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    The Girl Who Cross-Shopped The Employee’s Best

    | OR, USA | Uncategorized

    (A customer walks into the bookstore and begins looking around.)

    Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you find today?”

    Customer: “Yes, there is this book that I heard about on the radio that I want to read.  I can’t remember the title, though.”

    Me: “Alright, do you know who the author is?”

    Customer: “No, but I’m pretty sure that he was from Norway, and it came out really recently.”

    Me: “Okay, I can’t think of any books by Norwegian authors that are big right now, but I can try to see what we have. I’ll go ask my boss if she can think of anything.”

    Me: *to my boss* “Do you know of any books by Norwegian authors that came out recently?”

    Boss: “No. Do they know anything else about it?”

    Me: “I’m not sure, but I will ask.”

    (I walk back to the customer.)

    Me: “Neither of us can think of anything by a Norwegian author that came out recently. Can you think of anything else about the book? If we don’t have it in stock, I can special order it for you.”

    Customer: “I think it was a mystery.”

    (On a hunch, I walk out to our new book display and pick up “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.)

    Me: “It wouldn’t happen to be this, would it?  This book came out very recently in hard cover and is very popular right now.”

    Customer: “That’s it!”

    Me: “Excellent! That book is actually part of a series.  We have the first one right over here if you are interested.”

    (I walk over and grab the first book and hold it out to her.)

    Customer:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Okay, that looks good!”

    (I continue holding the book out for her, but she doesn’t take it.)

    Me: “If this is all, I can ring it up for you right now, or I can set it aside for you while you browse.”

    Customer: *happily* “Oh, no, I’m not going to buy it. Now that I know what the book is, I am going to go home and buy it on my Kindle!” *turns and leaves without another word*

    The Age Of Petulance

    | Livingston, NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

    Customer: “Hi, my son needs a book called Ethan for his summer reading.”

    Me: “Sure! Do you mean Ethan Frome?”

    Customer: “No, it’s just Ethan.”

    Me: “Is it by Edith Wharton?”

    Customer: *looks at a piece of paper* “Um… yeah, it is, but my son just wrote down Ethan.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, he probably just didn’t write down the full title, so let’s go grab Ethan Frome.”

    Customer: “No! You aren’t listening to me! It’s not Ethan Frome, it’s just Ethan!”

    Me: “It’s really not a big deal. We’ll—”

    Customer: “It IS a big deal! You’re calling my son a liar!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to—”

    Customer: “My son is a very good student. Maybe you should have paid more attention when you were in school, or you’d know that Edith Whoever wrote a book called Ethan!”

    Me: “My apologies. Let me grab that book for you.”

    (I go grab a copy of “Ethan Frome” and hand it to the customer.)

    Customer: “No! What are you, an idiot? You’re trying to trick me by giving me Ethan Frome when I just need Ethan!”

    Me: “Ma’am, Edith Wharton never wrote a book called Ethan. She did write a book called Ethan Frome.”

    Customer: “MY SON IS NOT A LIAR!”

    (I spend the next five minutes showing the customer all of the books Edith Wharton wrote in her lifetime on the computer. “Ethan Frome” appears on every list, but there is no reference to a book called just “Ethan”.)

    Customer: “My son said it’s called Ethan, and that’s what I need! Obviously, you people just haven’t heard of it and you’re trying to make me look like an idiot. I’ll show you! I’ll call the school and get them to read me the summer reading list!”

    (She calls the school on her cell phone. The school receptionist informs her that the title in question is, in fact, “Ethan Frome.” The customer turns bright red, and eventually hangs up on the poor receptionist.)

    Customer: “None of you know what you’re talking about!” *snatches up a copy of “Ethan Frome” stalks off*

    Me: “Have a nice day!”

    Manager: “You need to take a ten minute break?”

    Me: “You have no idea.”

    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 10

    | MA, USA | Extra Stupid

    (I work at my parents’ bookshop part time and have just gotten off shift. I am still in my uniform (khakis, blue polo, sneakers). I go to another bookstore for a Girl Scout fundraiser.)

    Customer: “Excuse me miss, but could you tell me where to find Breaking Moon from Twilight?”

    Me: “I don’t work here, but those are two different books: New Moon and Breaking Dawn.”

    Customer: “You must work here if you know that they are two different books.”

    Me: “I don’t work here, but I do read books.”

    Customer: “You are lying to me! You work here! Kids don’t read books!”

    Me: “I assure you, I really do not work here, and many children do read books.”

    (Customer #1 then drags me across the store to the cashier’s station.)

    Customer: *to cashier* “She works here!”

    Cashier: “No, she does not, sir, but I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.”

    Customer: “She must work here! She knows about books! Kids don’t read books!”

    (The cashier hands the customer a summer reading list.)

    Cashier: “Here is a list of books kids are required to read. You might want to start at the bottom, next to the words ‘Kindergarden Reading List.'”

    Customer: *turns blood red and leaves without buying anything*

    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 9
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 8
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 7
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 6
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 5
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy

    Harry Potter And The Disorder Of The Forks-Flicks

    | USA | Top, Wild & Unruly

    (I am a customer at a bookstore. I am browsing a few shelves when another customer comes up to me.)

    Customer: “Excuse me!”

    (I think I’m blocking her way, so I move two feet over.)

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Why the f*** are you walking away from me, you f***ing little c***?! I’ll have you fired for this!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, I think you’re conf—”

    Customer: “You little w****! You think you can sell my daughter these trashy novels, and expect to get away with it? She told me all about the saleslady who told her ‘Oh, you don’t want the Twilight series, Harry Potter is much better!’ Well, I’m telling you right now, my daughter DOES want the Twilight series. So, you better exchange the books right now, you b****!”

    Me: “Ma’am, there’s been a mistake. I don’t work here.”

    Customer: “DON’T YOU LIE TO ME, YOU LITTLE S***!”

    (The woman whaps me over the head with a hardcover book. This one is the fifth Harry Potter and therefore the thickest. I stumble backwards, and fall on my butt. At this point, an actual employee has noticed the situation, and has called for mall security. He runs over to try to break it up.)

    Employee: “Ma’am, you can’t hit other customers!”

    Customer: “That’s not a customer, and don’t you lie to me! I know it’s another one of your second rate employees, trying to get out of exchanging my books!”

    (The customer proceeds to kick me as I’m still on the ground. When the employee tries to stop her, she hits him across the face with the book as well. He doesn’t fall over; instead, he grabs her arm and gets the book from her. She continues to try attacking, so he puts her in a headlock to immobilize her.)


    (After screaming more profanities, security finally shows up. She is escorted out in handcuffs and is currently serving jail time for assault and battery. I ended up with a concussion, but got a five-hundred dollar gift card to the store as compensation. I also got a date with the employee who came to my rescue!)

    Just Plain Batty

    | Colorado Springs, CO, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Religion

    (My friend used to own a comic book in the local mall. I am a tall goth girl and am leaning against a book case reading a Japanese graphic novel.)

    Customer’s Young Son: *tries to reach for a comic on the top shelf*

    Me: “Here you go!” *hands him the comic* “Batman is my favorite super hero.”

    (The young boy’s father approaches.)

    Customer: “What they H*** do you think you’re doing talking to my son?! You’re trying to possess him with your evil!”

    Me: “I was handing him a book.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! You were trying to convert him to worshipping the devil!”

    Owner: “Is there a problem?”

    Customer: “How dare you let devil worshippers hang around in your store?! She was trying to convert my son with this devil bat comic!”

    Owner: “She handed him the comic. That is all, sir.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! You’re one of them aren’t you? You’re both in a cult together!” *to his son* “Son, we never go near these people again, do you hear me? I’ll tell everyone this store is evil!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m actually an atheist and am offended that you would make such blind accusations based on my appearance.”

    Customer: “Don’t tell me how to raise my son! God hates you!”

    Owner: “Sir, I would like you to get out of my store and never return.”

    Customer: “I can enter here if I want. It’s a free country, and you HAVE to serve me!”

    Owner: *calmly* “You’re right, it is a free country, and as the owner of this shop, I have the freedom to tell you to get the f*** out or I’ll call the police.”

    Customer: *grabs his son and leaves hastily*