Except the pay. And the bathroom in the basement. But you can live with low pay and strange facilities when you love what you do.
In January 1996, I was going about my routine at the store. We had recently hired a very nice man who was a mystery-lover in his mid-fifties and had a heart condition, so the job was perfect for him (not too much stress). We were working well together, putting together mail-order stuff to go out and chatting. A few customers came in, we sold them books.
One guy came in and he sort of smelled like a shop-lifter. I don't mean he actually smelled, I mean he felt wrong. He was just....wrong. So, I grabbed the feather duster and wandered about dusting the shelves, keeping him in sight. All the other customers in the store paid and left and he went up to my co-worker and said "Open the cash register."
Me (I can only see his back): "I'm sorry, sir, we can't do that"
Shop-lifter: "I have a gun"
Me: "Oh, well, in that case."
I went behind the counter. He had the gun pointed at me. It's an automatic. He's wearing glasses. They're taped with cellophane tape up on the right-hand side. He's black, maybe in his forties.
I opened the register and gave him all the money in the top of the tray. He asked me for the stuff underneath as well, so I gave him that too.
All the time, I'm looking at him. And praying in my head, "C0-worker, please don't have a heart attack. Please don't have a heart-attack."
Shop-lifter leaves. We call the cops. Detective Refridgerator Perry (seriously, he's 6'6" and as wide as I am tall) takes our statements and a description of Shop-lifter. I go with him to look through the books for a match.
Fast forward to the next day. I ask my boss to install a camera and a panic button. He says "No."
Mr. Spock, when I get home that night, asks, "Why are you risking you butt for bupkes, when you could easily learn to program computers and make big money?"
So the next day I tell my boss, "Cameras and a panic button, or I quit."
Me: "Okay. It was great working with you."
And that's why I'm a computer programmer.
Epilogue 1: Detective Refridgerator Perry called me to come in and view a line-up.
DRF: "I heard you quit your job."
DRF: "Don't you think that's over-reacting?"
Me: "Probably, if I were built like you and licensed to
carry a gun."
Me: "Detective Perry, you're a police man. How many
times have you had a gun pointed at you?"
Me: "This was my third."
Shop-lifter wasn't in the line-up.
Epilogue 2: So many other employees at the store threatened to quit that the boss finally did get cameras installed.