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.

A Confusion Intrusion

| Australia | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

(The store I work for is famous for finding music and DVDs for customers who aren’t always certain what it is they’re looking for. As a result, we often end up special ordering for many customers, and the policy is to call to inform the customer when their order has arrived in store. If no one answers, staff are encouraged to leave a message, but sometimes customers call back anyway to let us know they’re coming in or just to ask questions. Sometimes, though, they just call because we did first…)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Music Store]; you’re speaking with [My Name].”

Customer: “Hello?”

Me: “Hello, how can I help you?”

Customer: “…Who is this?”

Me: “[My Name] from [Music Store]. Did you have an enquiry?”

(There’s a long pause in which the customer doesn’t say anything.)

Me: “Hello? Are you still there?”

Customer: “Why did you… What do you mean?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Why would I have an enquiry?”

Me: “I only meant… What was your reason for calling today?”

Customer: “I didn’t call you.”

(It dawns on me where the confusion must be coming from.)

Me: “You… did you have a missed call from this number, by chance? My coworker might have been calling about an order you placed.”

Customer: “What order?”

Me: “Have you placed an order with us recently? If you give me your name I can check the order for you.”

Customer: *gives surname*

Me: “Ah, yes, here it is. Your order for [Title] came in this morning. We were just calling to let you know.”

Customer: “You can do that?!”

Me: “All the time, sure. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “…Don’t call here again.” *click*

Fifty Shades Of Dark Knight

| Markham, ON, Canada | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Rude & Risque

(A woman comes into the store.)

Customer: “I need the latest Harlequin book!”

Me: “Of course. Do you know the title or author?”

Customer: “No. But it’s the latest one!”

(In the spirit of providing good customer service, I quickly retrieve the latest Harlequin releases to show the woman. Upon seeing the books, the customer gives me a very unexpected response:)

Customer: “NO! NO! This is wrong! I want the one with Batman!”

(Fortunately, the Batman reference tells me what the customer is ACTUALLY looking for.)

Me: “Ah. You want the latest HARLEY QUINN comic book.”

Customer: “That’s what I said! Harlequin!”

(The wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable determines whether you get a comic book, or an erotic novel.)

Maybe He Should Look Up Irony

| Portland, OR, USA | Books & Reading

(I work at an office supply store and one night an elderly gentleman comes up to the register and sets his items down, one item being a dictionary and thesaurus.)

Customer: *pointing to dictionary* “What’s a thesaurus?”

Me: “It shows you synonyms and related words. It’s a great tool for writers.”

Customer: “Oh, okay.” *pays and leaves*

(Used to answering stupid questions without flinching, I didn’t think much about it until after he left. Then we all had a good laugh over the fact that he asked what thesaurus meant while purchasing a dictionary…)

Rubber-Stamped As Racist

| VA, USA | Books & Reading

(I work in a public library at the reference/circulation desk. The patron has just taken a rubber band out of one of our rubber band return bins, and seeing that it’s full of rubber bands and trash, I go over to empty it. Both the patron and I are white.)

Patron: *whipping her head around seeing me empty the bin* “What? Was there something wrong with them?”

Me: “No, ma’am. It’s the rubber band return. It needs to be emptied periodically so we can try to get our rubber bands back.”

(We have a major issue with patrons taking office supplies and library materials so we try to keep an eye on this.)

Patron: *rips the rubber band off her wrist and throws it on the desk in front of me* “Guess you may as well have this one, too!”

Me: “Oh, thanks!”

(A little while later she comes up, and I let her know she has a fine, after which time she leaves the library, then comes back several minutes later and dumps a handful of pennies on the counter to pay her fine.)

Patron: *to my coworker while glaring at me* “I don’t know what some people’s problem is! I take one rubber band from the thing and he HAS to empty it right then! Some people take all the rubber bands they want and nobody says anything to them! Guess it just matters what color your skin is, HUH?”

Me: *to the patron I’m helping at the desk* “Did I really just get accused of being racist against white people by another white person?”

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 18

| Chesapeake, VA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Food & Drink

(I’m standing with my shopping basket full of food in the dairy aisle of my local grocery store when I’m approached by a middle-aged lady I’ve known for years and who frequently comes into the library where I work. I’m wearing my black jeans and a maroon shirt, which looks nothing like the khakis and blue shirts employees wear.)

Lady: “Young man, do you work here?”

Me: “No, Mrs. [Lady]. I work at the library. Remember? You came in earlier this week? I checked out your books for you?”

Lady: “Oh, so you don’t work here then? Do you know the differences between these two kinds of cheese?”

Me: “No, but I bet I could probably find you a great book on them next time you come into the library where I work.”

(Some time later she came into the library during my shift and asked if I still worked at the grocery store, too.)

Related:
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 17
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 16
I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 15

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