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.


Playing The Race Book

| Iowa City, IA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Popular

Customer: “I’m looking for a book. I can’t remember the title or author, but it’s by an Asian woman.”

Me: “Do you have any more information? Unfortunately our books aren’t organized by the author’s race.”


Your Business Model Is Rent Out Of Shape

| SD, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Money, Movies & TV

(I work at a public library at the circulation desk. One day a young man approaches the desk.)

Patron: “How much is it to rent a book?”

Me: “If you have a library card, it is free. If you live outside the county, you pay for the card but borrowing items is always free.”

(The patron then wandered over to the audio books before returning to the desk.)

Patron: “How much to rent books on CD?”

Me: “They are free to borrow, sir.”

(He shakes his head and goes to the DVD section. Again he returns to the desk.)

Patron: “How many DVDs can I take and what does it cost?”

Me: “You may borrow five at a time and there is no cost unless they are returned late.”

(The patron looks confused.)

Patron: “I just don’t get why you do this if there’s no money in it for you. Well, good luck with that!”


Trumps You In The Stupid Department

| USA | Books & Reading, Politics, Popular

(It is early 2016 and an election year, so my bookstore has created a prominent political section near the entrance. There are a large selection of books about Obama at eye-level. A customer comes up to me, looking angry.)

Customer: “You need to take these books down!”

Me: “Which books would that be, sir?”

Customer: “All those books about that Barack HUSSEIN Osama!” *yes, he really did emphasize the ‘Hussein’ middle name and use ‘Osama’ instead of Obama*

Me: “Well, they form part of the political section of our store. Since he is currently our president we have a wide range of books commenting on him and his politics, both for and against.”

Customer: “Well, he ain’t my president!”

Me: “Well, unless you’re not an American citizen, I am afraid he is.”

Customer: “Well, I didn’t vote for him, so he ain’t!”

Me: “Neither did I, sir, but I still acknowledge him as my president.”

Customer: “You didn’t vote for him either? And you still let them put up books about him!”

Me: “Sir, we aren’t going to be taking the books down just because you don’t like him.”

Customer: “But he’s the reason behind everything that’s wrong with this country!”

(At this point I have had enough of the rhetoric I hear so much that I decide to take a risk and call him out on it.)

Me: “Really, sir? So what are those reasons?”

Customer: “He… uh… Obamacare!”

Me: “You mean universal healthcare for the poorest of our citizens? I agree, it really is awful.”

Customer: “And the economy!”

Me: “I agree, the economy really is in a bad state. It started with the Bush administration and has been gradually getting better. The whole world really was caught up in some economic turmoil back there, but I doubt it was all because of Obama.”

Customer: “Yeah, well, Trump will fix it all.”

Me: “How so?”

Customer: “He’s gonna make America great again!”

Me: “Yes, but how so?”

Customer: “By kicking out everyone that hates America!”

Me: “Like Obama?”

Customer: “Yeah! Trump 2016!”

Me: “So you want me to deny American citizens commentary, both positive and negative, on Obama by refusing to sell books on him?”

Customer: “Yeah! Trump 2016!”

Me: “And at the same time agree with your double-standards on Freedom Of Speech by supporting Trump, a man who famously likes to spew out insults and hate but can’t handle when they are thrown back at him?

Customer: “Uh…”

Me: “No, sir, we will not be removing the books. You are of course, totally free to disagree with me and state your opinion.”

Customer: “Trump 2016!”

Me: “Will you be making any other purchases today, sir?”

Customer: “H*** no! I never read books! Trump 2016!”


Reading Between The Coloring Lines

| Canada | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Rude & Risque

(Adult colouring books are a huge deal at my store, with two drive-aisles dedicated to the stuff. I am working the floor when a young man in his mid-twenties comes in with a girl who could be his girlfriend, sister, or friend. He kind of has a frat-boy look about him, and the girl is dressed semi-professionally. They come up to me, the girl with an amused expression and the guy really excited.)

Male Customer: “So, you guys sell adult coloring books, right?”

Me: “Yeah, we do, right over here.”

Male Customer: *just slightly lowers his voice, kind of stage whisper style* “So, you have, like, those [East] Indian type colouring books?”

Female Customer: *starts blushing a bit*

Me: “Oh, yeah, we have Mandala and Paisley themed colouring books. Some kind of look like henna designs, as well.”

Male Customer: “No, I mean, like, the sex book. The Kama Sutra, except for colouring in.”

Female Customer: *starts laughing a bit because she knows how ridiculous that sounds*

Me: “Uh, no, sir, we don’t. We have kids’ crafts in here so we don’t have anything more explicit like that. Maybe try [Bookstore that also sells colouring books as well as having a more “adult” section]?”

Male Customer: “Oh, yeah, sure. No problem. I get it!”

Female Customer: *keeps laughing*

(A bit later, I am on backup for cashiering, as it is busy. The couple come up, and the male customer has five books and a giant set of pencil crayons.)

Me: “Yeah, these adult colouring books are quite popular.”

Male Customer: “Yeah, I love them! It’s great for when I’m smoking pot but also wanting to do something with my hands, you know?”

Me: *trying not to laugh* “Yeah, I bet! They’re super relaxing!”

Female Customer: *laughing but is also getting a bit embarrassed*

(Everything went smoothly and the couple left, the guy super stoked for his colouring books, the girl half hiding her face. The lady behind them came up, and we both looked at each other in amusement. We’re in British Columbia, so pot is definitely a thing here, but never so public as that!)


Has Faith But Lost All Pope, Part 3

| Bilbao, Spain | Books & Reading, Religion

(My wife and I are the clients in a bookstore specialized in books related to Catholicism, looking for a gift for her mother.)

Clerk: “May I help you?”

Wife: “Yeah, we want a book.”

(The clerk looks at her in silence, waiting for something else.)

Me: “Honey, all they sell are books.”

Wife: *embarrassed* “Oh, sorry, you’re right! We’re looking for books about Christian things.”

(The clerk and I both look at her in silence.)

Wife: *more embarrassed* “Uhm… something about the new pope.”

Clerk: “Certainly, ma’am, we have an entire section.”

Me: “Thank god!”


Has Faith But Lost All Pope, Part 2

Has Faith But Lost All Pope

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