Need To Lawyer Up For The Bookstore These Days

, , , , | | Right | June 9, 2018

(We have just had two of our busiest days of the year in our academic bookstore; it’s as if two Black Fridays happened back to back. We’re also short-staffed as a few people called out sick. It is 8:50 pm and we close at 9:00 pm. All is finally quiet and we’re trying to clean up, when I hear a coworker talking to a customer at the returns desk.)

Customer: “What do you mean, you’re out of the book for my class?”

Coworker: “We had several hundred customers today, so I’m sorry, but we did run out.”

Customer: “That is ridiculous!” *grabs a book with a similar name* “Is this my book?”

Coworker: “I’ll check.”

(He comes over to me and we check the course listing; it isn’t her book. It’s a supplement to the other section’s book. I tell him to have her place an order, and that we will get the book back in stock. He goes to tell her, and then she comes over to me.)

Customer: “Why do I have to order my book? Why would you just collect part of the book? What kind of a business is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but it’s been very busy.”

Customer: “I’m the only one here! You lie!”

Me: “No, ma’am, it was very busy, but you can place a web order—”

Customer: “I don’t care! What do you mean, I have to do a web order?! You order it for me!”

Me: “We will, but you have to do a web order to reserve it.”

(She demands we do a special in-store order, which is only for people with financial aid for their course books.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but you have to do a web order.”

Customer: “I can’t believe this! You make such a big deal out of answering the phone—” *she’s there in person* “—and you collect incomplete books and now you’re trying to hurry me out because you close too early!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we do close at nine pm, which is in two minutes.”

Customer: “Nine pm is too early! You have to understand, we are law students! We are in class until nine pm! And we have to get here at two pm to get parking!”

(We’re a city campus, it’s mostly street parking and as the bookstore, we have nothing to do with this.)

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry about that, but I cannot change our hours.”

Customer: “Stop yelling! You are being so rude and this is a terrible business!”

Me: “Ma’am, I am not yelling, but it is now nine pm, so have to ask you to leave if you continue to behave like this.”

Customer: “I am writing a formal complaint. I want all your personal details!”

Me: “My name is [First Name].”

Customer: “And what is your last name, and your address and phone number?”

Me: “I’m not giving you my last name. That is personal. The address and phone is [store info].”

Customer: “Argh! That isn’t what I asked for!”

(She finally flounced out, but not before telling another coworker that “that woman over there is mean and rude!”)

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