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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.

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Diplomacy

    | Liverpool, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Language & Words, One-Liners, Top

    (A customer in his early 20′s is ranting at the front of the bookstore. He’s speaking as if he’s much older than he is. His rant is about kids nowadays not reading as much. There are no other customers, so it’s policy to let him vent. I smile politely to everything he’s saying, since he’s not being a bother.)

    Male Customer: “…they just don’t understand the beauty of holding a book in their hands, smelling the pages and reading tales of epic proportion! Kids these days just want to stand around listening to crap music. No wonder they’re getting dumber.”

    Me: “We get a few teenagers coming in the store, though.”

    Male Customer: “I bet they’re just picking up crap like Twilight. They’d never read proper books.”

    (A customer walks in as he’s saying this. I recognise her from a few days ago, when she ordered a book. She’s about 16, very blonde, and very clearly one of the popular girls.)

    Female Customer: “Hi, I ordered a book. I just want to check if it has come in? It’s under [name].”

    Male Customer: *mutters* “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

    Female Customer: “Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean?”

    Male Customer: “I was just saying that kids like you have no interest in reading. If you do, it’s all crap.”

    Female Customer: “If I had no interest in reading, why would I be in a bookstore? And who cares what others think of a book, so long as you enjoy it? That’s all that matters, right?”

    Male Customer: “Whatever, go on, pick up your crappy little Twilight.”

    Female Customer: “For your information, I ordered John Green’s Looking for Alaska. I did not like Twilight at all.”

    Male Customer: “Yeah, as if.”

    Female Customer: “”War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” George Orwell, 1984. That last line is something you ought to think about before opening your rude mouth!”

    Me: “She certainly knows her stuff.”

    (I hand her the book she ordered, making sure the male customer sees the cover. She pays and walks away, but turns back around before she leaves.)

    Female Customer: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

    Building A Case Against Her

    | BC, Canada | Books & Reading, Criminal/Illegal, Theme Of The Month

    (I work in the toy department of a fairly large bookstore. For the past few weeks, we’ve been finding empty boxes of large Lego kits tucked away in the shelves. I notice a woman crouched down behind a display in the back corner, a large backpack at her feet, and a Lego box in her hands that she’s trying to open.)

    Me: “Hi there! Are you finding everything all right today?”

    Woman: “Oh, uh, yeah.”

    (The woman shuffles to her feet, and I start ‘tidying up’ a nearby display. She puts the box of Lego down and grabs her backpack. She wanders off to the teen section, and I keep a discreet eye on her as she grabs a book and sits down to read. I find my manager and tell him what happened. He approaches the customer, who is still reading.)

    Manager: “Hey there, I hear you like Lego.”

    Woman: “Uh…?”

    Manager: “My kid really likes Lego too. But he’s really disappointed when he opens the box and the pieces are all missing.”

    Woman: “Um…”

    Manager: “So, here’s what we’re going to do. You’re going to leave my store and not come back. If you do, I’ll have to call the police.”

    (The woman leaves the store, still flustered. We never saw her again. Mysteriously, the Lego stopped disappearing, too.)

    Read Or Die

    | Calgary, AB, Canada | Books & Reading, Canada, Extra Stupid

    (I’m at the cash register; a lady walks up and plunks six different paperbacks on the counter.)

    Customer: “Which one is the best? I only want to buy one today.”

    Me: “Well, that depends on your tastes. Is there a particular genre that you’re interested in?”

    Customer: “No, I mean which one did you like the best?”

    Me: “Well, I haven’t read these particular books, but I can tell you which one is most popular right now…”

    Customer: “Of course you’ve read them all. You work here, right? You have to know what you’re selling!”

    Me: “Ma’am, we sell thousands of different books; there’s just no way I can read them all.”

    Customer: “You’re not doing your job! You have to know! Now tell me which book was the best!”

    Me: *points randomly* “…that one.”

    Customer: “Thanks!”

    Save It On A Flesh Drive

    | WA, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words, Technology

    (Our library offers several touch-screen computers that customers can use to check out items themselves. The customer is a friendly regular, but a little shy because English is not her first language.)

    Customer: “Why does this machine require flesh?”

    Me: “W-what?”

    Customer: “This machine. I am touching it, but it does not work. Is because…?”

    (She shows that she is wearing gloves.)

    Me: “Oh! I’m sorry; yes I suppose the screens don’t work if you have gloves on. I had never really thought about that.”

    Customer: “Ah. Okay, sorry to be bother.”

    Me: “No, no! That is the best thing I’ve heard all week.”

    (Now whenever the computers have problems, the staff joke that they ‘require flesh’ to function, and someone must be sacrificed to appease them.)

    Needs To See The Parenting Section

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Top

    (Two brothers start fighting over a toy in the Children’s Room. They aren’t listening to their mother, who is trying to select books to take home.)

    Me: “If you boys can’t share nicely with that toy, I’ll have to put it away so neither of you can play.”

    Boys: “Okay, miss [my name].”

    Mother: “Thank you. They never listen to me.”

    (The boys start fighting again. I go in and take the toy away, putting it up out of reach. The boys start crying in unison.)

    Boys: “Mommy!”

    Mother: *to me* “I can’t believe you really took it away! That’s so mean!”

    (She grabs the boys and they leave. I am speechless, but now I know why they never listen to their mother!)

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