People think of bookshops as quiet, sleepy places where they can browse in peace away from all the noise and bustle out"there in the streets. Of course, that's how we want them to feel, but if only they knew what goes on behind the scenes!
I leave home early, leaving my wife to deal with the children's getting up, breakfasting and getting to school routine. Sometimes I feel guilty about this but I try to make up for it in other ways. I arrive at the shop, which is located on the campus of a very successful and Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER thriving Midlands university, at 8.15. Being the boss, I like to be in early to make sure that the overnight electronic ordering machine has been doing its job as well as dealing with post and any enquiries which can then be handed over to my staff when they come in. I also like to check the window displays and see if they need renewing or freshening up in some way, especially if it's Thursday which is new publications day. This is something that I really enjoy as I know I've got a good eye. It Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER's important for me to have things looking bright and enticing.
Of course most of my work is behind the scenes, ensuring that the unpacking of new stock is up-to-date, that customers' special orders have been allocated and that they've been advised by e-mail. I also see publishers' reps and order new books.
Although I enjoy these things - the organisational aspect of the job, that is, feeling that I've got my hands on the ropes -1 also like to make contact with customers, especially students. When I see these youngsters, many of them away Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER from home for the first time, looking lost and anxious and bewildered by the huge piles of new textbooks which they're queuing up to buy, I remember how I felt when I was a student and I try to be helpful and reassuring. I know this is really the job of the staff but I think it's good for me to be aware of what our main customers feel about the service we're offering. And, of course, because I have to talk to a lot of the academic heads of departments and have a pretty Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER good idea of the content of many of the courses, I'm able to offer advice.
I have a good staff, on the whole, who are sensitive to students' needs, and I think they find me fairly approachable. It's true, though, that I'm quite tough with them, too.
I expect high standards and I think that's reasonable. They're not going to have much of a career if they don't develop good habits of work. That sounds a bit puritanical, perhaps. I've been accused of being a perfectionist and sometimes I have to Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER make an effort to take things a bit less seriously.
By lunch time the print-out of the previous day's sales is available and checked to see if any new stock is needed. To help with this process we have a normal stock control machine for the automatic transmission of fresh orders to the shop. All this equipment, of course, has to be checked throughout the day to make sure it's all in working order.
' I usually have lunch in one of the many cafes on the campus. I know so many people Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER here now that someone nearly always joins me and we spend our time, inevitably, gossiping about university politics. If I'm lucky I meet up with a great friend of mine who lectures in economics, and then we talk about jazz or the latest films showing at the university film theatre - much healthier subjects!
Back at work in the afternoon I try to find some quiet time to look through lecturers' reading lists and also take a walk around the shop to check displays, flowers, the tidiness of the shelves, the general appearance of things. Too often Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER, of course, there are minor crises - a head of department phones to complain that we've under-ordered on textbooks for his course, a member of staff is taken ill, the computer breaks down -or some other interruption may occur, such as the arrival of a delegation of school students coming to look round the university..
I do try not to let my work responsibilities interfere with family life. There are tim5s where I leave early so that I can be sure to be ready for a parents' evening or a play at the children's school. When I Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER was younger I thought I could do everything. Now I know that I need to empty my head of work at the end of the day and not rush from work to the cinema, for example, without some quiet time at home to put aside my own concerns and find out what my family have been experiencing during their day. I enjoy cooking in the evening sometimes, too, particularly Thai food, and on summer evenings I like to walk in the country lanes and fields around the village where we live, the perfect end to a working Text A DAY IN THE LIFE OF PAUL GARDINER, ACADEMIC BOOKSELLER day.
Section I. Exercises 1-6 Aural Comprehension Text 1: