry Potter party rolls around and you realize, "Hey,we seem to be short one petite brunette with crazy hair to play Hermione...where has she gone?"
Please remember me...because I will never forget you!
In all honesty, despite all the complaining I have done over the past couple of years and how much I wanted to get out, this place has been a second home and very special to me and I will never forget any of you. I have made some very good friends here and feel that I have grown up a lot since I was 18 and first walked into this breakroom.