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    Fortune Favors The Foretold

    | USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Themed Giveaway

    (A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

    Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

    Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

    Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”

    Customer: “I NEED MY FORTUNE TOLD!”

    (At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

    Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

    Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

    (Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

    Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

    Customer: “YES!?”

    Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

    Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

    | PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

    Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

    Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

    (I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

    Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

    Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

    Customer: “When will it get here?”

    Me: “Three to five business days.”

    Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

    Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

    Failed The Geek Test

    | SC, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names, Geeks Rule

    Customer: “Do you have The Hobbit?”

    Me: “Yeah, it’s back in SciFi/Fantasy. Alphabetical by author’s last name. Tolkien.”

    Customer: “Why is The Hobbit in SciFi/Fantasy?”

    Me: “Uhh…”

    Customer: “It’s a test.”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: *visibly annoyed* “Health Occupational Basics Entrance Test. Why is it in SciFi? That doesn’t make any sense.”

    Me: “Oh! Hold on.” *looks it up on the computer* “Yeah, we don’t have anything like that in the store. I can order something if you want.”

    Customer: “What?! I called earlier and the woman I talked to said you had it in the store.”

    Me: “Yeah… she probably thought you were talking about The Hobbit. Do you want me to order a title for you?”

    Customer: “NO!” *walks out with a huff*

    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…)

    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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