What do you do? I'm a clerk II. I work in retail customer service at the Illini Union Bookstore. Just what does that entail? We do things like special charges for customers who aren't on campus or students who have books paid for them by other people - like student athletes, whose books might be paid through the Athletic Association. I also work at the regular checkout areas and fill in wherever necessary. I answer phones, answer questions and direct people to places on campus. How long have you worked here? Twenty years. The beginning of the school year has got to be the busiest time of the year for you. Do you have to work extra hours at this time? The week before classes started, we became busy, mostly training temporary cashiers. The week classes started was even busier than usual because of the new registration system. The students already have their schedules in hand and are in here earlier than before. That first week, we started work at 7:30 a.m. and weren't out until about 9:20 p.m. This week we're back to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. How do you cope with the long hours and the stress during this crunch time? The store provides us with coffee and doughnuts, which is nice. And it's a great crew to work with. Does the pace slow down once students are in class, or does it stay hectic for a while? Up until the first week of September it's still busy. But after that, we drop back to a regular 37 1/2-hour shift. What's are the most common questions you get asked at the customer service desk? New students are always asking, "Where do I get my books?" The older students ask, "Can I still charge on my ID?" We also get people who say, "I forgot my ID. Can I still charge my books?" What's the most unusual request for service you've ever received? We have a lot of people from foreign countries who request books they can't get in their countries. These are often large sales. We find the books, weigh them, do the boxing and shipping. What's the funniest thing that ever happened to you on the job? We've had people on the phone - usually calling from out of town - who may be shopping for someone with a birthday coming up, and they'll ask us to pick out something ... like a blue sweatshirt with "Illinois" on it. They'll try to describe the size of the person they're shopping for, and ask "What size are you? Are you average-sized?" What do you like best about the job? The people we work with make it really great. Plus, you never know what each day will bring; it's different all the time. And I like being around the students. The majority of the students are really great. They keep us young.