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!”

What Possessed You To Do That

| North Shore, MA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Religion, Top

(This happens while I am working at a Christian book store that also sells other “Christian” items. This particular incident involves a customer’s dissatisfaction with a child’s toy called the “Armor of God”, which includes a sword, a shield, and armor.)

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [store]. How may I help you today?”

Caller: “Hello, I would like a refund for a toy I bought my son last week called the ‘Armor of God’.”

Me: “I can help you with that. Can I please have the order number?”

Caller: “Yes, the order number is ########.”

Me: “Now, was the item defective or damaged in any way, or are you simply dissatisfied with the product?”

Caller: “The toy is possessed.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Caller: “The moment my son put on the armor he started screaming and running around attacking everything with the sword. The toy is possessed and I want a full refund. Frankly I’m shocked that a store advertising Christian products would sell something like this!”

Me: “Okay, well, if you box up the items, I can send you a return shipping label. When the toy arrives at our warehouse you will receive a full refund.”

Caller: “You want it back?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. I can’t give you a refund unless the item is returned.”

Caller: “I’m afraid that’s impossible.”

Me: “Has the toy been damaged in some way?”

Caller: “No, I buried it.”

Me: “What?”

Caller: “It was possessed by a demon, so I buried it.”

Me: “Well, I’m sorry, ma’am, but if that’s the case, I’m afraid I cannot give you a refund.”

Caller: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, you buried the toy in the ground. You’re refusing to return it and the toy is ruined anyway. Per company policy, I cannot give you a refund.”

Caller: “Are you serious? First, you sell me a possessed toy, putting my family in danger, and now you refuse to give me my money back? I demand to speak to your manager!”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am, but first have you considered that possibly the toy isn’t possessed and that your son was just play fighting?”

Caller: “How dare you! Do you think I don’t know the difference? Do you think I’m lying? My son has never acted this way before. The toy is possessed and I am owed a refund. I demand to speak to your manager! I have never been so insulted!”

Me: “Let me place you on hold while I transfer you to my supervisor…”

Look, But Don’t Touch Or Read

| Massachusetts, USA | Books & Reading

(A middle-aged man and woman walk into the small used bookshop. They look around at the shelvesof books, seemingly perplexed. After giving them a bit of time time, I check up on them.)

Me: “Hi! Let me know if I can help you with anything.”

Woman: What kind of place is this?

Me: *confused* “I’m sorry?”

Man: “What is this place?”

Me: *still confused* “It’s a bookstore.”

Woman: “So, all these books are are for sale?”

Me: “Yes they are!”

Man: “Oh…”

(They exchange looks and leave.)

Hair Asunder Down Under

| Melbourne, Australia | Books & Reading, Rude & Risque

(My hair is naturally a rather unusual color of red that naturally highlights due to a melanin imbalance. I am a male. A few months ago I shaved my head for charity. A male customer comes to the counter.)

Customer: “Oh my, you have such wonderful hair. May I touch it?”

Me: *laughing* “I hear that a lot. You should have seen it when I had it down to here…”

(I indicate my hip where my hair used to reach.)

Me: “I had to shave it all off, though.”

Customer: “Where I am from in Spain, it is very common for people to shave their bodies. No need to be ashamed!”

Me: “Oh, no…no! I mean my head hair went down to there.”

Customer: “Oh! It must have been beautiful! Still, you should consider shaving your body! Everybody on the beach likes it.” *winks at me and walks out*

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