November Theme Of The Month: Black Friday!

Wish You Could Throw The Book At Him

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

Customer: “Do you have [Title]?”

Me: “No, we don’t; I’m sorry. It doesn’t look like we can order it in either.”

Customer: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah. Usually in these cases it’s something to do with copyright or publishing laws, and you can’t buy it anywhere in Australia. You may be able to order it online from overseas, but I think you’ll probably have trouble buying it in store.”

Customer: “So would the bookshop upstairs have it?”

Me: “Probably not, but you can give them a go.”

(The guy leaves and comes back about 15 minutes later.)

Me: “Hi again, how did you go?”

Customer: “They didn’t have it, but they said I could get it from some place called ‘Book Depository.'”

Me: “Oh, yeah, that’s a website based in England.”

Customer: “So can you order it from there?”

Me: “You mean, me personally?”

Customer: “Great. How much is it?”

Me: “Oh, no, we can’t do it through the store. I’ll write down the website for you though and you can do it when you get home.”

Customer: “I don’t have a computer.”

Me: “The library is just across the road. You can see if they have it and if not you can use one of their computers.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just do it for me? Don’t you call people to tell them when their books come in?”

Me: “We do that when we’re selling the book. Book Depository is another company. They’re our competition. Doing that would be like me buying a book from the shop upstairs and calling you to tell you it’s come in.”

Customer: “But the shop upstairs didn’t have it.”

Me: “…It would be like me doing your supermarket shopping for you.”

Customer: “Do you think they’d have the book?”

Me: *trying not to slap the guy in the face* “No, my point was that they’re a different company. We can’t do your shopping for you, especially when it’s our competition and I would have to order it for you personally and with my own money.”

Customer: “Great! Let’s do that!”

Me: “…”

Wish You Could Throw The Book At Him

| Canada | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work in a small book store, and since most customers don’t bother taking a bag if they’re only buying one book, I usually wait to see what they do. Most people just grab the book as soon as they’ve paid, but if they don’t, then I ask if they need a bag. No one has ever seemed to have an issue with this method… Until now.)

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

Customer: *ignores me, throws money down at the counter*

Me: “…”

(As the receipt prints off he starts to reach forward, so I assume he’s going to just grab the book and not take a bag, so I don’t bother offering one. Big mistake.)

Customer: *pulls hand back* “Well? Can I get a bag?”

Me: *taken aback by his nasty, snarky tone* “Uh, sure.”

Customer: “Do things not come with bags anymore?”

Me: “Yes, but most people don’t bother with one when they only have one item.”

Customer: “Well I’m not most people, am I?”

Me: *under my breath, to myself* “No, you’re not. You’re too much of an a**-hole.”

Didn’t Find His Calling

| CA, USA | Bizarre

(I am working at the information desk at a bookstore when a customer comes up.)

Customer: “Hi, you have a phone call for me?”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Customer: “Over the intercom, I heard it! You said “[very common male first name], you have a phone call on line one!”

Me: “Sir, that’s our store manager’s name. We were letting him know he had a phone call.”

Customer: “Oh.” *walks away disappointed*

His Guilt Is Like An Open Book

, | Washington, DC, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

(I work in a museum bookstore where we sell a lot of expensive, hardcover art books. A customer brings up an unwrapped exhibition catalog and shows me his receipt and the damage to the top edge of the pages.)

Customer: “Can I exchange this for another?”

(I look at the damage. It’s not bad, but when a customer pays eighty dollars for a book they want it to be perfect.)

Me: “Certainly. There are others right here.”

(I pick one up from the stack and glance at the edges before I hand it to him. They’re perfect.)

Customer: “Thanks. I’d just like to check the new one before I leave the store.”

Me: “Let me unwrap that for you—”

(I hold my hand out to take the new book back and do it for him, but it’s too late. The gentleman has very helpfully whipped out his credit card and used the edge to slit the shrink wrap like a paper knife. He did so very vigorously. So vigorously that the credit card tore into and through the page edges, damaging the pages in a different spot from, but identical to, the way the pages on the original book were damaged.)

Me: “That wasn’t like that when I handed it to you. Did you open the first one that way?”

Customer: *sheepish look spreads over his face*

Me: “Would you like to keep the first book you damaged or the second one?”

Customer: “The… second one.”

(I hand it to him, and he slinks off. For all I know he went to another shop to exchange the second book for another new one…but I bet he didn’t tear into it with his credit card like that again.)

The Maine Reason For Coming

| San Rafael, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(As a smaller bookstore, we do not have many books on hand and encourage people to call our store number to see if we have the book they desire. When we do have the book, we hold it behind the register for them until they come in; when we don’t happen to have the book, most people are very forgiving and understanding.)

Woman: “Hi, do you have any travel books on Maine?”

Me: “Let’s take a look!”

(I walk her over to our travel section. Unfortunately, there are no books on Maine. I try to make my disappointment obvious the customer.)

Me: “Darn. I’m really sorry, but we don’t seem to have any books on Maine!”

Woman: “Well. That’s really too bad.”

(I walk back toward the register with her.)

Me: “No, really, I am very sorry. I know how frustrating it can be to come in and see that we don’t have a book.”

Woman: “Well, I drove down here, put money in the meter, and walked in here, only to find out that you don’t have what I’m looking for.”

Me: “Ma’am, as I said, I really am truly sorry.”

(The woman proceeds to repeat how inconvenienced she’s been because she paid for a parking meter and storms off. My manager walks up to me.)

Manager: “What was that all about?”

Me: *after explaining* “Let’s just say she wasn’t thrilled about paying for parking.”

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