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Retail Staff Could Write Books On It

, , , , , | Right | June 3, 2021

I work in a small independent bookshop. Due to the current health crisis, it is recommended that any merchandise touched by customers should be quarantined for seventy-two hours before being offered back for sale. We have set a couple of large baskets in the middle of the shop, and there are hand sanitisers in several places along with large signs asking people to sanitise their hands and to only touch books they want to buy, and if they decide not to buy a book they have touched, to place it in the basket so we can quarantine it.

A customer comes in and browses for a minute or two, then pulls a book, looks at it, and puts it back on the shelf. I go over and take the book and drop it in the basket.

Me: “Hi, sir, if you touch a book can you please put it in the basket?”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Me: “If any books are touched, we need to quarantine them for three days. It’s fine if you want to look at books; just please put them in the basket when you’re done instead of back on the shelf.”

Customer: “I used sanitiser.”

Me: “I’m sure you did, but I’m afraid we still need to quarantine anything that’s been touched.”

He looks into the basket, which has about a dozen books in it.

Customer: “So what if I want one of those books?”

Me: “Well, if there’s one on the shelf, you’re welcome to buy it.”

Customer: “What if it’s the only one?”

Me: “It will need to be quarantined.”

Customer: “So I can’t buy it?”

Me: “No, I’m sorry, but any books in the basket are not for sale.”

Customer: “Well, that’s just stupid.”

Me: “Sorry, sir, it’s the rules.”

Customer: “What about this, then?”

He walks up to a shelf, rubs his hands over his face, and then rubs his hands all over all the books.

Customer: “Are you gonna quarantine all these, then?”

Me: “Yes. Yes, I am. Thanks for that.”

I started piling the books in the basket. He just stared at me and then left quietly.