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    Category: Books & Reading

    Caused by stupid customers who know how to read (and often those who don’t!), feel for the poor librarians or book store clerks who are often tasked with finding a book solely by the color of its cover.

    Doesn’t Understand The ‘Custom’ Part Of Customer

    | MO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (A popular bookstore chain is going out of business, and all of their stores are having ‘going-out-of-business’ sales. One such store is located in the same plaza as the home improvement store where I work.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Home Improvement Store]. How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah, you guys are located in the same plaza as [Bookstore] right?”

    Me: Yes, ma’am, we are located a few stores down from [Bookstore]. How can I assist you today?”

    Customer: “Are they open?”

    Me: “That particular branch of [Bookstore] hasn’t closed their doors yet, but given the fact that they’re going out of business, I’m not sure how much longer they’ll stay open.”

    Customer: “Well, I just tried calling them and no one is answering the phone.”

    Me: “I do know that they are still open. However it’s possible that whatever few employees are actually still working there are currently assisting other customers at the moment, so I would try giving them a call again a little bit later. In the meantime, is there anything we here at [Home Improvement Store] can help you with today?”

    Customer: “Yeah, could you go down to [Bookstore] and see if they have any copies of [various book titles] left?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but no one here is going to be able to leave the store in order to check that for you.”

    Customer: “Well, why the h*** not?”

    Me: “Because we’re all employees of [Home Improvement Store], not [Bookstore]. We’re all needed here.”

    Customer: “You retail people are supposed to go above and beyond for your customers!”

    Me: “We do a lot for our customers, ma’am. You, however, have expressed no interest in being our customer, but rather that of [Bookstore].”

    Customer: “Well, you’re no f****** help!”

    (I ended up transferring her call to my manager, who laughed at her request to send one of his employees to check the inventory of a different store.)

    Don’t Be Forward, Just Lean Forward

    | Springfield, VA, USA | Books & Reading, Health & Body, Rude & Risque

    (A customer with rather large breasts approaches me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me; can you help me please?”

    Me: “Of course, ma’am. What can I help you find today?”

    Customer: “I’m looking for books about plastic surgery.”

    Me: “Ah, I see. Well, let’s just look on the computer and see what we can come up with. Do you have a particular area you’re interested in reading about?”

    Customer: “I bet you can’t guess!”

    Me: “I wouldn’t want to be forward!”

    Customer: “Well, breast reduction surgery, then. Shy, aren’t you?”

    Me: “Just a little, yes. Let’s see what I can find.”

    Customer: “I’m always having back problems! These are just too big; I want to see if I can get them smaller.”

    Me: “It’s probably best to check with a doctor first, but maybe we can find something that will help you know what questions to ask.”

    Customer: “Well, don’t you agree they’re too big?”

    Me: “Er, again, I wouldn’t like to be forward.”

    Customer: “Oh, come on. You can touch them and see how big they are for yourself!”

    Me: “WHAT!”

    Customer: “C’mon, touch ‘em!”

    (The customer reaches for my wrist.)

    Me: “No, that’s okay!”

    Customer: “TOUCH MY PUPPIES!”

    Me: “Let me see if I can find someone more experienced with this.”

    Customer: “Why won’t shy guys touch my breasts!?”

    An Unlikely Story

    | WA, Australia | Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers, Money, Theme Of The Month

    (I have been checking books back in that have been left on our returns desk and come across a new book that has been badly damaged by what looks to be coffee. When the patron comes back to the circulation desk, I show her the book.)

    Me: “Good morning! I’ll check those out for you in just a moment. Unfortunately because this book has been damaged quite badly, we won’t be able to have it in our collection any more. The replacement cost will be [dollar amount]; are you able to pay now or should I send an invoice out?”

    Patron: “Oh, it was like that when I took it out!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’d never loan something in that condition, and as it was on your membership, you are liable for the damage done to it while on loan.”

    Patron: “I didn’t do it! You can’t prove I did it! It must have been the person before me! I won’t pay! It’s been like that for ages.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is a new book. We only got it last month and the only person to have it before you was I. And I can assure you, I didn’t spill coffee on this book.”

    (There is a long pause.)

    Patron: “Um, how much was it?”

    Getting Lost In Books

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month

    (The bookstore I work in is in a mall, close to a grocery store. I work in the kids section, in the back. I’m working on my knees, placing some products, when I overhear a conversation between a mother and her kid.)

    Mother: *to her kid* “You stay here; I’ll be back later.”

    Me: “Excuse me? You can’t leave your kid here.”

    Mother: “Why? I have to do my groceries.”

    Me: “That doesn’t matter; kids can’t be left unattended.”

    (The mother huffs and leaves with her kid directly out of the store. A few minutes later, my coworker approaches me.)

    Coworker: “Why did that woman tell her kid you were a big meanie?”

    Veteran Veterinarian

    | OH, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

    (A girl of about 11 years old, who is a frequent library user, has brought a stack of books to my counter to check out. I’m in my 20s.)

    Me: “Oh, lots of books about being a veterinarian!”

    Girl: *nods head enthusiastically*

    Me: “Well, when you become a vet I’ll bring my pets to you.”

    Girl: *startled expression* “You’ll be dead by then!”

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