Overheard #3: Of Books, Benjamin, and Buxom Babes

A tale from my past as an assistant manager for a discount book chain

Thirty-six years ago, this letter was printed in the Los Angeles Times Book Review section. I can verify that this is a true story because I was one aisle away shelving books and heard every word.

Further, I can confirm the manager of the Santa Ana CrownBooks deliberately hired an attractive and extremely large-bosomed seventeen year-old blonde for exactly the reason cited in the last sentence of the letter.

When I quizzed Bill on why he hired someone who showed no interest in books during her interview, he explained without shame, “If I hire a ugly girl and she can’t do the job, I’m stuck looking at an ugly girl. If I hire her and she can’t do the job, at least I have something sexy to look at.”

(Yes, it was exactly as creepy then as it sounds now.)

She was a nice enough kid, but an un-trainable ninny. Bill, of course, dumped her on to my shift where I had to do my work plus all the work that a real book clerk would normally handle. Luckily, she could just barely handle basic cash-handling, so I could stick her at the cash register where this happy interaction occurred.

The young lady in question is now in her early fifties. Her name had fled my memory, but her mammaries loom large in her legend.

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