I don't know what this was supposed to be. I can only tell you what i felt while reading it. So paragraph for paragraph here is my breakdown.
Listen, I know you won’t speak to me but just come over here and let me bend your waxy ear for just a second. Don’t wait for my colleague to come back from lunch so you can ask him about that Green Lantern comic. I work here too. I know I’ve got two tits and Lord knows what else but I understand comics too. I can name the capabilities of each differently hued power ring. I’ve got my indigo ring on, I know compassion. Let me help you.
Straight off the bat a boot is put into this person with the waxy ear comment. The meaning is clear, this person is unsanitary, undesirable, we are not going to be taking an understanding or sympathetic line with this person. The next few lines are what the letter is really about, the writer's veil of prejudice and assumption. The writer immediately lays out a scenario in which a stranger does not talk to her, and rather waits for a male staff member to come back to ask his question. Why this happens seems to be important to her and as such she has put some thought to it. The conclusion? The reason the person did not approach her was because the person believes that as a woman her knowledge of comics is insufficient.
Here are some possible alternate explanations which do not involve painting the subject as something deplorable, like a sexist.
- The person is nervous around women.
- The person feels he has or wishes to develop a rapport with a particular staff member, possibly even a friendship with someone who is not you.
- The person is gay and uses his opportunities in the store as a way of getting into conversations with the male staff member in question, on whom he has a crush.
- The person does not like you.
Ask me. I’m just sitting here saying these words to you in my head, gazing at your dandruff over the backissue bins. You know, comic book guy in the corner, it’s sexist to think I won’t know the answer to your questions about the motivation of relatively minor characters in Transformers, but hey: I am being totally judgmental about you here too, so that is fine.
Again care is taken to mention more undesirable traits, in addition to being sexist and waxy eared the person also has dandruff. EWWWW!?! That is supposed to be our reaction to this. What a deplorable scabby sexist wax creature we are confronted with.
Here however, comes the OT3 moment in this masterpiece of thought. It bears repeating.
'You know, comic book guy in the corner, it’s sexist to think I won’t know the answer to your questions about the motivation of relatively minor characters in Transformers, but hey: I am being totally judgmental about you here too, so that is fine.'
Now seriously, stop and think about this. The justification for being judgemental and assuming this person is a sexist pig, is that you have assumed that this person thinks you know nothing about transformers because you are a woman. So It is ok to assume he is sexist, because you assume that he assumes you know nothing of it based on gender. And by acknowledging that you are being judgemental about him you basically state you have no actual evidence to suggest he is sexist in any way shape or form.
Don’t be proud of the fact that I remember your name. I know everybody’s name, dude. I have to type it into our computer system, which you may have noticed works on DOS. I have to type your name in, plug in your terrible order, and when I’m done I have to type E-X-I-T. Time moves slow here in the past. I’ve got lots of time to think about things, which is why I want to help you. Yes, you in The Walking Dead T-shirt. Shamble over here a minute, would you?
All i read here is contempt. Contempt for your workplace. Contempt for the products you sell, and contempt for the people who buy them, or rather the subset of people you don't like, with waxy ears and dandruff and who are secretly motived by a core of burning sexism, which you have divined through ESP.
I’m referring specifically to that one time you inexplicably came in with that unbelievably acceptable girl and you just stood there at the counter saying nothing, just waiting while practically glowing like Dr. Manhattan with sheer ridiculous pride that the girl (this girl) in the comic shop knows your name. I tried to help you that time by “not knowing” your name. Remember? I wanted to give your impressively human possible-girlfriend who we never saw again the impression that you’re not here at opening time every Wednesday morning, that you don’t spend your entire Saturday here in the basement over there in that corner. Please let me help you get laid. Have you ever seen Ghost World? Let me be your Enid, Seymour. Let me be your Enid.
This is where things get both confusing and truly vexing. This paragraph is literally dripping over with the worst traits humanity has to offer.
Why is it inexplicable that someone who frequents your store would bring their girlfriend or even possible girl friend to the store. Why would he not want to share that aspect of who he is with them. Maybe, and I know this sounds insane, but maybe he wants to find someone who will like him for who he is, who would take an interest in his hobbies and vice versa. Maybe he loves his local comic book store, and explained how awesome and friendly the staff were, staff who remember your name! Which was odd because the woman working there suddenly acted like she did not know your name.
This is also a great paragraph because it teaches people who are totally passionate about comic books an important lesson. Be ashamed of yourselves. Hide your sick fetish from others. If you have a potential girlfriend who is impressively human looking (nice stab at the girl in question btw) for god sake don't let them know you like to hang out in a comic-book store on a Saturday. And for god sake if you are passionate about comic books and socially awkward DO NOT go to your local comic book store to hang out at the weekend. Because god forbid you might actually form bonds with like minded people, or become socially active in a group. That would be just freaking terrible.
Oh, hey. Wait. I know they end up doing it at the end of that movie but let’s just back it up a second. That ain’t gonna happen: you like Rob Liefeld, I like Chris Ware. That’s just the way the shit splatters. It would never work, but what I’m trying to say is: use me. I am literally paid to be nice to you. I am like your free conversation prostitute. You’re wasting this opportunity, here. Try out your new material! Hit me with some lines, man! Get used to saying them to a face that is not your own in the mirror.
Again just a paragraph of nasty. I like how the person is assigned the fandom of Rob Liefield. Because it is cool to hate on Rob Liefield after all. This guy likes Rob Liefield. He is one of 'those' people. Those waxy eared, dandruff covered, secretly sexist , Liefielders.
Reference is also repeatedly made to wanting the person to hit on you, seemingly for the sole purpose of rejecting them. And wrapping it up with the using lines on a face that is not the one in the mirror? Barbed wire frosting on the asshole cake.
I’m here to help. I know you paid $54.43 on eBay for that blue ring you’re wearing there. It won’t work unless you have hope.
Call me. At work. I’d get fired if I did not answer.
I like the closing because it accentuates the 'theme' of the letter. This person wants to 'help'. They really do. Honest. I mean they say they are literally only talking to you because they are paid to, and in situations where they would be fired if they did not, but no really they actually want to help. Because it is not like if you removed the help aspect of the letter it is just a staff member taking a huge shit on a section of their customer base. Not at all.
And in closing, gentle men and women of the land who work in comic book stores, here is wacky concept from the world of retail. It is called engaging the customers.
'Excuse me, is there anything i can help you with?'
Magic words you will find, in breaking the ice with a nervous or socially awkward customer. It is also a lot better than sitting behind the service point fantasising about the secret meaning behind mundane customer actions and radiating fucking contempt at them for choosing to come into your store , and possibly even hang out there and try and be part of the local comic community.
Rather than being an open letter to the guy waiting in the corner of the comic book store i would prefer to think of it as
'An open letter on the long term detrimental effects of assumptive reasoning and internal monologuing on comic book shop staff. '