November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

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.


| 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.)

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?”

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.)