Fortune Favors The Foretold

| USA | Right | April 16, 2014

(A customer walks up to bookstore counter. Our bookstore isn’t very big, and it doesn’t have a lot of employees, but a lot of regulars.)

Me: “Are you having trouble finding any books?”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “I’m sorry. This is a bookstore. We don’t do fortune telling.”

Customer: “I need my fortune told!”

Me: “Again, we don’t do fortunes. But if you need to find a book, I can get someone to help you.”


(At this point I realize it’s easier to give the customer her fortune, real or not, than to try to explain that, no, this is not a fortune telling area.)

Me: “Okay, okay. Give me your hand.”

Customer: “What? Really? Oh, thank you. Thank you!”

(Customer eagerly gives me her hand, palm up. I stare intensely at it, tracing each line and muttering to myself.)

Me: *looks up* “Your future…”

Customer: “YES!?”

Me: “Your future is uncertain.”

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Man(aging) Fear

| CA, USA | Related | April 13, 2014

(I am in the children’s section of a large bookstore shopping for my young cousins, when I notice I’m sharing the aisle with a boy of about four and his father. The boy pulls a book off the shelf and hands it to his dad to read to him.)

Dad: “I don’t know. That book looks pretty scary.”

Kid: *rolling his eyes and sighing heavily* “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO BE AFRAID OF ANYTHING! BE A MAN!”

Some Customers Are A Pet Hate

| PA, USA | Right | April 8, 2014

Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a specific book to help my children deal with the death of a pet.”

Me: All right. Can you give me the title or author?

Caller: “Oh, I don’t remember it. But I’ve purchased copies from your store before. I know you have it!”

(I search for at least fifteen minutes; using every variant on the phrase ‘death of a pet’ I can think of. The customer alternates between telling me about her poor sick dog, insisting that she’s purchased it here before, and that I really should know about it. Finally, I find the book she wants.)

Customer: “Thank you! That wasn’t all that hard, now, was it?”

Me: “All right, ma’am. I’m afraid we do not have this book in the store right now. I’ll happily order you a copy—”

Customer: “When will it get here?”

Me: “Three to five business days.”

Customer: “But she’s being put down tomorrow! I was counting on you!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry, but this is the best I can do, unless you want to order the book from our website yourself and pay extra for overnight shipping.”

Customer: “… You know what? Never mind. I’ll just tell the kids she went to live on a farm, and tell them the truth in a few years.” *click*

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Complete Lack of Section Direction

| El Cerrito, CA, USA | Working | March 27, 2014

(My mom is shopping at a large chain bookstore soon before Christmas and is wanting help finding the science fiction section.)

Mom: “Excuse me. Where is the science fiction section?”

Employee: *looks extremely baffled* “Well, we have science and fiction sections.”

Mom: “Oooookay. What about the historical fiction?”

Employee: “I don’t think we have a section for that. Only one person writes it.”

(She just gave up and found them herself.)

Failed The Geek Test

| SC, USA | Right | March 23, 2014

Customer: “Do you have The Hobbit?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s back in SciFi/Fantasy. Alphabetical by author’s last name. Tolkien.”

Customer: “Why is The Hobbit in SciFi/Fantasy?”

Me: “Uhh…”

Customer: “It’s a test.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: *visibly annoyed* “Health Occupational Basics Entrance Test. Why is it in SciFi? That doesn’t make any sense.”

Me: “Oh! Hold on.” *looks it up on the computer* “Yeah, we don’t have anything like that in the store. I can order something if you want.”

Customer: “What?! I called earlier and the woman I talked to said you had it in the store.”

Me: “Yeah… she probably thought you were talking about The Hobbit. Do you want me to order a title for you?”

Customer: “NO!” *walks out with a huff*

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