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    Part Two, The Afterlife

    | Virginia, USA | Books & Reading

    (I’m helping a customer find “The Autobiography of Mark Twain”. As I hand it to her, she remarks on the size of the book.)

    Me: “It’s hard to believe it’s only volume one, isn’t it?”

    Customer: “It is?”

    Me: “Yeah, see? Right under the title.”

    Customer: “Oh, he must not have written the second one yet!”

    I Can Almost Feel Edward’s Embrace

    | Grand Rapids, MI, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “I want to know what romance books are good right now. I want a really good romance, since I’m going on vacation.”

    Me: “Well, I don’t really read romance novels, but I can tell you what is popular. Have you read any Sherrilyn Kenyon?”

    Customer: “What is it? Is it like vampires or something?”

    Me: “It’s considered paranormal romance and is very popular.”

    Customer: “Well, I don’t want anything unrealistic.”

    Me: “Well, then you probably don’t want a romance novel.”

    Customer: “I want something realistic like Twilight. Do you have any books like that?”

    Ask Again And You’ll Get Slytherin

    | Livingston, NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (This takes place when I am hosting a release party for one of the Harry Potter books. As kids come in, we “sort” them into a Hogwarts house by having them choose a sticker from a sorting hat.)

    Me: “Welcome! Would you like to get sorted into a Hogwarts House?”

    (The daughter of a customer reaches into the hat and pulls her hand out to reveal a Ravenclaw sticker.)

    Customer: “Ravenclaw?! Hey, buddy, she really wanted Gryffindor. Let her pick again.”

    Me: “Sorry, sir. All the Sorting Hat’s decisions are final.”

    Customer: “Just give her a Gryffindor sticker!”

    Me: “I don’t think that would be fair. All the other kids picked and stuck with their choice. And we’re actually getting ready to start an activity for the Ravenclaw kids, so–”

    Customer: “No daughter of mine is getting stuck with those weird Ravenclaw kids! She’s clearly a Gryffindor!”

    Daughter: “Actually, Daddy, I like Ravenclaw. That’s where all the smart kids go!”

    Customer: “Screw that! Who wants to hang out with the nerds? Give her a Gryffindor sticker!”

    Me: “Okay, here you go!”

    Customer: “Finally! I’m going to talk to the manager about you.”

    (As they walk away the customer loudly teases his daughter for wanting to live with the smart kids. He did complain to my manager, but we just had a good laugh about it afterwards.)

    One Size Wraps All

    | Houston, TX, USA |

    Customer: “Is this unisex?”

    Me: “It’s a towel, I don’t–”

    Customer: “But is it unisex?”

    Me: “It’s a towel set.”

    Customer: “I know, but is it unisex?”

    Me: “It’s a towel. I’m pretty sure towels are unisex worldwide.”

    Customer: “You better be right!”

    OCD Is Under-appreciated

    | Cambridge, MA, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Your books are out of order.”

    Me: “Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes people take books off the shelf then don’t put them back exactly where they were. Did you need help finding something?”

    Customer: “No, the order’s just wrong.”

    Me: “Okay, thanks for letting us know.”

    Customer: “Would you like me to fix them for you?”

    Me: “That’s really not necessary. Thank you, though.”

    Customer: *pause* “Can I sort them for you?”

    Me: “Um, if you really want to, I suppose.”

    (To my surprise, the customer actually sorted everything!)


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