This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 36

| Australia | Right | January 30, 2015

(My holiday job is at a small bookshop in my town. We have a gift card system connected to another major retailer of books and DVDs. One day a man attempted to buy $50 worth of books with a $50 gift card that had only $1 left on it.)

Customer: “I’d like to pay for these using this gift card.”

Me: “Certainly.”

(I take the gift card and glance at the back, where it is written underneath the original $50 that he’s spent $49 using the card and has $1 left.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but you only have $1 left on your gift voucher.”

Customer: “What do you mean? It says it’s worth $50!”

Me: “Yes, but you’ve already spent $49 in a previous purchase using this card.”

Customer: “But it says $50!”

(My boss realises that I have a difficult customer and she comes over to help.)

Boss: “I’m sorry, sir, but it seems like there is only $1 on your gift card. However, we will contact the [Other Retailer]’s help desk for you and just check that it’s not a mistake.”

(I call the help desk while my boss attempts to explain the concept of using up money on a gift voucher to the man, who still doesn’t seem to understand and continues to repeat that it says $50 on the back and that someone must be trying to trick him. The help desk tells me that there is, in fact, only $1 left on his gift card.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but there is actually only $1 left on your gift voucher.”

Boss: “I’m very sorry, but there’s nothing we can do.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Why would they write $50 on the back if it was going to run out?”

Me: “Because you can only spend up to $50 using this card once, just like using a real $50 note. Once you’ve spent it, it’s been spent and you can’t get it back.”

(The man paid the remaining $49 but continued to complain about the gift card for the entire purchase. To our relief he soon left, but was obviously still upset at the revelation that money was not, in fact, unlimited.)

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 35
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 34
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 33

Getting Crazier Organ(ically)

| Willow Grove, PA, USA | Right | January 23, 2015

Me: “[Bookstore]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hello, do you have any books about dogs?”

Me: “Yes, we have an extensive section all about pets.”

Caller: “Dog spleens?”

Me: “Um, we have a smaller section of veterinarian books, but—”

Caller: “COOKING dog spleens?”

Me: “Uh…”

(The caller finally broke into laughter in his own voice, revealing himself to be my boyfriend in one of his weird moods.)

Hashtag Generation Fail

| Toronto, ON, Canada | Friendly | January 20, 2015

(I’m in a small, quiet bookstore with a friend. We’re about to buy a stack of books when three teenage girls, 16 or 17, come in giggling and talking. I’m slightly irritated when they pick up a book.)

Girl #1: “Oh em gee! What is this book?”

Girl #2: “Who cares? Here, I’ll take one, too.”

(Girl #2 picks up a book. I’m a bit curious at this point, so I peek over my own book.)

Girl #3: “Hurry up, we need to go shopping!”

Girl #1: “Okay, okay! Hashtag calm down!”

(Now Girl #1 pulls out a phone, handing her book to Girl #3. Girls #2 & #3 are holding books and pose with them for a selfie.)

Girls #1, #2, and #3: “Hashtag nerd! Oh em gee!”

(They then put down the books and leave. I look at my friend.)

Me: “Did three girls just come in here, take a selfie with a couple books, and leave?”

Friend: “This generation is so f***ed.”

Store Owner: *woman in her 80s* “Yep.”

Prank Calls Of Urban Legend

| WI, USA | Right | January 19, 2015

(I’ve taken a lot of weird calls over the years and have looked up a lot of strange books and have always maintained a level of professionalism, but this almost broke me.)

Customer: *older male voice, with a slightly southern accent* “I’m a disabled veteran and need help getting some books.”

Me: “Okay, what are you looking for?”

Customer: “Well, I really like… uh… stuff with ‘urban’ women in them.”

Me: “Ooooookaaay. Um, we’ve got an urban fiction section.”

Customer: “Oh, good. See, I’m a disabled veteran, and I can’t move around that well, so would you pick some out for me?”

Me: *getting progressively more uncomfortable* “Well, I…”

Customer: “I like the urban books because I like black women. I like the way they smell.”

Me: “…uh.”

Customer: *breaks into laughter* “Sorry, [My Name], I’m just f***in’ with you. That was great though, you were serious the whole time!”

Me: “I hate you.”

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I Was Only Borrowing It

, | Kent, England, UK | Right | January 15, 2015

(I volunteer in a charity second-hand bookstore where all our stock comes from donations. A woman comes into the store.)

Woman: “Excuse me, do you have ‘The Book Thief?’ I can’t remember who wrote it.”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure. Let me check.”

(I ask a coworker, who knows the author. Once we have this we go to the fiction shelves, where the books are in alphabetical order by author.)

Me: “Sorry, we don’t appear to have it.”

Woman: “Oh, no! I need a used copy. I borrowed one off my friend and she wants it back, but my husband accidentally gave it to a charity shop and he can’t remember which one.”

Me: “We can have a look out the back, as we’re currently sorting out some stock.”

Woman: “Would you? Thank you.”

(I go out the back where shelves of books ready to go out are sitting. They are not in order so it takes a few moments to search, but luckily we have one.)

Me: “Got it!” *I hand it over*

Woman: “Thank you so much! This may even be the copy we donated.”

(We head to the till and she offers to pay as we are a charity.)

Me: *as she leaves* “Tell hubby it cost £20 to buy it back!”

Woman: *laughing* “Oh, he’ll be paying for this for a long time!”

(It was only afterwards that we realised the irony in losing a book called ‘The Book Thief!’)

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