A Huge Apology To The Young Lady Who Came Into My Comic Shop The Other Day
So recently we hired this new guy at my store, and he is just the worst. Slow on the register, keeps distracting the other employees, forces his way into conversations with customers, spoils books and movies for people, and that’s just the start of it. But today after we closed up one of my fellow employees was telling me about something that made me lose my mind.
Apparently the other day when he was on the register, my fellow employee saw him as a young lady came up with the first three issues of Ms Marvel. He looked at them and said, “Yeah, I don’t think this book is very good.” Now, first off, she didn’t ask him anything, she didn’t say “Hey what do you think about this book?” and even if she did you never come right out and say you don’t think something is good, you at worst say “It’s not really my thing,” or “I had some problems with it.” You try to be as polite about it as possible, and once again, only if the customer asks for our opinion. You never just go up to someone who isn’t even talking to you or asking you anything, and then tell them you don’t like the book they’re about to buy.
And from there it got worse. Apparently when she asked him what he meant, he replied by saying, “Yeah when you look through it you can clearly see that it’s just like the old Ms Marvel, I mean her costume is even the same, there’s nothing original here at all.” At which point the customers friend asked him, “Have you read it?” to which he replied, “No but I flipped through it.”
I’ll give you a second to become as outraged by that as I am. So not only does he just tell this young lady that he dislikes the book she’s about to buy, but he did it by making a bunch of stuff up about a book he hasn’t even read.
Now at that moment my fellow employee went up there, pushed him out of the way, and told the customer, “Don’t listen to that guy, he’s an idiot, he has no idea what he’s doing. That book is great, enjoy it.” And I’m glad he did that, but it still doesn’t make up for what happened.
I read online all the time about how there are comic shops out there full of angry nerd gatekeepers who treat female customers like crap, and who talk trash about books with female leads, and I always thought that it was a good thing my store wasn’t like that. But now we’ve got one of these dickish childish gatekeepers there, and because of it some reader might have been completely turned off from the entire medium. Comics are a wonderful artform, full of amazing stories with great characters and creators, it has fanbases that are full of pleasant people who want to spread the word about what they love, and it makes me so angry to think that one jerk like this can completely undo that in just a few seconds.
If you are the person who came into my store the other day and ran into this asshole, I just want to say that I am deeply sorry that you had to put up with that. And I want you to not be discouraged about reading comics, I want you to keep reading them and loving them and find books and other readers you love to be around. And if you don’t want to come back to my store again, then I understand, what that guy did was awful and I can’t blame you if you don’t want to return. But please, keep reading comics, find better people than him to buy from and to talk to.
And I don’t have to work with him until next week, and if he hasn’t been fired by then, then I promise you I’m going to have words with him.