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Lost In Translation, Part 2

, , , , , | Right | October 13, 2021

Customer: “I want a Bible that’s in English, not a translation.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. English, but not a translation?”

Customer: “I want the original Bible! I don’t want the New Testament Greek one you have. I want the original, but in English.”

I end up leaving him in the King James Version section.

Me: *While walking away quickly* “Let me know if there’s anything else I can do.”

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Lost In Translation

For Some People, If It’s Not On Paper, It’s Not A Book

, , , , , | Right | August 27, 2021

A young woman has come in looking for a particular title. I can’t find it in our system nor on the database, but after a few minutes, I am able to track it down. It turns out that this particular book was only published as an ebook and was never physically printed. My store does not deal in ebooks, so there’s nothing I can do.

Me: “Ah, looks like that one was never printed; it’s only available as a digital ebook online.”

Customer: “Oh, well, can you order it for me?”

Me: “Unfortunately, no, I can’t. You’ll have to buy a digital copy through [Website] or [App] if you want it.”

Customer: “Okay, but I just wanted to look at it before I buy it, you know?”

She isn’t upset or angry or being difficult in any way at all; she just genuinely doesn’t seem to understand the concept of an ebook. That said, I am fast running out of ways to explain it to her.

Me: “Ma’am, it’s only available as an ebook,  as in electronic. It was never physically printed.”

Customer: “I get that, but it’s an expensive book, so I want to look at it and make sure it’s what I need, so can you just order it for me?”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but it’s only available through digital download. I can’t get a physical copy because no physical copies exist.”

Customer: “Okay, but if you order it they’ll send it out, right? I’ve ordered books here before.”

This went on for a solid five minutes. I kept trying to explain that ebooks are ONLY digital and that, short of printing out the PDF, there was nothing I could do. She ended up leaving saying she would just look for it online.

Ah, Books: Gatekeepers Of The Intelligent, Apparently

, , , , , | Right | August 23, 2021

My first job is as a busboy when I’m in high school. It’s a small mom-and-pop bar/restaurant that’s sort of the dedicated hangout spot for all the suburbanites of the area.

One notable regular we have is a banker who routinely comes in during the later hours to get completely wasted. He’s sort of the condescending, know-it-all type that assumes he’s smarter than everyone else when he’s drunk, but he never gets too belligerent and he’s a great tipper, so most of the staff leaves him be.

On this particular evening, he’s going into a long-winded speech about how people in the service industry, teenagers especially, are uneducated; when I’m making a run through the dining area with a few empty plates, he beckons me over.

Banker: “Hey, what’s the last book you ever read?”

I respond without so much as missing a beat.

Me:The Count of Monte Cristo.”

Apparently, that completely takes him off guard as he sputters for a few moments while trying to come up with a proper retort, the bartender near him wearing a smirk.

Banker: “Well, what about before that?”

Me:The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.”

The banker frowned and returned to his drink, apparently admitting defeat as the bartender tried to suppress a laugh. Out of all the people he had to come at with that question, he managed to pick the only bookworm in the entire place.

Cute As The Dickens, Dumb As A Box Of Rocks

, , , , , | Right | August 18, 2021

I ordered a copy of “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens from a local bookstore because I wanted a certain edition. When it arrived, I went by to pick it up and had this conversation with the cashier.

Cashier: “Oh, I saw this book on the hold shelf. It’s big.”

Me: “Yeah, I needed this edition.”

Cashier: “Charles Dickens is the guy who wrote Moby Dick, right?”

Me: *Pauses* “No.”

Cashier: “Oh, I guess I’ve never heard of him.”

Me: “Everyone’s heard of Charles Dickens. Even if you’ve never read him, you’ve heard of some of his stuff.”

Cashier: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah, he wrote A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities…”

Cashier: “Ohhhhh… Did he also write The Count Of Monte Cristo?”

Me: “What?”

Cashier: “Well, that one’s big, too.”

Me: “Please stop. One, you’re embarrassing yourself, and two, you work in a bookstore; you need to educate yourself.”

Their Assumptions That Retail Workers Are Stupid Are Wilde

, , | Right | July 12, 2021

I work as a cashier at a grocery store. I have one degree and am in the middle of another; the bulk of my coworkers either have a degree or are working on one.

A snotty customer makes a comment about Oscar Wilde, but then adds:

Customer: “But you wouldn’t know who that is.”

Me:The Importance of Being Earnest? The Picture of Dorian Gray? Known for his witty one-liners? Yeah, I’ve heard of him.”

The customer shut up quickly and went about his business.