What A Hálfviti

, , , , | Right | September 8, 2020

I’m a customer in line in front of another customer. I’ve just come from Iceland to visit my American family. One of my books is a travel guide to Iceland for my cousin. I pay and am about to pick up my books and leave when the person behind me speaks up.

Customer: “Oh, are you going to Iceland?”

Me: “Actually, I am Icelandic. This is for my cousin.”

Customer: “Oh, cool! You’re Icelandic? Your English is amazing!”

Me: “Uh… thanks.”

Customer: “So, what language do you speak in Iceland?”

Me: “Um. Icelandic.”

Customer: “Not Nordish?”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “Nordish. You don’t speak Nordish?”

Me: “I… I don’t think that’s even a language.”

Customer: “Don’t be ridiculous! Oh, maybe you don’t call it Nordish in Nordish language. Sorry, honey. I know English can be really hard sometimes.”

To this day, I still have no idea where I should have even begun in correcting her.

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Who Doesn’t Love A Good Book Burning?

, , , , , | Learning | September 7, 2020

I am behind the tills at a bookstore. A few schoolchildren from a high school come in and look around dizzily. I realise they’re with a teacher and have come from a trip.

Me: “Welcome to [Bookstore]; can I help you?”

Girl #1: “Yeah, where is Fifty Shades of Grey?”

Teacher: “[Girl #1]! You are not old enough for that!”

Me: “It’s okay.” *To the girl* “I’m sorry, but you have to be over eighteen to buy it.”

They leave. Then, [Girl #2] and [Girl #3] come up.

Girl #3: “Has the Hunger Games number two, like, got any sex in it?”

Me: *Bewildered* “No.”

Girl #3: “Can we have it, then?”

Girl #2: “I thought all books had sex in them now. Why are we buying it?”

[Girl #3] shushes her as they take the book from a pile on the side, pay for it, and go.

They giggle as they go. A few minutes later, the fire alarm goes off. After the children and the other customers and employees are evacuated, and a small fire is put out by firemen, one finds that a book in the garbage bin started it. It was coated in nail polish, shoved in with newspapers, and set alight. I recognise it as the book the girls brought.

Me: “Those girls set it on fire!”

Teacher: *To the girls* “IS THIS TRUE?”

Girl #3: “Well, it was a dumb book! And there’s no sex in it!”

Fireman: “What?!”

Girl #3: “And anyway, it’s a stupid book. Who cares? Everyone who actually isn’t a dork uses Kindle!”

Fireman: “Even if that is true, young lady, you began a fire in a public area, with people inside! You are so lucky the fire didn’t get more serious. You’re under grounds for prosecution!”

The girls are sent away in a police car. The next day, one of the other students from the school comes in. I prepare myself for more trouble, but she asks…

Girl #4: “Can I get a copy of TimeRiders?”

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Unfiltered Story #206296

, , | Unfiltered | August 30, 2020

I’m being served in a local bookshop. A man behind the counter answers the phone. The customer is screaming so loudly I can make out what he’s saying.

Man: [Bookshop], how can I help you?


Man: I’m sorry, sir, but you have the wrong number. We don’t sell readers here.


Man: Sir, as I have said, you have the wrong number!


Man: *agitated* Sir, this phone call really serves no purpose. You have the wrong number and I can’t help you. I am going to hang up.


Man: Well I fucking am. I own this shop, and I own this phone, so I am hanging up. Goodbye!

Me: … tough day?

Owner: You have no idea.

The phone rings again and the woman who served me answers it. I can hear the same caller screaming as I leave.

Good luck, guys…

Unfiltered Story #206222

, , | Unfiltered | August 26, 2020

(At the end of last year, we began giving away calenders that had coupons to our store attached to the back. They are good for 10% off your entire purchase for the 2 months that’s printed and can only be used once. This is all computerized. A middle-aged woman came to the register with a cart FULL of books. She handed over the coupons with this month already missing.)
Woman: I forgot my coupon for February. Can we go ahead and use March?
Me: No ma’am. It’s computerized throughout the chain, so the coupon won’t work until March.
Woman: Don’t you have a back up or something I can use? I bought two of your calenders but just forgot it today.
Me: No ma’am. The codes are specified. I’d need to see the coupon to be able to use it.
(The woman suddenly gets irate.)
Woman: This has never been a problem before! They just give me a discount everywhere else!
Me: I’m sorry, but I can’t. I can hold your books for you if you’d like to go get your coupons.
Woman: I don’t live here. I’m not coming back here either if you’re going to do this to me!
(The woman then pushed her cart to block my register, thus blocking other customers from approaching.)
Woman: I can’t believe you’d do this.
(She then left, leaving the cart full of books – a good 20 or so – there in front of the next customer. I then had to call another employee to get the cart and reinventory all of them.)

Unfiltered Story #206216

, , , | Unfiltered | August 26, 2020

I was ringing up a young woman with a few textbooks and making small talk with her. She told me about her doctorate degree and how specific I’d need to be when going for my Ph.D. in the next year or so in order to be accepted. The conversation didn’t last more than 30 seconds as she was also packing the books into her backpack. Behind her was an older woman looking at bookmarks and seemingly fine with waiting. Then she disappeared. When she came back, and the younger woman was gone, she had an associate of mine with her. My associate rang her up on a different register and waited for the lady to leave to talk to me.
Coworker: She came up to us at information and got really upset that there was only one register. She even threw her book at (our manager on duty) and demanded she check out there. I don’t know what her problem was!