Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe

based on 1 reviews

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55 Haywood St.
Asheville, NC 28801


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Reviews of Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe

0 based on 1 reviews.
  1. Dawn

    This is my first time writing a review, so the fact I’m putting in so much time for this should tell you how pissed off I am.

    I used to come to Malaprop’s all the time when I lived in Asheville and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’d heard people I know complain that the staff is snobby but I’d never had bad experiences so I took it with a grain of salt. I visited tonight during my trip to Asheville both to look for books I would like to purchase before my vacation ended and I headed back home. I actually found quite a few I was interested in.

    I did purchase a cup of coffee as my patronage contribution for the day, tipped the server, smiled and said thank you, and sat down with my coffee and worked on this art piece of mine. My coffee was burnt, and the table was wobbly, but I wasn’t gonna let my day be ruined over such small things, I just added more sugar and milk to the coffee and put a napkin under the wobbly table. (Now keep in mind also I was working only in colored pencil, not paint, charcoal, or anything else that would even remotely leave a mess.) Several people, both staff and patrons complimented my work. There was a general vibe that most everyone was glad I was there.

    Well, everyone except this one woman who I can only guess was the closing manager. I was happily engrossed in my work, not bothering anybody, with over two hours to go before closing time. She said to me “We’re going to be having an event here at 7pm.” (By “event” what she meant was one of their book lectures) I wasn’t bothered. I don’t mind a crowd and if they need to dim the lights I can improvise, so I just smiled and said casually “that’s cool”. I didn’t really think about it too much at first. I thought it was nice of her to be so considerate and tell me what was going on. But as the minutes went by she behaved increasingly peculiar: moving chairs around and thumping them down with unnecessary loudness, even thumping down a chair loudly right against the table where I was working, saying “I JUST NEED TO PUT THIS OVER HERE” in a gratuitously loud voice, ect. It was becoming quite plain she was using passive-aggressive tactics to intimidate me into leaving, but I wasn’t going to play her game. I sat even more stiffly in my chair as I anticipated the coming confrontation.

    Sure enough, it happened. She came up and stood directly beside me and said in this falsely sweet voice “Are you going to be staying for the event?” I didn’t waste any time, I just cut right to the chase and said: “Why? Do you want me to leave?”

    Seriously I was expecting her to save face and make up some lame excuse. What happened instead was her fakey fake smile instantly evaporated and she said, her eyes narrowing as she grimaced at me with obvious contempt “actually, YEAH. It would be GREAT if you could just leave.” I AM NOT EXAGERRATING, THOSE WERE HER EXACT WORDS, VERBATIM. Oh, she tried to smooth it over with a lame “You’re welcome to shop around the bookstore section and there are other businesses open that you can go to.” But this was only increasingly insulting as she was now speaking to me as though I was a homeless person squatting on the floor of the airport. FFS I purchased their crappy burnt coffee without complaint, what more did she want? It isn’t even like this was some officially private event; and if that is how the event was intended they should do it after store hours. As it was it wasn’t even 7pm and Malaprop’s was advertised as open till 9pm.

    Now I’ve got to tell you I’ve worked on my art LOADS of places, many far more corporate than Malaprop’s supposedly “community” store, and I have NEVER been treated this way-much the opposite. Most of the time people have been very pleased and even honored to have me and have encouraged me to stay “as long as you like” (until closing, of course, and I always clear out so people can close up and go home, and they’re very appreciative of how courteous I am.)

    I told her to her face “Fine, I’ll leave. And I’m never coming here again. You need to change your attitude. I don’t appreciate your passive-aggressive ‘oh, we’re having an event’ behavior.” And all she had to say was this patronizing robot broken-record of “that’s fine, that’s fine” like I was being crazy or something for calling her out for her brazen rudeness.

    Seriously, she could have offered to seat me at a table somewhere else so I could continue to work on my art. She could have even just apologized with the slightest modicum of contrition and explained those were just the rules and it was nothing personal. Stuff like this is why I don’t spend any serious money at a place until I see how the employees treat me. Too, bad, this establishment has missed out on about $60 of my money,+ whatever future business they might’ve gotten out of me,+ any recommendation I might’ve given. Not to mention there’s always the internet and finding all their books and more on Amazon for way cheaper is easy to do

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