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    One Man In His Time Drinks Many Cups

    | New York, NY, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Can you help me find a book?”

    Me: “Sure! What’s it called?”

    Customer: “It’s Romeo and Juliet, but it’s not by William Shakespeare.”

    Me: “Oh! I actually don’t know any other books or plays with that title. Let’s look it up.”

    Customer: “Hold on, I have the author’s name somewhere.”

    (She digs through her purse and hands me a sheet of paper that says ROMEO AND JULIET (Folger Shakespeare) on it.)

    Customer: “It’s like his grandson or something.”

    Me: “Sorry, what?”

    Customer: “Folger Shakespeare. It’s William Shakespeare’s grandson…or his nephew. He wrote a different version of the play, I guess.”

    Me: “Folger Shakespeare actually just refers to the Folger Library version of that play. It’s still by William Shakespeare.”

    Customer: “No, it’s his relative! It’s a re-write of the play. I’m a theater student, just trust me on this.”

    Me: “Okay. Let me take you over to our Shakespeare section.”

    (We walk over to where his entire collection of plays is. It’s full of many different editions.)

    Customer: “Wow, he came from a really talented family! Look at all these Shakespeares! So, where’s this Folger guy?”

    Identifiers Are For Life

    | Des Moines, IA, USA | Rude & Risque, Technology

    (Customers can come into the store to buy books, or they can create an account with an e-mail address and purchase books online. The account is your email address and whatever password they choose. A customer and his girlfriend come up the service desk.)

    Me: “How may I help you today?”

    Customer: “I can’t access my online account.”

    Me: “Okay, I can help. What is your e-mail address?”

    Customer: “Um…” *stares at the floor*

    Me: “Sir? Your email address?”

    Customer: *quietly says something*

    Me: “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. Could you repeat that please?”

    (By now, other customers are waiting for assistance. Suddenly, the customer shouts his email address, loud enough for everyone to hear.)

    Customer: “Im-a-whore@[ISP].com!”

    Go Beep Yourself

    | Texas, USA | At The Checkout

    (We are having a sale where if you buy any one of a certain set of DVDs or CDs you get a music sampler for free. The customer I’m ringing up has one such item. I grab the music sampler, explain that she gets it for free today, scan it, and place it in her bag.)

    Customer: “Hold on! That isn’t free! You scanned it. You scanned it and your computer went beep! You’re charging me for it!”

    Me: “We have to scan the free items so that we can keep track of our inventory, but it rings up as zero.”

    Customer: “Don’t lie to me! It went beep! Take it off! I don’t want it if you’re going to charge me!”

    (I turn my computer screen around so that she can see it and point to the title of the music sampler and its price.)

    Me: “See? It rang up zero. I just have to scan it so that we can keep track if how many we sell.”

    Customer: “But it beeped! You b****, don’t lie to me! That’s unchristian! I’m never shopping at this store again!”

    (She snatches up her keys and stomps out of the store without buying anything.)

    Nowhere To Go But Up

    | New York, NY, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    (I work at the main information desk in a bookstore that has four levels. When a customer asks for a book, we are supposed to direct them to the appropriate floor.)

    Me: “Okay, we should have that title. It’ll be on the fourth floor.”

    Customer: *looking confused* “What?”

    Me: “The fourth floor. There’s another information desk up there if you need help finding the section.”

    Customer: “So, how many floors should I go up?”

    Me: “Um, three.”

    Customer: “Okay. So it’s the fourth floor I’m looking for?”

    Me: “Yes. It’s the highest floor we have, so just take the escalator up as far as you can.”

    Customer: “What’s an escalator?!”

    Fahrenheit 2011

    | New York, USA | Bigotry, Books & Reading, Top

    Customer: “That boy is sitting at the corner over there reading your book!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am. Is he bothering you in any way?”

    Customer: “No, but he is reading a book that he has not paid for yet. He’s like, almost halfway done!”

    Me: “That’s okay, ma’am. We allow our customers to come and read our books here.”

    Customer: “Why the h*** do you let people do that?”

    Me: “Well, sometimes people want to see if they like how the book is written before spending money on it.”

    Customer: “Yeah? Well, poor people shouldn’t be allowed to read!”

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