Wasn’t So Secret After All

| Chicago, IL, USA | Books & Reading

Customer: “There was a book on this table two months ago. It was black and said ‘FBI’ in red on the cover.”

Me: “Yes, I know that one.”

(I grab a copy of “Secrets of the FBI” and hand it to her.)

Customer: “No, not this one.”

Me: “Really? Because that’s the only book in the store that’s black and says ‘FBI’ in red on the cover. Also, it was featured on this table two months ago.

Customer: No, it was a different one.

(I pull up the list of books from that table two months ago.)

Me: That was the only book about the FBI on that table two months ago.

Customer: NO, it was a DIFFERENT ONE. You’re not LISTENING.

(Customer storms off, complains to a different employee about me not finding the correct book.)

Coworker: “I think I remember that book, wasn’t it ‘Secrets of the FBI’?”

Customer: “NO! NO! NO! GOD!”

(Five minutes later, while she’s leaving the store.)

Customer: “THIS IS WHY PEOPLE SHOP ON AMAZON!”

(About an hour later, we get a phone call from someone who sounds suspiciously like this woman.)

Customer: “Yes, can I reserve a copy of the book ‘Secrets of the FBI’?”

Moan-et

| TX, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

(We have a semi-regular customer who comes in with ‘research projects,’ generally meaning she wants someone to find all the best, cheapest books on a particular subject for her. Today, it’s Monet. I’ve already spent way too much time walking her through available and in print books on a busy day.)

Me: “So these are the only ones available in the store today, but we can certainly order any of these titles for you.”

Customer: “You don’t understand. It’s very important and I need them now.”

Me: “Well, we can get them in about a week, or you might try [Nearby Store]. Their art section is larger than ours.”

Customer: “But I don’t want to have to go there! Call and find out if they have the books.”

(I call our competitor and check:)

Me: “They do have a selection of books on Monet to choose from.”

Customer: *in great exasperation* “Well, can’t they just bring them here?”

Internet Killed The Radio Store

| Leicester, England, UK | Bizarre, Technology

(I’m working on the till when a customer approaches me for an enquiry:)

Customer: “I’m looking for [Environmental Report] that was published at the beginning of the week. Can you check if you stock it?”

Me: “Of course I can. That sort of thing will probably be with the political or academic books but I’ll just look on the system to see if we’ve got it in.”

(Customer has the exact title but it isn’t showing up on our system. This sometimes happens as the system is quite old and requires correct syntax. I look it up on the Internet and find that it’s available to download for free as a pdf.)

Me: “I’ve managed to find a record of it online, but neither our system nor Amazon is recognising the title which suggests it’s not been published as a book. Were you aware you could read it for free from the organisation’s website? Or download a pdf of it?”

Customer: “Well, I want a print copy. I don’t have the Internet and I don’t like reading off screens.”

Me: “That’s fair enough but, unfortunately, it’s not something that we will ever be able to supply. I’d suggest going to your local library if you don’t have Internet access at home. You can view it just by typing the title you gave me into Google; a free online copy is the first link that comes up.”

Customer: “But I don’t like reading on screens.”

Me: “The only alternative I can think of is for you to access it at the library and print it out, but it’s 40 pages long so it might cost a bit.”

Customer: “Fine. There’s another one I want that was spoken about on Radio 4.”

Me: “That’s fine, book reviews on the radio are easy to find. Do you know the title?”

Customer: “No it was on [Show] on Radio 4.”

Me: “Okay, that’s fine. Can you remember on what day?”

Customer: “No, just that it was [Author] and it was in the last fortnight.”

(The author’s name doesn’t bring up any results and I can’t find anything similar in amongst the reviews on that show so far in a very long list.)

Customer: “You must have listened to [Show]. It’s one of the best things on the radio.”

Me: “Sorry, madam, I only listen to the radio in the car and my family has always listened to Radio 1 in the mornings.”

(The customer is very shocked by this and keeps lecturing me on why I should be listening to her show. Radio 1 is all current music, while as Radio 4 is aimed at older middle aged listeners. After having no success, and getting distracted by the customer’s rant, I decide to search the BBC’s website as a last resort and tell the customer as such.)

Customer: “No, don’t bother. I’ll look it up on the Internet at home.”

(The customer then left the store without so much as a thank you, leaving a queue of other customers speechless.)

Should Go Back To Primary Level

| Liverpool, England, UK | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink

(I work in a small art and bookshop. We get a lot of students coming in to get supplies.)

Customer: “Hi. I’m starting an art course at the college and I need some brushes.”

Me: “Okay. We have lots to choose from over there.”

(I point to huge rack of brushes to my right full of oil, acrylic, and watercolour brushes.)

Customer: “Oh, I’m not quite…”

Me: “I can help you if you like? What sort of brush are you looking for?”

Customer: “Well, what sort of brushes are the other students buying?”

Me: “It’s up to you really. It’s sort of a personal preference. What do you like to paint with?”

Customer: “Primary colours.”

Me: “…”

(Something told me she probably won’t excel at art college!)