The Holiday Season, specifically around Thanksgiving, brings about reflection and a time to give thanks for the things and people in our lives, that make it great. Recently, I was asked how long I had been working at Vroman's. It suddenly struck me that my 7 year anniversary had passed, and I hadn't even noticed. Our store has been so busy lately, and my job roles have been expanding, which are both awesome things! However, I was so excited to get to 7 years, and when the day finally came, I missed it completely! So now, I would like to talk a little about the store that has helped raise me, helped me grow into a productive and confident individual, and the things that people can do, to help my beautiful store thrive.
If you're a book nerd and have ever had to move, you might have a beginning idea of what it's like to work in a receiving department. My subject line to this post was no joke. When you walk into Vroman's Receiving & Shipping Dept., it is filled with boxes on boxes on boxes. Each of them, containing super heavy books- hence why, if you have ever moved with books, you might know how it feels.
10 is the magic number. There are 10 people who work in Vroman's Receiving and Shipping Department. Each morning 'till about five pm, they receive upwards of 100 boxes. During Christmas time, it could be as many as 200. I don't think I am exaggerating. It could even be more...
Their manager Catie, leads them fearlessly. Along with 2 others, she receives the stationary/merch items that come in. The rest, handle the books. In the last picture (above), you can see our shipping corner. This is where Candice makes sure that all of the Vroman's mail, along with returns (and maybe some of your orders!) get shipped out.
It is a tough job-all of it. Everything has to be done exactly right. There are discounts involved as well as money. There is no typical day in receiving. Everyday comes with different scenarios. It isn't just un-boxing and putting items on carts (even if it looks like that)! Every shipment comes with an invoice that has to be received perfectly. There is even math involved!
Personally, I have helped out when there are books that need to be labeled. That alone, is hard core. You have to lift heavy box after heavy box (you do feel like you are getting a work out though!). Then, you have to make sure that every label goes on the correct book. Some books might seem like they are correct, but might not have the right ISBN. Others can come in damaged, etc. Then you have to sort your books onto the correct carts based on where they go in the store. There is a lot of maneuvering and running around, trying to get books and carts to the sales floor.
All of this is to say, that the Vroman's Receiving and Shipping Department is truly the backbone of Vroman's. It's where books first start their journey of entering your hands. It is hard, hard work, but the people who work back there, are really a family. If you ever get the opportunity to tour Vroman's make sure you stop by their department. Chances are, you will find a bunch of friendly goofballs striving to fill the need of a much wanted book.
Every Christmas the Children's Dept. compiles a list of their favorite titles of 2016. These are separated by age group and displayed with star bookmarks listing the title and age range of the book. In doing this, it makes for easy shopping for Christmas gifts. However, it also helps me remember books that I loved throughout the year, and may have forgotten. Seeing them every day brings so much joy to my heart.
Some, are so new that I still haven't read them! This makes for a good list of titles for future reading. After all, my peers loved them, so they HAVE to be good.
Mostly, the Stars of the Season remind me to be thankful for books-thankful they still exist in print, thankful for the job they provide me with, and thankful for the authors that wrote them and the publishers who published them.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, and has time to enjoy a new book during a moment of quietness. Wishing you all the best!