Sunday, January 18, 2009

Color Me Frustrated

Last night was NLTO Movie Night. I drove out to Virginia Beach to watch Neil Jordan's The Crying Game. Most of my friends hadn't seen it, so it was fun to share a beloved film with new friends. The gathering broke up earlier than I expected, so I took advantage of the extra time to visit a nearby Barnes & Noble store. A couple of my friends had recommended I read a particular book, and, according to the website, this store was the only location (within 40 miles) that stocked that book. I know, I know. I could order it off the web. Guess I'm old-fashioned that way. I LIKE to visit brick-and-mortar stores. If nothing else, it gives me an opportunity to get out in public, to interact with people.

So, I drove over to the store. This location is the biggest B&N I've ever seen! F***ing huge! I thought, if I wandered about a bit, that I could find the book myself, without assistance. Alas, it was not to be. So I wandered over to the Customer Service counter. I told them what I was looking for, and the woman behind the counter grimaced. "I'm sorry," she said. "That title's been marked for return."

"Marked for return? What does that mean?" I asked.

"It means we've decided to not carry that book. In fact, I remember seeing it in a box in the back." She then apologized and went to the back of the store to see if it was still there. It was not. She apologized again, and went on to tell me that she could order it for me. You don't pay for shipping if you order it delivered to a store. I asked if they could order it shipped to a different location, because VB is a little out of my way. She said I would have to contact that store, and get them to order it. It was all I could do to not scream.

So, yeah, I'm feeling frustrated. The situation is made ironic by the book I was searching for: Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. I go hunting for a book about the marginalization of transwomen, and I'm left feeling... marginalized. Interested parties can read about the book here:

http://www.juliaserano.com/whippinggirl.html

Edit: I wonder if it would help if I complained to anyone. I would complain to B&N, certainly, but I wonder if I should alert the author.