Unfiltered Story #167560

, , | Unfiltered | September 19, 2019

(A man comes into the book store carrying a huge box as well as a bag hanging from his arm, and heads straight over to me where I’m shelving some books. I’m a little tired and probably not thinking at full capacity, and so this exchange occurs)
Man: “Do you know what I need?”
Me: “More… arms?”
Man: “A slow cooker cookbook!”
Me: *taking a better look at the box in his arms and realizing it’s a brand new slow cooker* “Right, of course. This way…”
(Thankfully he had a good sense of humour, and he was very friendly and chatty as I helped him find a good cookbook. He made my day!)

Unfiltered Story #163301

, , , | Unfiltered | September 18, 2019

My husband and I own a second hand bookstore. There’s a small section of wall in the store that we decorate with postcards and pictures that we find in the books that come in. A man and his two sons, aged about six and four, stop to look at the pictures.

Man: Look, kids. There’s a sloth.

Four-year-old boy: Dad! That’s a red panda.

He was right.

It Will Be Two To Three Days Before They Get It  

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2019

(I participate in this bookish group and we send packages out to each other once a month. It’s kind of a cheer thing. One of the big rules is to not ship stuff directly from whoever just because that kind negates the cheer portion of things. Due to reasons, I have to go into a [Big Chain Bookstore] to pick up a couple of things so that I can get things out to my sister on time.)

Me: *approaches help counter* “Hi! I’m wondering if you could help me out?”

Employee: “Sure! What can I do for you?”

Me: “I’m wondering if you have some books in stock?”

(We go through a list of a few books. A handful aren’t available in store currently.)

Employee: “Well, we can ship these to you in two to three days if you’d like.”

Me: “Sorry, it’s going to someone else.”

Employee: “Oh! Then we can ship it to them!”

Me: “Sorry, it’s part of a box I’m trying to send out.”

Employee: “Oh! We can ship them to you direct in two or three days.”

Me: “No, sorry. I’m getting ready to go out of town and I need this to be ready before I leave.”

(We finally find a book that’s in stock in store. The employee walks over and helps me find the book. As she’s handing it to me:)

Employee: “Are you a member with us?”

Me: “Yep.”

Employee: “Oh! Did you know you could have this stuff shipped to you in two to three days?”

Me: “Yeah… I just didn’t have time to wait for the two or three days for this. I actually have some stuff on the way that was delayed so I’m coming up with a backup.”

Employee: “Did you order from us?”

Me: “No.”

Employee: “Oh! You should have ordered from us; we could have shipped it to you in two to three days, and then you wouldn’t have had to wait!”

Me: “Thanks for the help!” *walks away quickly to another part of the store*

(I get that they’re trying to drive business or whatever, but I’d already told her I didn’t want anything shipped to me or my friend and that I was aware of the two- to three-day shipping.)

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Not So Book-Smart

, , , | Right | September 10, 2019

(This is several years ago, back when there were two major booksellers, both beginning with B.)

Customer: “I need to return this book.”

(I take the book and look at it. It was purchased at the other major bookseller; it even has the price sticker with the other store’s name on it still on the back.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we can’t accept this return. This book is—”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Ma’am, this book is from [Other Bookseller]. We can’t accept a return that wasn’t purchased here.”

Customer: “There is no way you could know that!”

(I flip the book and show her the price sticker from the other store. She stares at it for a minute, then grabs the book out of my hands, peels the sticker off, jams it in her pocket, and hands the book back to me triumphantly.)

Customer: “There!”

Me: “We still cannot accept this return.”

Customer: “But now there’s no proof that it didn’t come from here!”

Me: “Ma’am, I watched you take that sticker off. I know this book is from [Other Bookseller], and I am not going to endanger my job taking a return that we both know you did not purchase from us. There is a branch of [Other Bookseller] literally across the street, and you can return this book there.”


(I call the manager. He comes over, and the customer tells him that I’m maliciously refusing her return, never mentioning where she purchased the book originally. Then:)

Customer: “…and I even have a receipt proving that I’m within the return timeframe!”

Manager: “Great. May I see it, please?”

(She hands him the receipt. The receipt that has [Other Bookseller]’s name and logo written in large letters across the top.)

Manager: “Ma’am, perhaps you didn’t remember that this book is from [Other Bookseller]?”

Customer: “I… well… You both sell books! You should both work together!”

Manager: “Ma’am, you wouldn’t try and return a shirt you bought at [Retailer #1] to [Retailer #2], would you?”


(She tried to argue for a few more minutes, but my manager shut her down, and she left with her book. I wonder if she ever crossed the street and tried to return it.)

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Upselling Is Downgrading

, , , , | Working | September 9, 2019

(Unfortunately, I am required to upsell the store’s discount card, the store credit card, and a seasonal fundraiser, plus inquire if the customer might need any gift cards, with every single customer.)

Me: “Good morning!”

Customer: *hands me two greeting cards and one paperback book*

Me: “And would you like—”

Customer: “You listen to me. I don’t want your stupid card. I don’t want to hear your spiel. I don’t care what you’re meant to say, I have exactly what I want right here, and I am not spending one penny more. So shut up.”

Me: “Well, sir—”

Customer: “I don’t want to hear another word out of you. Not. One. D***. Word. Understand?”

(I am eighteen and easily cowed. I sell him his cards and book in utter silence. About ten minutes later, during a lull, the assistant manager approaches.)

Assistant Manager: “I hear you didn’t offer someone the chance to purchase a discount card.”

Me: “He told me to shut up.”

Assistant Manager: “Oh. Well, you still should have—”

Me: “He told me not to say another d*** word.”

Assistant Manager: “Oh. Well. He might have wanted a gift card!”

(They eventually let it drop. I’d love to see how they would have handled it!)

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