Patience, money in high

Robin Huiras

Purchasing books for courses rarely leaves students in good spirits. This week, however, the normal complaints of overpricing and disorganization were usurped as students wait and wait and wait to simply set foot inside the bookstores — specifically the West Bank Bookstore. This week the lines have fluctuated from short and sweet in the early morning to long and bitter by the evening hours.
“Yesterday I waited in line for an hour and a half, but gave up half way through to make it to my next class,” said Kateri Tyre, a senior majoring in studio arts.
The first week of class is always hectic, but this week is busier than usual, said Theresa White, a University employee who has worked at the West Bank bookstore for 12 years.
“This has just been really wild these past few days,” White said. “This is a very rare thing.”
Although the line to the register stretched beyond the entrance and students waited an hour on average, they maintained positive attitudes by cracking jokes, sharing stories and making light of a dispiriting situation.
“Everybody’s really friendly; we’re all equally screwed,” Tyre said.
Despite all of the joking, complaints were numerous and chords of frustration resonated strongly.
“It is ridiculous to have everyone weaving in and out of aisles built for one,” said Burton Friedman, a sophomore majoring in sociology.
The long lines, high prices and confusing layout angered Teri Dale, a sophomore Spanish major.
“A lot of students think our store is too small,” said White. “But usually the students are very patient.”
In the books section of the store, about 10 employees ran the registers, directed traffic and worked in the stacks to assist students. On any given day during the rest of the quarter three employees run the bookstore.
“In a couple of weeks it will probably drop down to about 75 people a day,” said White, who couldn’t estimate how many students had come through the bookstore that day.
Suggestions offered by students to ease the situation in the bookstores during the first week of class included opening more registers, playing music, offering refreshments, providing a coat check, validating parking with a receipt, more leniency with assignments by professors the first week of class and selling books at the individual schools.