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  • Done With You
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  • August Theme Of The Month: Best. Customer. Ever!

    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 Land Of The Free To Be Who You Are

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

    (Because of the recent ruling of same-sex marriage in America, for our book display, we put up a rainbow flag along with books featuring gay protagonists. This happens on the day we have story time.)

    Woman: *angrily* “Excuse me!”

    Coworker: “Yes, can I help you?

    Woman: *points to our display* “I can’t believe you put something like this up! There are CHILDREN around!”

    (Our display shows no pornographic material. My coworker, who is bi-sexual, is stunned into silence and is unable to say anything. This is when I step in.)

    Me: “Oh, my gosh, ma’am, you’re right! How can I be so inconsiderate?”

    Woman: *smiles smugly*

    Me: *I grab one of the books on display and swap it out with a children’s book featuring gay parents* “There! Now there’s something for everyone!”

    (The woman didn’t understand for a few seconds. When she realized what the book was about, she sneered and muttered about going to a different library. She left and my coworker was laughing so hard, tears were streaming down her face.)

    At Least It Rules Out ‘Twilight’

    | ID, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I work at the reference desk, and I often help patrons find books. The following exchange happens one morning:)

    Patron: “Hi, I’m looking to see if you have a book.”

    Me: “I can help you, then! Can you give me the name of the book?”

    Patron: “I don’t remember it.”

    Me: “Well, do you remember the author’s name?”

    Patron: “No… but it was about vampires and it had the word ‘blood” in the title.”

    Me: “…That doesn’t narrow it down nearly as much as you think it does.”

    Not Quite The Harper Lee Classic

    | Vancouver, BC, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names, Movies & TV

    Customer: “Excuse me, do you have ‘How to Kill a Mockingjay?'”

    Me: *just stare at her, completely caught off-guard by her question* “Did you want ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ or ‘Mockingjay?'”

    Customer: “To Kill a Mockingjay!”

    Me: “Are you sure?” *I lead her over to the teen section, knowing she wants The Hunger Games book, Mockingjay*

    Customer: “That’s it! Hunger Games!”

    Me: *sigh*

    (She didn’t end up buying it because it was in hardcover and she’d rather wait until it’s in paperback so I’m sure I’ll be asked for “To Kill a Mockingjay” again!)

    Every Day The Same Old Storytime

    | NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Family & Kids

    (I’m the manager of a small public library. Every Saturday morning, we hold a program for infants and young toddlers where our children’s librarian leads everyone in simple songs and nursery rhymes, then reads a very simple book. The babies are so engaged that they rarely cry, and they usually laugh, which even I think is the most adorable thing in the world. My coworker (who is a pro) and I are working the circulation desk when this happens. A woman storms up to my coworker as the program is beginning.)

    Woman: *clearly annoyed, waving at the babies and parents* “How long is this going to be going on?”

    Coworker: “Story time lasts about 30 minutes.”

    Woman: *sputters* “How often do you do this?”

    Coworker: “Every Saturday at 11 am.”

    Woman: “Well, you should really post a sign about it! In bold type!”

    (Note: There is such a sign, literally in bold type, 80 pt. font, four feet to her right on our “Events” bulletin board. There are two other copies of the same sign elsewhere in the building, in addition to the program being advertised on our website and the local paper’s events calendar. My coworker is naturally polite, though, and just stares at her as she stalks off.  She sits back down at the computer where she’s been working and huffs loudly for several minutes while the children’s librarian and parents sing “Jack Be Nimble” and “The Grand Old Duke of York.” Two minutes later, she’s back in front of my coworker.)

    Woman: “They’re not even reading stories! They’re singing!”

    (The group is currently singing ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat.’)

    Coworker: “Yes…”

    Woman: “Singing!”

    Coworker: “Yes…”

    Woman: “You let BABIES in the library? BABIES!”

    Coworker: “Yes.”

    (She threw her hands up in the air, made a sound of disbelief, and stomped off again. She was lucky she got my incredibly chill coworker and not me, who would have pointed out the sign beside her and tried to give her a lecture about the importance of helping children get an early start in developing pre-literacy skills like syllable recognition.)

    Climbing The Ladder Of Crazy

    | CO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I work in an old-fashioned bookstore, with high shelves and a ladder attached to them that moves along the wall. I am standing at the very top of the ladder, balancing a box full of books between the ladder and myself. All of a sudden a customer comes racing towards me. She grabs the ladder and shoves it to one side, effectively knocking my box down.)

    Customer: “It has to be right here! Where is it?!”

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am! Please be careful with the ladder. I’m high up and I could get hurt!”

    Customer: *ignores me* “I need help finding a book. Help me now, please!”

    (She then grabs the ladder again and yanks it the other way, causing me to fall off. Thankfully I hold onto the ladder, so now I’m dangling from the side of it. Another customer quickly runs over and helps me get down from the ladder.)

    Customer: “Excuse me, I said I needed help! Stop helping him and help me!”

    Me: “I wasn’t helping him; he was helping me get down from the ladder so that you don’t kill me! Were you trying to break my neck?”

    Customer: “What? You weren’t on the ladder. I need help finding a book. I need a book that will tell me how to smoke.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “I tried it and I must have done it wrong because I coughed like crazy.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you came in here, nearly killed me, and you’re trying to find a book that doesn’t exist, because you think your natural reflexes are wrong?”

    Customer: “Oh, I knew I should have gone to Barnes and Noble.” *leaves store*

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