Demanding And Stupid In The Same Breath

| MA, USA | Right | June 17, 2014

(We’re a bookstore, but we also sell some smaller toys from a popular company known for their hand-crafted products. I’m covering the register on a slow night. A customer I rang out a few minutes earlier who bought a $3 wooden kazoo comes storming back into the store. Another customer reaches the register at about the same time, but holds back when she sees how angry the other woman is.)

Customer #1: “Why’d you tell my son he couldn’t return this kazoo? It’s defective!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. He just asked if he could get his money back, and I told him we couldn’t take it because it was opened already. It’s defective?”

(I pick up the wooden kazoo that she’s slammed on the counter hold it near my mouth, and hum. It makes a kazoo noise.)

Me: “Oh, maybe your son doesn’t know how it works. You have to hum into it, not blow like a whistle. Seems fine.”

Customer #1: “What? I didn’t hear anything! It’s defective! I want my money back!”

(I hold the kazoo near my lips again and hum louder. It makes a louder kazoo noise.)

Me: “See? That’s what it’s supposed to do. You hum, and it makes that noise.”

(I set it down in front of her, thinking the problem is solved.)

Customer #1: “No way! I’m not taking that out of the store now! You’ve contaminated it with your breath! It has all your germs in it. Give me my money back!”

Me: “Really?”

(The woman tries to stare me down.)

Me: “Ma’am, as I explained, you don’t blow into a kazoo. You hum. You can’t hum with your mouth open. None of my breath went into the kazoo.”

(I demonstrate a humming noise without the kazoo, showing her my lips are firmly pressed closed.)

Customer #1: “This is ridiculous! I’ve bought hundreds of things from here that were all defective, and I’ve never bothered to return them before. I just threw them away. Now, you won’t even take back this broken kazoo?”

Me: “But, it’s not broken, remember? And I didn’t breathe in it, either. I’m not sure exactly what your complaint is at this point.”

Customer #1: “That’s it! I want to talk to your store manager.”

Me: “That would be me.”

Customer #1: “Fine! Then I want to talk to a district manager! Is he here?”

Me: “Yes. And he’s also me.”

Customer #2: “This isn’t over. Not by a long shot! You haven’t heard the last of me!”

(The woman snatches up her kazoo from the counter and runs out of the store. I turn to the other woman who’s been waiting patiently.)

Me: “I’m sorry you had to be here for that uncomfortable situation.”

Customer #2: “Oh, I don’t mind. That was pretty entertaining. I think you may have created a super-villain.”

(Ten minutes later, one of my managers from another store location calls me, laughing.)

Coworker: “Um, apparently, I’m supposed to fire you. Some crazy lady just called to tell me that you threw a kazoo at her?”

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Putting The High Into Hiring

| UK | Right | May 30, 2014

Customer: *bloodshot eyes and stinking of weed* “Hi. I’m looking for a gardening book.”

Me: “Okay. Our gardening section is right here. Was there are a particular book you were after?”

Customer: “I’m wanting one that teaches you how to grow drugs.”

Bookseller: “Like medicinal herbs? We have a few titles on natural remedies in our health sec—”

Customer: “Nah, I mean like cannabis.”

Bookseller: “Er… there are titles on that subject but they are only sold in our Amsterdam stores. I can’t legally sell them in this country.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. You guys hiring?”

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Not In The Best Position(s) To Explain

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Related | May 29, 2014

(We are in a bookshop. I am 12. When we are at checkout, I notice that the store has some little books at the counter. I alert my brother’s attention to one of them.)

Brother: “Mom, what’s the ‘Kama Sutra?'”

Mother: “Put… it… back…”

Me: *grins evilly*

I’ll Drink To That

, | TX, USA | Working | May 12, 2014

(I go to a bookstore where I had applied for a job, and ask for the hiring manager. This happens in the cafe while I’m waiting.)

Barista: “Hey, do you want a mocha frappe?”

Me: “Oh, I don’t really have any money on me. Thank you, though.”

Barista: “Nah. I already made one and the customer didn’t want it. Have it. I’d just have to throw it away otherwise.”

Me: “Okay! Thank you so much!”

(She really brightened my mood, and even if she didn’t realize it, she still did something amazing.)

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Look Sharp

| Gainesville, FL, USA | Working | May 6, 2014

(I’m a new employee at the bookstore and my manager asks me to double-check a long and complicated order for a teacher. He wants me to make sure all the books have come in before we call her, but I can’t find a master list.)

Me: “Hey, [Manager]. I’m trying to find out if all the books for [Teacher]’s order have come in, but I can’t find a list of what she ordered.”

Manager: “What do you mean you can’t find it? All you have to do is LOOK!”

Me: “I looked at the pile of books but all I see are packing lists of what’s already come. I can’t find a record of what was ordered.”

(The manager sighs loudly and rolls his eyes at me, but then I get a customer at the service desk and he tells me he’ll handle the task since I’m apparently not trained well enough to do something this simple. I help the customer as my manager starts digging through the book order. Finally he grabs the corded telephone and starts dragging it off into a corner.)

Me: “[Manager], what are you doing?”

(The manager ignores me and tries to drag the phone as far from me as possible.)

Manager: *into the phone* “Hello, [Teacher]? I’m trying to make sure your entire order is in but someone seems to have misplaced the record of what books you ordered. If you could call us back or fax us your wish list I’ll check it over and make sure it’s all here. Thank you!”

(The manager hangs up, puts the phone back where it belongs, and walks away without acknowledging that my problem had been legitimate.)

Me: “Well, all you have to do is LOOK!”

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