October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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.

Making This Harder Than It Needs To Be

| TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I run a small bookstore that specializes in first edition hardbacks. We had our fair share of weird requests. One day, a lady calls to see if we have a book.)

Caller: “Hello, I’m looking for a book but I can’t remember the title.”

Me: “Okay. Who was it written by?”

Caller: “I can’t remember that either.”

Me: “Do you remember what the book was about? That would help me narrow it down.”

Caller: “Can’t you just list the books you have in the store? I’m sure I would know the name if I heard it.”

Me: “Ma’am, you seriously want me to list the 18,000 books we have in stock, over the phone?”

Caller: “Would it help if I told you it was a hardback book?”

Me: “Ma’am. We only sell hardback books.”

Caller: “Then just list them and like I told you before, I’ll know it when I hear it.”

Say Your Prayers

| Guilford, NY, USA | Books & Reading, Religion

(I work as a waiter at a religious Jewish camp. The way we normally clear the tables is tie up the ends, remove anything reusable or of value that was left behind, and drag the whole thing into the trash. One night I just cleared one of my tables when one of my campers and her counselor walk in.)

Me: *smiling* “Hey, what’s up?”

Camper: “I left my pink siddur (Jewish prayer book) behind.”

(I search the shelves, benches, and floor to see if it was picked up or fell somewhere, but I can’t find it.)

Me: “Where’s the last place you remember seeing it?”

(She points to table I just cleared. I stare in horror and rush to the trash can I just dumped the tablecloth and all of the night’s meal into. I shuffle the can around to see if I can see anything but no dice. I look back up at her.)

Me: *beginning to panic* “Are you sure you left it on the table?”

(She nods yes. I look back down at the trash. This was a religious item so it was extremely important. I roll up my sleeve and reach into the trash. I shuffle and move things around, looking for any hint of a pink prayer book. Instead I touch all the leftovers the kids didn’t finish. After a while I bring my arm out, apologize and go to wash my entire arm with soap. Twice. When I come back I begin to apologize to her again but she that’s when she interrupts me with a realization.)

Camper: “Wait a minute! My friend borrowed it from me after dinner!”

Me: *staring at her long and hard while trying not to laugh at the situation and what I just did for her* “YOU TELL ME THAT NOW?!”

(I became her favorite waiter from that point on.)

Be Glad It Wasn’t Slartibartfast

| San Antonio, Texas, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names, Geeks Rule

(My call center doesn’t rely on any script; we just have things we’re required to share with our customers. It gives us the opportunity to be playful and fun in certain situations, or we can be serious and sympathetic in others. The following takes place at the end of the call:)

Me: “Your reference code will be easy to remember if you’re into Douglas Adams. Zerbop.”

Customer: “What was that?”

Me: Zerbop. Zulu, echo, bravo

Customer: “No, I got that. The other part.”

Me: “It sounds like a character Douglas Adams would write about.” *I think to myself that I had horribly misjudged the situation*

Customer: “Oh. Okay.”

Me: “Was that all I could do for you today?”

Customer: “Yes. So long, and thanks for all the fish.” *click*

Deathly Out Of Touch

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(A woman walks up to my counter.)

Customer: “Hi. I’m looking for the Necronomicon.” *a book that supposedly teaches you how to summon spirits*

Me: “I think we have a copy over here.”

(I take her over to the section, find the book, and pull it out for her.)

Me: “Here it is!”

Customer: *looks suspiciously at the book* “Do you have any other copies? You touched that one!”

Me: “Um, yes, there is another copy on the shelf.”

Customer: “Good! And that one hasn’t been touched by human hands?”

Me: “…I’m pretty sure it has been touched, but it’s still shrink wrapped.”

Customer: “No, that won’t do. Are you sure you don’t have another copy that hasn’t been touched?”

Me: “No, ma’am, I’m pretty sure all of our books have been touched by human hands.”

Customer: “Darn. Well, call me if you get an untouched copy.” *leaves without giving me a phone number*

It’s Not The Book That’s Bad For Society

| NE, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(As I’m processing a return, the customer leans forward and begins talking quietly to me.)

Customer: “So, are there books that your store won’t sell?”

Me: *confused* “Well, if the book is rare or very old we sometimes can’t stock them.”

Customer: “No, like, are there books you won’t sell because the government thinks they’re bad for society?”

Me: “Um, I don’t think so…”

Customer: “Do you have a list of the books that you won’t sell? Because the government doesn’t want you to?”

Me: “…No.”

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