Ironically, I heard the news from the Barnes & Noble bookseller who was gift-wrapping a purchase for me. Borders Books would be no more. Friday July 22, 2011 would mark the beginning of the end for 399 stores and over 10,000 employees as the sales begin and the inventory is liquidated.
I don't know that I was shocked, but on the way home in the car, I found myself teary-eyed for the dying book giant. I worked at Borders for three years while I was in college and after I graduated, and even though I felt totally silly shedding a tear for a retail store, I later told Justin it kind of felt like an old boss died.
I've worked for several companies in my short career, and my time at Borders was absolutely my favorite job. As a book lover, going to a place where I could be surrounded by them all day (and get a pretty awesome employee discount) was awesome. I also met my best friend there, and my co-workers WERE my friends - I got to go to work and hang out with them every day.
I worked as a cashier and a seller. I worked on the special process team doing inventory, periodicals, pulling books to be sent back to various places, processing defective and damaged merchandising and unpacking and sorting hundreds of boxes of books. I worked in the children's section arranging oddly sized books and grumbling internally about the crazy mess, but loving the picture books I discovered while shelving. I ended up as a cafe supervisor, got great experience with ordering and supervising and opening and closing the three story bookstore in Bellevue Square.
It's been 8 years since I worked at Borders - it's hard for me to believe it's been so long. I've had two kids, moved a few times, and watched from afar on Facebook as my old friends have moved around and gotten married. I often wish that I could still be as close with some of them as I was back then, but distance and circumstance and just being in different places in life has carried us away from each other. I still miss them.
The ones I do keep in contact with regularly, I enjoy. I'm so happy that these people were brought into my life. As for my best friend, I will never, ever forget the times we had together laughing in the sort room and all of that lead to the friendship we have today.
I've been a Borders girl for years. I've shopped at Barnes and Noble recently due to the fact that we didn't have a Borders here in Bellingham. I'm going to miss it.