Two Plus Deux

, , , , , | Right | June 20, 2017

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a book about the history of mathematics. Can you help me?”

Me: “Sure, do you want a book that’s in French or in English?”

Customer: “In mathematic!”

A Few Shades Of Grey Short

, , , , | Right | June 16, 2017

(An older lady customer with grey hair is being served by my coworker. I come within earshot just in time to witness this:)

Customer: *points to her head* “Just because there’s grey out here doesn’t mean there’s no more grey inside you know! I don’t appreciate being treated like I’m addled! I can think for myself, you know! My brain does still work!”

Coworker: *clearly taken aback* “Of course. I… I wasn’t trying to imply… I’m sorry, ma’am…”

(I’m wondering what the heck my coworker could possibly have said to set this woman off so badly, but she’s not done ranting yet… By this point my coworker has rung through the purchase: one book. We always ask if people want a bag when it’s a small purchase because a lot of people don’t; they’ll just carry it or put it in their own bag.)

Coworker: “So your total is [amount]. Would you like a bag for that?”

Customer: *looks incredulous* “Would I like a bag?! This is just ridiculous! I have NEVER had such horrible service in here! What is going on today?! Of COURSE I would like a bag! What ELSE am I supposed to do?!”

Coworker: “Well, some people have their own bags…”

Customer: *takes a big step back so we can clearly see all of her over the counter, and spreads her arms out wide in the air* “Do I LOOK like I have a bag?! Honestly! This is just ridiculous! I cannot BELIEVE the service in here today!”

Coworker: *handing over the now bagged book* “Here you go. Have a nice day, ma’am.”

Customer: “You, too.”

(Despite still sounding annoyed, she sounded sincere enough when she said “you, too”, which just made the whole thing even stranger. My coworker and I just looked at each other in disbelief as she left.)

Oh What Fools These Mortals Be

, , , , , , | Right | June 5, 2017

(I am browsing through a book shop when I see a boy run up to his dad clutching a book. From where I am I can see it is a complete collection of Shakespeare.)

Boy: “Dad! I found it!”

(The dad takes the books and looks at it.)

Dad: “Put it back. You just need one of the plays for school.”

Boy: “But it’s on offer; it’s the same price as Macbeth but it’s all of them, see?”

Dad: “It’s a waste of money. You shouldn’t buy collections. They’re just a way to get more money from you.”

Boy: “But it’s the same price as just the one–”

Dad: “Shakespeare will just release another book, and they’ll all have different covers and you’ll have to buy the new complete collection. Just buy the one you need.”

Boy: “But Dad, I really want this one.”

(When the two continue to argue, a member of staff who had previously been putting books on a display walks over.)

Staff Member: “Excuse me, sir. I couldn’t help but overhear. The collection is an excellent bargain; it’s half price today. And I can assure you there will be no other plays by William Shakespeare because he’s dead.”

Dad: “Of course you’d say that. You want us to spend more money.”

Staff Member: “It’s the same price as a book with just one of his plays in it and like I said, there is no chance of there being another Shakespeare play, or anything else by him for that matter.”

Dad: “Look, I know Shakespeare isn’t a real person. He’s like a mascot to get people to go see plays and make people think it’s good.”

(At this point I have to hide around the corner because I start laughing. I find what I am looking for and head for the register. As I get there, the dad and his son are being served. It looks like the dad has agreed to buy the collection but is still arguing because when I come within earshot of the registers I hear the cashier say:)

Cashier: “I’ll tell you what, sir. If William Shakespeare ever publishes anything else, I will refund you the full price of the book and give you £100 from my own pocket.”

(The dad walked away looking smug while the son kept his eyes to the ground, looking very embarrassed.)

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, , , | General | June 4, 2017

(During college, I used to go to a fairly large bookstore chain after classes or on the weekends before the chain closed down several years ago. More often than not, I’d start putting books that got left behind by other customers back on their shelves before I leave. There’s no real uniform requirement, so the only difference separating employees and customers is the radio, earpiece set, and apron. I was in the middle of putting away a stack of manga in the graphic novels section.)

Customer: “Excuse me, do you know here the automotive and cooking sections are?”

Me: *stares* “Uh…”

(The customer takes a couple seconds to take a good look at me before realizing that I lack earpiece and apron.)

Customer: “Oh, sorry! You looked like you knew what you were doing! I’ll go find an employee.”

(An ACTUAL worker comes up to me as the customer leaves. I went to this particular branch often that we recognize each other.)

Worker: *trying not to laugh, having overhead* “Other people still thinking that you work here?”

Me: *flabbergasted* “I don’t even have the apron or radio!”

They’ll Be Back, Mark Your Calendar

, , , , | Right | June 2, 2017

(I’m working as a cashier after the holidays and a woman with three young kids and a basket full of stuff comes up to me to check out.)

Customer: “Um, excuse me, but I would just like to mention that this will be the last time I will ever come into your store. I have been treated terribly by the staff here and considering I’m spending a lot of my hard-earned money here today I find that unacceptable.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, but that’s of course entirely up to you.” *I start to ring her out*

Customer: “It’s the stupidest thing… I ordered a calendar here six weeks ago and never received a call that it came in. Now today when I came to pick it up it isn’t here!”

Me: “Well, we don’t hold onto orders for more than two weeks for customers that haven’t pre-paid, unfortunately.”

Customer: “I know THAT, but I also would’ve known if it was in if someone had bothered to call me! The person who I asked even had the nerve to check that the phone number on my account was correct, as if I would ever give you clowns false information!”

Me: “I’m sorry you weren’t able to get it. I understand the inconvenience.”

Customer: “And then that jerk wouldn’t even check in the system to see if my calendar had been shelved and was still available in the store! She went and helped someone else. How dare she brush me off like that!”

Me: “Well, since it’s already into the new year and most of our holiday stock is gone, we no longer have any calendars in the store.”

Customer: “But she wouldn’t even CHECK!”

Me: “I get that you’re frustrated.”

Customer: “I think I’d better receive a discount!”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Customer: “I deserve to at least not have to pay so much after the way I was treated.”

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m unable to authorize any sort of discount.”

Customer: “Ugh, I knew you’d say that. Well, how about on these?”

(She waves a bunch of colored pencils she’s buying in my face.)

Customer: “At least discount these; the tips are all broken off of these.”

Me: “Erm… okay. I’ll discount them 10% on account of them being damaged.”

Customer: “Only 10%? Wait, that only covers the tax on these!”

Me: “Well, seeing as how they can be sharpened and repaired all I can really do is the 10%.”

Customer: “Ugh, fine. Just finish ringing me up; I’m so done with this terrible place.”

(She ended up paying with three gift cards and only ended up spending about $10 of her “hard-earned” money. I never found out which coworker had treated her with such contempt, but I did try to learn who it was so I could hug them.)

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