As any retail or service worker will tell you, customers can be irrational, demanding, abusive, and brain-scramblingly, mind-bendingly strange. They can also be kind, thoughtful, funny, and full of pathos. Something about the often-fraught interaction between customer and worker, with the dividing line of the counter between them, loosens inhibitions, and has a kind of hot-house effect on eccentricity.
In I Can't Remember the Title But the Cover is Blue, veteran bookseller Elias Greig collects the best, worst and downright weirdest customer encounters from his years working as a Sydney bookseller. From ill-behaved children to nostalgic seniors and everything in between, this hilarious and unpredictable book is the perfect gift for anyone who's ever been on the wrong side of a counter.
About the author
Elias Greig was born on the North Coast of New South Wales, and moved to Sydney for university, completing a BA, MA, and, recently, a PhD at the University of Sydney. All this study was funded and made possible by over a decade of retail work, first as a shoe salesman, and later as a bookseller, his current occupation. These long years on the wrong side of the counter have proved surprisingly helpful in Elias's other career as a casual tutor and sessional lecturer at the University of Sydney. Elias's writing has appeared in Hermes (which he was proud to edit in 2010), Contrappasso, The Conversation, and, most recently, in Overland, where he discussed the Fair Work Commission's decision to cut Sunday penalty rates as a symptom of the wider disregard for and invisibility of retail and service workers. He has made several appearances on ABC radio program Overnights, discussing Romantic poetry, and the work of Stevie Smith.
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