Mad About Madeline

, , , , , , | Related | November 15, 2017

(A father and daughter walk into the library with an armful of books.)

Father: “Hi. You accept donations, right?”

Me: “Sure, as long as they are in good condition and are not textbooks or phone books.”

(I go through the small stack, sorting them into children’s, adult fiction, etc, as well as pulling out a tablet case.)

Father: “You can just sell that or something.”

Me: “Sure.”

Me: *jokingly to the daughter as I pull a Madeline picture book out of the stack* “Are you sure you wanted to give this to us?”

Daughter: *alarmed* “NO! Nobody said we were going to give this to you!”

(She grabbed it from my hand and bolted for the doors. I apologized to her father, waited until they were out of sight, and only then began laughing.)

Hello Happy!

, , , , , , | Related | November 13, 2017

(My mom is a children’s librarian and is in charge of creating read-along programs for the kids. As she has partial hearing loss, she is not a big music fan, save for her kids’ songs she learns for her programs. I am visiting her at work one day when I see a picture book by Pharrell Williams with the words to his song “Happy.”)

Me: “Hey, Mom, did you see this? I know you’ve heard the song somewhere along the way. That’d be kind of cool for one of your programs!”

(I flip through the book, kind of humming the tune, while my mom tries to place it. She also flips through the book, mulling the idea over.)

Mom: “I don’t know who Pharrell Williams is. Is he popular in today’s music? Would the kids recognize the song?”

Me: *laughing* “I definitely think the kids would recognize the song. And yes, he is pretty popular, or at least some of his songs are. About as well-known as Adele.”

Mom: *blank stare* “Adele? Who’s he?”

Your Story Can’t Hold Water (Damage)

, , , , , , | Right | November 9, 2017

(A water-damaged junior book has been returned via the overnight returns. I call the customer to let them know about the charges, but they wish to come in the next day to inspect the book. The book is still wet and smells strongly of chlorine. The next day the father comes in with the daughter and asks to see the book. I go and get it and he looks it over. The book is still damp.)

Father: “I just cannot see her doing this to a book. She must have borrowed it like this.”

Me: “It is extremely unlikely that we had a book on our shelves that was wet. In addition, for it to stay wet for the whole four weeks that you had it out would be very strange.”

Father: “She gets A’s; she’s a good student. Sweetheart, tell the librarian about your spelling tests.”

Girl: “I always get 100%.”

Me: “That’s really great; however, the book was returned water-damaged—”

Father: “Sweetheart, you tell the librarian that you didn’t do this.”

Girl: “I didn’t do it on purpose.”

Me: “Did it happen by accident?”

Girl: “It was in my swimming bag and I kind of put my wet bathers on top, but I forgot it was in there.”

Me: “Sometimes accidents like this happen.”

Father: “No, you didn’t, sweetheart; you wouldn’t do that.”

Girl: “I did, though.”

Father: “Well, what is the charge?”

Me: “$12.50.”

Father: “That’s outrageous; I could get this book for $1!”

Me: “If you can source a brand new copy of this book for $1, then by all means, we can accept that instead of payment.”

Father: “You just wait. $1!”

(That was a month ago. I’m still waiting.)

Lawyers Live In A Fantasy World

, , , , | Right | November 7, 2017

(A customer comes up to my till to buy a John Grisham book.)

Customer: “Oh, these books are so good!”

Me: “That’s great. I hope you enjoy this one.”

Customer: “Didn’t John Grisham publish books under another name?”

Me: “I don’t know. Not that I know of.”

Customer: “Why don’t you know?”

Me: “I just haven’t heard that. Plus, I don’t read John Grisham, so…”

Customer: “What? How can you even work at a bookstore if you don’t read John Grisham?”

Me: “Um, because I read other stuff.”

Customer: “Like what?”

Me: “Like fantasy.”

Customer: “Fan… ta… sy? Fantasy?”

That Customer Was Bad Economics

, , , , , , | Right | November 6, 2017

(I am a customer in this story. I am looking for a book for class. Seeing that the only employee at the help desk is already assisting a customer, I go to search for the book on my own. Unsuccessful, I return to the desk ten minutes later to see the same customer still there. He is speaking very slowly, as if half-asleep.)

Customer: “I’m sure you have it. It’s supposed to be a very good book.”

Employee: “I’m sure it is, but nothing is coming up in my search. Are you sure you can’t remember the title?”

Customer: *ignoring question* “Economics. It’s about economics. The lecture was very interesting.”

Employee: “Well, we have a lot of books on economics. How about [Book #1]? That one is very popular.”

Customer: “No, no. It was in the lecture. That’s not it. He mentioned it and I want to read it.”

Employee: “Yes, I understand, but unfortunately I won’t be able to find that exact book if you don’t know the title, author, or specific subject matter.”

Customer: “Economics. Bad economics. Like monsters. Monsters in the economy…” *begins talking about current economic events*

(This goes on for another agonizing eight to ten minutes, and I’m torn between laughing and being extremely annoyed, but I am incredibly impressed at the employee’s patience. Another employee finally comes to the desk to assist me, and is able to confirm within 30 seconds that the book I’m looking for is out of stock. Just as I’m about to leave, I hear:)

Employee: “Sir, what about [Book #2]? I searched for recent lectures on economics and this book came up. Does [Book #2] sound familiar?”

Customer: “No… Well, yes. That could be it. That might be it. Yes. That was the book.”

Employee: “Fantastic! We don’t currently have it in stock, but I can order it for you and it will be here by the end of the week.”

Customer: “Oh, no. No, I don’t want to buy it. I just wanted the title. I’ll go find it at the library.” *leaves without saying thank you*

Employee: *slowly lowers head onto desk*

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