I Was Only Borrowing It

, | Kent, England, UK | Books & Reading

(I volunteer in a charity second-hand bookstore where all our stock comes from donations. A woman comes into the store.)

Woman: “Excuse me, do you have ‘The Book Thief?’ I can’t remember who wrote it.”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure. Let me check.”

(I ask a coworker, who knows the author. Once we have this we go to the fiction shelves, where the books are in alphabetical order by author.)

Me: “Sorry, we don’t appear to have it.”

Woman: “Oh, no! I need a used copy. I borrowed one off my friend and she wants it back, but my husband accidentally gave it to a charity shop and he can’t remember which one.”

Me: “We can have a look out the back, as we’re currently sorting out some stock.”

Woman: “Would you? Thank you.”

(I go out the back where shelves of books ready to go out are sitting. They are not in order so it takes a few moments to search, but luckily we have one.)

Me: “Got it!” *I hand it over*

Woman: “Thank you so much! This may even be the copy we donated.”

(We head to the till and she offers to pay as we are a charity.)

Me: *as she leaves* “Tell hubby it cost £20 to buy it back!”

Woman: *laughing* “Oh, he’ll be paying for this for a long time!”

(It was only afterwards that we realised the irony in losing a book called ‘The Book Thief!’)

(Two Can) Play At That Game

| Boston, MA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink, Pets & Animals

(This guy comes in roughly every other day, and buys one can of cat food at a time.)

Customer: “Do you have any more [Brand] cat food?”

Me: “There’s none on the shelf?”

Customer: “No, I just want the new ones.”

(I look at the delivery that just came in, and see the cans he want are on the very BOTTOM of a stack of about 15 cases.)

Me: “I am NOT moving all of those cases for one can.”

Customer: “Fine, I’ll buy four.”

(I move all the cases, causing a landslide in the process.)

Customer: “Never mind, I’ll just get two cans.”

Hamming Up The Translation

| Orlando, FL, USA | Language & Words

(One of my coworkers is Turkish, but because of her skin tone, she is often mistaken for Hispanic.)

Customer: *in Spanish* “Can you get me some ham?”

Coworker: “Sorry, I don’t speak Spanish.”

Customer: *in Spanish* “Don’t lie to me, you b****. I want some ham right now!”

Me: *in Spanish* “I can help you, sir.”

(He looks at me with bewilderment, obviously not expecting a white person to be able to speak Spanish.)

Customer: “Sorry, I no speak English.” *to my coworker, in Spanish* “I told you to get me some ham!”

Coworker: “I don’t understand, sir. I not Spanish; I am from Turkey.”

Me: *in Spanish* “She doesn’t speak Spanish, sir. She’s actually from Turkey. I can get you some ham if you’ll tell me what kind you want.”

(He slams both hands down hard on the counter.)

Customer: *in English* “What kind of store is this?! The Spanish person doesn’t speak Spanish but the white person does?! I’m not shopping here!”

(He stormed out of the store, almost breaking the glass door.)