Saturday, August 13, 2005

Oh no! Not another Christian reader!

Our last book of the summer book club here at CGT and at Catholicae Testudines. Seeing as it was my idea and I'm leading some of the discussions, I'm ashamed to say I have not yet read our August book, In the Beginning: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. So I went to the mall today to buy it from the bookstore, B. Dalton, which is an arm of Barnes and Noble. Considering the size of the city I live in and the education level of its citizens, I am surprised that it appears the only bookstore we've been able to support in the past decade is the size of the Auntie Ann's Pretzel Shop that's next door to it. But anyway...

I went to the "religion" section and looked for B16's books. I found two about him and one by him (a work on Our Lady). So I went up to the clerk, who looked about 19 and who was chatting it up with her friend across the desk.

Clerk: Can I help you?
Me: Yeah. I'm looking for a book called In the Beginning by Cardinal Ratzinger.
Clerk: (types something into the computer). By who? (eyebrow raised).
Me: Cardinal Ratzinger, or it might be listed under Pope Benedict.
Clerk: We don't have it. Do you want me to order it for you?
Me: No, thanks.
Clerk: (in very condescending tone of voice) Maybe you should try a Christian bookstore.
Me: (laughsand under the breath says "yeah, right").

I thought about telling this girl that considering the fact that our city is at least 50% Catholic, supports 4 large Catholic parishes, 2 Catholic elementary schools, a Catholic high school, the man was just elected pope 4 months ago and there's a national discussion going on about creation/evolution/intelligent design, maybe her little store should consider carrying more books by Pope Benedict. I also thought about telling her, "Ya know, despite what the displays in your store would suggest, people read books for reasons other than that a movie version was just made or Oprah told them to." But I didn't.

Having worked as a sales clerk in high school and knowing how angry customers can get over rather small things, I try to really be understanding if a business doesn't have what I want. But the way this girl said "Maybe you should try a Christian bookstore" (like a Protestant bookstore would carry books by the pope anyway) was very rude.

All right, that's enough complaining for now.