Friday, September 10, 2010

"Well, WE can't change anything!"

I really loathe my college bookstore.

Actually, it isn't owned by my college anymore. We own the SPACE, but a couple years ago, it was determined that we should rent it out to another bookstore. For some reason. Since then, they've jacked up our prices, made really weird rules about returning/refunds, and straight out fucked around.

You might have read my post about book rentals. Well, the thing is, as the end of last winter semester, they had posted a whole bunch of signs talking about renting text books. You could save up to fifty percent! Isn't that awesome?

And trust me, they made it sound like they were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. Like they aren't making money off renting us these books that cost pennies to print. Like they're taking a loss because they JUST WANT US TO DO WELL! They even took out a newspaper ad to tell us aaaaaaaall about it.

That is bull shit.

First of all, a grand total of probably twenty titles are available for rental. That is pitiful. I do go to a smaller college (although this semester we have the same enrollment as one of the bigger Universities in my state. You figure that one out) but that is sad. And don't think any of the expensive books were available for rental. Oh no. It was the books that cost fifty bucks or less that were for rent anyway.

And none of these books were for the medical field, which is my college's bread and butter right now. They do have other programs, but the nursing/medical programs are what really bring home the bacon. They tell us this is why they're building us a BEAUTIFUL new building for all the neeeew labs and nice computers. JUST FOR US! It's still only fifty percent done. They started work last year. It's a nice idea, but in the meantime, they're cramming all these labs into rooms just not built for it, so even though it's to "help" us, we're suffering. Also, this winter a couple friends of mine stood around and watched the construction because we wanted to see how some machine worked. We watched one guy move the same pile of dirt around for five minutes. No joke. We couldn't come up with an explanation for that one.

And by the way, when you go to figure out the cost of your books, which you can do at the bookstore website, they don't tell you how to rent. You need a credit card. Now, it used to be people my age had credit cards. Since the economy shit the bed, that hasn't happened. Anymore, most people's parents aren't even paying for books.

They tell you by clicking through another website. Through their FAQs. On the bottom. In small print.

So like I said, She Who Must Be Kept called the store and got nasty. One of my friends works at the bookstore, and I mentioned it to him.

"Tell her never to do that again!" he snapped. "WE can't change anything." Well, too bad. Then pass it on to people who can, you know? It's ridiculous.

Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that they rent the cheaper books, because they had to pay out too much when we went to sell them back.

I hate selling back my books too. There's like, a black market for books at my school. They will decide they have too many of one book (because they don't want too many used, they don't make enough money on those) and won't take them back. They'll suddenly change editions (and teacher's will tell you the old edition is just fine, they haven't changed everything), or they'll do an overhaul of a department--which happened with math one year, but that wasn't the bookstore's fault.

Some of us have resorted to ordering our books online. They are wise to this and will wrap books and tape over the ISBN. And if you ask for it, they won't give it to you. You can still search by title, but some sites really need the ISBN for that edition or to be sure or WHATEVER.


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