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I Should Write My Posts in Quatrains!
So, how many of my core predictions have come true? Better Cafe menu/service, check. Espresso POD machines within the stores, check. Beer/wine sales in our Cafe? Check, as of today. Seriously, people...I feel like friggin' Nostradamus! I can't wait to see what our Media Centers look like...and the patterns of our new comfy chairs/couches!

I LOVE BN! And I'm pleased they've taken my advice :)


How's That Reddit Group Coming?
I took a few moments to search Reddit tonight - amongst all the threats, and all your BN hatred. What a surprise! No group exists! Did I NOT hear you right? Were your threats that vacant?

I am sooooooo sorry: did I not hear (or understand) your Smithback antagonism? I mean, with all the "Smithback" shit-comments that have been spewed, did I miss something? A threat that was not realized? An "I'm gonna'" that never quite got realized? I cant imagine that you ALL would have your feet in your mouthes, with such vacant threats. So, c'mon people...SPEAK! You've been so vocal so far! And so (ahem) intelligent & articulate!

So, what books are you reading? I'm reading "The Gargoyle," and I'm loving every minute of it. From its very first sentence - "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love" - is no less than absolutely incredible.

Let's return this sorry-assed blog to what it was two years ago - a place to discuss BOOKS, and how we'd like to sell them. This way, no one loses face...not ole' Smithback, and not the three or four of you who want to attack BN like piranhas attacking children's feet

Seriously...It Will Do You Some Good!
Well, it seems that this is the end of BNLJ - now little more than a ghost of a room.  We went from a silly, innocent, and admittedly boring place to post bookstore stories to a hateful bitch-fest that had nothing positive to say about anything - especially the company that cut our paychecks.  Many of you cursed my presence/participation - but you failed to acknowlege that I've been here from early on, posting topics that really meant a damn - and encouraging responses from booksellers with a work ethic.  If you've followed "Smithback" posts, you'll remember that my very first topics appeared in the last two years of the Borders forum.  They were funny pieces, meant to acknowledge/ressure those Borders booksellers who fought the good fight til the end.  My BN in particular delivered coffee & donuts to our fellow Borders on its last day.  It was sad for them and sad for us.  We all knew that bookstores were in trouble.

BNLJ went through many different changes through the years.  At first we were a mix of happy booksellers and anti-corporate folk, but over time the happy ones joined the FaceBook page - leaving the ignorant masses to take over BNLJ.  The result was what you can see right now: so much complaining that readers bailed faster than viewers as MSNBC.  This past year in particular - a year plagued by such gut-wrenchingly-immature posts as "Worries," "Dress Code," "Cafe Woes," and "Have You Read the Privacy Policy" - have succeded in slamming BNLJ into the ground, like an episode of National Geographic's Air Crash Investigation.  I guess it's kind of like how MySpace was overcome by FaceBook: the better forum crushed the lesser one.  It all comes down to quality, people...and how what we wrote was a reflection of our characters.  No employer wants to hire/keep an employee who unloads LJ tyrades without thinking.  I hope you've all learned your lesson, and that you're now enjoying new jobs in gas stations that smell like hot dogs, cigarettes, and AXE.  Not the life I'd want for myself, but hey...I'm just Smithback - the apple-polisher.  I'm just an out of touch, middle-aged man who loves BN - and who's planned for his future.  Enjoy your parent's basements.  I, myself, have built a nice blaze in my fireplace...where - thanks to my experience at BN - my third novel will soon be added to the wooden mantle.

Anyway, it's cold outside - and I want to have a glass of wine before bed, before I get up for tomorrow's Discovery Friday shift.  I wish you all the best, and I'll send happy thoughts to each and every one of you - all three remaining - while I'm at work tomorrow.  If you do join another BN forum, I encourage you to remember all the things I've said to you over the last few years.  Be strong, people!  Be mature and productive contributers to whatever job you end up working.

And like they said before the Borders blog folded, always remember just what happened here.

Seriously...it will do you some good :)

WOW...Has No One Posted a New Discussion Since My Post on "BN's Future?"
Hey, minions.  I just signed on to BNLJ tonight to read some of the many hateful comments you've all left within my last post.  But I'm admittedly shocked: has no one posted a new discussion in the forum?

No complaints about the new Samsung Nook?  No complaints about The Day the Crayons Quit, or the earlier Get Pop Cultured?  Jesus, people...where are my antoginists?  You've all been so VOCAL about my opionions regarding BN's direction...but you've had nothing to say for the past month?  Seriously?  Not a snark, a snip, or a general bitch about where Barnes and Noble is going?  Have you all moved to the BN Facebook page where you have to make yourselves known before you spew an anti-BN diatribe?  I'm genuinely disappointed.  I thought I could always count on my anti-BN, entitlement-demanding coworkers.  At the very least, some of you have been great to jump-start a discussion.

But that being said, I don't mean to sound snotty...but are you BNLJ folks finally getting behind your employer?  If yes, I'm delighted!  We ALL have an opportunity to support BN and keep the brick & mortar stores in business!  BN rocks (though I hope we increase our pay scale), and it's because of each and every one of you that our company pushes forward, and makes those changes that keep us viable in the future.

I'm genuinely proud of BNLJ tonight :)

A Call To All Long Term Booksellers
This is a call to all long-term Booksellers, who have been with Barnes & Noble since the Riggio days.  

This is a call to what I believe are the many, many employees who joined BN for the love of books - and the desire to surround themselves with the stories that they love.  A lot has changed in our company, and these last few years have been both scary & frustrating.  This is a call to those people who understand need for a digital transition; And I'm not saying that you "like it," but that you know BN needs modernize in order to survive, and to keep the doors open for Booksellers in the years to come.

This is a call for the Booksellers who believe in BN…who understand corporate's recent decisions, and who don't share the entitled, unrealistic, and petty complaints of some LJ posters.  And please understand that I acknowledge the "fear" behind most LJ rants, but let's be honest here…a forum like this tends to encourage easy complaining, but I just don't believe that's how most of us think.  I'd like to hear from the long-termers in the trenches.  What are your fears?  What's your perspective?  Tell us your stories, and how you keep a positive attitude in spite of negativity & understandable paranoia.

On a personal note, I'm a 12 year BN employee; I've worked in many stores in several different states, and I've watched this company change from an old-style bookstore to a modern company in an increasingly-technological world.  It's been hard to sacrifice the values that built "the old BN," but it's been even harder to witness the changes…and the things we've needed to do, in order to compete with Amazon (and other retailers).  It's easy to fault corporate, and to join the chorus of folks who've never passed a high school business class.  But I believe in my heart that most BN Booksellers understand the company's reality…and still come to work, with a positive attitude.

This is your chance to speak -
Let's hear what you have to say.