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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    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.

    Can’t Use That Trick In The Book

    | KS, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

    (I am working at my town’s library over the summer when the phone rings. I don’t normally answer the phone because they often need something done on the computer, which as a part-timer I don’t use, but since my superior isn’t around, I answer it.)

    Me: “[Town]’s Public Library, how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello. I would like to return a book.”

    Me: “Okay, then, there’s two ways you can do that: you can bring it in while we’re open and we can check it in then or you can come and put it in the drop-box bin which we will check it in as soon as we clear it.”

    Caller: “Can’t I just tell you the name and you could check it in now?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. We have to have the book to check it in.”

    Caller: “That’s ridiculous! I have the book right here so you can check it in!”

    Me: “No, ma’am. The book has to be back here at the library for me to be able to check it in.”

    Caller: “You lazy workers, making me bring the book there when you could just check it in from here!” *click*

    (At this time my supervisor comes back.)

    Supervisor: “Were you just on the phone?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, and I’m am never answering that thing again!”

    Handily Not Available

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I am working alone at night at a small town library. The town also has a prison nearby. A customer approaches the desk.)

    Customer: “I’d like to order a specific book.”

    Me: “What’s the title?”

    Customer: “‘How to Use Your Hands as Lethal Weapons.’ The prison librarian would never order it for me.”

    (I was relieved that I couldn’t find it for him either!)

    Moan-et

    | TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (We have a semi-regular customer who comes in with ‘research projects,’ generally meaning she wants someone to find all the best, cheapest books on a particular subject for her. Today, it’s Monet. I’ve already spent way too much time walking her through available and in print books on a busy day.)

    Me: “So these are the only ones available in the store today, but we can certainly order any of these titles for you.”

    Customer: “You don’t understand. It’s very important and I need them now.”

    Me: “Well, we can get them in about a week, or you might try [Nearby Store]. Their art section is larger than ours.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want to have to go there! Call and find out if they have the books.”

    (I call our competitor and check:)

    Me: “They do have a selection of books on Monet to choose from.”

    Customer: *in great exasperation* “Well, can’t they just bring them here?”

    Not Very Closed Minded, Part 10

    , | Rexburg, ID, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I’m the supervisor at a university library closing on a Friday night, when we close earlier. We have an irate student come to the desk five minutes before we close.)

    Coworker: “How can I help you?”

    Student: “I didn’t know you guys closed early on Fridays. I need you to stay open for me!”

    Coworker: “Our hours are posted, and we don’t have the power to keep the library open.”

    Student: “You don’t know anything! I want to speak to your supervisor!”

    (I step in at this point.)

    Me: “What can I do for you?”

    Student: “I just started a test! I need you guys to stay open for another hour!”

    Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t have the power to keep the library open past hours.”

    Student: “You just don’t know you can do something! Well, I’m going to stay, whether open or closed!”

    (The student stormed off, and security escorted him out at closing.)

    Related:
    Not Very Closed Minded, Part 9
    Not Very Closed Minded, Part 8
    Not Very Closed Minded, Part 7

    The Girl Who Played With Hellfire

    | Stockholm, Sweden | Books & Reading, Religion, Rude & Risque

    (I’m the customer in this story. I’m a tourist in Stockholm looking for a book for my boyfriend at the time, who is learning Swedish. I don’t speak a word of it. I see a bookstore and just wander in.)

    Me: “Hi there. I’m looking for a Swedish book that has something to do with crime. Could you help me with that?”

    Clerk: *looks at me dumbfounded* “Uhm. What was that?”

    Me: “You know. Something thrilling and exciting ?”

    Clerk: “You do realise this is a Catholic book store and we only carry books on religion, right?”

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