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This Manager Has (Book)Spine

, , , , , , , , | Right | May 28, 2023

We have a small LGBT section in our bookstore. A show about a gay teen romance (“Heartstopper”) is exploding in popularity on Netflix at the moment, so we’re cashing in by stocking the series of graphic novels the show is based on. They’re selling quite well, but as to be expected, there is always that one customer…

Customer: “Do you know what these books are about?! The ladies at my church told me you were selling these, but I simply had to see it for myself!”

Me: *Not giving a f**** “The ladies at your church have good taste! It’s a great book series!”

Customer: “No! It’s about [gay slurs], and what is worse, it’s made to look like a comic so it can turn children gay! You need to remove them, now!”

I call the manager over, who tries to speak to the woman in a calming and polite manner. The customer is still loud enough for me to hear, however.

Customer: “No! You will be removing these books, and if you have any concern for America, you will burn them!”

My manager speaks.

Customer: “Unacceptable! I will be letting everyone at the church know how much disrespect you show for the Lord and for America!”

The customer storms out, and the manager lets me know she needs a moment. I finish my morning and I go to lunch. I come back and find the manager in a flurry of activity, stocking books in our prime advertising spot near the entrance.

Me: “What are you doing?”

Manager: “That customer told me to take the Heartstopper books down, so I did. She never said anything about putting them back up somewhere else.”

I notice that our “newer” LGBT book section has now doubled in size, with a much wider selection of books in it than before. 

Manager: “So, I’m stocking every single LGBT book I can find! This place will be a f****** Pride parade in book form by the time I’m done!”

Every copy of “Heartstopper” we have is now on the shelf, along with the graphic novels dedicated to canonically LGBT superheroes. Books about Harvey Milk and a gay history of the USA share space with studies of gay art in ancient cultures.

By the next week, [Manager] has ordered in even more titles, and even though we can’t keep the new-and-improved LGBT section by the entrance for much longer, it still finds a new area in a prime spot and manages to keep it at its improved size.

A few weeks later, the manager tells me in passing:

Manager: “If they complain again, I will tell them that every complaint gets an extra shelf space added to the LGBT section.”

I have since left the store, but the section is still there and healthy every time I go in to browse the books.

Also, that customer made me look into — and buy — every volume of “Heartstopper”! Thanks for the recommendation, lady!

A Textbook Case Of Amazon Fever

, , , , , , | Right | May 26, 2023

I work at a university textbook store. Our return policy on textbooks is super strict; we take returns on books for the first week of class only. The second Tuesday of class, no more, with the exception of a student dropping a class or exchanging a wrong book for the correct one.

A student comes in over a month after classes have started and slams a textbook on the counter.

Student: “I want to return this.”

Me: “Have you dropped the class, or is it the wrong book?”

Student: “No and no.”

Me: “Our return policy means that you can’t return it.”

Student: “But I got a cheaper copy online!”

Me: “That’s the exact reason why we have our return policy in place.”

Student: “But a week isn’t enough time to get books in from Amazon!”

Me: “We’re not a library. It’s not our responsibility to lend you books.”

Student: “You will do a return!”

Me: “No.”

Student: “You will be receiving a call from my mother.”

Me: “Best call her immediately then, so that she can explain why her nineteen-year-old son needs her to fight his battles.”

We never got the call.

You Can’t Make This Up, Part 2

, , , | Right | May 24, 2023

A twenty-something-year-old woman comes up to me.

Customer: “What do you call the stuff that they write about that didn’t actually happen?”

We were standing in the fiction section, with big signs everywhere.

You Can’t Make This Up

Places You Don’t Expect To Find A Transphobe: A Bookstore

, , , , , | Right | May 23, 2023

I work at a bookstore as I thought it would be the perfect workplace for a bookworm like me. My manager bends over backward to kiss the a**es of the customers and then constantly berates the staff when that causes problems in the long run.

I’ve been there for half a year and realized it’s not getting better, so I’m seeking employment elsewhere. A new bookstore opens in the city, and after a couple of weeks, I decide to pay it a visit — mostly to browse their selection.

As I step in, I’m greeted by a worker whose face and voice are both very androgynous.

Worker: “Welcome to [Bookstore]! Can I help you find anything?”

Me: “I’ll be good, thanks. Just looking to browse.”

Worker: “All right. If you need assistance, let me know.”

They turn back to what seems to be an abandoned pile of books. I go to browse for a moment, and I soon hear this.

Worker’s Voice: “Welcome to [Bookstore]! Can—”

Man’s Voice: “Go f*** yourself, [trans slur].”

I look up to see [Worker] holding their arm out to block a young-looking man, their customer service smile gone.

Worker: “Aaaand you’re not welcome here.”

Young Man: “What the f*** is wrong with you? Get me your manager!”

An older man in a suit approaches from across the store.

Young Man: “Tell your f****** employees to—”

Suit: “No. Get out of my store.”

Young Man: “Excuse me?”

Suit: “I heard the way you addressed my employee. Get out of my store, or I’ll have you trespassed.”

Young Man: “F*** the lot of you!”

The young man storms out of the store. I approach [Suit] with admiration.

Me: “Are you guys hiring?”

We Now Pronounce You… Just Get Out

, , , , , | Right | May 22, 2023

I work in a small bookstore. We’re very cozy with a good atmosphere. We also have a lot of unvarnished cedar to drive away moths.

One day, we got a request to use our space to host a wedding. The bride and groom met as part of a book club and loved reading. The owner was charmed by the request and offered the space for free.

It… didn’t go as well as the owner hoped. The bride and groom were… reasonable. They weren’t a**holes or anything. But they had needs for the event, and those needs were incompatible with running the store.

There was endless rearranging. We had to move tons of books and shelves to make space for the wedding. When the wedding was over, the guests didn’t clean up, and they left a great deal of mess — rice, streamers, spilled champagne, cake frosting wiped on the spines of books, etc. We wound up having to shut the shop for three days before the wedding and five more after for cleaning and resetting the store.

After the whole event was over, I asked the owner what their thoughts were.

Owner: “My thought is that if anyone wants to do a wedding in my bookstore again, I’m charging seven thousand, non-refundable.”