One of the many problems of being a middle aged man who works at a record store that you don’t own is that you get mistaken as the owner. This usually happens by the tire kickers who come in on friday nights while they’re waiting for a table to open up at a local restaurant. They’re not buying anything, they just want to look. Which is fine, a lot of the time I get a variation of,
“This is a great store, I hear records are making a comeback …you must be Jack”, (because why else would a middle aged man be working at a record store). “Thank you but I’m not Jack, I just work here” Most of the time I get a pitying look that seems to say “mmm I understand, times are tough…I’m sure things will pick up”. I respond to the pitying look with a wan smile and the transaction is over.
Last week a guy came in who was easily in his mid sixties and was looking through used records. I was on the other side of the counter pricing a large stack of them.
“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid” to nobody in particular
“….yeah, a long time…”
“Well Jacks has been here for over forty years.”
“…..you’re Jack, right?”
“How could I be Jack? I’m younger than you…I didn’t open the store when I was a child.”
“yeah, but I thought…”
“yeah?….thought what?…a…a time machine was involved?”
I stopped, bit my tongue a little too late, melted into the back room, slunk out another door and got a coffee.