July Theme Of The Month: Great Timing!

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.

Dethroning Assumptions

| NY, USA | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

(During a quiet moment at work, I overhear a college-aged guy snickering as he watches a woman in her mid-twenties at the next table. She’s reading ‘A Game of Thrones.’)

Woman: *finally sets down the book and smiles politely at him* “Can I help you?”

Guy: *still snickering a little, gesturing to her book* “Let me guess. You’re reading those because of the show, right? And the hot guys on it?”

(This is so out of line that I consider intervening, but before I can, the woman the guy the most condescending smile I’ve ever seen in my life.)

Woman: “I’m sorry. How old are you?”

Guy: “What? Why?”

Woman: “This book came out in 1996. I’m curious to see if you were even alive when it was first published.”

(The guy gapes at her, then scowls, mutters a sexist slur, and gets up to storm out. The woman notices me watching and grins.)

Woman: “This is my fourth time through these books, and I bet you anything I was reading the first one before he even knew how to read. Plus I’m gay, so I actually watch the show for the hot ladies!”

(Faced with this, I do the only thing I possibly can and bow deeply to her.)

Me: “Khaleesi!”

Don’t Discount A Customer’s Inability To Discount

| UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Money

(I work for a catalogue company and I’ve just finished taking an order over the phone. I know that each catalogue comes with a unique discount code that gives substantial savings. The customer hasn’t quoted her discount code. I decide to prompt her, so she doesn’t miss out.)

Me: “I notice that you’re ordering from the spring catalogue. You should have a discount code on the front page.”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Great. Could you give me the number?”

Customer: “The what?”

Me: “The six-digit discount code number?”

Customer: “The ‘discount’ what?”

(She doesn’t seem hard of hearing and we both have the same regional accent, but I speak louder and slower, just in case.)

Me: “Discount NUMBER.”

Customer: “The what-number?”

Me: “The DISCOUNT NUMBER.”

Customer: “Where is it?”

Me: “On the front of the catalogue.”

Customer: “I don’t see it.”

Me: “It’s at the very top of the page.”

Customer: “Where?”

Me: “Along the top of the front page, in a white box.”

Customer: *pause* “15% off.”

Me: *finally getting somewhere* “Great! Now, if you could give me the six-digit code number at the end of that sentence.”

Customer: “It says I get ‘15% off.'”

Me: “Okay, no problem. I just need the six-digit discount code so my computer will make the reduction.”

Customer: “There’s nothing else here.”

Me: “That’s odd. Can you read to me exactly what it says?”

Customer: “To get 15% off” *stops*

Me: “Carry on…”

Customer: “Please quote… oh! It says here ‘DISCOUNT CODE.’ Is that what you wanted?”

Me: “Yes please.”

Customer: “So, have I got my discount?”

Me: “Sure, if you give me the six-digit discount code.”

Customer: “I don’t see it.”

Me: “Could you read the full sentence to me?”

Customer: “15% off.”

Me: “Okay, could you read all of it to me? Including the bits before and after the ‘15% off.””

Customer: *huffy* “To get 15% off please quote discount code 123456.”

Me: *enters in number* “Great, so you’ve got 15% off your order.”

Customer: “Finally! God, you people make these things so difficult!”

Related:
Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount

Fortune Favors The Foretold

| USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Theme Of The Month

(A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”

Customer: “I NEED MY FORTUNE TOLD!”

(At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

(Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

Customer: “YES!?”

Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

| PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

(I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

Customer: “When will it get here?”

Me: “Three to five business days.”

Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

Didn’t Do Math At Hogwarts

| Charlotte, NC, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

(A customer is renting ‘Harry Potter: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.’)

Customer: “Have you watched this?”

Me: “Yes, but I found the books to be much better.”

Customer: “How can you like the work of some lazy author?”

Me: “Huh?”

Customer: “There are eight movies, but only seven books. The author got lazy and wrapped everything up in seven books instead of writing eight!”

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