Internet Killed The Radio Store

| Right | March 29, 2015

(I’m working on the till when a customer approaches me for an enquiry:)

Customer: “I’m looking for [Environmental Report] that was published at the beginning of the week. Can you check if you stock it?”

Me: “Of course I can. That sort of thing will probably be with the political or academic books but I’ll just look on the system to see if we’ve got it in.”

(Customer has the exact title but it isn’t showing up on our system. This sometimes happens as the system is quite old and requires correct syntax. I look it up on the Internet and find that it’s available to download for free as a pdf.)

Me: “I’ve managed to find a record of it online, but neither our system nor Amazon is recognising the title which suggests it’s not been published as a book. Were you aware you could read it for free from the organisation’s website? Or download a pdf of it?”

Customer: “Well, I want a print copy. I don’t have the Internet and I don’t like reading off screens.”

Me: “That’s fair enough but, unfortunately, it’s not something that we will ever be able to supply. I’d suggest going to your local library if you don’t have Internet access at home. You can view it just by typing the title you gave me into Google; a free online copy is the first link that comes up.”

Customer: “But I don’t like reading on screens.”

Me: “The only alternative I can think of is for you to access it at the library and print it out, but it’s 40 pages long so it might cost a bit.”

Customer: “Fine. There’s another one I want that was spoken about on Radio 4.”

Me: “That’s fine, book reviews on the radio are easy to find. Do you know the title?”

Customer: “No it was on [Show] on Radio 4.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. Can you remember on what day?”

Customer: “No, just that it was [Author] and it was in the last fortnight.”

(The author’s name doesn’t bring up any results and I can’t find anything similar in amongst the reviews on that show so far in a very long list.)

Customer: “You must have listened to [Show]. It’s one of the best things on the radio.”

Me: “Sorry, madam, I only listen to the radio in the car and my family has always listened to Radio 1 in the mornings.”

(The customer is very shocked by this and keeps lecturing me on why I should be listening to her show. Radio 1 is all current music, while as Radio 4 is aimed at older middle aged listeners. After having no success, and getting distracted by the customer’s rant, I decide to search the BBC’s website as a last resort and tell the customer as such.)

Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll look it up on the Internet at home.”

(The customer then left the store without so much as a thank you, leaving a queue of other customers speechless.)

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