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    Poor Memory

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Money, Top

    (We are having a book drive for a local school that has had a terrible fire, causing it to lose its entire library. When customers come up, we are allowed to tell them about the drive and ask if they would like to donate. If not, it is okay, but we ask just the same.)

    Me: “Would you like to donate a book to the St. [Name] book drive?” *I clearly explain their situation*

    Customer: “No, I don’t give money to poor people. If they want money, they have to work for it like the rest of us. I don’t like lazy layabouts.”

    (I am about to remind the customer that it was a fire, when the customer’s husband interjects.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Do you really feel that way, dear? I wonder if you felt this way 27 years ago when we had an infant, no jobs, no money, and had to ask my parents for an allowance so we could live. Now that we have money in the bank, a Volvo in the driveway, and a designer handbag on your arm, suddenly we are too good to help others?”

    (The husband then turns to me.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Are these the books you are selling?”

    (The husband indicates a pile we have beside the register. I nod, dumbfounded.)

    Customer’s Husband: “We will take them all.”

    This Is A Bad Sign, Part 2

    | ON, Canada | Books & Reading

    (We have signs all over the store advertising 30% off hard cover books in huge letters. A customer approaches, holding a paperback.)

    Customer: “So, this is 30% off?”

    Me: “No, sorry it’s only the hardcovers that are on sale, as the sign says.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s very misleading.”

    Me: “Sorry? Why is that sign misleading?”

    Customer: “Well, it’s misleading because I didn’t read the sign properly.”

    Related:
    This Is A Bad Sign

    Not A Hobbitual Reader

    | Mount Pleasant, MI, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for Tolkien’s books.”

    Me: “Alright, which ones?”

    Customer: “The four he wrote.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, he wrote more than just four books.”

    Customer:The Lord of the Rings.”

    Me: “Ma’am, not to be rude, but The Lord of the Rings is only three books.”

    Customer: “The first one of that trilogy then! The Hobbit!”

    Me: “I’m afraid we don’t have any copies of that at the moment.”

    Customer: “Oh. Well, do you have anything else by Tolkien?”

    Me: “Well, we do have The Silmarillion—”

    Customer: “I don’t speak Spanish. I guess I’ll try at one of the other stores, thanks.”

    Stared To Death

    | Tolna, Hungary | Bizarre, Books & Reading

    (I’m a regular at a small bookstore that a kindly old lady opened some years ago. We’ve been friends for as long as I’ve known her, and chat when there are no customers around. I walk up to the counter and see her talking to a woman in her late fifties. I’m an Emo, though uncharacteristically cheerful at the moment. I wear black, causal clothes most of the time.)

    Me: “Good day, how’s it going?”

    (She notices me, smiles, but motions me to move. Realizing I butted into their conversation, I sheepishly back away so they can continue. The customer is staring at me with her mouth wide open.)

    Me: “Umm…”

    (My friend and I exchange looks. I don’t believe she understands what’s going on either.)

    Me: “I’m sorry; is something wrong?”

    (The customer doesn’t answer or react in any way, and just keeps staring for what feels like minutes.)

    Me: “…is there something on me?”

    Customer: “…”

    Me: “Lady?”

    Customer: “…”

    (My friend seems worried as she observes our rather one-sided conversation. I’m starting to get annoyed, and a little scared.)

    Me: “It’s impolite to stare at others, you know.”

    Customer: “…”

    (At this point it occurs to me she could have issues with my hairstyle. I pull my bang aside, but nothing changes.)

    Me: “Okay, what?”

    Customer: “…”

    Me: “What is it?!”

    My Friend: “Ah, I know! It’s because you’re wearing black! She thinks you’re attending a funeral, and since you were so happy—”

    (The customer immediately snaps out of it and confirms this. She actually thinks I am happy because someone died. After five years, we still talk about the woman whom my fashion statement sent into catatonia, and my friend, the store owner, who’s apparently psychic.)

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Diplomacy

    | Liverpool, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Language & Words, One-Liners, Top

    (A customer in his early 20′s is ranting at the front of the bookstore. He’s speaking as if he’s much older than he is. His rant is about kids nowadays not reading as much. There are no other customers, so it’s policy to let him vent. I smile politely to everything he’s saying, since he’s not being a bother.)

    Male Customer: “…they just don’t understand the beauty of holding a book in their hands, smelling the pages and reading tales of epic proportion! Kids these days just want to stand around listening to crap music. No wonder they’re getting dumber.”

    Me: “We get a few teenagers coming in the store, though.”

    Male Customer: “I bet they’re just picking up crap like Twilight. They’d never read proper books.”

    (A customer walks in as he’s saying this. I recognise her from a few days ago, when she ordered a book. She’s about 16, very blonde, and very clearly one of the popular girls.)

    Female Customer: “Hi, I ordered a book. I just want to check if it has come in? It’s under [name].”

    Male Customer: *mutters* “This is exactly what I was talking about.”

    Female Customer: “Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean?”

    Male Customer: “I was just saying that kids like you have no interest in reading. If you do, it’s all crap.”

    Female Customer: “If I had no interest in reading, why would I be in a bookstore? And who cares what others think of a book, so long as you enjoy it? That’s all that matters, right?”

    Male Customer: “Whatever, go on, pick up your crappy little Twilight.”

    Female Customer: “For your information, I ordered John Green’s Looking for Alaska. I did not like Twilight at all.”

    Male Customer: “Yeah, as if.”

    Female Customer: “”War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” George Orwell, 1984. That last line is something you ought to think about before opening your rude mouth!”

    Me: “She certainly knows her stuff.”

    (I hand her the book she ordered, making sure the male customer sees the cover. She pays and walks away, but turns back around before she leaves.)

    Female Customer: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”

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