This Really Irks My Turtle, Barnes and Nobles

Today, I went to a book signing event at Barnes and Nobles. It was for Cake Wrecks, a site I love and am well familiar with. When I noticed that two-hundred people had RSVPed for the event, I gave Barnes and Nobles a call to make sure that there was going to be not only enough room for everyone, but enough seats. As I’ve mentioned before, I have medical problems. I’m unable to stand for any amount of time, which is a large part of the reason that my doctors won’t let me work. If I do, one of a few things happens: I end up in a lot of pain because of my blood disorder, I pass out, or I get weak and can just no longer stand. So, in calling, I thought I was covering myself to make sure that, since I can’t drive and my mom and aunt were going with me / driving me an hour away to the event, we would be able to enjoy it. This did not happen.

On the phone I was told that you could come at any time prior to the event and get a line pass, which would guarantee you a seat at the event. The incredibly sweet and cheery woman on the phone directly told me that you had the choice to buy the book or not buy the book, but irregardless I could still get a pass if I told them I was there for the event. Being as I was already familiarized with the book, I didn’t need to buy it, but was going to the event because I wanted to meet the people who wrote it and enjoy the awesome presentation everyone is always going on about on the site. I explained this to her, along with noting that I had a medical condition that didn’t allow me to stand for very long, and she assured me everything would be fine. With the assurance there would be seating, we set off early to make sure we got a line pass. Upon arrival, we found out the prior was untrue.

We walked into the store and told the lady in charge of the event what event we were there for. She proceeded to tell us that after we bought the book we could get a line pass. I told her that I had talked to someone on the phone who said that we didn’t need to buy the book, and that I had already read it and didn’t need one, and I was also told that all I had to do was arrive for the line pass. The woman again reiterated that we had to buy the book or we weren’t getting a line pass. If we didn’t buy the book, we were welcome to stand. We were NOT allowed to sit if we did not buy a book.

Essentially, we drove an hour to turn around and leave. I had no other choice, because they would not allow me to sit, and I couldn’t stand for that long without medical consequences. We also tried to explain this to the woman we were talking to, and she couldn’t have cared less. We bought the book or we stood, period.

Now, I realize we could have gone right ahead and spent the $15 to buy a book, but money is tight and we don’t have the extra money, and why buy something you don’t need to have and have already read? There’s no point to it. We went to the event simply to enjoy meeting the authors of a book I already adore, and we realize this was not, in any way, their fault, but Barnes and Nobles’.

On our way out, we ran into a manager who asked us if we needed help with anything. We told him what had happened, and that we had called prior specifically to make sure this didn’t happen. He looked at us and said, “Oh, okay,” in a very complacent, I-couldn’t-give-a-damn voice and walked away. I was so upset about the way we were treated, both by the incredibly rude woman running the event, as well as the complacent manager, and the fact that I had forced my mom and aunt to take me somewhere they wouldn’t have otherwise gone because I had really wanted to go, only to make them turn around and waste their time and gas, that I actually cried. I’m not particularly one to cry over spilt milk, but I was at my wits end from being lied to and treated like complete junk by the store, and for feeling guilty for wasting everyone’s time, that I just lost it.

This was the first and last time I will ever walk into Barnes and Nobles in Homestead, Pa. And if I need books, I’ll go to Amazon. Clearly, they don’t care about their customers. And, for the record, I regularly buy my books at Barnes and Nobles instead of online purposely, because I know it’s hard for actual bookstores these days. I was also planning on picking up a few books before we left the event. Hi, Amazon, I’d like to buy them off of you now.

This really irked my turtle into explosion.

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