2007-07-13: Customer Service


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Jonathan comes into Enlightenment in search of a book for his girl. He gets cookies.

July 13th, 2007

Customer Service

Enlightenment Books

It's been a strange week for Cass. And as such, she decides to do something she doesn't normally do on Sundays - open the store. The regulars know that once in awhile she'll do this and some of those regulars know that when she /does/ open the store when it's not supposed to be it's to take her mind off of other things that are happening in her life. So, in a strange reverse of customer service, some of those regulars have brought her cookies and slices of cake from the bakery right next door to cheer her up. They don't ask her what's wrong, but they do just like to show her that they appreciate her and her store. Who says that occultist New Agers weren't caring? There are much fewer customers than a weekend normally allows, but it's all the better for her to pick through her newly obtained cookies and start taste testing.

A first-time customer pulls up and gets out of his Jeep, looking over the storefront for a moment before he enters the store. The door shuts behind him and he stands for a moment, taking in the store before giving a nod that almost looks like… approval? He gives the store a quick walkaround before coming up to the register and offering Cass a smile. "Hi. I was hoping that you could help me out today.", he says, extending a hand formally. "Jonathan McCormick."

The jet-black slacks and Italian shoes he wears are complimented by a simple white polo with the buttons undone. The hair is pulled back into a short ponytail, and a pair of sunglasses rest easily on his forehead.

Deciding between a peanut butter cookie and a chocolate chip one, Cass has a dilemma when Jonathan stretches out his hand for a handshake. Luckily, it's not a problem for long, because the store owner merely hands over the proper cookie for a handshake and grins. "Here, have a chocolate chip cookie." Then, once he takes it they can properly shake. "Nice to meet you, Jonathan! I'm Cass. I hope I can, too! Is there a particular book that you're looking for? Or do you need some help finding something?" While formality is appreciated, it holds a little less weight than friendliness in this store.

Jonathan chuckles and accepts the cookie. "Thanks!", he says, taking a bite as they shake. "Well, Cass, I am looking for something in particular, but I could also use the help finding something.", he continues on, finishing off the cookie. "I have someone special in my life. She's a English, Psychology, and History major at NYU, and she's got an avid love for reading. And she's special to me, so I wanted to get her something unique that you couldn't find at your local Border's.", he says. "So, anything with Shakespeare, especially his sonnets, yeah. But anything you could recommend would be excellent, as well."

"I've got a ton lying around now and you looked like you could use a chocolate chip cookie." Whatever that means. But before she can explain, even if she was going to, Cass is munching on her own peanut butter cookie. Yummy. "Hm. Well. We don't really have anything on Shakespeare, except for this one book that was sent to us accidentally about a theory that Shakespeare was actually an alien zombie who came to earth in order to disrupt our timeline, but like England so much he stayed and decided to write some plays." Maybe /not/ the best gift for a Psychology, History, English major. "Something I was recommending to someone else the other day - if she's someone who likes sonnets - is Hafiz. He's a Sufi poet and he's probably one of my favorite writers of all time. His stuff is beautiful."

Jonathan pauses before laughing out loud. "I'd *love* to read that one, personally.", he admits. "From the pictures, Shakespeare always did look like he had the facial shape of a Martian.", he says, turning around to get another look at the bookstore. "This really is a nice place. I just opened a store of my own across town, and although the apartment space above was ideal, I had to do a bit of renovation to the shop front to make it suitable for my business.", he says, turning back towards Cass. "Hafiz? I'd say I hadn't heard of that author before, but I'm sure that wouldn't be too much of a surprise. I'm a computer nerd."

"That and the huge collar always got to me." Cass grins before taking another bite of her cookie. Then, she puts it down on the plate where she retrieved them from to weave her way around the counter and start leading Jonathan to the proper shelves. First, to Sufism for Hafiz. "Oh, I love this bookstore. It's been in this spot for years when it was under it's original owner. I've never had to change anything about it, other than update it's security system and the like." Nothing odd about that. "What kind of store do you have?" Store owners unite and all that! It's a few quick steps over to the right spot and out pulls a few slim volumes of poetry with lovely illustrated covers. One has the title 'The Subject Tonight is Love' while the other is, 'I Heard God Laughing'. The thicker book is simply called 'The Gift'. "Hafiz was a Persian poet from the 1300s who followed a brand of mysticism called Sufism. He writes all about God and love and mysticism and self and, really, it's beautiful stuff."

Jonathan reaches out and runs his finger over the spine of the books she points out. "Oh, I'm the proprietor of Frontier Electronics over on the upper west side. I build computers, service them. Stuff like that.", he says, taking the books into his hands and looking over the covers thoughtfully for a moment. "Cass, you seem like someone who is trustworthy, and I like the style and feel of this place. Seems very friendly, down to earth. I'm going to take this one…", he says, holding up The Subject Tonight Is Love, "…and this one.", pointing towards The Gift. "If you have any wrapping that goes with the feel of this place, you'll have found yourself a loyal customer.", he says with a smile.

"Uh oh, that's a lot of pressure for the wrapping paper," Cass teases slightly. However, she takes the books from Jonathan and makes her way back to the register counter. That's where all the wrapping things are stashed. Indeed, the wrapping that she has is very much like the feel of the store. It's recycled paper with a colorful dark blue ribbon to tie the two books together. "Luckily, I'm prepared for such an event." The compliments make the owner blush a little and she smiles. "Thank you. I'm sure Tom would have loved to hear that about his store, too." Since she really hasn't changed much of it after the change of hands. "Maybe I'll stop by your store sometime. I really don't know anything about computers, but I think I should probably get another laptop. I've had the same one for something like five years." She's been told that's basically like an antique.

"I'll tell you what, Cass. If this brings a smile to my Cali's face like I'm hoping, I'll put something together for you at a good discount. There's no understating the value of making her happy for me.", he says. "That's excellent, I love it. I'll also let Cali know that you're here. I'm sure she'd be willing to bring you much business.", he says, pulling out his wallet. He extracts a credit card and a business card. "Frontier Electronics, Cass.", he says, setting both down on the counter. "That's my private line. Let me know when you're coming, and I'll make sure that I'm there to help you."

Picking up one of her own cards, Cass passes it over when she's handed Jonathan's. "Well, I do hope that she likes it. And I'm always glad to have people come back and enjoy more books." What's the point in having a book store if you don't like seeing people walk out the door with books? Studying the card, she puts it down on the counter right by the cookies where she won't forget them. Then, that put in a safe place, she takes the credit card, puts it in the card swiper with the carbon copy receipt, swipes it and gives the other man a pen for him to sign. "There you go." Once signed, she'll rip the two apart, carefully put his wrapped purchases in a bag and hand them both over. "I'll do that. Of course, you're going to have to put up with me not knowing /anything/ about computers."

"Something tells me that even if you don't know anything about computers, you'd be a step above some of the folks that walk into my store. I'm pretty sure you feel the same way from time to time?", he asks. "Cass, it was a pleasure. You've done a great deed for me today. Please don't hesitate to call me about that laptop. A favor for a favor, yeah?", he says, clutching the books to his chest. "Small business owners have to stick together, I say."
"That's true. But I think there's a greater frustration with not being able to understand computers than there is not knowing about Crop Circles." Cass smiles and wraps up another cookie and hands it over to him. "Here, another one for the road. Or for your girl. I've got way more than I should eat. And, really, it wasn't anything. Just doing what I'm supposed to be doing." Mainly, helping customers. "But, I'll agree with you on the small business owner thing. I'll call you about that laptop thing. Thank you for stopping in."

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