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    Jane Ey-re-animation

    | Dallas, TX, USA |

    (It’s the end of the summer. A high-school aged customer comes in.)

    Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for Frankenstein by ‘J somebody’.”

    Me: “Actually, that was written by Mary Shelley. We have several copies.”

    Customer: “No, it’s written by ‘J somebody’. Look it up.”

    (I look it up. It’s definitely written by Mary Shelley.)

    Customer: “Hang on, I’ll call my mom.”

    (He comes back.)

    Customer: “It’s Frankenstein by Jane Eyre.”

    Me: “Sorry sweetheart, looks like you have to read two books.”

    Customer: “Aw man!”

    Past The Point Of No Return

    , | New Zealand | Top

    (We have both a bookshop and library. They are divided by a wall and accessible only from outside the building or through a staff only area. I am working in the bookstore section.)

    Customer: “Hey, I was looking for a book for my niece called The Tomorrow Code.”

    Me: “We definitely have a copy of that. I was shelving it this morning. Follow me.”

    Customer: “So, when is the due date?”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “You know, for the book.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can sell it to you right now.”

    Customer: “Yes, I know that. I want to know when I have to return it. My library card number for you guys is [number].”

    Me: “You don’t have to return it, ma’am. This is a bookstore, not a library. You keep the book once you’ve bought it.”

    Customer: “That’s great, but when do I return it?”

    Me: “I, uh, just need to check that on the system.”

    (I run to the actual library to check they have a copy of the tomorrow code. They do. I go back to the customer.)

    Me: “Ma’am, just to make this very clear, this is a shop not a library. You never return books.”

    Customer: “Of course I know that. Do you think I was born yesterday? Now, when do I have to return this book?”

    Me: “Actually, I just found out the copy of the book you’re holding is reserved. I can go get a copy of it from the storeroom if you want.”

    Customer: “Just hurry up. This place shouldn’t hire people as thick as you!”

    (I run back to the library and issue the book as ‘borrowed’ to her card number.)

    Customer: *speaking very slowly* “Thank you, girl. I’m sorry to have told you that you were thick. I should have realised you were special.”

    Keeping Abreast Of The Book Filing

    | Woodinville, WA, USA |

    (I am looking up a book for a little girl.)

    Me: “I’m sorry sweetie, my computer shows I’ve only got one copy of that book left. The display’s right over there. It’s empty, so that means someone else has it.”

    (A helpful customer overhears our conversation and produces the book.)

    Customer: “Actually, someone misplaced it. It was over there. Here you go!”

    Little girl, to me: “You must be almost as old as my mommy if you didn’t think to go do that!”

    Me: “Well, I could be. I don’t know. I don’t know how old your mommy is, sweetie.”

    (The little girl opens her mouth to tell us how old her mother is, but I interrupt her.)

    Me: “I don’t think she’d want you telling everyone how old she is, though.”

    Little girl: “Oh, no. That’s okay. She told my aunt on the phone this morning. After she sees the doctor next week, she won’t care if people know how old she is. They won’t believe it with her new boobies!”

    Star Trek Names: The Next Generation

    | Pleasant Hill, CA, USA | Geeks Rule, Top

    (A female customer comes up to my register with a heap of baby books. She notices my name tag.)

    Customer: “That’s an unusual name. Where did your parents come up with it?”

    Me: “Oh, my parents are Star Trek fans. The character I’m named after happened to be a name they liked. It’s also Native American and means ‘light’.”

    Customer: “It’s beautiful! Do you mind if I write it down?”

    (Flattered, I write down my name, the pronunciation, and the definition on a slip of paper. The customer buys the baby books and leaves. Six months later another customer comes in, and sees my unusual name.)

    Customer #2: “Oh, so that’s where she got it.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer #2: “My sister-in-law just had a baby girl. She said she got the name from an employee in this store.”

    Me: “Oh, my. Well please thank her for me. It’s an honor.”

    (I never got to meet the next generation of my name. I will not forget the lady who bought the books and chose my name over all the others.)

    Has Faith But Lost All Pope

    | New Orleans, LA, USA |

    Customer: “I’m looking for the Holy Bible.”

    Me: “Any particular denomination you’re looking for?”

    Customer: “The one written by Jesus.”

    Me: “Technically, the bible wasn’t written by Jesus.”

    Customer: “No, he wrote one. Everybody knows that.”

    (I decide not to argue and take her to see our bibles. She comes back down later, looking upset.)

    Customer: “None of those say they were written by Jesus. Where are the ones written by Jesus?”

    (I answer in the only way I can think of as helpful.)

    Me: “Maybe you should ask the Vatican City?”

    Customer: “Is that far?”


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