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  • Talking At-At Cross Purposes
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    Good Students Stick To The Books

    | MI, USA |

    Customer: “I need books for my son’s chemistry lab class. No used copies, please. I only want new.”

    (I come back bringing a new copy of the book and give it to her. The cover of the book is made out of paper that has a shiny texture.)

    Customer: “This book is all sticky! Do you have any copies that aren’t all sticky?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. They are all like that. That’s just how they are made.”

    Customer: “Are you sure these are new? They feel sticky! My son can’t have used books. These feel like they’ve been used!”

    Me: “The book is brand new. We don’t even sell any used copies of it, because students have to write in it and tear out pages.”

    Customer: “Okay, I’m going to look somewhere else for that book. Do you have the books for his other class?”

    (I look up the class and all we have are used copies. I bring out the best looking used copy we have and offer it. It looks like it hasn’t been opened.)

    Customer: “No, this is used. I can’t buy anything that is used! Someone might have read it in bed!”

    Best Not To Be Tolkien Too Seriously

    | Roseville, MN, USA |

    Customer: “I’m looking for a book but I don’t know the title or author. Can you find it for me?”

    Me: “Do you know anything about it? Is it fiction or non-fiction?”

    Customer: “It’s non-fiction for sure. All I know is it was made into a movie and it takes place in New Zealand.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I’m not sure what book you’re looking for. Wait…you don’t mean Lord of the Rings, do you?”

    Customer: “Yes! That’s it!”

    Me: “Well, we certainly have that in. Just for future reference, sir, non-fiction means it’s a true story.”

    Customer: “Yes, it’s a true story! Thank you!”

    Cupid Meets Stupid

    | Deerfield, IL, USA |

    (I am a cashier at a bookstore. It is 9pm and our store has just closed. A male customer walks up to me empty-handed, and leans against the counter conspiratorially.)

    Customer: “So, busy night?”

    Me: “It was, yes.”

    Customer: “Do you like working here?”

    Me: “Yes. Is there something you need from behind the counter?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: “Well, if there is a particular book you’re looking for, you can head back to customer service and one of my colleagues can get it for you.”

    Customer: “No, I don’t need anything. Can I just stay here for a little longer?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry, sir. Our store is closed. If you need somewhere to stay, [store] is across the street and they’re open 24
    hours.”

    Customer: “Well, my girlfriend is waiting for me outside. I just want to make her wait. She made me mad before, so I want to get back at her. Can’t you just let me stay a while longer?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We really need to close the store down. We won’t stay open if we’re not making any sales. All of us want to go home.”

    Customer: “Isn’t there anything you can do? I can just sit in the cafe.”

    Me: *thinking* “Well, you could buy a $25 membership with us. There’s a form to fill out. That’ll give you a couple more minutes.”

    Customer: “Perfect!”

    Me: “You do understand it will cost you $25?”

    Customer: “Yeah. She really p***ed me off!”

    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Top

    (The customer is a middle-aged male, wearing a tweed jacket and thick glasses. He’s buying all of the ‘Twilight’ books.)

    Me: “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

    Customer: “Yes, unfortunately. I’m really not looking forward to reading these.”

    Me: “Oh, why not?”

    Customer: “Well, I’m an English professor. Every time I reference low forms of literature, I always use Twilight as the example. Today a student asked if I’ve actually read them, and I had to say no. They demanded that I do.”

    (He hangs his head in shame.)

    Related:
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy

    Pseudo-Named And Shamed

    | London, UK |

    (I’m an author doing a book signing in a shop. I’m female with an obviously female name. The name is also on the book. There’s also a large poster with my name and photo on.)

    Customer: “When’s he going to get here?”

    Me: “Who?”

    Customer: “The author.”

    Me: “I’m the author.”

    Customer: “But, you’re a woman.”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Customer: “Oh, I get it. You’re one of them pseudonym things.”

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