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Taking The Call Is Not Their Calling

| Vancouver, BC, Canada | Bizarre

(I work at a popular chain bookstore at Christmas time. I am calling one of the sister stores to see if they have a book a customer is looking for. The phone is ringing for a long time when…)

Caller: “Hello?”

Me: *taken a little aback by them not answering with “[Store] at [Location]. [Name]

speaking. How may I help you?”* “Umm… Is this [Store] in [Location]?”

Caller: “Yeah, but I don’t work here. I was just shopping and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing and it was annoying me.”

Me: “Oh! Um… could you… pass the phone to an employee?”

Caller: “Yeah, I guess so.”

(I stayed on the line for three more minutes. He never gave it to an employee.)

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Objectionable And Uninterruptable

| Manhattan, NY, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal, Popular

(An irate customer has found a book she objects to and is complaining to the cashier. Another customer in a suit and tie is quietly browsing books in the back.)

Irate Customer: “Hey. Hey. Hey, you. Why you stock this filth?”

Cashier: “I, uh…”

Irate Customer: “No. Listen to me. Get rid of this. It’s wrong. Okay? It’s wrong.”

Cashier: “We just have what people want to–”

Irate Customer: “NO. It’s your job to be a gatekeeper. You protect your customers. Take this off your shelves.”

Cashier: “I don’t choose what to stock. I–”

Irate Customer: “Fine. Manager. Where’s the manager?”

Cashier: “Wait, he’s—”

(The irate customer has already sighted the suited customer and zeroed in on him.)

Irate Customer: “Hey. Hey, you. You can’t have this in your bookstore.”

Suited Customer: “I don’t–”

Irate Customer: “Yes. Yes, you do. It’s right here.”

Suited Customer: “But I’m–”

Irate Customer: “You’ve also got [list of other objectionable books]. You have a duty.”

Suited Customer: “But I–”

Irate Customer: “Don’t give me that free speech garbage. You have a duty. A moral duty. Above the law.”

(As the angry customer keeps ranting, the suited customer wordlessly takes something out of his pocket and shows her. She lets out an ‘Oh!’ and hurries out of the store.)

Cashier: “What was that?”

Suited Customer: “FBI badge. Just in time for ‘above the law,’ too.”

Cashier: “Uh, she didn’t pay for her copy of [Objectionable Book].”

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Only I Have A Bad Feeling About This

| Washington, DC, USA | Bizarre

(The used bookstore where I work has a loading zone for customers that are selling books, which is clearly marked by striped pavement and a sign that says ‘No Parking: Loading Zone.’ We don’t often have many issues with this, but on this particular day a business in the same shopping center is having a convention, and the parking lot is packed.)

Customer: “I’m parked in your loading zone.”

Me: “Oh, are you selling books?”

Customer: “No, but the handicapped spot is full.”

Me: “That’s unfortunate; we do need to keep that space free for those customers who are selling books, though, so I’ll have to ask you to move your car.”

(The customer just walks off into the store, so that I have to follow her.)

Me: “Ma’am? Excuse me. I will need you to move your car. Our loading zone is just for those who are unloading books that they’re selling to our store. I can’t allow you to park there while you shop.”

Customer: “NO ONE BUT ME KNOWS HOW I FEEL!”

Me: *confused* “I’m not sure how that’s relevant, but I still need to ask you to move your vehicle.”

Customer: *points to her foot, which is in a walking cast, as if I am disputing that she is handicapped*

Me: “I’m sorry the handicapped spot was taken, but the loading zone is not a handicapped spot; it’s just for loading and unloading. If your vehicle is still parked there in ten minutes, I will have to call a towing company.”

(The customer storms off into the store.)

Customer #2: *who has seen me have to ask two other people not to park in the loading zone in the time that he’s been in the store* “What a day. ‘Only I know how I feel’?”

Me: *lifts my hands in an ‘I don’t know’ gesture before going to look up the number for the towing company*

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For The First Time In Forever, There Is A Good Frozen Joke

| NH, USA | Musical Mayhem, Popular

(It is the end of a Sunday shift at the bookstore, and a younger couple come up with their daughter. I tend to look very serious and deadpan, especially as I dress very formally for being just out of my teens, with a tie and waistcoat being very common. The customer places a book of ‘Frozen’ piano music that had been heavily discounted on the counter.)

Customer: “[Daughter] is going to love this. She’s needed more music.”

Customer’s Husband: “Yeah, but not looking forward to hearing Let it Go over and over.”

Customer: “I wonder why it’s so cheap, though.”

Me: *as I hand them the receipt* “Bribes from noise-canceling headphone companies.”

(They both looked surprised for a second, then started laughing as they walked out, telling me to have a good day.)

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Playing The Race Book

| Iowa City, IA, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Popular

Customer: “I’m looking for a book. I can’t remember the title or author, but it’s by an Asian woman.”

Me: “Do you have any more information? Unfortunately our books aren’t organized by the author’s race.”

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