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    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 11

    | PA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I’m a regular at a particular location of a major book store chain and know where most of the books are. I usually get something at the cafe and a few books, and make a habit of re-shelving everything myself once I’m done. As I’m re-shelving books one evening, a man approaches me.)

    Man: “You. I want to find a book for my wife.”

    Man’s Wife: “I just need new tricks or tips on Sudoku.”

    Me: “Oh! I love Sudoku. Well, it looks like you’re in the right section. Did you not spot anything you like?”

    Man: “Can’t you just look up what she needs for her?”

    (I smile and remain generally pleasant, mainly because I think this is funny every time it happens.)

    Me: “I don’t actually work here, but if you have the title, sir, just go to the service counter right there. They can find it for you.”

    Man: “I just want a book my wife can look at right now. Why can’t you just get it for us?”

    Me: “Well… these are books of more puzzles. Um… I don’t actually work here, sir. But if you’re having a hard time finding a suitable book, you can always Google up keywords like ‘sudoku tips’ or ‘solving sudoku’.”

    Man: “Yes, but do you have it in a book?”

    Me: “Sir, if you would go to the service counter and ask, I’m sure they can find it for you.”

    Man: “You! Why can’t you find it!?”

    Me: “Sir, I don’t work here. If you go to the counter, an employee could help you look something up in their computer.”

    Man: “You’re not going to help us find this book?”

    Me: “I wouldn’t be sure where to start, but an employee—”

    (An employee that has been walking toward us in the last part of the conversation finally comes up next to me.)

    Employee: “I can take over.”

    Me: “—can take over from here. Thanks, bye!”

    Related:
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 10
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 9
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 8
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 7
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 6
    I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 5

    A Cursory Attitude To Cursing

    | MI, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words

    (A couple walk into my store.)

    Me: “Hi, can I help you find anything?”

    Woman: “Yes, we’re looking for the book Go the F**k to Sleep.”

    Me: “I think I have that right back here.”

    Man: “Honey, I think ‘go the F to sleep” is the polite way to say that.”

    Me: “No worries. If I’m selling it, I should be able to hear it.

    Man: “Touché.”

    Foretelling Will Be The Death Of You

    | Detroit, MI, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid

    (I am managing a small bookstore, and a coworker who is usually very good at guessing what book someone wants based on minimal description comes up for help.)

    Coworker: “There’s a guy on the phone, and I can’t tell what he wants. He says he’s looking for something called The Death of a Toad.”

    Me: “That doesn’t sound familiar.”

    Coworker: “He’s getting annoyed with me because I don’t recognize the title. Can you handle it?”

    (I grab the phone. The customer sounds like a teenage guy, and he’s irritated.)

    Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

    Customer: “I hope so, that other girl was useless. I need Death of a Toad; how hard is that?”

    Me: “I’m sorry she couldn’t help you. I see she’s looked it up in the computer, and we don’t have any records of it in our system. Is it a new book?”

    Customer: “No, it’s a classic or something. I need to read it for school.”

    Me: “Okay. So it’s regular adult fiction, and it’s called Death of a Toad?”

    Customer: “Yeah, why is this so hard to understand?”

    (I do a more general search on the computer system, looking for any book with “toad” in the title, and don’t get any relevant results.)

    Me: “Is it spelled toad, like the animal? And death, like dying? I want to make sure I’m looking up the right search terms.”

    Customer: “Duh, yes! Death, like death, and toad, like frog. Wait… it’s not Death of a Toad; it’s Death of Four Toads.”

    Me: “That doesn’t sound familiar either. Do you have all or part of the author’s name?”

    Customer: “I don’t know, some guy. Look, how hard is this? It’s Death of Four Toads by some Mexican guy or whatever, and it’s a classic! Are you completely stupid? Death. Of. Four. Toads.

    (As he says this, a light bulb finally goes off in my head.)

    Me: “…are you maybe looking for Chronicle of a Death Foretold?”

    Customer: “Yes! Fine! It’s CHRONICLE of the Death of Four Toads! Do. You. Have. It?”

    Me: “Actually, I sold my last copy over the weekend. Have a nice day!”

    Poor Memory

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Money, Top

    (We are having a book drive for a local school that has had a terrible fire, causing it to lose its entire library. When customers come up, we are allowed to tell them about the drive and ask if they would like to donate. If not, it is okay, but we ask just the same.)

    Me: “Would you like to donate a book to the St. [Name] book drive?” *I clearly explain their situation*

    Customer: “No, I don’t give money to poor people. If they want money, they have to work for it like the rest of us. I don’t like lazy layabouts.”

    (I am about to remind the customer that it was a fire, when the customer’s husband interjects.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Do you really feel that way, dear? I wonder if you felt this way 27 years ago when we had an infant, no jobs, no money, and had to ask my parents for an allowance so we could live. Now that we have money in the bank, a Volvo in the driveway, and a designer handbag on your arm, suddenly we are too good to help others?”

    (The husband then turns to me.)

    Customer’s Husband: “Are these the books you are selling?”

    (The husband indicates a pile we have beside the register. I nod, dumbfounded.)

    Customer’s Husband: “We will take them all.”

    This Is A Bad Sign, Part 2

    | ON, Canada | Books & Reading

    (We have signs all over the store advertising 30% off hard cover books in huge letters. A customer approaches, holding a paperback.)

    Customer: “So, this is 30% off?”

    Me: “No, sorry it’s only the hardcovers that are on sale, as the sign says.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s very misleading.”

    Me: “Sorry? Why is that sign misleading?”

    Customer: “Well, it’s misleading because I didn’t read the sign properly.”

    Related:
    This Is A Bad Sign


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