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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.

    Girls In Love Will Always Be A Mystery

    , | Toronto, ON, Canada | Books & Reading, School

    (I am at a school fund raising fair. At one table they are selling books and they have a category of ‘mystery books’ where the books are wrapped so you can’t see what you were getting until after you had paid your dollar. I am standing beside the table when I hear a voice:)

    Customer: “Oh, jeeze!”

    (Looking over, I saw a teenage boy holding a mystery book that he had just bought and opened. The title of the book was ‘Girls in Love.’)

    Dethroning Assumptions

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

    (During a quiet moment at work, I overhear a college-aged guy snickering as he watches a woman in her mid-twenties at the next table. She’s reading ‘A Game of Thrones.’)

    Woman: *finally sets down the book and smiles politely at him* “Can I help you?”

    Guy: *still snickering a little, gesturing to her book* “Let me guess. You’re reading those because of the show, right? And the hot guys on it?”

    (This is so out of line that I consider intervening, but before I can, the woman the guy the most condescending smile I’ve ever seen in my life.)

    Woman: “I’m sorry. How old are you?”

    Guy: “What? Why?”

    Woman: “This book came out in 1996. I’m curious to see if you were even alive when it was first published.”

    (The guy gapes at her, then scowls, mutters a sexist slur, and gets up to storm out. The woman notices me watching and grins.)

    Woman: “This is my fourth time through these books, and I bet you anything I was reading the first one before he even knew how to read. Plus I’m gay, so I actually watch the show for the hot ladies!”

    (Faced with this, I do the only thing I possibly can and bow deeply to her.)

    Me: “Khaleesi!”

    Don’t Discount A Customer’s Inability To Discount

    | UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Money

    (I work for a catalogue company and I’ve just finished taking an order over the phone. I know that each catalogue comes with a unique discount code that gives substantial savings. The customer hasn’t quoted her discount code. I decide to prompt her, so she doesn’t miss out.)

    Me: “I notice that you’re ordering from the spring catalogue. You should have a discount code on the front page.”

    Customer: “Yes.”

    Me: “Great. Could you give me the number?”

    Customer: “The what?”

    Me: “The six-digit discount code number?”

    Customer: “The ‘discount’ what?”

    (She doesn’t seem hard of hearing and we both have the same regional accent, but I speak louder and slower, just in case.)

    Me: “Discount NUMBER.”

    Customer: “The what-number?”

    Me: “The DISCOUNT NUMBER.”

    Customer: “Where is it?”

    Me: “On the front of the catalogue.”

    Customer: “I don’t see it.”

    Me: “It’s at the very top of the page.”

    Customer: “Where?”

    Me: “Along the top of the front page, in a white box.”

    Customer: *pause* “15% off.”

    Me: *finally getting somewhere* “Great! Now, if you could give me the six-digit code number at the end of that sentence.”

    Customer: “It says I get ’15% off.’”

    Me: “Okay, no problem. I just need the six-digit discount code so my computer will make the reduction.”

    Customer: “There’s nothing else here.”

    Me: “That’s odd. Can you read to me exactly what it says?”

    Customer: “To get 15% off” *stops*

    Me: “Carry on…”

    Customer: “Please quote… oh! It says here ‘DISCOUNT CODE.’ Is that what you wanted?”

    Me: “Yes please.”

    Customer: “So, have I got my discount?”

    Me: “Sure, if you give me the six-digit discount code.”

    Customer: “I don’t see it.”

    Me: “Could you read the full sentence to me?”

    Customer: “15% off.”

    Me: “Okay, could you read all of it to me? Including the bits before and after the ’15% off.””

    Customer: *huffy* “To get 15% off please quote discount code 123456.”

    Me: *enters in number* “Great, so you’ve got 15% off your order.”

    Customer: “Finally! God, you people make these things so difficult!”

    Related:
    Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount

    Fortune Favors The Foretold

    | USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Theme Of The Month

    (A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

    Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”

    Customer: “I NEED MY FORTUNE TOLD!”

    (At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

    Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

    Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

    (Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

    Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

    Customer: “YES!?”

    Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

    Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

    | PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

    Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

    Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

    (I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

    Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

    Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

    Customer: “When will it get here?”

    Me: “Three to five business days.”

    Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

    Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

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