Should Have Looked In The Phone/Book

| Edmonton, AB, Canada | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Technology

(I work at a large chain book retailer. We sell product online as well as in our stores.)

Customer: “Where is your customer service desk?”

Me: “The cash desk? It’s just behind you.”

Customer: “No, your customer service desk. I need to order a book.”

Me: “We don’t have a customer service desk, but I can help you find a book or order one if we don’t have it in stock. I will just take you over to one of our customer use computers.”

(I lead him over to one of the many computers on the sales floor.)

Customer: “Oh, you just order off [Large Online Competitor]?”

Me: “No, sir, our online orders are though [Company Website].”

Customer: “Not [Large Online Competitor]?”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “Are you sure it’s not through [Large Online Competitor]?”

Me: “No, sir. [Large Online Competitor] is our competitor and not affiliated with us.”

Customer: “Oh, so, do you sell electronics?”

Me: “Yes, we sell a few small electronics such as e-readers.”

Customer: “Do you sell cell phones?”

Me: “No, we do not.”

Customer: “Not even on your website?”

Me: “No, sir. Just e-readers.”

Customer: “But how do you know for sure?”

Me: “Sir, we are a book retailer. I can guarantee we do not sell cell phones.”

Customer: “Oh, so you’re not [Large Online Competitor]?”

Me: “No. This is [Company].”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I guess I’ll go home and order from [Large Online Competitor].”

Has No Sense And Sensibility

| CA, USA | Books & Reading

Customer: “Do you have any more books written by Jane Eyre?”

Coworker: “Oh, you mean Charlotte Bronte, who wrote the book Jane Eyre.”

Customer: “Oh! She’s the one who wrote Pride and Prejudice, too, right?”

Coworker: “…”

That Question Is On Thin Ice

, | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Food & Drink

(I work in the cafe of a national chain bookstore, where customers can help themselves to free ice water at the condiments counter.)

Me: *tidying up the condiments*

Customer: “Excuse me. Is this real ice?”

Me: “…what’s fake ice?”

Going On A Mission To The Mission District

| San Francisco, CA, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading, Geography, Language & Words, Religion

(Being in San Francisco, our store sometimes gets tourists, seeing as it’s local and family-run rather than a big chain. It’s a very slow day, and a couple walks in, identifiable as tourists from their southern accent.)

Customer: *walks up to me and begins speaking in Spanish, with a VERY heavy Anglophone accent*

Me: “Uhm… You can speak English if you’d like, ma’am.”

Customer: “Oh!” *seems pleasantly surprised* “I was just wondering, do you have any local Bibles?”

Me: “I could show you to our religious section, if you’d like?”

Customer: “No, no, I want a LOCAL Bible. I think the word is similar in Spanish. Your English is very good, by the way.”

Me: *somewhat confused* “Okay, I’ll show you a few from our selection.”

(I leave from behind the counter and take three different versions of the Bible from the shelf, and then come back to the lady.)

Me: *lays Bibles on the table* “Any of these?”

Customer: “No, no, I said LOCAL Bibles. These are in English.” *says something Spanish again*

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. English is my native language. And I don’t know what you mean by ‘local’ Bibles.”

Customer: *getting upset* “You live in San Francisco; of course you speak Spanish. You don’t have any local Bibles?”

Me: *giving up on arguing with her* “Do you mean a Spanish-language Bible?”

Customer: “No, I mean a LOCAL Bible. We need it for our mission trip.”

(I leave the counter again and this time get a Spanish Bible, which I bring to her.)

Me: “Is this what you’re looking for?”

Customer: “YES! Finally. Gracias.”

(The rest of the transaction went normally, and she left with her husband.)

A Deception For The Books

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(I am working in the children’s section of my bookstore. A father and his son, about five or six, come in and start browsing the books. I notice the child walk up to his dad with a rather expensive hardcover dinosaur book he had been reading.)

Child: *whispering* “Dad, I accidentally ripped a page in this book.”

(Sure enough, I look over to see a sizeable tear going half way up one page. The father turns his head and we make awkward eye contact where I give him a pained smile. Before I have the chance to say anything, he turns back to his son.)

Dad: “Well, buddy, that’s too bad, and you have to be more careful with things that aren’t yours. I guess we’re taking this home with us now.”

(Not expecting that level of decency, I am pleasantly surprised. The child, however, is not happy about this.)

Child: “What? No, I don’t want this one. I want another one!”

Dad: *shrugs* “Well, I’m sorry, but do you think any other kid is going to want this book now? We damaged it so we have to buy it.”

(The kid throws a bit of a fit but the father calmly repeats that they have to buy the book. They leave the section shortly after. I am really pleased with the father’s attitude, happy that he intends to pay for the book when many other parents would just cut and run. I tell a few coworkers about the customers and the incident lifts my spirits. However, half an hour later another coworker approaches me.)

Coworker: “Here, I just found this book wedged in the corner of my section behind a bunch of stuff.”

(To my dismay it’s the damaged dinosaur book! I guess either the child got his way in the end, or the father’s speech was all a show to fool me. Either way I was extremely unimpressed! We marked the book down to clearance and still no one wanted to buy it, just as the dad predicted!)

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