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    The Rains Of Custamere

    | Bern, Switzerland | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

    (I am discussing with a coworker the Red Wedding episode of ‘Game Of Thrones.’ We go all detailed and compare every action with the books. Suddenly, we hear a sobbing noise behind us. Turning around, we see that a young customer is standing behind us. She’s close to tears.)

    Customer: “Godd*** spoilers!”

    (The customer runs out of the store.)

    Coworker: “Well, you ruined her life. That’s the curse of being a bookstore employee.”

    In Desperate Need Of Books

    | UK | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    (A teenager is looking for a book with her mother. The mother approaches me.)

    Customer’s Mum: “Hi, do you have books by Cheryl Cole?”

    Me: “I don’t think she’s released any yet. We do have some biographies about her life, though. Let me show you.”

    Teen Customer: “I’m meant to write some dumb essay for English on a true story written by the person.”

    Me: “Ah, so you’d be looking for an autobiography.”

    (Both customers stare at me blank.)

    Me: “… I’m afraid she hasn’t released an autobiography yet. The only biography we have on her is this unauthorized one.”

    Customer’s Mum: “Oh! See? Unauthorized! That means she wrote it herself, right?”

    Demanding And Stupid In The Same Breath

    | MA, USA | At The Checkout, Crazy Requests, Musical Mayhem, Top

    (We’re a bookstore, but we also sell some smaller toys from a popular company known for their hand-crafted products. I’m covering the register on a slow night. A customer I rang out a few minutes earlier who bought a $3 wooden kazoo comes storming back into the store. Another customer reaches the register at about the same time, but holds back when she sees how angry the other woman is.)

    Customer #1: “Why’d you tell my son he couldn’t return this kazoo? It’s defective!”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. He just asked if he could get his money back, and I told him we couldn’t take it because it was opened already. It’s defective?”

    (I pick up the wooden kazoo that she’s slammed on the counter hold it near my mouth, and hum. It makes a kazoo noise.)

    Me: “Oh, maybe your son doesn’t know how it works. You have to hum into it, not blow like a whistle. Seems fine.”

    Customer #1: “What? I didn’t hear anything! It’s defective! I want my money back!”

    (I hold the kazoo near my lips again and hum louder. It makes a louder kazoo noise.)

    Me: “See? That’s what it’s supposed to do. You hum, and it makes that noise.”

    (I set it down in front of her, thinking the problem is solved.)

    Customer #1: “No way! I’m not taking that out of the store now! You’ve contaminated it with your breath! It has all your germs in it. Give me my money back!”

    Me: “Really?”

    (The woman tries to stare me down.)

    Me: “Ma’am, as I explained, you don’t blow into a kazoo. You hum. You can’t hum with your mouth open. None of my breath went into the kazoo.”

    (I demonstrate a humming noise without the kazoo, showing her my lips are firmly pressed closed.)

    Customer #1: “This is ridiculous! I’ve bought hundreds of things from here that were all defective, and I’ve never bothered to return them before. I just threw them away. Now, you won’t even take back this broken kazoo?”

    Me: “But, it’s not broken, remember? And I didn’t breathe in it, either. I’m not sure exactly what your complaint is at this point.”

    Customer #1: “That’s it! I want to talk to your store manager.”

    Me: “That would be me.”

    Customer #1: “Fine! Then I want to talk to a district manager! Is he here?”

    Me: “Yes. And he’s also me.”

    Customer #2: “This isn’t over. Not by a long shot! You haven’t heard the last of me!”

    (The woman snatches up her kazoo from the counter and runs out of the store. I turn to the other woman who’s been waiting patiently.)

    Me: “I’m sorry you had to be here for that uncomfortable situation.”

    Customer #2: “Oh, I don’t mind. That was pretty entertaining. I think you may have created a super-villain.”

    (Ten minutes later, one of my managers from another store location calls me, laughing.)

    Coworker: “Um, apparently, I’m supposed to fire you. Some crazy lady just called to tell me that you threw a kazoo at her?”

    Putting The High Into Hiring

    | UK | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    Customer: *bloodshot eyes and stinking of weed* “Hi. I’m looking for a gardening book.”

    Me: “Okay. Our gardening section is right here. Was there are a particular book you were after?”

    Customer: “I’m wanting one that teaches you how to grow drugs.”

    Bookseller: “Like medicinal herbs? We have a few titles on natural remedies in our health sec—”

    Customer: “Nah, I mean like cannabis.”

    Bookseller: “Er… there are titles on that subject but they are only sold in our Amsterdam stores. I can’t legally sell them in this country.”

    Customer: “Oh, okay. You guys hiring?”

    Bound(ary) To Serve

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (We have a regular that comes in every Wednesday or Thursday night. This time, I’m on the register when he comes in. I am female, wearing a knee-length tunic over linen pants as it’s high summer and very warm.)

    Customer: *without saying hello* “Are you pregnant?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I was wondering if you were pregnant. Are you?”

    Me: “I don’t see how it’s any of your business, but no.”

    Customer: “It’s just that I had a haircut today, and my hairdresser was wearing a similar outfit to you. She was four months pregnant and got angry at me because I didn’t notice or say anything. So now I’m wondering, do all women wear what you wear when they’re pregnant?”

    Me: “I’m not sure why your hairdresser had such a strong reaction, but I’m pretty sure most women are wearing what I’m wearing right now because its 45 degrees celsius outside and not because it’s a secret code that we’re reproducing.”

    Customer: “Oh, good point. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude by asking personal questions.”

    (The very next week, he returns and again walks right up to the register.)

    Customer: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

    Me: *sigh* “Yes.”

    Customer: “Are you going to marry him?”

    Me: “Okay, sir, I think we need to have a quiet chat about boundaries…”

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