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    Cult-ivating Ignorance

    | Hilliard, OH, USA | Bigotry, Religion

    (I managed a family-owned bookstore that caters to Mormons. We have people come in weekly to pick fights with us, and by this time I was use to being called about every name in the book.)

    Customer: “You have a lot of pictures of Jesus in here. Is this a Christian book store?”

    Me: “Yes, we cater to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    Customer: “Church of Christ you say? Cool, okay.” *wanders off*

    (About 10 minutes later he comes back, confused.)

    Customer: “Why do you have the Book of Mormon in your store?”

    Me: “It is one of our Holy books, along with the Bible.”

    Customer: “Is this a Mormon store?”

    Me: “Yes, the LDS Church is one of the branches of the Mormon religion.”

    Customer: “Aren’t you a cult?”

    Me: “No, were just another kind of Christian, like Catholics or Protestants but with our own beliefs that set us apart.”

    Customer: “No, you are a cult.”

    Me: “Cults generally follow one leader, and our leader is Jesus Christ. So, if you want to say following Jesus makes one in a cult then you may be right.”

    Customer: “You follow Jesus, you say? Is this the Jesus you follow in the pictures on the wall?” *points to an image of Christ overlooking Jerusalem*

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “Well, you are a cult then. That Jesus looks too perfect.”

    Me: *confused* “We do believe that Jesus, as the Son of God, is perfectly perfect.”

    Customer: “No, that’s a lie. Jesus can’t be perfect. Only God is perfect.”

    Me: “Yes, and we believe that Jesus is God.”

    Customer: “Wait, you worship Jesus?”

    Me: “Um… yes.”

    Customer:Real Christians don’t worship Jesus. You are a cult!” *storms out*

    Getting Owned By The Owner

    | USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry

    (I work in a privately owned bookshop, and the shop owner/manager has very little patience for rude customers. He’s generally not unkind about it unless you upset other customers, though. He actually owns the property where the shop is located, and rents neighboring spaces to other businesses.)

    Customer #1: *to another customer* “You have a very nice a**!” *tries to grab her*

    Customer #2: *alarmed and backing away* “Don’t touch me!”

    Customer #1: “God, you feminist c***s need to learn to take a d*** complement! Besides you can’t f***ing tell me what to do, I’ll touch you if I godd*** want!” *tries to touch her again*

    Me: “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

    Customer #1: “What’re you going to do about it? You’re only a woman, you have no right to tell me what to do. I have more rights than you! I’m better than you!” *tries to hand me a slip of paper* “Get me that book, slave!”

    Me: *refusing to take it* “You need to leave, sir.”

    Customer #1: “Get me your manager, stupid w****!”

    Manager: *approaching from behind, and speaking firmly to Customer #1* “Get out.” *to Customer #2* “I’m so sorry. Please let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.”

    (Customer #2 starts to tell him what she’s looking for, handing him a reading list, but Customer #1 isn’t done yet.)

    Customer #1: “Hey, who do you think you are, buddy? Do you even know which book this is?” *waving the paper at him*

    Manager: “I’m fairly certain everyone over the age of 12 knows what book that is.” *frowning* “I thought I told you to get out.”

    Customer #1: “Only the property owner can tell me to leave!”

    Manager: “Well even if that were true, I do own this property. So, you have two options. You can say good bye and leave, or you can just leave, which I would prefer.”

    (Customer #1 leaves, embarrassed. However, he remains in the parking lot, so afterwards my boss walks Customer #2 to her car. I ended up having to call the police to get rid of Customer #1.)

    Peaking At High School Isn’t F-U-N-N-Y

    | USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Bigotry, Top

    (I’m having a particularly bad day. Customer #1 is a male in his 40′s while Customer #2 is a female in her 20′s.)

    Customer #1: *waving a book in my face* “I want my godd*** money back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Do you have your receipt, sir?”

    Customer #1: “No. But you’re giving me my money back, you stupid wh***! You have no right to defy me!”

    Me: *taken aback* “I’m sorry, but the best I can do without a receipt is store credit.”

    Customer #1:” No, the best you will do is money! M-U-N-N-Y. Get it? I got this book because I never finished reading it in high school, and it sucks!”

    (At this point, the Customer #2, the customer in line behind him, speaks up. She’s over a foot shorter than the male customer.)

    Customer #2: “Congratulations, numb nuts. At 40, you finally made it through a high school level book, and you still can’t spell ‘money’.”

    Customer #1: *wheeling around* “How dare you?! Do you know who I am?”

    Customer #2: *dryly* “Someone who never figured out how to work a breath mint?”

    Customer #1: *leering down at her* “Who do you think you are?”

    Customer #2: *sounding bored* “I am so displeased to meet you.”

    Customer #1: *spluttering* “How da—the nerve, I mean—really!”

    (He grabs his book and storms off.)

    Me: *laughing* “Wow. That was hilarious.”

    Customer #2: *joking* “He can’t words good. I bet that happens a lot, yea?”

    Me: “More than anybody would like. What can I help you with?”

    Customer #2: “I have an exchange. Got the wrong edition, you know. But, I do have my receipt.”

    (Customer #2 ended up getting hired at our store about a month later!)

    Good Morning To Irony

    | USA | Language & Words

    (I work for a bookstore that publishes a yearly book of children’s stories. The store has these books on display near the cash registrars.)

    Customer: *reads the title out loud*Say Good Night to Literacy.”

    Me: “Actually, it is ‘illiteracy’. The writing is a little funky, and a lot of people have been reading it as literacy.”

    Customer’s Friend: “What does ‘illiteracy’ even mean?”

    Customer: “It means you can’t read.”

    Random Acts Of Cuddleness

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Awesome Customers, Top

    (I work in a bookstore downtown where there are a lot of homeless people and shelters. One day, a kind of scraggly customer comes up to me.)

    Customer: “Hi, I was wondering if you have any cookbooks for soup?”

    Me: “Certainly, sir. They’re just over here. We have some pretty good ones that are on sale right now. Over here, though, are our regular priced ones.”

    Customer: “I’m volunteering as a cook at a homeless shelter right now. They don’t have much funding, so a lot of the food they get is from donations. I figured soups are healthy and don’t require too much in the way of expensive ingredients, so that should be good for there. I’m a pretty good cook, but I need a refresher on soups.”

    (After taking a look at the selection we have, he picks the largest, most expensive soup cookbook we have.)

    Customer: “I think I’m going to go with this one. It has a picture for every recipe, which is nice. I like to see nice ways to present them as well. These people haven’t been looked after, so I want to make something that tastes good and looks good too.”

    Me: “That’s really fantastic, sir. It’s nice that people are willing to take time out of their day to do things like this. Was there anything else I can help you with?”

    Customer: “Actually, a book on sandwiches would be good too…”

    (I look in our system and we only have one book for sandwiches at the moment. It takes me a good twenty minutes to find it, but when I do, the customer has picked up a few other things as well. He’s grabbed a simple Sudoku book, a Disney’s Tangled bookmark, and a little toy. I meet him back up at our cash desk.)

    Me: “Here you go, sir. Sorry it took so long. It was hiding in our overstock. Find everything else you were looking for?”

    Customer: “Yeah. A mother and her 12-year-old daughter just showed up at the shelter I volunteer at the other day. I wanted to pick these up for her. A puzzle book for her and her mother to do and some other things to just take her mind off the situation. It’s difficult enough being homeless, but at that age, it’s horrible.”

    Me: “That’s horrible. It’s amazing though that you’re grabbing these for her. I hope it makes her feel a little better.”

    (As I’ve been ringing my customer’s items through, my coworker is ringing up another customer. She has overheard our conversation and goes to one of our displays, grabs the softest stuffed animal she can find, and buys that as well. After she’s paid for her purchase, she hands the stuffed animal to my customer.)

    Another Customer: “Sir, I overheard your story and I want you to give this to that little girl. Sometimes, young girls just need something to cuddle. I think what you’re doing is amazing and the world could use more people like you.”

    Customer: “I… thank you so much, ma’am. This will probably mean the world to her.”

    (My customer finishes paying for his items and leaves. My coworker and I were speechless ourselves for a moment. This encounter made our week and brought a tear to our eyes!)


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