Ironic Irony

, , , , , | Working | October 8, 2018

(My sister has spent over thirty years in retail. As a present for her, I decided to buy a copy of “Pretending You Care,” a humor book about retail and the problems of retail workers. The bookstore I frequent doesn’t have any copies on the shelves, so I go to have it special ordered for me.)

Salesman:Pretending You Care? Oh, yeah, I read that one; it’s really good. It’s about how to drive sales by showing empathy with your customers, right?”

(Oh, I wish that I thought he was being ironic intentionally.)

Unfiltered Story #122324

, , , | Unfiltered | October 4, 2018

ME: “Thank you for calling [Bookstore]. This is [My Name], how may I help you?”

CALLER: “Do you sell pornography?”

(I can tell this is a teenage kid trying to prank me, but instead of calling him out on it, I decide to give great customer service.)

ME: “I suppose to depends on your definition of pornography, but we do have a sexuality section for books and several men’s sophisticates magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse. Is there something you’re looking for in particular?”

CALLER: “Are you down with that?”

ME: “I’m sorry, did you just ask me if I’m down with that?”

CALLER: (Obviously flustered that his joke isn’t working.) “Uh… no.”

ME: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

CALLER: “Uh… no.”

ME: “Thank you for calling and have a great day.”

Unfiltered Story #122313

, , | Unfiltered | October 4, 2018

(I am working at the front counter when a nonchalant-looking customer approaches.)

Customer: “Hi, I have a copy of ‘A Mastery of Love’ on hold for me?”

Me: “Of course! One moment.”

(I get the book and scan it for her. As the transaction proceeds, the customer suddenly appears to become more exasperated, even though I am not doing anything wrong. She gets snippy with me when I ask if she would like her card to be run as credit or debit, and proceeds to mumble furiously under her breath as I complete the sale. I think nothing of it until…)

Customer: *abruptly and nastily* So I get to be in debt because I have to buy insurance and pay bills, while some illegal immigrant gets to go to the f***ing ER and not pay a cent for it! Fantastic!”

Me: “…You try to have a good day, okay?”

(She leaves the store, and I have to take a moment to get over the shock. To this day, I don’t know what brought on that out-of-the-blue rant, or whether or not I did anything to inadvertently trigger it.)

Wish You Could Just Crawl Into A Hole And Die

, , , , | Right | October 1, 2018

(A young woman walks up to my desk in the bookstore.)

Customer: “Do you have any books on dying naturally?”

Me: “I’m pretty sure we have some in the self-help section. Let me show you.”

(As I’m taking her up to second level of the store, where we keep the non-fiction, I mention:)

Me: “You know, there’s a very interesting website called The Order of the Good Death, if you want to know more about that sort of thing.”

Customer: “Oh, that does sound interesting.”

(She pulls out a pen and paper, asks me to repeat the name, and writes it down.)

Me: “So, on this shelf, we have several books on palliative care and making decisions around the end of life.”

(The customer gives me an odd look.)

Customer: “I was looking for books on dyeing fabric…”

(Understandable mistake, but she must have really wondered why I was telling her about that website.)

A Book To Fall For

, , , , , | Right | October 1, 2018

(A middle-aged lady comes in to pick up a book she placed on hold, and starts browsing around a bit in the kid’s book section before checking out. A few minutes later, I glance towards the back of the store and see an arm on the ground. Running over, I see her flat on her back. She doesn’t appear to be breathing, and her eyes are open but not moving, even when I wave my hand in front of her face.)

Me: *hoping to God she’s not dead and trying to remember the CPR I learned in high school* “Ma’am, are you all right? Ma’am?”

(No response, not even a twitch, and now I’m almost positive she’s just dropped dead. I run to the nearest employee, not wanting to shout and panic the children in the store, and tell my colleague to call 911 before running back to the lady. I have no emergency medical training, and the most I can figure to do is try checking her pulse and starting hands-only CPR, which I know can break ribs, so I’m trying to gear up mentally for that. Luckily, by the time I get back to her, she’s blinking and looking around. Whew.)

Me: “Ma’am? How are you feeling?”

Lady: “Just a little dizzy.”

(She’s speaking very slowly, and seems confused and out of it.)

Me: “Are you all right? I think you just passed out.”

Lady: “No, I just got a little dizzy and fell down.”

Me: “Well, we’ve called 911, and there are EMTs on their way to check you out, just in case.”

Lady: “Oh, no… Please don’t call 911. I’m fine; I just got a little dizzy.”

Me: “You took a bit of a spill, and I’m not comfortable letting you leave without making sure you’re all right.”

Lady: “But I don’t need to go to the hospital.”

(We go back and forth, with her insisting she’s fine, even though she sounds concussed at minimum, and me insisting that they’re already on their way and she needs to be checked out. The whole time I want to shout at her, “Lady, I thought you were DEAD! You are talking to a medical professional come Hell or high water, if only so I can sleep tonight without worrying about you REALLY dropping dead in an hour from an aneurysm or something!”)

Me: *getting firm with her* “I’m sorry, but you need to be checked out by the EMTs. In the meantime, you stay lying down here and rest. Do you need anything? Can I get you some water or a pillow?”

Lady: *looking resigned and still pretty out of it* “No, I’m okay.”

(Desperate for something to do to take my mind off of this drama while waiting for the ambulance, I decide to at least tidy the area around her so I can keep my hands busy and keep an eye on her just in case. I bend over and pick up the book she dropped on the ground when she went down.)

Lady: “Oh, I still want the book!”

(Absolutely stunned, I set the book back on the ground next to her. The ambulance arrived a couple of minutes later, and when the EMTs helped her stand up to check her out, she passed out cold again. They ended up rolling her out of the store on a gurney and taking her to the hospital. But here’s the real kicker: a couple of hours later, after she’d been discharged, she came back in and BOUGHT THAT D*** “FINDING DORY” BOOK. Gotta admire the determination.)

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