Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Book Fair

I recently got to have some fun by volunteering at the Book Fair at the Girl's school. The Book Fair is exactly what it sounds like: a gala event spread out over three days in which all the students and teachers at the school get the chance to peruse and buy, and sometimes steal, any of a boatload of books and other book-related paraphernalia. I should say that I didn't actually witness anybody stealing anything, but I heard that it had happened recently, so I watched those little hooligans like a hawk!

I volunteered for what turned out to be three hours during the middle of a school day. Throughout those three hours, classes full of kids would arrive at the Fair in waves, cause about 15 minutes worth of mayhem, and then head back to class, allowing us about 2 or 3 minutes to straighten up all the books before the next class arrived to mess everything up again.

No, actually most of the kids were fairly well behaved, and having so many elementary aged kids around allowed me to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies: talking to young kids like they were adults, and then laughing inside to myself as they stare at me blankly. I have to admit that I'm pretty good at it...just ask the Wife.

Probably the most excitement came early on in my Book Fair shift. A young student who I recognized as being in the Girl's class came up to the cash register with an enormous stack of books. Most of the books she had were either Star Wars or Legos themed, or both. It was an impressive stack of books, a stack which made all the other students green with envy. As I rang up all these books for her, I noticed that they all cost quite a bit of money. The student had a rather hefty looking bag of cash though, so I figured she knew what she was doing. After I scanned the last of her books and hit Enter on the cash register, I told her, "OK, that will be $84.32. Do you have that much?" "Yup!", she replied cheerfully, as she dumped out all the money in her bag. It took me about a half a second to scan her pile of cash and realize she had nowhere near $84.32. In fact, her hefty bag of money contained about $12. She only had enough for one of her books. So, I quickly learned how to void a transaction on that cash register. Which was good, because the very next student wanted to buy $50 worth of books, but had no idea that 50 cents is not the same as 50 dollars...

If you ever have a chance to work at one of these Book Fairs, I would highly encourage you to do it. It really was a lot of fun. Just make sure you have the students show you how much money they have before you start ringing everything up. And make sure you know how to void things on the register. Your life at the Book Fair will be much easier if you do.
It's obvious to me, now, that that kid does not have enough money to buy all those books...

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