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Things that I do March 9, 2010

Posted by Conventioneering in Uncategorized.
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Wow, I’ve been behind on this, haven’t I? Mostly, it’s because I’ve been kept very busy, both by real life and my hobbies. Mostly by real life!

I think for today’s post, I’m going to talk specifically about what I do at NASM, and my duties.

I’m a Satellite Store employee, which means that I don’t work in the main store or in the basement – instead, I rotate between our four satellite stores. My official assignment is the Mezzanine, our bookstore.

Mezzanine is my favorite place to work. I’m a bookworm, I love books, I love recommending books. If I had the time I’d spend all my time reading. This can be a bit of a problem, because I’m not actually allowed to read anything in the store. I wish I could – I’d feel a bit more knowledgeable about the stuff in the store. The other nice thing about Mezzanine is that we pop movies into the video player up there, which can be quite educational and interesting, though admittedly watching the same movie all day can get a bit boring. Finally, Mezzanine is quiet – not many people know it’s there, and the people who do are there to find books, so we don’t have the large crowds of screaming children that we get downstairs. Sometimes, we get customers looking for something very specific. This isn’t a bad thing, but I, as a new employee, don’t know every single book in the store, and thus there’s only so much I can help with. I honestly wish I could, but I’m often left with this hopeless deer-in-the-headlights look of “oh gosh I don’t know where to find that!”

After Mezzanine, there’s Dog Tags. Dog Tags is a little glass booth outside the main store, just under the escalator, where you can get customized dog tags. I often get assigned here because I’m an exceptionally fast typist, and thus can churn out tags very quickly. Dog Tags are our second best selling item – right after freeze-dried ice cream – and thus we get a lot of people there. I’ve heard stories about how later, during the summer months, we get lines that go all the way past the America By Air exhibit – that’s almost the length of a football field.

Theater is the store next to our Imax theater, and I’m usually assigned to do relief there. It’s an even smaller box than Dog Tags, and mostly stocked with toys and our Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian merchandise, such as our Einstein bobbleheads (I’ve never seen the movie, so I have no idea what their significance is). This place is where I get the most questions about where things are, and I get a lot of questions about what time the Imax movie is – even though the ticket office is within line of sight of the theater store.

Finally, there’s the Planetarium. It’s somewhere between the size of the main store and the Theater, a small corner right across from the Planetarium designed to catch the crowds coming out of a show. Given that its main stock is toys, candy, and space stuff, we get a lot of kids. The most popular items are rail twirlers – small disks on a metal rail that light up – and plasma balls.

I’m at a different store every day, and sometimes at different ones over the course of a single day. My worst day thus far, I started in Mezzanine, went to Planetarium to do stock, got moved down to do relief at Theater, and then shifted to do Dog Tags because we had a large school group come in and they needed someone to type. Unfortunately for me, I had felt sick all day, which crescendo into a fever when I started to work on Dog Tags, resulting in me having to go home. I was, fortunately, fine the next day, but it was a very, very poor way indeed to start one’s second week of work!

Tomorrow, I shall talk about the thing I like even more than working in Mezzanine: doing book signings.



1. Patrick - March 9, 2010

The significance of the Einstein bobbleheads is that they are hilarious. Can’t really recommend the movie in general though. Amelia Earhart is just obnoxious.

I wish you could do BSG-style hexagonal dog tags. Cause I’d be all over that.

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