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    Them’s Excitin’ Words

    | Gainesville, FL, USA |

    (A girl and her boyfriend approached my customer service desk.)

    Girl: “Excuse me, where are the dictionaries?”

    Me: “Aisle 13.”

    Girl: “Thank you!”

    (A few minutes later the couple returned, dictionary in hand.)

    Girl: “How do you spell ‘ecstatic’?”

    Me: “E-C-S-T-A-T-I-C.”

    Girl: *thumbing pages* “OK…”

    Boy: “I’m tellin’ you, it ain’t a real word.”

    (Since she was still unable to spell it, finding the word was proving difficult.)

    Boy: *smugly* “SEE? If it was a real word, it would BE IN THE DICTIONARY, wouldn’t it?”

    Girl: “I can’t find it!”

    Me: “Try looking up ‘ecstasy’. They usually list the adjective forms of the noun at the end of the entry.”

    Girl: *finding it* “Oh, here it is, see? ‘Ecstatic’ means a person experiencing ecstasy. Look, honey!”

    Boy: *walking away* “It AIN’T A WORD, it AIN’T!”

    Girl: *chasing after him waving the book* “LOOK! It’s right here! LOOOOOK!”

    Burned With Goblets Of Fire, No Doubt

    | Douglasville, GA, USA |

    (This happened quite a few years ago, but it’s still one of my fondest bookstore memories.)

    Customer: “Do you happen to sell that Harry Potter book?”

    Me: “Yes, sir, we do. Would you like me to show you where they are?”

    Customer: “If it’s no trouble…”

    Me: “No trouble at all. ”

    (I lead him over to the children’s section and hand him the first book in the series.)

    Me: “Here you are. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

    Customer: “No, I think that’s all I need.”

    (The customer shovels a dozen copies of the same book into his arms.)

    Customer: “The church is having a book burning tonight and I just need to make sure I bring enough.”

    Me: *laughs*

    Customer: *completely serious* “I’m not joking.”

    Me: “Oh. Well, you do realize that there are now four books in the series?”

    Ill-Timed Intervention

    | California, USA |

    Me: Hi, Ma’am. How can I help you on this fine Sunday afternoon?”

    Lady: “I need to talk to the owner.”

    Me: “She’s not in today, ma’am. If you’d like to–”

    Lady: “I need to talk to her NOW! I have a message from GOD!”

    Me: “…”

    Lady: “…” *glares*

    Me: “Well, she’s still not in. If you wanna leave a message…”

    Lady: “You don’t understand! God Himself has sent me here with a message for her; it’s important and needs to be delivered today, right now!”

    Me: “God sent you here?”

    Lady: “Yes, to deliver an important message to the owner.”

    Me: *leaning across the counter, eyebrows raised* “Um…wouldn’t God know that the owner never works on Sundays?”

    (She freaks out and begins ranting incoherently about how God will strike us down. Then she throws some things and leaves, slamming the door.)

    Me: “Have a good day!”

    On The Importance Of Appropriate Segue-ways

    | Virginia, USA |

    (Note: I look a little young for my age, but not by that much.)

    Customer: “I’m looking for someone who can help me find a book.”

    Me: “I can help you. What are you looking for?”

    Customer: “What? You can’t possibly work here. You look like you’re about 12.”

    Me: “Actually, I’m 20. What can I help you find?”

    Customer: “You’re lying to me. Where’s your manager? I can’t believe he has little kids working.”

    Me: “I can assure you, I’m 20.”

    Customer: “Let me see your ID, then.”

    Me: “What?”

    (She then turns to my boyfriend, who has come in to visit me.)

    Customer: “Are you her boyfriend?”

    My boyfriend: “Yes…”

    Customer: “How can you date someone who looks like that?”

    My boyfriend: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “That’s disgusting. I think you’re a pervert!”

    (The customer then turns back to me, and without skipping a beat asks…)

    Customer: “Where are the romance novels?”

    Great Benefits: Medical, 401k & A Crystal Ball

    | Pleasant Hill, CA, USA |

    Customer: “Which books would you recommend for a pre-teen girl?”

    Me: “Well, that depends – does she like fantasy, horror, science fiction?”

    Customer: “Whichever you recommend.”

    Me: “I’m partial to fantasy myself.”

    (I show her several series that I had read myself and enjoyed.)

    Customer: “So you think she would like these?”

    Me: “Well, I loved them a lot.”

    Customer: “But do you think SHE will?”

    Me: “I honestly couldn’t say, ma’am. You know your niece better than I do; I’ve never met her.”

    Customer: *staring blankly at the books* “But do you think she will like them?”

    Me: “If she doesn’t, you can give her a gift receipt and she can return the books.”

    Customer: “I didn’t ask you about a gift receipt, I asked you if my niece would like the books you recommended.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I am incapable of making up your own mind about books for someone I’ve never met.”

    Customer: “I see. So, when they hire people for minimum wage, they really get what they pay for.”

    Me: *sarcastically* “Corporate doesn’t provide mind manipulation skills as part of the hiring package, ma’am.”

    Customer: “Well, they should!”

    (She complains to a manager and walks out without ever making up her mind about a book for her niece.

    Manager: “Did she seriously ask you to manipulate her thoughts about a book decision?”

    Me: “I can’t make up my OWN mind sometimes, much less someone else’s…”

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