Double Standards Of Ignorance

, , , , | Right | June 11, 2018

(I work in a bookstore. I’m working the information desk with my male coworker — I’m female. He’s on the phone when an older gentleman walks up to the desk.)

Me: “Hello, how may I help you?”

Customer: “I’d rather wait until he’s done and ask him.” *gestures to my coworker*

Me: “All right, but it might be a bit of a wait. Are you sure I can’t at least get you started?”

Customer: *sneering* “I doubt it, but all right.”

(He then proceeds to explain that he has only the vaguest notion of what the book is about, doesn’t know the title or the author, and can’t give me much to go on. At the time, we don’t have access to the Internet on our computers, just our inventory, so unless we are familiar with the book the customer is describing, it will be a miracle to find it.)

Me: *after searching every which way I can think of in our inventory, spending a good five minutes trying to tease more out of him* “I’m terribly, sorry, sir, but with the limited information you’ve given me, I’m afraid I just can’t find the book you’re looking for. Would it be possible for you to get the title or the author? You can always call us if you’d rather not make another trip here.”

Customer: *smirking now* “See, I knew you’d be no help. I’ll just wait for him.”

Me: “That’s fine, sir.”

(My coworker gets off the phone and the old man goes over to him and gives him the same limited information he gave me.)

Coworker: *shrugging* “No clue what you’re talking about. We can’t find it if you don’t give us the title or something.”

Customer: “That’s quite all right, son. Thank you for your help.”

Me: *speechless*

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