Horrible, I know.
I thought that forty-five minutes would surely be enough time to get me from my home in Willow Glen to downtown Los Gatos, a trip that had taken about fifteen minutes when I made it on Thursday. I knew that Highway 17 would be a bit busier than usual because of Saturday beach traffic, as people head down from the Bay Area to Santa Cruz, but traffic was more or less at a standstill. It took me half an hour to move from the entrance at Hamilton to the next exit at Camden - a distance that normally takes two or three minutes, tops. When I was finally able to get off the highway, I took city streets, but it was still the worst first impression I ever made at a job.
(Well, except for that one time when my car actually burst into flames en route to my second shift at a new job. Ironically, that was also at a bookstore. It's like the universe is trying to tell me something...)
Of course I called and let my new coworkers know what was happening, but they hadn't even noticed that I was on the schedule so at least no one was terribly inconvenienced.
I finally get to the bookshop and meet everyone, and they're awesome. I first meet a gentleman who goes by Book Sage, and he's in charge of the events at the shop. He also blogs about books - thus the nickname. It seemed as if he'd read everything in the shop, but it was only his third shift working behind the sales counter. My other coworker was also pretty new, working her first shift without the owners. Her name is Deb and she's got an awesome background: a former journalist turned PR agent who owned a yarn shop for several years in the building that now houses the bookstore.
The owners were out on a shopping expedition in the North Bay, so I didn't see them. But the store was moderately busy, and the steady stream of customers let the three of us figure out how everything worked. If a question came up, one of us was likely to know the answer. Book Sage left after a couple of hours, and by early afternoon things had quieted down. Deb and I dug into the glass jar of caramel-apple lollipops kept at the register, and sat sucking on the candy and chatting about books. The phone rang and she answered, just as my lollipop slipped off the paper stick and, thanks to the caramel coating, got stuck to the roof of my mouth. So as she's talking to our boss on the phone Deb got to watch the pathetic comedy of me trying to get the stupid candy chunk unstuck with the weak little stick in my hand.
Did I mention it was not a day for great first impressions?
Still, I got that sorted out quickly so we resumed talking and helping customers when they occasionally wandered in. It was actually quite delightful. As you would expect from a woman who ran a successful yarn shop - Deb sold it a few years ago, but I guess the new owner ran it into the ground because it's no longer around - she's quite the knitter, and since it was slow she started teaching me the basic stitches. She said that next time we work together, she'll bring some yarn and I can practice some more. So maybe I'll finally learn to knit!
So once I got to the job, it was delightful and fun and very laid back. I think I'm really gonna like it at Village Books!