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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.

    Trying Not To Read Ahead

    | Iceland | Books & Reading, Health & Body

    (I’m working the checkout counter when a cheerful old man, one of our regulars, comes to check out a book.)

    Customer: “Do you also have that autobiography by [Author]?”

    Me: “Let me check… Yes, we do have it. Would you like me to get it for you?”

    Customer: “Oh, no. I’ll borrow it at a later date. I only ever borrow one book at a time, you know. After all, I’m in my 90s now. I might not live to return it!”

    About To Get Himself Booked

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Criminal/Illegal, Geeks Rule

    (We WERE a specialty bookstore but have gone the way of many others and are liquidating stock, with the only thing not discounted being rare or signed editions in a locked glass cabinet. Whilst most books are massively discounted, we also have a basket of books with minor shelf damage with a sign that states they are damaged and therefore customers are welcome to take a free one with any purchase. A customer approaches with a handful of them.)

    Customer: “I’d like a discount on these. They’re damaged.”

    Me: “Well, everything’s pretty much discounted. It doesn’t get much cheaper than $1 a book. Even so, they’re free if you purchase another item.”

    Customer: “So, all the damaged books are free?”

    Me: “Yes, if you purchase another book with them.”

    Customer: “I’ll be right back.”

    (He leaves his stack on the counter and I help other customers when I notice a cracking sound. He triumphantly returns to the counter, shoving other customers out of the way saying he was there first. I look over his shoulder to see he’s broken the latch on the rare book display to force it open as he slams a leather bound book signed by Neil Gaiman AND Terry Pratchett on the counter, cracking the hardcover.)

    Customer: “All the damaged books are free, right?”

    (You really don’t want to know what some of the other customers did…)

    Walking A Very Fine Line

    | ID, USA | Books & Reading, Money

    (My husband and I have just walked into the library, when we hear another patron berating one of the employees.)

    Patron: “Nobody told me I had library fines! Now I can’t even use the library computer cause of that and it is an EMERGENCY!”

    Employee: “Most people know to check when their books are due, to prevent having fines.”

    Patron: “I can’t be bothered with that! I’ve told all you employees multiple times! I expect you to personally CALL me the night before I have a book due. EVERY TIME.”

    (At this point, the employee, my husband, and I are biting our lips to not laugh out loud at her ridiculous request.)

    Employee: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but due to the number of people on file, we can’t personally keep track of your books. That’s why we print out receipts with due dates.”

    Patron: “USELESS! THOSE ARE USELESS TO ME! Oh, and don’t you DARE try emailing me either! My email is only for certain uses and getting emails from this library is not one of them! I will get extremely angry if you email me! I’ll just ignore it!”

    (She continues to berate the employee for her own mistakes, and finally leaves after paying her ridiculous amount of fines. My husband and I go up to the employee.)

    Me: “You handled her so well! I’ve worked in customer service before, and you were definitely a lot nicer than I would have been. I just paid off my library fine, and it’s really not that hard to keep track of when things are due and what I owe.”

    Employee: *sighs* “Oh gosh, thanks. Sometimes… people… ugh… just people. Sometimes people suck.”

    This Bus Is Going Dune Town

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Transportation

    (I am on my way home from a video game convention. I am dressed up like Link from Legend of Zelda. It’s about 11:30 at night.)

    Bus Driver: “That woman is a ‘Bene Gesserit’ witch. You’ve read Dune, right?”

    Passenger #1: “No.”

    Me: “I am the ‘Kwisatz Haderach!’”

    Passenger #2: “Who said that?”

    Me: “I did. Link said that.”

    Passenger #2: *pause* “That’s fair.”

    Needs To Return Up The River

    | IN, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    Customer: “Hi. I’d like to exchange this book for this other one, please.”

    Me: “I’m happy to help. Was there a problem with the book you’re returning?”

    Customer: “No. It just wasn’t the right one.”

    Me: “All right. Do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “No. I bought it online.”

    Me: “Oh, I see. May I have your name, please?”

    (The customer tells me her name and I pull up our store’s order records on the computer.)

    Me: “I’m sorry; I don’t see anything on our records under your name. Did you order the book on someone else’s account, perhaps?”

    Customer: “No. I definitely ordered it myself.”

    Me: “Hmm…”

    (I try everything I can think of to find a record of the transaction. After about five minutes of fruitless searching, the customer pipes up.)

    Customer: “Does it make a difference that I ordered it on Amazon?”

    Me: “…I’m sorry. What?”

    Customer: “I bought this on Amazon. I was kinda hoping you could just take this one that I got and give me this book off your shelves.”

    Me: “…No, ma’am. It doesn’t work like that.”

    Customer: “Why not? I come in with a book, I leave with a book. You lose a book and gain a book. It all works out in the end.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you have to actually buy a book from us to return it to us.”

    Customer: “Oh, really?”

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