October Theme Of The Month: Halloween!

Getting Out Of Your Square Bubble

| USA | Bad Behavior, Tourists/Travel

(The bookstore is in a small, fairly quiet town and we frequently get people asking for directions. On this occasion, a 50ish-year-old lady and her husband come in.)

Customer: “I was wondering if I could get some directions? We are looking for the quilt square.”

Me: “Quilt square? I’m not sure what you are looking for. Is that a store?”

Customer: “No, it’s a piece of wood painted to look like a quilt. There are about 50 of them; they are hung up on the sides of buildings around the state. There is supposed to be one here.”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t know anything about that. I can look it up for you though.”

(I get on the internet and finally find the website. The whole time the customer is just chatting about how long it took her to find the square hanging on the barn. The only information I can find is that it is on a particular street.)

Me: “Okay, I found something. This says that it is on [Street].”

Customer: “Okay, but what building is it on?”

Me: “I am not sure. I am not familiar with that street but I know it is towards town.”

(The customer is starting to get frustrated for some reason, so I look up the street on Google Maps.)

Me: “If you take a right out of the store, it looks like the road is about five streets down.”

Customer: “But where is the square?!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am really sorry, but I don’t know anything about the quilts. I can’t really tell you where it is because I have never seen it. If you go down the street, you will probably find it.”

(At this point, I am starting to lose my patience. She isn’t even a customer for my store.)

Customer: *grumbling to her husband* “I swear! These young people just don’t know how to get out of their bubbles! She’ll probably never leave [Small Town]!”

(I just let her leave without saying anything, but it still bugs me to this day. She assumed I don’t have any culture because I don’t know where a piece of wood is. I am not American, was born in Europe, and am not yet an American citizen. I have lived in multiple states in USA plus some of USA’s territories. I am probably more traveled than she is.)

In Line And Out Of Line, Part 8

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior

(I work at a major bookstore and it is New Year’s Day. We are open, but business is fairly slow. I am at the registers along with one other co-worker. We work through a line of people that never reaches more than three people long. A gruff man comes up to me to check out.)

Customer: “About d*** time. I was in that line forever.”

Me: “Yeah, I’m sorry about that, sir. This is the busiest it has been all day. Luckily we have two people working the registers.”

Customer: “Well, why the f*** do you have 10 registers and only two of you working them?”

Me: “Well, we never really need all of them unless it’s the week before Christmas. We can work through a line pretty fast. Sorry you had to wait so long.”

(My customer looks at the elderly couple checking out next to me as they write a check.)

Customer: “It’s because all of these f****** are using their check books and crap like that. Makes it last longer.”

(I usually kinda joke it off if a customer makes a racy remark, but just stare blankly at him.)

Me: “Yeah, well, your total is [total].”

(Customer digs through his wallet and pocket to get several bills that are mostly wadded up. He begins to huff loudly as I try to straighten them all out.)

Customer: “Maybe it’s the f****** cashiers that make the lines last so long.”

(I deliberately took my sweet time handing him back the change.)

In Line And Out Of Line, Part 7
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 6
In Line And Out Of Line, Part 5

The Girl Who Played With Hellfire

| Stockholm, Sweden | Books & Reading, Religion, Rude & Risque

(I’m the customer in this story. I’m a tourist in Stockholm looking for a book for my boyfriend at the time, who is learning Swedish. I don’t speak a word of it. I see a bookstore and just wander in.)

Me: “Hi there. I’m looking for a Swedish book that has something to do with crime. Could you help me with that?”

Clerk: *looks at me dumbfounded* “Uhm. What was that?”

Me: “You know. Something thrilling and exciting ?”

Clerk: “You do realise this is a Catholic book store and we only carry books on religion, right?”

Not Booked For Stealing

| NY, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal

(In the store where I work, to prevent theft, a security alarm at the doors will go off if your items have not been scanned. At the same time, we’re never allowed to accuse someone of stealing. A woman walks through the doors to leave and the alarm sounds off and she comes to a halt, so I approach her.)

Me: “Hi, ma’am. Sorry about that. Do you want me to go re-scan those to make sure the alarm won’t sound off when you walk out again?”

Customer: “Oh, I think these might have accidentally fallen into my pockets. I’m sorry…”

(She then pulled out two books from her coat pockets, handed them to me, turned, and walked out, leaving my coworker and me very confused.)

Fifty Shades Of Dark Knight

| Markham, ON, Canada | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Rude & Risque

(A woman comes into the store.)

Customer: “I need the latest Harlequin book!”

Me: “Of course. Do you know the title or author?”

Customer: “No. But it’s the latest one!”

(In the spirit of providing good customer service, I quickly retrieve the latest Harlequin releases to show the woman. Upon seeing the books, the customer gives me a very unexpected response:)

Customer: “NO! NO! This is wrong! I want the one with Batman!”

(Fortunately, the Batman reference tells me what the customer is ACTUALLY looking for.)

Me: “Ah. You want the latest HARLEY QUINN comic book.”

Customer: “That’s what I said! Harlequin!”

(The wrong emphasis on the wrong syllable determines whether you get a comic book, or an erotic novel.)

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