Too Young For “It,” Never Too Young For Reading

, , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2017

(I go to my local bookstore for the next installment of a series I’m currently reading. I find my book quickly and decide to browse the rest of the “Newly Released” shelves. The following two interactions happen within minutes of each other. A mother and high school-aged daughter stand beside me to look at the new releases.)

Mother: “Oh! I heard these two were both good!”

(I glance over and see she’s holding copies of “Everything, Everything” and “Before I Fall” for her daughter to see.)

Daughter: “Nah, I saw the movies already; I don’t need to read the books.”

Me: *eye twitches*

(Ten minutes later, a girl is walking by with her mother. She spots a display for Stephen King’s “IT” and runs over excitedly.)

Girl: “This one! I want to read this one!” *starts to pick up a copy*

Mom: “Oh, no! You don’t want that book. It’s scary!”

Girl: “But I like scary!”

Mom: “You’re too young to read that; put it back.”

Girl: *slowly puts the book down and glances over at me*

Me: *giving her a thumbs-up* “When you’re old enough to read it, you’ll love it!”

Girl: *smiles and follows her mother to the register*

(Faith lost a little and then restored in under twenty minutes!)

Exclusive To One Person Gets You Excluded

, , , , | Right | September 22, 2017

(I answer the phone over the lunch break at work. The CFL is the Canadian Football League.)

Customer: “Hi, I want to talk to the lady I talked to before about the CFL.”

Me: “I’m afraid it wasn’t me, but do you have the name of the person who was helping you?”

Customer: *snapping at me* “I don’t keep track of names!”

Me: “Okay, did you call earlier today?”

Customer: “No. It was like a month ago or something. Just find her for me.”

Me: “If it was that long ago, I really don’t know who that might be.”

Customer: “Well, just ask around!”

(I put him on hold and ask my coworkers at the desk. None of them remember talking to him.)

Me: “No one I spoke to seems to be the lady who you spoke with before.”

Customer: “Did you ask everyone?”

Me: “Well, sir, we have around thirty staff members. I don’t know which one might have spoken to you.”

Customer: “Oh, so, you’re like a big company then. Are they all there today?”

Me: “No. There are only about ten here today, and it’s lunch time, so there are only about five people available.”

Customer: “Oh. Well, my name is [Name] and my phone number is [number]. I want to talk to her about ordering a CFL playbook.”

Me: “Oh, all right. Could I possibly help you with that?”

Customer: “NO! I only want to talk to her!”

Me: “…All right, then. I’ll post a note with your contact information. Have a nice day.”

(The note is currently still sitting there, untouched.)

The Biography Of A Cheapskate

, , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a local bookstore that is part of an independent chain. Because we do not make as much of a profit as our competitors, we cannot heavily discount the prices of our books. I receive a phone call from a customer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bookstore]. This is [Name]. How may I help you?”

Customer: “Yes, hi. I was wondering if you had the new biography of Napoleon. I believe it’s called, Napoleon: A Life?

(I find the book on our new biography table, and it is quite the tome. I bring it to the counter and return to the phone.)

Me: “You’re in luck. We do have it. Would you like us to hold it for you?”

Customer: “How much does it cost?”

Me: “Looks to be forty-five dollars, sir.”

Customer: “Wow.”

Me: “I know, it’s a bit pricey, but it’s a big hardcover book, and I’ve heard it’s very good.”

Customer: “…do you happen to do any trade-ins at your store?”

Me: *not initially understanding the question* “Sir, the only trade-in we’ve done is a textbook trade-in, which we stopped doing months ago.”

Customer: “So, I couldn’t just come in and exchange another book for the Napoleon book?”

Me: “…No, sir. We don’t do anything like that.”

Customer: “Aw, man. Not even for a Complete Works of Shakespeare? It’s brand new!”

Me: “…I’m sorry, sir. You’ll just have to buy the book.”

(The customer proceeded to use the common argument that our competitors were selling the book for cheaper, and I reminded him that it was his choice to buy a cheaper book or support a local store. I hung up, shaking my head, wondering just how he thought he could get away with bartering books, especially when we have plenty of Shakespeare. The “Complete Works” book he had was probably nowhere near as expensive as the Napoleon book!)

Requires More Than “Regular” Skills

, , , | Right | September 19, 2017

(I work at a local bookstore in a city with a large transit center, which means we get a lot of “interesting” visitors and regulars. One regular, a Yosemite fanatic and quite the talker, comes into the store a little more hyper than usual. I am helping another customer, a middle-aged woman, while the regular cracks jokes and sings to my coworker at the register next to me.)

Female Customer: *to me* “That man is so annoying.”

(She tells me this in a voice loud enough for the regular to hear, but he doesn’t seem to notice. I remain professional.)

Me: “Well, ma’am, he’s a very nice regular.”

Female Customer: “I understand, but… he was in the travel section with me, just singing and talking to himself… and I just couldn’t… ugh!”

Me: “We do get some interesting people in this store.”

Female Customer: “I’m sure. You know what? If I had your job, I wouldn’t last two minutes.”

Me: “It takes some guts, ma’am.”

(It is only after I rang up her things and sent her on her way that I realized that this just might be the first time the customer actually acknowledged that my retail, low-wage job takes some skills, rather than acting high and mighty and like I was doing something wrong!)

Bringing In Some Punwood

, , , , , | Related | September 12, 2017

(I’m doing my shift at our family-owned store when my husband walks in unexpectedly with an armload of planks.)

Me: “What are you up to?”

Husband: “Oh, just lumbering around…”

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