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    The Girl Who Cross-Shopped The Employee’s Best

    | OR, USA | Uncategorized

    (A customer walks into the bookstore and begins looking around.)

    Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you find today?”

    Customer: “Yes, there is this book that I heard about on the radio that I want to read.  I can’t remember the title, though.”

    Me: “Alright, do you know who the author is?”

    Customer: “No, but I’m pretty sure that he was from Norway, and it came out really recently.”

    Me: “Okay, I can’t think of any books by Norwegian authors that are big right now, but I can try to see what we have. I’ll go ask my boss if she can think of anything.”

    Me: *to my boss* “Do you know of any books by Norwegian authors that came out recently?”

    Boss: “No. Do they know anything else about it?”

    Me: “I’m not sure, but I will ask.”

    (I walk back to the customer.)

    Me: “Neither of us can think of anything by a Norwegian author that came out recently. Can you think of anything else about the book? If we don’t have it in stock, I can special order it for you.”

    Customer: “I think it was a mystery.”

    (On a hunch, I walk out to our new book display and pick up “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.)

    Me: “It wouldn’t happen to be this, would it?  This book came out very recently in hard cover and is very popular right now.”

    Customer: “That’s it!”

    Me: “Excellent! That book is actually part of a series.  We have the first one right over here if you are interested.”

    (I walk over and grab the first book and hold it out to her.)

    Customer:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Okay, that looks good!”

    (I continue holding the book out for her, but she doesn’t take it.)

    Me: “If this is all, I can ring it up for you right now, or I can set it aside for you while you browse.”

    Customer: *happily* “Oh, no, I’m not going to buy it. Now that I know what the book is, I am going to go home and buy it on my Kindle!” *turns and leaves without another word*

    For Battery Or Worse

    | Leesburg, VA, USA | Uncategorized

    (A woman and her young son walk in with a small magnetic whiteboard with a detachable marker.)

    Customer: “I’d like to return this please, but I don’t have the receipt.”

    Me: “Sure, no problem.”

    (When I try to process the return, the whiteboard doesn’t show up in our system. I take a closer look and realize that it doesn’t come from our store.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t return this for you. It isn’t our product.”

    Customer: *angrily* “What! Don’t be ridiculous. I bought it from here! I’m sure!”

    (Sensing a potential problem, I call my manager over. He looks at the whiteboard.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, this brand belongs to [competitor]. I worked there for seven years; trust me.”

    Customer: “No! I only ever shop here!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this isn’t our product.”

    (The customer refuses to believe us. She forces us to call the store branch she claims she bought it from and pull their records to try and find her purchase. Half an hour later, she’s still arguing with us and her son is looking increasingly embarrassed.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, I assure you that this product does not come from our store. Look.”

    (He goes to the computer and pulls up our competitor’s website. He clicks on a list of their brand names, which include the one printed on the whiteboard.)

    Customer: *angrily* “But I never shop at [competitor]! I get everything here!”

    (Suddenly the customer’s son speaks up.)

    Customer’s Son: “Wait, mom, didn’t we go there to buy batteries a couple weeks ago?”

    (The customer’s anger dissipates and she gets an embarrassed look on her face.)

    Customer: “Oh… right…” *looks at us* “Well, how was I supposed to remember that?!”

    Dewey Decimal Disobedience

    | Teaneck, NJ, USA | Uncategorized

    (Note: Because it is a large, central location, the public library is sometimes used for town meetings. However, the library employees have nothing to do with these meetings. On this particular night, a public hearing is being held on the topic of firefighter layoffs.)

    Firefighter #1: *leaving meeting* “I can’t believe they’re actually firing people! This is so f***ed up!”

    Firefighter #2: “Those f***ing d***s!”

    Firefighter #1: “I’ll show them! I’ll mess up their card catalogs!”

    Me: *to coworker* “Do you want to be the one to tell him we use computers?”

    Courage Under Fire

    | Boise, ID, USA | Uncategorized

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

    Caller: “I want to make a payment on my account, please.”

    (Suddenly, the fire alarm starts screaming its little mechanical head off.)

    Me: “Sir, I apologize, but our fire alarm is going off and I have to leave the building. You’ll need to call back.”

    Caller: “I don’t give a d*** if you burn to death. You’re going to take my payment right now!”

    Me: “Not happening, sir. Please call back.” *I hang up the call*

    Manager: “Why are you still sitting there? Get out! Do you want to burn to death?”

    Me: “Well, the customer wanted me to!” *I grab my purse and run out*

    Weighting For The Other Shoe To Drop

    | South Carolina, USA | Uncategorized

    Regular Customer #1: “Hey, have you lost weight?”

    Me: *beaming* “I have, in fact! I’ve had to fight pretty hard for it. Thank you for noticing!”

    (Ten minutes later…)

    Regular Customer #2: “Are you having a baby?”

    Me: *no longer beaming*