Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Good, The Brad, and The Potentially Ugly

During the Christmas season, we frequently ran out of specific products at Borders ("You on a Diet," I'm looking at you) which necessitated frequent calls to our sibling store a couple miles down the road to see if they had said product. For me, the results of these calls were relationships, oddly enough, with people I have never met in my life.

My best friend down at the store at Morrocroft is Jeremy. He's my go-to guy; if Jeremy answers the phone, I know I'm in good hands. He doesn't mind chit-chatting before we actually start trying to find a book, consistently has a good attitude even on bad days, and his "Thank you for calling Borders at Morrocroft. This is Jeremy; how may I help you?" is always well-paced. Our relationship is not just restricted to this though. Borders brothers strive for depth. We often critique one another concerning our phone greetings, helping each other to improve our phone answering quality. 'Tis not true friendship if we allow each other to rationalize things which are harmful to ourselves, the customers, and the store.

I was eating at Ruby Tuesday's last night in the same shopping center as the Morrocroft Borders and almost went in to see if Jeremy was working and to introduce myself. Then I realized that I'm not quite that wierd. But just barely. Regardless, for all I know Jeremy may spend his free time tying lit firecrackers to bags of puppies. But at work, Jeremy is the good.

Then there's Brad. Brad also works at Morrocroft and has yet to have a good day of work in his life, at least the days when I have called down there and spoken with him. His phone greeting is monotone, unenthusiastic, and lacks the make-or-break question "How may I help you?". In fact, Brad doesn't even believe in question marks. I have yet to hear him ask a question. When Brad calls us looking for a book, Brad doesn't ask if we have the book; Brad demands that we find the book. Come to think of it, Brad doesn't believe in a lot of things. Like saying "Goodbye." I guess a curt hang-up gets the same result and is more efficient. But then again a dictatorship is more efficient than democracy, and we all know how that works out

When I first spoke with Brad, I was still in my edenic period at Borders. Everything was great. My schedule was flexible and I rarely worked nights. I was hanging out with books all day. Paper cuts had not yet begun to punish my body. After Brad's phone call, I made the comment to a co-worker that Brad from Morrocroft was having a bad day. "Oh, he's always like that," she ho-hummedly replied. Paradise was lost. Few have since had a pleasant conversation with him. He even hung up on one of my co-workers recently. Merry Christmas to you too. Brad is, well, Brad.

I really want to go down to Morrocroft and give Brad a hug. I've never met the guy and maybe he has good reason for being indifferent on the phone. A hug would certainly clear things up though. This is the situation which could get potentially ugly. But the way I see it, he responds to the hug two ways:

a) He realizes that somebody loves him and that turns his whole attitude on its head.


b) He punches me. Hard. And gets fired.

We either get a happy Brad or a fired Brad (and lest you think I am too cruel, he could then go find another job which he may enjoy more and thus we end up with a happy Brad). Oh, and Jeremy gets promoted into Brad's position. I think the plan is genius. The only problem is that if I won't even go into Morrocroft to hang with my boy Jeremy, how will I muster the gall to go hug a mean man I've never met?


Jeff said...

you of all people should be comfortable hugging men.

Ben said...

No doubt. I am not one to shy away from a manhug.

Anonymous said...

You, Benjamin, man of courage, wordsmith extraordinaire, admired fan of Rocky the Fourth, you sir, must achieve the dream. Go, now, and leave your life of fear. Hug.

Ashleigh said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your Borders adventures.

We miss you, Ben!!