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.

Wish You Could Throw The Book At Him

| Sydney, NSW, Australia | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

Customer: “Do you have [Title]?”

Me: “No, we don’t; I’m sorry. It doesn’t look like we can order it in either.”

Customer: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah. Usually in these cases it’s something to do with copyright or publishing laws, and you can’t buy it anywhere in Australia. You may be able to order it online from overseas, but I think you’ll probably have trouble buying it in store.”

Customer: “So would the bookshop upstairs have it?”

Me: “Probably not, but you can give them a go.”

(The guy leaves and comes back about 15 minutes later.)

Me: “Hi again, how did you go?”

Customer: “They didn’t have it, but they said I could get it from some place called ‘Book Depository.'”

Me: “Oh, yeah, that’s a website based in England.”

Customer: “So can you order it from there?”

Me: “You mean, me personally?”

Customer: “Great. How much is it?”

Me: “Oh, no, we can’t do it through the store. I’ll write down the website for you though and you can do it when you get home.”

Customer: “I don’t have a computer.”

Me: “The library is just across the road. You can see if they have it and if not you can use one of their computers.”

Customer: “Why can’t you just do it for me? Don’t you call people to tell them when their books come in?”

Me: “We do that when we’re selling the book. Book Depository is another company. They’re our competition. Doing that would be like me buying a book from the shop upstairs and calling you to tell you it’s come in.”

Customer: “But the shop upstairs didn’t have it.”

Me: “…It would be like me doing your supermarket shopping for you.”

Customer: “Do you think they’d have the book?”

Me: *trying not to slap the guy in the face* “No, my point was that they’re a different company. We can’t do your shopping for you, especially when it’s our competition and I would have to order it for you personally and with my own money.”

Customer: “Great! Let’s do that!”

Me: “…”

It’s Going To Be An Interesting Knight

| Austin, TX, USA | Books & Reading, Movies & TV, School

(Back in 1997, I am working at a large, national video rental chain. A high school aged boy, roughly 16 years old, walks up to the counter.)

Boy: “Can you help me find a movie?”

Me: “Probably, do you know the title?”

Boy: “First Knight.”

(The requested film is about the love triangle between King Arthur, Lady Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot. Action aside, it wasn’t normally requested by men, especially high-school aged. Thinking this strange, I still take him to the appropriate section, find the tape in stock, and hand it to him.)

Boy: “Thanks, man! You’ve saved my life.”

(Back at the counter he ends up coming through my line.)

Boy: “Thanks again, man. You’ve really saved me some time.”

Me: *as I hand him his change* “What do you mean?”

Boy: “Oh, we have to read this for school, and I forgot all about it.”

Me: “You have to read THIS for school?!”

Boy: *smiling as he goes out the door* “Yep, and I can’t stand Shakespeare.”

(As he walks out the door my coworker and I break down laughing, realizing that he was actually looking for “Twelfth Night.”)

Coworker: “Boy, is his teacher in for a treat!”

Cracked The Da Vinci Code

| MD, USA | Books & Reading, School

(This happens around the time many teenagers are getting books for their summer reading. Today, a young man and his mother came in looking for Dan Brown’s Inferno. My coworker is the one who helps them. I overhear this.)

Mother: “Oh, yes, my son really needs this book. Not only does he have to read the whole thing, but he also has to write a paper on it, and draw a scene from it. They’re dedicating a lot of time on this.”

(I find this odd considering Dan Brown books are not the usual summer reading requirements, but don’t think nothing further of it until the two leave with the book.)

Me: *to coworker* “Wait, he has to write a paper on the Inferno?”

Coworker: “Yeah.”

Me: “Um… is he sure it’s supposed to be Dan Brown’s Inferno, and not DANTE’S Inferno?”

Coworker: “OH, MY GOD! That makes a lot more sense! I don’t know…”

(Nobody before or since has ever requested Dan Brown’s Inferno for summer reading.)