If You Want A Book About Everything And Nothing: Settle For The Bible

, , , , | Right | November 30, 2018

(I work in a bookstore in customer service. I restocking a shelf when a customer possibly in her mid-20s approaches me for assistance finding a book.)

Me: “What can I help you find today?”

Customer: *currently browsing self-help books* “I’m looking for a present for my boyfriend.”

Me: “Did you have something specific in mind, or were you looking for recommendations?”

Customer: “Recommendations. I want something either for teenagers or adults. And it can be nonfiction or fiction. And preferably religious or non-religious. And that has a male protagonist. And it can be sci-fi, fantasy, or realistic. And it can either be a series or a single book.”

(So, basically the whole store.)

Me: “And how old is your boyfriend?”

Customer: “He’s a teenager.”

Me: “I can show you some of our more popular teen fiction series. Here’s one I’ve read that is my favorite and has a strong male lead.”

Customer: “He’s 25. Is this religious?”

Me: “Oh, uh, then he might not enjoy the teen fiction section. But we are the same age, and I still like some of them, particularly the one I showed you. I can show you our religion section, though. If you want something religious, it would be there. Is that something he’s interested in?”

Customer: “No. I don’t want religious, but I do. You know?”

(She takes the young adult books I recommended and follows me to the religion section, constantly mumbling to herself and repeating, “I don’t know,” under her breath and laughing.)

Me: “Here’s our selection of religious books. I’m not familiar with my titles in this section, but can find someone better equipped to help you.”

Customer: “No, no. This is not what I want. I don’t want this. Take me back to the other section.”

(I took her back to our young adult fiction section and let her browse, but told to let me know if she had any questions. I saw her later asking a coworker if a different book from our teen fiction section was religious. The worker told her no, and she screamed, “I don’t want religious!” loud enough for other customers to stop and stare. She walked away looking confused and ended up buying him a Bible.)

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