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.

Things Just Got Weird

| USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(A teenage male comes in and asks for a book. After receiving it, he goes and stands in the middle of an open space, directly in my line of sight, and starts fidgeting and wiggling. He hasn’t checked out yet.)

Him: “I’m not stealing anything, I swear.”

(He’s been in my eyesight the whole time he’s been in the store and I know he hasn’t touched anything. The only books he passed by are huge coffee table books that he couldn’t hide in his current possessions.)

Me: “I know you haven’t.”

Him: “Well, I won’t. I swear. I’ll keep my hands right here!”

(He thrusts his hands in his pockets, but only lasts a second before taking them back out and fidgeting around some more – hands in his hair, messing with his shirt, etc.)

Me: “Do I need to be worried?”

Him: “No, no… I’m just standing here because if I don’t… I’ll… do things.”

Me: “Things?”

Him: “Bad things…”

(After about five minutes his dad came in and bought him a book on black magic. The kid said thank you and left. No inventory was missing.)

That’s One For The Books

| USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Books & Reading

(A customer drives up to the store, gets out, comes in, and walks directly up to the counter without looking at a single book or item for sale. Before I can even welcome him…)

Customer: “You are going to lose your job.”

Me: *shocked* “I am?”

Customer: “No one likes books anymore. Your store is going to shut down and you’ll be out of a job.”

(He turned around, walked out without looking at a single item, jumped in his car, and left.)

Way Past Time Magazine

| Monroe, CT, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

(It’s 11:20 pm and we close at 11 pm. Cashiers are counting out their tills, stockers are unloading boxes in the aisles, and the cleaning crew is scrubbing the place down. I’m counting lotto tickets behind the customer service desk when one of the cleaning crew comes over.)

Janitor: “Hey, is [Manager] around?”

Me: “No, he’s on the phone with corporate for a while. What’s up?”

Janitor: “You’d better come with me, then.”

(I follow him to the back of the store where the water fountains and bathrooms are, and I hear someone hollering from the men’s room.)

Me: *knocking on the door* “Um, hello, is there someone in there?”

Customer: “Yes! I’ve been sitting here calling for help for almost a half hour!”

Me: “Oh, my god, sir. I’m so sorry. The store closed and no one was around this area. Do you need medical attention?”

Customer: “No, of course not.”

Me: “Oh, uh, did you run out of toilet paper?”

Customer: “No, there’s plenty here.”

Me: “Okay… Then, what did you need help with?”

Customer: “I finished reading this Time magazine I picked up from the book section. Can you bring me the latest issue of Car & Driver?”

(We had to go get the manager, who threatened to charge him with trespassing if he didn’t finish his “business” and get out of the store. The man flushed, didn’t wash his hands, and stormed out the front door.)

Me: “He left the Time magazine in there. You don’t want me to put it back, do you?”

Manager: “H***, no. BURN IT.”

Been Reading To Him Since Way Before He Was Born

| Seattle, WA, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

Customer: “Can you recommend a book for my son?”

Me: “Sure, how old is he?”

Customer: “Three.”

Me: “Okay. What’s he into?”

Customer: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in five years.”

Me: “Um, he’s three?”

Customer: “That’s what I said.”

Me: “But… you haven’t seen him in five years?”

Customer: “Yeah, messy divorce. I just moved back to Seattle. I used to read him bedtime stories.”

Me: “How old was he?”

Customer: “You know, like a toddler.”

Me: “I think you’re missing something. He was three when you left, but it’s five years later. Your son is eight now…”

A (Religiously) Extreme Reaction

| San Antonio, TX, USA | Bigotry, Books & Reading, Religion

(Our inbound services take calls for a lot of the as-seen-on-TV products. I am working there soon after 9/11 and we have a particular caller who would often call to rant about how we were a scam.)

Me: “Thank you for calling. How may I help you today?”

Caller: “Why the h*** would I want to buy a thing of Charlton Heston reading the Bible? Do you know what kind of a man he is?”

Me: “You’re calling for the ‘Charlton Heston Reads the Bible’ then, sir?”

Caller: “H***, yes, I’m calling about that. I want to know what sort of d*** outfit you’re running there that you think I’d want to buy a thing of Heston reading the Bible.”

Me: “Well, I can’t say what you would like, sir, but a lot of people seem to like this product. It has been fairly popular. Possibly because Charlton Heston played Moses in The Ten Commandments.”

Caller: “Like h*** he did! And like h*** this is popular. Didn’t you know that Charlton Heston was part of the NRA!”

Me: “Yes, I was aware of that.”

Caller: “Then why the hell would anyone let him read the Bible? You know, I’ll bet he was working with this Al Qaeda people!”

Me: “No, sir, I’m fairly certain that Charlton Heston is affiliated with an entirely separate group of religious extremists.”

(I somehow never got written up for this.)

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