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    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?”

    Good Customer Service Is A Balancing Act

    | Greensboro, NC, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Health & Body

    (Our store has a special sale going on. We have a nicely dressed sale table with a tablecloth and the items laid out on it. Customer #1 is approaching the counter. I am folding shirts at an adjacent table while my coworker rings up Customer #2, who has a young baby on her shoulder. We have seen her feeding her baby with a bottle while browsing the store. As they’re checking out, the baby suddenly starts spitting up. It miraculously doesn’t land on the mother’s clothing at all. However, it does go all over the floor, down the side of the tablecloth and gets on at least five DVDs and about ten books. It narrowly misses Customer #1.)

    Customer #2: *spins around, takes in the mess, and hurries out the door*

    (My coworker, Customer #1, and I stare at each other and the table in shock.)

    Customer #1: “The nerve of some people. That’s disgusting!”

    (I’m so flabbergasted that I can’t help but laugh.)

    Me: “Well, guess I should clean that up then.”

    Customer #1: “Do you want some help?”

    Me: “No, it’s fine. Guess all that babysitting finally comes in handy here!”

    Customer #1: “Are you sure, dear? That was so incredibly rude. I couldn’t imagine making you do it all.”

    Me: “It’s fine. I’m just glad it didn’t get on you! Just let [Coworker] ring you up. I’ll be fine.”

    (Customer #1 continues to apologize for Customer #2 and to offer to help. I remove the damaged items and shift things around so I can take off the tablecloth. Once she leaves, my coworker mops the floor for me.)

    Coworker: “Well, at least she kind of balanced out the other one!”


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