October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

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.

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.)

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

Urine Real Trouble

| VA, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers

(One of my jobs at the library is to bill people who damage library books. Three children’s books have been urinated on and reek. As we’ve had problems in the past with people claiming that the library fabricates damages for money, I put my gloves on and snap some pictures of the pee-soaked books. The next day, the customer comes in.)

Customer: “Your coworker says I can’t check out any more books until I pay my fines. Why the heck do I have fines?”

Me: “You returned three of our books damaged with urine and are responsible for replacing those items.”

Customer: *angrily* “I did no such thing! They were just fine when I returned them!”

Me: “Here, let me show you what we found in our book drop.”

(Shows customer pictures of damage as customer gets more agitated with each picture.)

Me: “They are damaged and you are responsible for paying for them.”

Customer: “They were just fine when I put them in your book drop!”

Me: “Are you saying that one of my staff peed on your library books?”

Will Have To Chew On That Lie For A While

| ID, USA | Books & Reading, Pets & Animals

(Our policy is that if a patron returns a book damaged, they pay for it. We get a lot of arguments that “it was like that when I checked it out,” but we check items for damage before they’re checked out.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry; it looks like this book was returned with damage. There’ll be a replacement fee.”

Patron: “I didn’t do it! It was like that before I checked it out!”

Coworker: “Ma’am, this book has been dog-chewed. There’s no way we would check a book out in this condition.”

Patron: “But it couldn’t have been me! I don’t even own a dog!”

(The book in question was a puppy-training manual.)

They Know Much Ado About Nothing

, | Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

(I work in the gift shop at one of William Shakespeare’s houses, and we get a lot of very silly questions from customers.)

Customer: “Excuse me, did Shakespeare write The Wind in the Willows?”

Me: “…No, they didn’t have motor cars in the 17th century, I’m afraid. They weren’t invented until the last 1800s.”

Customer: *considers it for a second* “Hmm… Yeah, I’m not sure about that. Can you look it up for me?”

Me: *Googles it*The Wind in the Willows was written by Kenneth Grahame in 1908.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, it’s not too far in the future from Shakespeare’s stuff, is it?”

Me: “Madam, Shakespeare died in 1616.”

A Bad App-raisal Of The Situation

| Chicago, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Technology

Me: “Thank you for calling [Store]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, I bought an eBook from your website, but I can’t read it on my tablet.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what we can do. What sort of tablet do you have? Is it Apple or Android?”

Customer: “It’s a [high end Android]. My son bought it for me.”

Me: “Nice. And when you open up [Our App], does the book appear there?”

Customer: “No, it’s not in my library.”

Me: “You say you purchased the eBook from our website. Are you sure the account information you used when you purchased it is the same as your app is registered under?”

Customer: “Um, yes? I can’t imagine that I would have more than one account with you.”

Me: “And other books work just fine?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Have you tried syncing your library?”

Customer: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Open the app and hit the refresh button. It’s a circular arrow in the bottom left.”

Customer: “I don’t have that.”

Me: “That’s weird. What do you see?”

Customer: *describes a screen which sounds suspiciously like our competitor’s app*

Me: “Sir, what app do you use to read your eBooks?”

Customer: “I use my library.”

Me: “Yes, sir, your books appear in the library screen of the app, but which app do you use? Are you using [Our App] or [Competitor’s App]?”

Customer: “I use the app on my tablet.”

Me: “Okay, where do you normally buy your eBooks?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The eBooks currently in your library which you are able to read. Which website were you on when you bought them? [Our website] or [Competitor’s website]?”

Customer: “[Competitor’s website]. They have lots of good deals.”

Me: “All right sir, I’ve figured out the problem. You purchased an [our format] eBook from our website. That book is not compatible with [Competitor’s App]. You’ll have to download [Our App] in order to read it.”

Customer: “But I already paid for it.”

Me: “Oh, don’t worry, sir. The book is yours. The app is available as a free download both on our website and from the Play Store. It only takes a minute.”

Customer: “My books always show up in my library when I buy them. Why doesn’t this one?”

Me: “I know it’s confusing, sir. [Our Company] sells [Our eBook Readers], and [Competitor] sells [Competitor’s eBook Readers]. EBooks bought from [Our Company] can only be read on [Our eBook Readers] or [Our App], just as [Competitor]’s eBooks can only be read on their products.”

Customer: “I don’t understand. I paid for this book.”

Me: “Yes, sir, and it is yours. But the app you are using is made and run by [Competitor]. You bought this book from us. [Competitor] has no way of knowing that you bought this book, so they can’t put it into the app on your tablet.

Customer: Can you call them and tell them I bought it? Then they’ll know.”

Me: “I’m afraid it doesn’t work like that, sir. But again, you can download [Our App] for free and read the book you purchased.”

Customer: “Okay, so you guys have your own books and your own app thing, and [Competitor] has their own books and their own app, and they don’t work together at all?”

Me: “Yes sir. That’s absolutely correct. A little complicated, I know.”

Customer: “So how do I get your app so I can read my book?”

Me: “The same way you got [Competitor’s App]. Open the Play Store, search for [Our App], and download it. Once it installs you’ll have to enter your email address and password. Then your book will appear in your library. We’ll give you a couple additional titles for free.”

Customer: “My tablet’s library?”

Me: “No, sorry, the library in [Our App].”

Customer: “So when I want to read this book I’ll need to open your app, and when I want to read my other books I’ll need to open [Competitor’s App]?”

Me: “Yes, sir.”

Customer: “Okay, I suppose I can handle that. When should I expect my app to arrive?”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Customer: “The app that you’re sending me in the mail. When will it be here?”

Me: “The… mail? You know what, sir? I think you should come into our store. Can you drop by tomorrow?”

(And I made d*** sure I was not around when he came in!)

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