Tonight, we played No Boundaries by Marc Hobbs in which we played the workers at suburban bookstore trapped in a down-market strip mall between a liquor store and a check cashing place. Boundaries Books was on getting killed on Wall Street but management kept insisting that it would make the changes necessary to be successful, so introduced a number of innovations and promotions to improve sales throughout the year, changes our crew struggled to implement or live with.
When corporate mandated that we begin selling cats alongside books, since book-lovers are also cat-lovers, Santi the 16-year-old shelver spent a lot of time pulling cats off of shelves for customers, despite his fear of heights. And the cats greatly disrupted craft time for Clive, the serious literateur who ran the children’s events at the store, when one child cut a cat’s tail off. And Sigmund Prawn, the aspiring novelist specializing in Sci-Fi Romances, had to deal with an angry customer trying to get refund on a cat they hadn’t even bought at the store.
Then corporate decided to make Riley the barista into the assistant store manager to improve morale and clean up the store’s act, which created all sorts of tension between her and Ray the shipping clerk ten years her senior and longer tenured since he now had to take orders and guff from her on a daily basis.
It all fell apart when corporate rebranded the store around an EDM theme, with loud music blaring throughout the day and DJ names applied to all the workers. Mindy (now DJ Stacks) discovered that her ex-husband, who worked at the liquor store next door and who she had been spying on throughout the year, had begun to sell books because no one could find the peace to read in the new store. By Thanksgiving the store was doomed, and by New Years we were all out of a job.