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    An Off-The-Wall Purchase

    | CA, USA | Books & Reading, Musical Mayhem

    (I am a musician and an avid fan of rock and folk music, so I’m a little bit of a walking encyclopedia. One customer comes up with a Led Zeppelin book for thirty-five dollars, and we make small talk as I ring him up.)

    Me: “So what’s your favorite Zeppelin album?”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s my friend who’s the fan, not me. I just wanted to get him a gift.”

    Me: “That’s awfully nice of you.”

    Customer: “Yeah, he went to The Wall concert and loved it. I heard it was fantastic.”

    (A light bulb goes off in my head.)

    Me: “Wait…The Wall?”

    Customer: “Erm… yes.”

    Me: “That’s not Led Zeppelin, sir. That album’s actually Pink Floyd.”

    Customer: “Oh… OH. Oh, dear! I got the wrong book!”

    Me: *laughing* “No worries, sir! You just happen to be talking to a big fan of Floyd. Here, let me show you a better book.”

    (I not only find the customer a book about ‘Pink Floyd’ for the same price as the ‘Led Zeppelin’ book, but I also convince him to get the newest ‘Rolling Stones’ collectible magazine specifically about the band. After I process the return and ring him up…)

    Customer: “Good thing you happened to be working, my dear! Imagine me walking out with a book for my friend about the wrong band!”

    Me: “It’s my pleasure as both a bookseller and a Floydian. Shine on, and have a good day!”

    Irritable Book Syndrome

    | Greenville, NC, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Health & Body

    (A customer walks in already carrying one of our bags so I know it’s a return. Even worse it’s our Christmas bag and it’s currently June. She gets to the register, slams her bag on the counter and immediately jumps into a story. I pull the receipt out just to check the date and it says December 14th.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but the receipt says December 14th and I’m looking and these two books rang up to $100. If it wasn’t so much there—”

    Customer: *cuts me off* “No. No. NO! I already told you these aren’t for me. These were for my friend’s birthday and he’s already got them and I have no use for them.”

    Me: “I understand that but we have a two-weeks with a receipt policy and—”

    Customer: “Focus! These aren’t for me, okay?! I have no need for them and you will give me my money back!”

    (I attempt to speak again but she cuts me off again)

    Customer: “I’m done with you. I want a manager. Don’t say anything else, just get your manager. Shush.”

    (I call my manager, who threatened to fire me two weeks prior for returning a $20 book that was four days past the two-week policy.)

    Manager: “Hi, what seems to be the issue?”

    (The customer then explains how I’m an idiot, these books aren’t for her, and she doesn’t care about our policy and wants her money back.)

    Manager: “Oh, oh, well, absolutely. [My Name]? Ha! I’m sorry he just doesn’t understand. It’s ok, buddy, we’ll have a training sesh on this later.”

    (The manager walks away as the lady smugly stands there waiting for her money. A line has now formed behind her. The next person in line is a younger guy. I then pull out the books to ring them up. The first is called ‘Headaches in the Pelvic Region’ and the second is ‘Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Your Life.’ I then notice she used her discount card so I subtract the savings.)

    Customer: “Whoa, whoa, whoa. What was that?”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, you used your discount card and got 10% off. I just subtracted that.”

    Customer: “Well, how much were those books?!”

    (I speak loud enough for the line that had built up behind her to hear.)

    Me: “Well… YOUR ‘HEADACHES IN THE PELVIC REGION’ BOOK WAS $50 AND YOUR ‘IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME AND MY LIFE’ WAS $50!”

    (The customer tries to shush me then angrily snatches her money. The younger customer walks up, lays his purchases on the counter, and then mumbles:)

    Next Customer: “B**** would have IBS.”

    Volumes Of Knowledge

    | TX, USA | Books & Reading

    (Two customers are talking to my boss at the front desk. I’m around the corner, out of sight, at another desk.)

    Customer #1: “We’re looking for Les Mis. Who is that by?”

    Boss: “It’s by Victor Hugo. It would be over in fiction, but I’m not sure if we have any copies right now.”

    Me: *without moving* “We have three copies.”

    (I can hear them talking in the shelves.)

    Customer #2: “Aha! She was wrong. There are four copies!”

    Customer #1: “No, look.”

    Customer #2: “Oh crap, those two are volume one and volume two. She really is good.”

    Making This Harder Than It Needs To Be

    | TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I run a small bookstore that specializes in first edition hardbacks. We had our fair share of weird requests. One day, a lady calls to see if we have a book.)

    Caller: “Hello, I’m looking for a book but I can’t remember the title.”

    Me: “Okay. Who was it written by?”

    Caller: “I can’t remember that either.”

    Me: “Do you remember what the book was about? That would help me narrow it down.”

    Caller: “Can’t you just list the books you have in the store? I’m sure I would know the name if I heard it.”

    Me: “Ma’am, you seriously want me to list the 18,000 books we have in stock, over the phone?”

    Caller: “Would it help if I told you it was a hardback book?”

    Me: “Ma’am. We only sell hardback books.”

    Caller: “Then just list them and like I told you before, I’ll know it when I hear it.”

    Not Always Right: The Comic – Fifty Shades Of (Christian) Grey

    | OR, USA | Not Always Right: The Comic
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