"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retail Wednesday Polaris Style

So having been gone for practically a week, I don't really have any good stories from the bookstore, but I have a funny geek power story that I wanted to share.

Also, the news has officially been released that Borders is closing. So I will be out of the book job before too long. However, I foresee many insane customers in that process, so I will take copious notes and keep y'all apprised of their hilarity.

This year at Polaris, Larry Stewart was once again master of ceremonies. We met Larry for the first time last year and let's just say I hope there are many, many, many years of him joining the Polaris team. He is freakin' hysterical. Naomi and I made sure we made it to one of his Harry Potter readings and it was well worth it. (He is a voice actor and an artist and a billion other things and if you click on that link up there you can hear him do some of his impressions. He does a wicked McGonagall and his Snape is rather scary!)
Be careful - he might set his shirt on you!

When we went to the Q&A for Brandon Sanderson (just you wait... I have SO much to say about him from the weekend. Loved every minute of the panels he was on) Larry made some announcements before introducing Brandon. (I feel strange calling them by their first names, but it would be weirder to not)

Everyone in Toronto is obsessed with Tim Horton's. At least that's what it feels like. And Larry had gone across the street from the hotel to get a coffee. When he walked in, the store felt like a sauna. It was humid and hot and nasty and he asked the young woman working there what the problem was. She said that the air conditioner had broken, but it wasn't a priority to get it fixed. However, if enough customers complained....

so Larry asked us all to do a favor. He gave us the number to the Tim Horton's home office and gave us the store number and asked us to flood the office with phone calls until they fixed the problem. He said that he'd gotten the answering machine when he'd called and wanted it to be filled up with people asking for the air conditioner to be fixed.

There was a massive cheer when he asked this. This was on Saturday morning. On Sunday, when Naomi and I went to the Q&A for Jewel Staite (oh my goodness SO adorable) Larry had an announcement.

He had gone back over to the Tim Horton's and there were now signs up in the window apologizing and letting the customers know that the air conditioner was being addressed. He talked to the young woman who said that the woman from the home office was there right at that moment and asked if Larry wanted to talk to her. He said sure!

The woman came out and talked with him briefly and then made the comment that "it was better today." Never at a loss, Larry took his coffee punch card and slapped it against his forehead, where it stuck due to the moistness. "This is not normal."

She looked at him. "This was you," she said.

He admitted that he had asked some people to call and leave a message. She looked him in the eye. "All those phone calls. Came. to. Me."

Oh my werd, hearing Larry tell this story was pretty much the most hilarious thing ever. But he got the job done. And I'm just saying that if you are working in a store where the heat or the AC or something doesn't work, it's always good to have Larry on your side.
They asked him to be Master of Ceremonies again next year.
He said yes!
This is what I love about geekdom - or at least the geekdom at Polaris. It's like a family - a community. And we stick up for the underdog and for each other.

Long live the geeks.

And could someone call my home office about the AC.....


Marebabe said...

I loved the story about Larry Stewart and the AC adventure. And now I can't wait to get home this evening and hear his McGonagall and Snape voices, and whatever else I can find at his site. Thanks for sharing!

Marebabe said...

Well, I just read Larry Stewart's bio, and he sure seems like a Renaissance Man to me! (Love that he teaches Slide Rule.) The Harry Potter voices are not listed on his sample menu, but many of my favorites ARE. Patrick Stewart! Alec Guiness! Ren and Stimpy! This'll be fun.

VW: lurvs - I LURVS me some Hindu/Pakistani voice characterizations!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

I was just going to ask you about borders. I wasn't sure if you still worked there or if you now worked at an indy store. Do you have any idea when your store will close?

ashlie said...

Just so you know, all of Toronto isn't obsessed with Tim Hortons. All of CANADA is obsessed with Tim Hortons. It's our thing.

Rebecca T. said...

@Marebabe: I didn't know which impressions he did... just was going off of what he did at the convention. Glad you enjoyed what you heard :D He does a little everything, right?!

@ashlie: That's what I thought, but I didn't want to generalize TOO much ;P

ashlie said...

It's okay, it's not a generalization when it's true! We really do love our Timmies.

Anonymous said...

Tim Hortons is amazing ! The have few stores in upstate, way upstate NY and Manhattan. The Maple Glazed donut is mmmm. Jenn N.