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.

Will Have To Chew On That Lie For A While

| ID, USA | Books & Reading, Pets & Animals

(Our policy is that if a patron returns a book damaged, they pay for it. We get a lot of arguments that “it was like that when I checked it out,” but we check items for damage before they’re checked out.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry; it looks like this book was returned with damage. There’ll be a replacement fee.”

Patron: “I didn’t do it! It was like that before I checked it out!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, this book has been dog-chewed. There’s no way we would check a book out in this condition.”

Patron: “But it couldn’t have been me! I don’t even own a dog!”

(The book in question was a puppy-training manual.)

They Know Much Ado About Nothing

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

(I work in the gift shop at one of William Shakespeare’s houses, and we get a lot of very silly questions from customers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, did Shakespeare write The Wind in the Willows?”

Me: “…No, they didn’t have motor cars in the 17th century, I’m afraid. They weren’t invented until the last 1800s.”

Customer: *considers it for a second* “Hmm… Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: *Googles it*The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s not too far in the future from Shakespeare’s stuff, is it?”

Me: “Madam, Shakespeare died in 1616.”

A Bad App-raisal Of The Situation

| Chicago, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Technology

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

Customer: “Yes, I bought an eBook from your website, but I can’t read it on my tablet.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what we can do. What sort of tablet do you have? Is it Apple or Android?”

Customer: “It’s a [high end Android]. My son bought it for me.”

Me: “Nice. And when you open up [Our App], does the book appear there?”

Customer: “No, it’s not in my library.”

Me: “You say you purchased the eBook from our website. Are you sure the account information you used when you purchased it is the same as your app is registered under?”

Customer: “Um, yes? I can’t imagine that I would have more than one account with you.”

Me: “And other books work just fine?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you tried syncing your library?”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Open the app and hit the refresh button. It’s a circular arrow in the bottom left.”

Customer: “I don’t have that.”

Me: “That’s weird. What do you see?”

Customer: *describes a screen which sounds suspiciously like our competitor’s app*

Me: “Sir, what app do you use to read your eBooks?”

Customer: “I use my library.”

Me: “Yes, sir, your books appear in the library screen of the app, but which app do you use? Are you using [Our App] or [Competitor’s App]?”

Customer: “I use the app on my tablet.”

Me: “Okay, where do you normally buy your eBooks?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The eBooks currently in your library which you are able to read. Which website were you on when you bought them? [Our website] or [Competitor’s website]?”

Customer: “[Competitor’s website]. They have lots of good deals.”

Me: “All right sir, I’ve figured out the problem. You purchased an [our format] eBook from our website. That book is not compatible with [Competitor’s App]. You’ll have to download [Our App] in order to read it.”

Customer: “But I already paid for it.”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry, sir. The book is yours. The app is available as a free download both on our website and from the Play Store. It only takes a minute.”

Customer: “My books always show up in my library when I buy them. Why doesn’t this one?”

Me: “I know it’s confusing, sir. [Our Company] sells [Our eBook Readers], and [Competitor] sells [Competitor’s eBook Readers]. EBooks bought from [Our Company] can only be read on [Our eBook Readers] or [Our App], just as [Competitor]’s eBooks can only be read on their products.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. I paid for this book.”

Me: “Yes, sir, and it is yours. But the app you are using is made and run by [Competitor]. You bought this book from us. [Competitor] has no way of knowing that you bought this book, so they can’t put it into the app on your tablet.

Customer: Can you call them and tell them I bought it? Then they’ll know.”

Me: “I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, sir. But again, you can download [Our App] for free and read the book you purchased.”

Customer: “Okay, so you guys have your own books and your own app thing, and [Competitor] has their own books and their own app, and they don’t work together at all?”

Me: “Yes sir. That’s absolutely correct. A little complicated, I know.”

Customer: “So how do I get your app so I can read my book?”

Me: “The same way you got [Competitor’s App]. Open the Play Store, search for [Our App], and download it. Once it installs you’ll have to enter your email address and password. Then your book will appear in your library. We’ll give you a couple additional titles for free.”

Customer: “My tablet’s library?”

Me: “No, sorry, the library in [Our App].”

Customer: “So when I want to read this book I’ll need to open your app, and when I want to read my other books I’ll need to open [Competitor’s App]?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “Okay, I suppose I can handle that. When should I expect my app to arrive?”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “The app that you’re sending me in the mail. When will it be here?”

Me: “The… mail? You know what, sir? I think you should come into our store. Can you drop by tomorrow?”

(And I made d*** sure I was not around when he came in!)

Locked On That Reading List

| CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

Customer: “I have some books on hold.”

(I find the three books, give them to her, and watch as she walks to a chair nearby to read. I keep an eye on her while helping other customers checkout before my manager announces that the store has officially closed. I look over to see that the customer has left two of her books on the ground and is looking at the bookmarks. Thinking she didn’t hear the announcement, I ask if she is ready for final checkout.)

Customer: “Yeah, I’m ready.” *walks over and puts down a ‘For Dummies’ computer book*

(I scan the book and hand her the receipt along with a short ‘suggested reading’ list that our computer automatically prints with every transaction. I turn to start shelving books but notice that the woman is holding the ‘suggested reading’ list in front of her face scrutinizing it with a scrunched up angry face.)

Customer: “What is this?”

Me: “Ma’am, that is some suggested titles that the computer thinks that you would enjoy based on your purchase today.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you tell me that you had these books in your store when I called in earlier?” *slams the list down*

Me: *stares at her and blinks once* “The books on that list aren’t necessarily books we have in the store. It’s just a general list of titles that you might be interested in.”

Customer: “When I called in earlier, you said that you had only three books on this subject! Now you tell me that you have these books too?”

Me: “I don’t know if we have these books, ma’am. I would have to look them up.”

Customer: “You don’t know? How can you not know? Get me someone who does know something!”

(I see my manager walking over and wave for him to handle the customer.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “When I called in twenty minutes ago, I was told that you only had three books on this subject! And now this girl here tells me that there’s more books on this subject and I demand that you find them for me!” *brandishes the list in front of my manager*

Manager: “Ma’am, this is a suggested titles list. This doesn’t mean that we have them in the store. It’s possible to look for these books but—”

Customer: “Well I demand that you go find these books for me! I’m a paying customer and I have the right for you to serve me!”

Manager: “You do have the right for us to help you but it will have to be another time. The store is closed.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Manager: “The store is closed, ma’am. It has been closed for ten minutes now. The only things we are allowed to do is ring you out and wish you a pleasant evening.”

Customer: “I want you to find these books for me!”

Manager: “I’m sorry but the store is closed. I have to lock the store up for the night so that we can organize the store again.”

Customer: “This is false advertising!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I can’t even guarantee that we have these books in our store. It’s a suggested titles list not an inventory list. It is also very late and I need to lock up the store.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to a manager!”

Manager: “I am a manager, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, then I want a phone number that I can call so that I can complain about this terrible service!”

(My manager gives the woman the phone number to our customer service line. She takes the paper smugly and shoves it into her book. My manager gestures towards the door, opens it for her, and waits for her to leave.)

Customer: *as she is leaving* “You better lock up! LOCK UP!”

(My manager eventually locks the door and sighs.)

Me: “…I don’t know how you managed to stay cool like that but that was awesome.”

Manager: “The crazy ones are always the ones here the latest. You get used to it.”

Getting Crazier Organ(ically)

| Willow Grove, PA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals, Theme Of The Month

Me: “[Bookstore]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hello, do you have any books about dogs?”

Me: “Yes, we have an extensive section all about pets.”

Caller: “Dog spleens?”

Me: “Um, we have a smaller section of veterinarian books, but—”

Caller: “COOKING dog spleens?”

Me: “Uh…”

(The caller finally broke into laughter in his own voice, revealing himself to be my boyfriend in one of his weird moods.)

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