Category: Books & Reading

Caused by stupid customers who know how to read (and often those who don’t!), feel for the poor librarians or book store clerks who are often tasked with finding a book solely by the color of its cover.

Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 3

| Bulgaria | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Popular

(I’m browsing the fantasy section at a local book store. The employee uniform is an orange t-shirt and I’m wearing a sweater in a much darker shade of orange. A young woman pushes my shoulder and in a very loud an rude manner asks:)

Woman: “Tell me about [Author]”

(I generally like giving book advice but she looks at me like I’m a lower form of life.)

Me: “First of all, madam, I don’t work here, and second, even if I did I wouldn’t help you if you act that way.”

(She storms off, bright red. A few minutes later:)

Young Man: “Excuse me, miss, could you tell me more about [Same Author] and perhaps recommend a book to a new reader?”

(Since he’s very polite I start telling him more about the author and the book series. Meanwhile, the rude woman is back with a store clerk and both stare at me mouths wide open. The man turns out to be the lady’s boyfriend.)

Me: ”Oh, and by the way; I don’t work here.”

Store Clerk: “Do you want to?”

Related:
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction, Part 2
Life Is Stranger Than Fiction

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Making A Very Tricky Point(s)

| USA | Books & Reading, Math & Science, Money, Popular

Customer: “I need to renew my platinum rewards membership.”

Me: “Great! That’ll be an extra $25, and it will take 10% off of your purchase today and give you 10% back on every purchase in the future.”

Customer: “Okay. Wait, then let me pay for the rewards membership first, and THEN ring everything else up in a separate transaction. I know how tricky you guys are. I know what I’m doing.”

(I figure that he wants to build up his points rather than get the 10% off right away, and he’s so adamant about doing it this way that I just shrug and do as he says. Ten minutes after this transaction, he comes shoving his way to the front of the line, looking very upset.)

Customer: “You didn’t give me the 10% off!”

Me: “As I explained, the 10% off is automatically applied when you renew a platinum rewards membership in the same transaction. You insisted on doing them separately. Now, you’re still going to get the 10% in rewards points to spend later, so in the end you’re saving just as much.”

Customer: *sputters* “But… but… you tricked me!”

Me: “You kind of tricked yourself…”

Narwailing On About It

| Portland, OR, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Pets & Animals

(I work at a bookstore that mostly sells children’s books. A mother comes in with her daughter who is about six years old.)

Mother: “I’d like to make a complaint. Who is the manager?”

Me: “I am the manager. What is the problem?”

Mother: “I found this book in the nonfiction section.”

(She holds up a book about arctic animals. The cover shows a polar bear and a narwhal.)

Me: “Ma’am, that is a nonfiction book. It contains facts about those animals.”

Mother: “No, it does not. There’s no such thing as a narwhal! They are imaginary creatures.”

Me: “…”

Found The Book But Lost The Irony

| AR, USA | Books & Reading

(I work at my local library as a library assistant.)

Patron: “I accidentally turned in a book that belongs to [Other Library].”

Me: “Sure, what’s the book title?”

Patron:I Am Responsible.”

Me: *staring a patron in complete silence*

(I find the book, and the great irony is that it’s a child’s book.)

Me: “…Have a good day, ma’am.”

Patron: “Thanks. You, too.”

A Gross Misunderstanding Of The Books

| Gainesville, FL, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

Customer: “I’m looking for a book for my grandchildren. I don’t know the title but I know it’s some kind of encyclopedia of gross things and the cover has a picture of a kid picking his nose.”

Me: “Yes, I know that book. It’s called Oh, Yuck. Here’s a copy for you.”

Customer: “Do you think that would be embarrassing for me to send it to my grandchildren? I mean, it’s gross. Do you really think it would be appropriate?”

Me: “I don’t know, ma’am. I thought you already knew it was gross based on your description of the book.”

Customer: *sets book down* “I just don’t think it would be appropriate. Can you show me some storybooks?”

(I take the customer to the storybooks and she keeps asking for recommendations, so I show her book after book and she rejects them. Finally, she makes a suggestion.)

Customer: “Well, I’ve heard of this one book. Do you have ‘Walter the Farting Dog’?”

Me: ” Yes, it’s popular. Right here.”

Customer: “But wouldn’t that be kind of gross? I don’t know if that’s appropriate. A farting dog? That might be embarrassing for me to send to my grandchildren.”

Me: “…I don’t know how to help you if you keep asking me for gross books and then saying they’re too gross, ma’am.”

Customer: “I just heard those were popular. But I can’t send that. It’s too gross. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?”

(I end up just leaving her to browse in the storybooks section.)

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