Dead and doesn’t even know it yet.

An odd interaction at Barnes & Noble recently: With three pages remaining in the colloquial design notebook, I needed to replace. Seeking their Moleskine section, tucked near the register, an unkempt shelf filled with a variety of sizes and styles. Beautifully bound, a faux-leather cover.

I’m a designer. I’m in love with grids. The full-line style was too thick, too heavy last time. The dot-grid seemed a perfect match. But it was missing in the size I wanted, full letter-sized pages. Anything smaller would annoy me.

“Hey,” approaching the help desk with two notebooks in hand, “I’m looking for this style in this size.”

“Did you check up front? They’re usually near the registers.”

Where the hell did he think I found these? “Uh, I did. But there wasn’t this style in this size. Can you look in the back?”

And I waited. Waited long enough for me to finish my coffee and, bored, look up the exact item on Amazon. His own little coffee break or incompetence? Finally he came back.

“I didn’t find it back there, let me check our online store.” It’s available. “Shipping is $10, but if your order is over $25 shipping is free.”

“Cool, can you waive it? It’s $22 and you don’t have it in store.”

“Eh, unfortunately I can’t do that…” trailing off. It sounded like a lot of work.

“I’m really trying to work with you here, you can’t waive $3? I could probably find it online for pretty cheap.”

“Store policy.”

I saved $6. Shipping was free.

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