March 3, 2006
(Columbus, OH) Jeff Willett always wanted to work at Borders Bookstore. He placed five applications, but the bookseller never called him.
Willett swiped a Borders nametag from the checkout counter a few months ago, and thus began a saga that culminated last week in his being named Associate of the Month.
"After I got home with the nametag, I got my Dymo Labelmaker out and printed a 'Jeff' label," he said. "Then I just started hanging out in the store."
Willett said that he started helping people find books and reshelving loose items.
"Pretty soon employees started asking me to do shit like clean the restrooms," he laughed. "Before you know it, a manager came up to me one week and said he didn't recognize my name."
Quick thinking on Willett's part saved the day.
"I told him: 'You know, I still haven't gotten a check,' and the guy immediately assumed that Ken, a fired manager, had fucked up again," he said. "The manager started apologizing, and two weeks later there was a check with 140 hours on it. Halle-freaking-lujah!"
Willett credits the gargantuan size of the store for his good fortune.
"There's like 100 employees in this joint," he said. "Nobody has a clue as to what the fuck is going on at any one moment."