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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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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.

    Artificial Turf Is Shelved Under Fiction

    | Bergen, Norway | Books & Reading

    Me: “Hi! How can I help you?”

    Customer: “Do you sell artificial turf?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. Maybe you could try the DIY store next door.”

    (For some reason, this response makes the customer very angry. I can practically see the smoke coming out of his ears.)

    Customer: “Well, are you a bookstore or are you not?!”

    Wingardium Laziosa

    | Livingston, NJ, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “I can’t find the Cliff’s Notes for Harry Potter. Could you order them for me?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, they don’t make Cliff’s Notes for Harry Potter.”

    Customer: “That’s ridiculous. They have Cliff’s Notes for everything. Why don’t you look it up?”

    Me: “Actually, they don’t have Cliff’s Notes for everything, especially not for children’s books.”

    Customer: “They aren’t children’s books.”

    Me: “They’re shelved in the children’s section.”

    Customer: “Adults read them too. You don’t have them so I’d like to order them.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but they don’t exist.”

    Customer: “That’s a lie. There’s a computer right in front of you. Look up Cliff’s Notes and find them!”

    (I look up Cliff’s Notes and show the customer the extensive list. After a few minutes of frustrated searching, she gives up.)

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! I want to know what they’re about, but I don’t want to read them.”

    Me: “May I suggest the movies, in that case?”

    Customer: “I’m not stupid! I’ve seen the movies! I just don’t want to read the books!”

    Of Empty Threats And Even Emptier Stores

    | Boston, MA, USA | Books & Reading, Top

    (I work at a large bookstore which is in the process of liquidation sales. One of the rules of this sale is that we don’t take any returns. There are huge signs all over the store that say, “Going out of business.”)

    Customer: “I want to return this book, but I don’t have the receipt.”

    Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but we are no longer accepting returns since the store is closing.”

    Customer: “What? You’ve always let me return books.”

    Me: “I know, but we are closing now, so there are no returns.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! I’m taking my business elsewhere.”

    Me: “That’s fine. We’re closing.”

    Customer: “I mean it. I’ll never shop here again.”

    Me: “Yes, I know. We’ll be closed.”

    Customer: “I spend a lot of money here, and now I’m going to go buy my books online or something.”

    Me: “Yes, you probably should. This store will be gone.”

    Customer: “I’m leaving here and I’m never coming back. Do you hear me? Never!” *storms out*

    Doing Favors On Your Knees, Part 2

    | Richmond, Virginia, USA | Books & Reading, Rude & Risque

    (It’s summer and I am very obviously pregnant at about 7 months. A male customer walks by and notices my belly.)

    Customer: “It’s the wrong time of year for that!”

    Me: “Oh, believe me, I know.”

    (He walks off to browse and I continue setting up an end cap display which includes some very low shelves. As it’s rather hard to bend down at 7 months pregnant, I’m now kneeling on the floor to put things on the bottom shelves. The same customer walks by again.)

    Customer: “Well, you know, that’s what got you into trouble in the first place.”

    Related:
    Doing Favors On Your Knees

    79% Water, 21% Fat-Headed

    | Germany | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    Customer: “Do you stock world maps here?”

    Me: “Sure.”

    (I show the woman some maps of varying sizes.)

    Customer: “Those maps depict so much water. Don’t you have any without so much water in them?”

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