Locked On That Reading List

| Right | January 30, 2015

Customer: “I have some books on hold.”

(I find the three books, give them to her, and watch as she walks to a chair nearby to read. I keep an eye on her while helping other customers checkout before my manager announces that the store has officially closed. I look over to see that the customer has left two of her books on the ground and is looking at the bookmarks. Thinking she didn’t hear the announcement, I ask if she is ready for final checkout.)

Customer: “Yeah, I’m ready.” *walks over and puts down a ‘For Dummies’ computer book*

(I scan the book and hand her the receipt along with a short ‘suggested reading’ list that our computer automatically prints with every transaction. I turn to start shelving books but notice that the woman is holding the ‘suggested reading’ list in front of her face scrutinizing it with a scrunched up angry face.)

Customer: “What is this?”

Me: “Ma’am, that is some suggested titles that the computer thinks that you would enjoy based on your purchase today.”

Customer: “Why didn’t you tell me that you had these books in your store when I called in earlier?” *slams the list down*

Me: *stares at her and blinks once* “The books on that list aren’t necessarily books we have in the store. It’s just a general list of titles that you might be interested in.”

Customer: “When I called in earlier, you said that you had only three books on this subject! Now you tell me that you have these books too?”

Me: “I don’t know if we have these books, ma’am. I would have to look them up.”

Customer: “You don’t know? How can you not know? Get me someone who does know something!”

(I see my manager walking over and wave for him to handle the customer.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem, ma’am?”

Customer: “When I called in twenty minutes ago, I was told that you only had three books on this subject! And now this girl here tells me that there’s more books on this subject and I demand that you find them for me!” *brandishes the list in front of my manager*

Manager: “Ma’am, this is a suggested titles list. This doesn’t mean that we have them in the store. It’s possible to look for these books but—”

Customer: “Well I demand that you go find these books for me! I’m a paying customer and I have the right for you to serve me!”

Manager: “You do have the right for us to help you but it will have to be another time. The store is closed.”

Customer: “WHAT?!”

Manager: “The store is closed, ma’am. It has been closed for ten minutes now. The only things we are allowed to do is ring you out and wish you a pleasant evening.”

Customer: “I want you to find these books for me!”

Manager: “I’m sorry but the store is closed. I have to lock the store up for the night so that we can organize the store again.”

Customer: “This is false advertising!”

Manager: “Ma’am, I can’t even guarantee that we have these books in our store. It’s a suggested titles list not an inventory list. It is also very late and I need to lock up the store.”

Customer: “I demand to speak to a manager!”

Manager: “I am a manager, ma’am.”

Customer: “Well, then I want a phone number that I can call so that I can complain about this terrible service!”

(My manager gives the woman the phone number to our customer service line. She takes the paper smugly and shoves it into her book. My manager gestures towards the door, opens it for her, and waits for her to leave.)

Customer: *as she is leaving* “You better lock up! LOCK UP!”

(My manager eventually locks the door and sighs.)

Me: “…I don’t know how you managed to stay cool like that but that was awesome.”

Manager: “The crazy ones are always the ones here the latest. You get used to it.”

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