Doing My Job

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April 5, 2004 // UPDATED 1:11 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Michael Abraham, Sports cards master, Shinder's, 733 Hennepin Ave. S.

Michael Abraham, 19, is the sports cards master at Shinder's, 733 Hennepin Ave. S. The Loring Park resident, who studies sound arts at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave. S., has a no-nonsense demeanor. He speaks frankly when asked about his job, and he admits it has some drawbacks. Overall, though he seems to enjoy his work, often exchanging playful jabs with co-workers as he mans the store's front desk.

What's a typical day like?

Each day of the week is a little different. At this store, I come in, check in a lot of magazines, help customers. Usually, we have to throw a few people out everyday. There are a lot of drunk people who come in, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. There's a whole different spectrum because we're open from 7 a.m. until midnight. There are all kinds of people Downtown. We definitely have a lot of regulars. Some of them don't always buy anything. A variety of homeless people come in -- just to come in sometimes.

There's talk of a large condo tower going up next door. What do you think of that?

There's been talk about doing something to this block for years, especially since Block E has gone up. ... The attitude the employees take is that we'll believe it when we see it because we've heard so many things about it. [Shinder's] has been here a long time, so I think it would be a shame for it to be gone. It's a cool place because of the news we sell. ... We sell foreign magazines. This Shinder's is entirely different than other ones. I used to work at the one in Burnsville and there we just sold kid's card games and sports cards. This one has tobacco, magazines and pornography. ... Porn -- we would go out of business without it. We were almost going to be a Ticket Master outlet, but Ticket Master wouldn't do it because we sell adult material.

How does working at this Shinder's compare to other locations?

It's a complete change from the suburban one. ... This one is a little more challenging. At the suburban ones, you have to deal with spoiled little kids. At this one, you have to deal with people on drugs or drunk people -- all kinds of vagrants.

Do you specialize in one subject here?

Yeah, I do the sports cards here. This is one of the lowest-selling sports cards stores. When I worked at the suburban store, there were two guys who did the sports cards before I did. But out here, no one really knows about it.

What's the best part of your job?

The schedule and flexibility -- to be honest. I go to school at the community college, so I can just give them my school schedule and tell them how many hours I want to work. That's probably the main perk of the job.

What's the worst part of your job?

The worst part of my job ... um, let me go down the list. The days can get really boring sometimes. Sometimes all the different characters that come here. Sometimes it can be interesting, and sometimes it can just be really annoying and I won't be in the mood for it. When I have to stay behind the front register here, it's like a small area, I start to feel really claustrophobic after awhile. It kind of drives me insane. ... And we don't have computers or anything. So people will come in and ask if we have a certain magazine title and we just have to be able to remember it.

Do you know someone with an interesting job, or who does his or her job in an interesting way? We'd like to talk to them! Let us know via e-mail at srich@skywaynews.net, by fax at 825-0929 or by mail at 1115 Hennepin Ave. S., 55403.