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Old 05-11-2008, 11:04 AM   #4
Grand Sorcerer
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Ahh, well, see, to really get full benefit from a rant, you need to upgrade the mumblegrumbles to spittle-flecked coherency through to foaming incoherency, or it's like applying a bandaid to that saucey fountain of red where your leg use to be before Mr Shark decided on a yummy drumstick for dinner.

I recall this one time that I had bought a book from Dymocks. I'm not sure why I'd gone to Dymocks - perhaps they were the nearest bookstore, and I was on my lunch hour. I know it wouldn't have been because of the excellent service or well-stocked shelves or pleasant staff or sensible store layout or, what most would consider a prerequisite of a bookstore, a basic ability to file things in alphabetical order, because, as I said, this was Dymocks. Imagine the government trying to run a retail establishment, and imagine that by "government" I mean "large shoal of krill" and by "run a retail establishment" I mean "perform brain surgery on an unsedated gibbon", and you are welcomed to the wonderful world of Dymocks.

Dymocks is that kind of bookstore. They're an Australian legacy, and that legacy leaves them as one of the few major bookselling chains in Australia.

Subsequently, considering their market-dominance, they care about as much for you as a truck cares for the fly whose arse just came through it's own head to hit the windscreen too.

They're the kind of store that places three million copies of a newly released second book in a series in a cardboard stand at the front that you need crampons, ropes and pitons to get past to get the rest of the way into the store that has not a single copy of the first book, but they "can order it in", by which they mean take your name and phone number and sell it to blackmarket organ-harvesters because they're never going to use it to ring you back, nor have the book in at any stage before the next ice age.

They're the kind of store that files "The Origin of Species" under "Science Fiction" ("coz, like, you know, he wrote Planet of the Apes, dint he?") and "W.H.Auden" under "Gay/Lesbian" ("Yeah, that really cool poem in 4 weddings and a funeral. I *so* cried in that movie").

They're the kind of store that rides the coat-tails of a large American book chain by announcing that they are "in negotiation" with a supplier to release an ebook reader device that "reads all formats of ebooks", and then doesn't deliver it at the release time they state, doesn't deliver it at a price point comparative with what you can obtain it direct, and plain doesn't deliver it when you order it (but that's another rant for another day).

They're the kind of bookstore that has a rewards program that operates on a 5% basis - spend $100; get $5 off your next book - while other bookstores reward you for just signing up to their email list with weekly 10, 20, 30 or 40% discounts on prices already less than Dymocks - except that by "operates" I mean "completely fails online" because "Oh, that's a different department, so it's not my fault" (that is, when you actually get someone to talk to you, since their phones remain unanswered, the messages you leave are left unreturned, and the emails you've sent to them apparently disappear up their own arsehats...but, again, another rant for another day).

They're the kind of store that lists over 240,000 items available at their online store, but you have to consider that when they say delivery is "4-6 weeks" they actually mean "Not in stock" and "We can't get it" and "What do you mean you want your money back?"...but, again, other rant, other day.

Dymocks is the kind of bookstore that has a shelf for every genre no matter how small the store, so you can find a book from any genre, except for the book you're actually looking for (you know, that "obscure" book that is a classic of the genre and still often week-to-week outsells every other book in the same genre...but, hey, they've got the latest book adaptation of some craptacular movie currently playing to feeling-ripped-off audiences at all the cinemas).

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes, I'd bought this book from Dymocks (clearly in a fit of book-crazed madness). I should have known something was wrong when I walked into the store and found the actual book I was looking for filed alphabetically on the appropriate shelf. Clearly, the Elder Gods were playing with my mind that day. Now, this book - a "photographic" book - was purely pictorial - a book full (no text) of "arty" black and white photos of body piercings (Some folks may know it - it has the large "sleeper" on the front and a textured black cover). All fine so far...until I get it home...

Browsing the book later on, I notice their security device "sticker" is plastered, mid-book, directly in the middle of one of the pictures. Now, those familiar with buying books dedicated to pictures would know what this is like. It's like reading a novel and finding the last 20 pages missing.

Naturally, it must be returned.

So, back to Dymocks I go, Elder Gods laughing away merrily in my head.

I go to the counter to be served by the manager, who from previous experience, and for the sake of both her anonymity and as a helpful description, I shall call Miss Ery. Now, Miss Ery does not like company. I believe that to her "service" is something she'd like to do to you with a taser, and I, knowing this, naturally provide her with the most pleasant demeanour possible (but secretly knowing it's like a cheesegrater-to-a-nipple to her).

Me: I'm sorry, I bought this book yesterday, but it has a sticker over one of the pictures that won't come off

Miss Ery: And...?

Me: Well, As it is a picture book, I would like a replacement that doesn't have that sticker

Miss Ery: Why haven't you tried to remove the sticker?

Me: I know, from experience, that the sticker is not removable

Miss Ery: If you've tried to remove the sticker, we can't replace the book, as you have damaged it

Me: Dear sweet thing - pedal back a couple of lines with that furrowed brow above those cesspit eyes and you will note that I just said I didn't try to remove the sticker what I would like to say, but at this stage she has the upper hand, and so...

Me: Yes, I can understand that, so I didn't try to remove it

Miss Ery: Give it here

Me: Say please [okay, no, I didn't say that. I said] Here you go.

Miss Ery: It's only on one picture.

Me: Yes

Miss Ery: And you want to make us pay for one picture

Me: No, I would like a replacement

Miss Ery: But it's only one picture. I don't see why we should have to take back a book with a sticker in it and replace it with a perfectly good book because of one picture

Now, at this point, her own contradiction is obvious, yes? I should accept it, because it's only one picture, but she won't accept it, because it's not "perfectly good". Miss Ery's furrowed brows are now looking Marianas Trench-like, and a sneer has formed.

Me: Yes

Miss Ery: You think that's reasonable, do you?

Me: Yes

'Tis a simple word, "yes", isn't it? In definition, the word "positive" is often used. However, me being someone who is willing to use reason and cheerfulness pragmatically and to full effect and benefit to myself in such times should not give you reason to believe that my arsenal is about karmic peacefulness in the face of adversity, nor that I have a bending point rather than a breaking point. At this stage, you can picture my above "Yes" to be associated with my own furrowed brows, a canine-sparkling sneer that tastes blood, eyes driving stakes through her dead heart, and an absolute promise in my tone that the full-and-total weight of all reason, law, unemployment and bad publicity will descend on her contempt like a tonne of paper cuts should this continue down this line.

Miss Ery: It's a security sticker. We have to protect our books

...she says, with a look at my shaved head and multiple piercings that suggests that I stole both book and provided receipt.

Me: ...and, to protect this one, you have wrecked it. Seems like a loss to you either way.

Miss Ery: It's not wrecked

Me: Then why the problem taking it back?

Miss Ery: You customers just don't understand the problem.

Yeah, that's right. She actually said that. You see, this is what I don't like about Dymocks. They are incompetent, rude troglodytes who hate their customers as an inconvenience and only stay in bookselling because they've discovered, while grunting at each other around their campfires and having relations on wombat-pelts with their own siblings and drawing pictures of genitalia on the cave walls with their own faeces, that instead of burning the books for heating they could sell them to these inconvenient folk making all the funny noises out of their eat-holes in exchange for bits of paper they could then exchange to invest in more "book-caves" and "security stickers" to stop the inconveniences from taking all their fire-starters.

Me: Are you going to exchange it, or do things go badly downhill from here?

Miss Ery: [snippy] I'm looking in the computer now....we have two others in stock, so you're lucky

Me: ???

Miss Ery: Otherwise we'd have to order it in, which could take 4-6 weeks

Me: Thanks, but you would just have to refund me

Miss Ery: [walking to shelf nearby] They should be here...

Miss Ery: See? That's what I told you? There's only one here. The other's obviously been stolen.

(Let's put aside previous experience with their non-existent stock control)

Miss Ery: That is why we put the stickers in the book

Me: If that's the case, then how come the book is missing?

Miss Ery: I told you, it's been stolen

Me: With one of those stickers in it?

Miss Ery: ...

Miss Ery: ...

Miss Ery: You can have this last one [tosses book at me]

Me: Thank-you

Miss Ery: [annoyed noise]

Me: By the way, you are the most miserable sack of dripping effluent I have ever had dribbling its half-witted, grunt-sullen, obstreperous, feebleminded vomit of misery and slack-jawed drooling idiocy on my shoes in my entire life, and I hope the afternoon finds you stabbing and pulling on a rusty fishing gaff trying to claw out the bug that has obviously crawled up your laze-fattened arse. You are a credit to the depressingly useless realm of unprofessialism, ignorance, blind stupidity and groundless arrogance that calls itself the "Dymocks Book Chain". I hope a plague of brain-eating roaches swarms through your next Annual General Meeting and eats through your spinal cords, ravenously trying to find some semblance of sentient flesh. what, of course, I did not say.

Dymocks, to me, are simply a pack of arsehats. The only consequence I can see when, should my sacrifices of entertainment lawyers and small lumps of fungus to the Elder Gods be noticed, they collapse into a fading stench of rank arrogance and stale obnoxiousness, will be that perhaps people who like books, want to sell books, and want to be nice while selling books to nice customers (I'm looking at you Borders Australia - Dymocks is a warning you have thus far heeded) will fill their spot.

In the meantime, remember, Dymocks aren't evil; they just suck harder than Paris Hilton in a post-game football locker room.

See, that's a rant. I feel somewhat better now.


Last edited by montsnmags; 05-12-2008 at 05:43 AM. Reason: splelignm grammar And
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