Friday, October 13, 2006

what does it take to woo an educator?

It is telling that I am spending the second evening at Borders Books, enthralled with their bi-annual Educator Days.

They know how to drag me in. Yesterday I was here for the discount. Today I am hoping for a free cafĂ© latte. They don’t quite have that, but they are generous with snacks. It is a shame that I do not really care for late-day snacks. The day I am that desperate for food, I should hang up my passport, stay home and pay the bills.

Twice a year I do enter their drawing for a gift basket. I don’t otherwise gamble or buy lottery tickets and I think the whole thing is bogus anyway. No one I know has ever walked away with a Borders gift basket. I think it has a handful of low-selling books that they want to clear off the shelf, with some chocolates thrown in. Educators like to think of themselves as addicted to chocolate.

I don’t want to be saddled with uninteresting books. After all, they just lured me in to empty my wallet on stuff that I really like. But I feel bonded with educators the world over by filling out one of those entry cards and dropping it into the big fish bowl. We swim together!

Of course, this educator stuff is all rather suspect. I am standing in line today (yes, I’m buying, shoot me for it.) and I whip out my faculty ID the minute it is my turn to fork over the cash and I hear the teller next to mine ask her customer – are you and educator? And he answers… yeeees… with the greatest of hesitations. I mean you should at least follow up with something like – really? -- to show that you are serious in asking. But the teller does no such thing. Okay! – she beams. 25% off all your purchases today!

It turns out that the so-called educator is actually a librarian. I suppose it counts. Though I personally would hesitate to show up for his librarian days at Borders, where they to come around. But it did deflate a little the feeling of solidarity I had had in plunking my name into the fishbowl. I was probably in there with a bunch of librarians, baristas and computer geeks.

By the way, I want no more complaints about lawyers stretching the meaning of words.

october 06