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.

Climbing The Ladder Of Crazy

| CO, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I work in an old-fashioned bookstore, with high shelves and a ladder attached to them that moves along the wall. I am standing at the very top of the ladder, balancing a box full of books between the ladder and myself. All of a sudden a customer comes racing towards me. She grabs the ladder and shoves it to one side, effectively knocking my box down.)

Customer: “It has to be right here! Where is it?!”

Me: “Excuse me, ma’am! Please be careful with the ladder. I’m high up and I could get hurt!”

Customer: *ignores me* “I need help finding a book. Help me now, please!”

(She then grabs the ladder again and yanks it the other way, causing me to fall off. Thankfully I hold onto the ladder, so now I’m dangling from the side of it. Another customer quickly runs over and helps me get down from the ladder.)

Customer: “Excuse me, I said I needed help! Stop helping him and help me!”

Me: “I wasn’t helping him; he was helping me get down from the ladder so that you don’t kill me! Were you trying to break my neck?”

Customer: “What? You weren’t on the ladder. I need help finding a book. I need a book that will tell me how to smoke.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “I tried it and I must have done it wrong because I coughed like crazy.”

Me: “Ma’am, you came in here, nearly killed me, and you’re trying to find a book that doesn’t exist, because you think your natural reflexes are wrong?”

Customer: “Oh, I knew I should have gone to Barnes and Noble.” *leaves store*

Can’t Use That Trick In The Book

| KS, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

(I am working at my town’s library over the summer when the phone rings. I don’t normally answer the phone because they often need something done on the computer, which as a part-timer I don’t use, but since my superior isn’t around, I answer it.)

Me: “[Town]’s Public Library, how can I help you?”

Caller: “Hello. I would like to return a book.”

Me: “Okay, then, there’s two ways you can do that: you can bring it in while we’re open and we can check it in then or you can come and put it in the drop-box bin which we will check it in as soon as we clear it.”

Caller: “Can’t I just tell you the name and you could check it in now?”

Me: “No, ma’am. We have to have the book to check it in.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous! I have the book right here so you can check it in!”

Me: “No, ma’am. The book has to be back here at the library for me to be able to check it in.”

Caller: “You lazy workers, making me bring the book there when you could just check it in from here!” *click*

(At this time my supervisor comes back.)

Supervisor: “Were you just on the phone?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, and I’m am never answering that thing again!”

Handily Not Available

| NY, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I am working alone at night at a small town library. The town also has a prison nearby. A customer approaches the desk.)

Customer: “I’d like to order a specific book.”

Me: “What’s the title?”

Customer: “‘How to Use Your Hands as Lethal Weapons.’ The prison librarian would never order it for me.”

(I was relieved that I couldn’t find it for him either!)

Moan-et

| TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(We have a semi-regular customer who comes in with ‘research projects,’ generally meaning she wants someone to find all the best, cheapest books on a particular subject for her. Today, it’s Monet. I’ve already spent way too much time walking her through available and in print books on a busy day.)

Me: “So these are the only ones available in the store today, but we can certainly order any of these titles for you.”

Customer: “You don’t understand. It’s very important and I need them now.”

Me: “Well, we can get them in about a week, or you might try [Nearby Store]. Their art section is larger than ours.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to have to go there! Call and find out if they have the books.”

(I call our competitor and check:)

Me: “They do have a selection of books on Monet to choose from.”

Customer: *in great exasperation* “Well, can’t they just bring them here?”

Not Very Closed Minded, Part 10

, | Rexburg, ID, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(I’m the supervisor at a university library closing on a Friday night, when we close earlier. We have an irate student come to the desk five minutes before we close.)

Coworker: “How can I help you?”

Student: “I didn’t know you guys closed early on Fridays. I need you to stay open for me!”

Coworker: “Our hours are posted, and we don’t have the power to keep the library open.”

Student: “You don’t know anything! I want to speak to your supervisor!”

(I step in at this point.)

Me: “What can I do for you?”

Student: “I just started a test! I need you guys to stay open for another hour!”

Me: “Unfortunately, we don’t have the power to keep the library open past hours.”

Student: “You just don’t know you can do something! Well, I’m going to stay, whether open or closed!”

(The student stormed off, and security escorted him out at closing.)

Related:
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 9
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 8
Not Very Closed Minded, Part 7