Borrowed An Already-Used Idea

| CA, USA | Books & Reading, Extra Stupid, Popular

(We always have a large art book on display near our information desk for customers to look through, and copies of it are underneath for purchase. A customer wanders in and starts to look through it.)

Me: “How are you doing today? Anything I can help you with?”

Customer: “You know, you should really think about renting books.”

Me: *smiles* “I think what you’re looking for is a library.”

Customer: “No, think about it. For example, I love this book…” *points to the art book* “…and I would want to take it home with me for a few months, but I don’t want to own it forever.”

Me: *still smiling* “That still sounds like a library to me.”

Customer: “Well, the library is certainly not going to have this book.”

(I refrain from saying they might be able to get it in from another library knowing this customer probably won’t believe me.)

Customer: “I’m just saying it would be an interesting business model. Maybe it would stop bookstores from dying out.”

Me: *slightly strained but trying not to show it* “Can I help you find anything today?”

Customer: “Oh, no. I just think you should try looking at new models of business.” *walks out the door*

Me: *sighs* “You’re still thinking of a library.”


A Killer Pickup Line

| Brooklyn, NY, USA | Bizarre, Books & Reading

(I am a 24-year-old female. I am cleaning some shelves when a customer comes up. It is important that the customer is female.)

Customer: “You’re pretty. You look like someone in my book.”

(I was about to thank her when I saw it was a book on serial killers. She walked out without a word.)


Returning And Restoring

| NY, USA | Awesome Customers, Hall of Fame, Popular

Me: “Hi, can I do a return here?”

Cashier: *slightly worried expression* “Of course, ma’am.”

Me: “I’d like to return this book, please. I got it as a gift for a friend, but it turns out he’s already got one. I’m afraid I didn’t think to get a gift receipt, but I have the regular receipt.”

Cashier: *more cheerful* “That’s fine! Let’s see… oh.” *her face falls again* “I see here it was on sale when you bought it, so you won’t be getting the full sticker price back. And…” *she winces* “…you used your membership discount. So you’ll only be getting $17.85 back instead of the $52.95 printed on the price tag, is that okay?”

Me: “Yeah, that sounds about right. I think that’s what I paid in the first place, so that makes sense.”

Cashier: *blinking in surprise* “Okay, great. So let me just scan this in for you…”

(Her machine beeps at her and she flinches again.)

Cashier: “Oh. Uh, you paid cash, but I’m very sorry, ma’am, I can’t do a cash refund. It would have to be store credit. Is that okay?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s fine. I think I even have an old [Bookstore] gift card in here you could put it on, to save some plastic…”

(I rummage through my wallet. When I hand her the card I notice her staring at me, wide-eyed and incredulous.)

Me: “Sorry, is that not something you can do?”

Cashier: “I… no, I can do that. Thanks. It’s just… I’ve been here three hours and done six returns today. You’re the first person who hasn’t yelled at me for anything.”

Me: “Yikes! Really?”

Cashier: “Store credit makes people angry, I guess.”

Me: “People are ridiculous.”

Cashier: “You’re telling me. Anyway, here’s your card back. Your new gift card balance is $24.17. Thank you very, very much for shopping with [Bookstore] today, and for restoring my faith in humanity!”


Et Tu Mother?

| Iowa City, IA, USA | Books & Reading

(While working at a bookstore, a customer comes up to me.)

Customer: “Do you have an English translation of the novel Julius Caesar? My daughter needs it for her class.”

(I perform a search in our system.)

Me: “Hmm, I’m not finding it. The problem is I’m getting about a million versions of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.”

Customer: “That’s the one. She said it was by William Shakespeare. I need an English translation.”

Me: “Well, Shakespeare wrote in English, so every version we have is in English. We do have some adapted with modernized dialogue. Could that be what she meant?”

Customer: “I don’t know. She just said she needed an English translation of the novel Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.”

Me: “Well… it’s a play, not a novel…”

Customer: “I- I have to call my daughter.”

(She calls her daughter. It turns out she needed a very specific edition for her class.)


Send Him A Copy Of ‘The Scarlet Letter’

| Pleasant Hill, CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Popular, Rude & Risque

(I work at a bookstore, and there’s a hotel just down the road. I’m standing at the info desk. My manager happens to be standing next to me during this call, helping another customer.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bookstore]. This is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Hey, I need you to call this number and send them to my room.”

(I’m confused, and think that maybe he has the wrong number.)

Me: “Uh, sir, this is a bookstore. Is there a book in particular that you’re looking for?”

Customer: “No, I want you to call [obviously not a legal name], and send them to room [number] at the [Hotel].”

Me: *face-palm* “Sir, I refuse to do that.”

Customer: *voice rising* “What kind of customer service is this?! Look, just make the call so that the number isn’t affiliated with me at all. It will take a minute, tops.”

Me: “No, sir, we don’t do that for our customers, let alone people who don’t shop with us.”

(The manager gives me a stern glance at my tone.)

Customer: “Then put someone on the phone who will!”

Me: “Sir, I will not call a prostitute to your room!”

(My manager jumps and both he and the customer stare at me.)

Me: “Nor will anyone else here, sir. Do not call this number again!”

(I hang up on him.)

Manager: “Normally I’d write you up for talking to someone like that but…” *shakes his head* “What’s the hotel and room number?”

(I give it to him. He then shares the information over the walkie-talkies to the rest of the evening crew and tells them that under no circumstances are we to do anything requested from that location.)

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