Spitting Out Political Opinions

, , , , , | Right | July 7, 2021

It is 2010, around Presidents’ Day, and we have a big display of books about and by Presidents, including current President Barack Obama. I am politically liberal and have had a very long day.

Customer: “Excuse me, miss.”

Me: “Yes?”

Customer: “I hate to say it, but it looks like someone spat on this Obama book.”

I look, and she is sadly correct; there is a gross smear all over the book’s cover.

Me: “Well, that’s a shame, but I appreciate you letting me know.”

Customer: “What will you do?”

Me: “I’ll probably go spit on a Glenn Beck book to even things out.”

I thought I was doomed for a second, but she burst out laughing.

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My Mom The Old Hag(gler)

, , , , | Right | July 6, 2021

I go to a used bookstore sometimes to buy and sell books. One day, my mother, who isn’t the best customer, comes along with me to sell books. The owner goes through my books, and he sorts them into two piles, one which is significantly smaller than the other one. 

Owner: “I’ll buy these for five dollars.”

He gestures to the smaller pile. 

Me: “Okay.”

Mother: “Now, wait a minute. Why won’t you buy the rest?”

Owner: “There’s no room for them, they’re not worth much, and I have full shelves.”

Mother: “But she’s giving them to you for a decent price!”

Me: “Mom, it’s okay. We’ve been through this before.”

Mother: “No, it’s not okay. These books are worth more than five dollars! He should at least give you twenty!”

Me: “Mom, stop. These books are more than ten years old. He’s right; they’re really not worth much.”

Mother: “I still think he should give you twenty.”

Me: “Sorry about that, [Owner]. I’ll take a five.”

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Dust Off That Jacket For The Brain, Too

, , , , | Right | July 6, 2021

It’s a quiet weekday, around lunchtime, and I’m doing a shift at the cash register. I see a man in a business suit come in with one of our store bags and head in my direction.

Me: “Hello, sir! Did you have a return or exchange you wanted to do today?”

The man sets the bag on the counter and pulls out a hardcover book. The whole time he speaks to me, he’s perfectly polite and never raises his voice, but his tone shows his frustration and annoyance.

Customer: “Yes, I bought this book on Saturday, and when I sat down to read it, I found that it was bound upside down. I know I could just turn it over, but if I spend this much on something, it shouldn’t be messed up. So now I’ve had to use my lunch hour to come all the way back here…”

As he’s speaking, I slip the dust jacket off, see that the title stamped on the book’s spine is upside down, flip the book over, and put the dust jacket back on.

Customer: *Notices what I’ve done* “Oh, good grief. Am I the stupidest customer you’ve ever seen?”

Me: *Laughing* “No, sir, sorry. This is not even in my top ten! Since you’re here, maybe you’d like to stop by the café, so you don’t miss lunch?”

Customer: “Hey, good idea!”

He submitted a good survey for me!

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This Book Is Mein Now

, , , , | Working | July 5, 2021

When I’m thirteen, my family is on a trip together and we stop at a small village for lunch and some fresh air. My whole family is ethnically Chinese, and this whole village only has white people in it.

As we are strolling through town, my seventeen-year-old spots an old books shop and decides to take a look inside. I follow her in. As we enter, the bookshop owner looks up and just stares at us. He’s a bald old man that looks like the exact image of an “old, white academic.”

My cousin immediately spots a book she wants to read and pounces on it. I stand beside her and browse the bookshelf. It’s full of Nazi stuff, which my cousin is interested in. She does history in school and is really disappointed that finding surviving Nazi literature is difficult back home, so she is really excited to find their books, especially translated versions.

She reads it for five minutes or so before the bookshop owner comes up to us. He still hasn’t stopped staring.

Owner: “Are you enjoying that book, miss?”

Cousin: “Yes, I am. How much is it?”

Owner: “For you, sixteen pounds.”

My cousin nods and pulls out her wallet.

Owner: “Where are you from?”

Cousin: “Singapore.”

She passes him the bills, but when he takes them, he holds her hand for a very long time.

Owner: “Ah. China. It’s good that you’re learning a second language.”

Cousin: “Singapore isn’t in China. And English is my first language.”

Owner: “Of course.”

He is still holding her hand and staring right into her eyes. My cousin pulls her hands away, placing the money on a nearby table.

Cousin: “Uh, [My Name]. I think it’s time to go now.”

Me: “Okay.”

Owner: “No, please, stay. I’ve never met someone from China before.”

He reached out and tried to grab her as he said that. My cousin turned white as a sheet and batted his hand away with her book, grabbed my wrist with her other hand, and practically ran out of the shop.

There has to be some irony in a Chinese female using a Nazi book to defend herself against a racist creep, but at that point, we were too busy running for our lives to notice it.

We found my dad and aunt, and my cousin quickly filled them in and demanded that we get in the car and leave ASAP. My dad looked like he wanted to punch the bookshop owner’s teeth out, but my aunt had the car keys and overruled him, so we all piled in and hightail it out of there.

It was only an hour later that I realised that I was still holding the book I was reading before our hasty retreat, but my aunt and cousin were adamant that we were never stepping foot within a twenty-mile radius of that village ever again, so I wound up keeping the book.

And that’s how I stole my copy of “Mein Kampf.”

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A Classic Item In The Racism Catalogue

, , , , , | Right | July 1, 2021

I work in a fairly well-known bookstore chain in my country. I’m a fairly new hire, which means that I don’t have the authority to do some things, like ordering.

I’m standing behind the counter — not at the register because we only have one working and our manager is using it. A customer clears her throat loudly and I look up.

Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but this register doesn’t work. If you wait for a second, my manager can help you with your purchases.”

The manager is of Indian descent and very dark-skinned.

Customer: *Smiles nastily* “Oh, I was hoping you could help me, if you know what I mean.”

Me: *Gritting my teeth* “I can help you find something, sure, but this register doesn’t work. I can’t ring you out.”

Customer: “Oh, that’s okay. I need to find something.”

Me: “Sure, what did you need?”

Customer: “Oh, I want to know about a book in your catalogue.”

Me: “Sure! My coworker can help you with that.”

My coworker is also Indian.

Customer: *Sighs and taps her foot* “Can’t you help me?” *Brandishes a catalogue* “I want to order this book.”

Me: *Internally laughing* “I’m so sorry, but I don’t have the authority to do that. Let me get you my manager.”

I motion as if I’m going to get my manager, literally two meters away, but before I can, the customer huffs and storms out of the shop.

Me: *Under my breath* “And stay out.”

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