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    Out Of Print, Out Of Mind

    | Cambridge, MA, USA | Extra Stupid, Musical Mayhem

    (It is 1992. I am working cash register.)

    Customer: “Can you guys order a disc if I don’t see it out here?”

    Me: “Sure, I can make you a special order.”

    Customer: “Great, what do I do?”

    (We go through a form with the customer’s name, phone number, the band name and the album name.)

    Customer: “They’re called Split Enz, and the album is See You Around.”

    Me: “Oh, cool, I’ve heard of that band, but not that album. One minute…”

    (I look up the album in our distributor’s catalog.)

    Me: “Hmm, they don’t list that album here.”

    Customer: “So?”

    Me: “So, I can’t place the order without the distributor’s catalog number. Hang on a second.”

    (I phone the distributor and find out that the album is out of print.)

    Me: “They say it’s actually called See Ya Round, but I’m sorry, I can’t order this for you. The album is out of print.”

    Customer: “Of course it is! That’s why I need you to order it for me!”

    Me: “If there aren’t any copies out in the bins, I can’t order you something that’s not being made anymore.”

    Customer: “No, it’s out of print! Order me a new one!”

    Me: “Sorry, it doesn’t actually work that way. If it’s out of print, the record company isn’t making it anymore. They aren’t sending us any more copies. It’s out of print.”

    Customer: “Yes, I know it’s out of print. That’s why I have to order it, duh! Why can’t you get it?”

    Me: “Because it’s out of print?”

    Customer: “I just said that! Order one!”

    Me: “Um, have you tried any of the used record stores in town?”

    Customer: “Jeez! If it’s out of print, why can’t you just order me one?!” *storms out*