Let Me Walk You Through How This Works

, , , , | Right | July 27, 2020

The bookstore I work in has a rather large kids’ section stocked with toys as well as books. We often have events for the kids in that area, but one day, I show up to work to see an event happening out front, near the entrance. A guy in a mascot suit is there to promote an upcoming kids’ movie and the accompanying picture book. He’s got two ladies with him, inviting children to take pictures with the mascot and colour pictures and stuff. The ladies are wearing T-shirts with the movie’s logo on it and jeans, which are not the bookstore’s limited dress code.

A little way into my shift, a woman approaches me.

Customer: “Can you show me where your humour books are?”

Me: “Sure! They’re towards the back, so I’ll take you there.” *Starts walking*

Customer: “Please don’t walk so fast! I fractured my pelvis.”

Me: “Oh, dear! I’m sorry.” *Slows down*

Customer: “I didn’t bring a walker, because I took the bus, and they’re always judging you, the people on the bus, for taking up too much space with your walker.”

I am also a bus person, but I have never had a problem with walkers.

Me: “I see.”

Customer: “I didn’t take any pain killers, either, because—”

She mumbles something that I can’t make out.

Me: “The humour books are over here. Is there a particular author or title you were looking for?”

Customer: “No, I’m just going to browse. Do you have a chair? I want to sit down.”

Me: “Absolutely! We have some… somewhere. I’ll go find one for you and bring it over.”

I find a chair at the other end of the store and carry it back.

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’ll leave the chair right here for you. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “No, I’m just going to look for a bit.”

Me: “Okay!”

I head off to do other things. A few minutes later, the same woman approaches me at the front of the store.

Customer: “Could you help me find the British design magazine?”

She doesn’t have the title; she just knows that it is a British interior design magazine. We have zero control over our magazine stock. Someone in another part of the country decides what titles we’ll get and how many. We can’t even look them up in the computer to see if we have stock, or if other stores have a certain title.

Me: “Sure, let’s go over and take a look.”

I lead the customer past where the mascot and his attendants are working.

Customer: *Snottily* “I asked those girls, but they didn’t know.”

Me: “Well, they don’t work here.”

Customer: “That’s what they said! They shouldn’t be here!”

Me: “They’re here with [Mascot].”

Customer: “Oh.”

No, we did not have the magazine she was looking for.

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Take A Second Look

, , , , | Working | July 26, 2020

For clarification, in Slovenia, you have nine grades of primary school, four years of high school, and upwards of three years of university.

I am browsing a book fair and come across some digital biology textbooks for primary school. I go over to look at them as they are something new at this point and I am always interested in biology. Up comes a salesman.

Salesman: “Oh, hi, I see you’re interested in our textbooks!”

He starts explaining everything about them, how useful they are supposed to be and such.

Salesman: “And they are a great addition in preparation for external exams!”

Don’t ask me why, but this is what final exams in ninth grade are called.

Me: “Umm, well, thanks for the presentation, but I’m kind of too old to use this.”

Salesman: “Well, what year are you?”

Me: “Second.”

Salesman: “You can still use them! Everything in here is up to date and is useful for even children in first or second year—”

Me: “Of university.”

He couldn’t get away from me fast enough. I was twenty at the time and looked like it.

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Will Get Your Blood Boiling

, , , , | Right | July 24, 2020

Our phone number has apparently been misprinted in the phone book as a heating repair company. My coworker has a very thick accent, so it is sometimes hard to understand him.

Coworker: “We just had a phone call from a guy looking for a pipe for his boiler.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll answer the phone in case it happens again.”

The phone rings.

Me: “Hello, [Bookshop].”

Caller: “Hi, can I speak to someone who can give me a quote for a part for my boiler?”

Me: “Did you just call a second ago?”

Caller: “Yeah, I got some man but I couldn’t understand him. Can you help me with my boiler?”

Me: “We’re a bookshop; I’ve been told that our number has been misprinted. You’ll have to try another company.”

Caller: *Click*

The phone rings again.

Me: “Hello, [Bookshop], can I help?”

Caller: “Yeah, I’m looking for [specific boiler part].”

Me: “I don’t know what that is; I could maybe look for a book on it.”

The caller explains what it is.

Me: “Sir, I told you earlier that we are a bookshop.”

Caller: “Oh.” *Click*

The phone rings again.

Me: “Hello!”

I say the name of the bookshop, very loudly.

Caller: “Can I speak to someone who can get me [boiler part]?”

Me: “No.” *Hangs up*

He didn’t call again.

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I Have Other Issues

, , , , , | Right | July 21, 2020

My daughter needs a diaper change so I take her into the men’s room of the mall bookstore. When I pull down the changing table, a couple of soft-core adult magazines fall out. I shove them aside, lay down a mat, and change her. As we’re leaving, a bookstore employee enters the bathroom.

Employee: “Sir! You forgot your magazines.”

Me: “Those aren’t mine!”

I shudder to think what he thought I’d been doing back there.

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Michigan, Twinned With Paris

, , , | Right | July 21, 2020

I work at an independent bookstore in Northern Michigan.

Customer: “I’m looking for books on the Eiffel Tower for kids. Like picture books.”

Me: “Let me look; I’m not sure of any off the top of my head.”

Customer: *After one minute* “I figured you could cross-reference or something. It seems like something you should have; I mean, it’s a place people go.”

Me: “Yes, I’m still looking to see what is available and what we might have.”

Customer: “Well, they have to be out there. If they sell them at the Eiffel Tower, you should probably have them, too.”

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