The Girl Who Cross-Shopped The Employee’s Best

| OR, USA | Uncategorized

(A customer walks into the bookstore and begins looking around.)

Me: “Hello! Is there anything I can help you find today?”

Customer: “Yes, there is this book that I heard about on the radio that I want to read.  I can’t remember the title, though.”

Me: “Alright, do you know who the author is?”

Customer: “No, but I’m pretty sure that he was from Norway, and it came out really recently.”

Me: “Okay, I can’t think of any books by Norwegian authors that are big right now, but I can try to see what we have. I’ll go ask my boss if she can think of anything.”

Me: *to my boss* “Do you know of any books by Norwegian authors that came out recently?”

Boss: “No. Do they know anything else about it?”

Me: “I’m not sure, but I will ask.”

(I walk back to the customer.)

Me: “Neither of us can think of anything by a Norwegian author that came out recently. Can you think of anything else about the book? If we don’t have it in stock, I can special order it for you.”

Customer: “I think it was a mystery.”

(On a hunch, I walk out to our new book display and pick up “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.)

Me: “It wouldn’t happen to be this, would it?  This book came out very recently in hard cover and is very popular right now.”

Customer: “That’s it!”

Me: “Excellent! That book is actually part of a series.  We have the first one right over here if you are interested.”

(I walk over and grab the first book and hold it out to her.)

Customer:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Okay, that looks good!”

(I continue holding the book out for her, but she doesn’t take it.)

Me: “If this is all, I can ring it up for you right now, or I can set it aside for you while you browse.”

Customer: *happily* “Oh, no, I’m not going to buy it. Now that I know what the book is, I am going to go home and buy it on my Kindle!” *turns and leaves without another word*

The Age Of Petulance

| Livingston, NJ, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids

Customer: “Hi, my son needs a book called Ethan for his summer reading.”

Me: “Sure! Do you mean Ethan Frome?”

Customer: “No, it’s just Ethan.”

Me: “Is it by Edith Wharton?”

Customer: *looks at a piece of paper* “Um… yeah, it is, but my son just wrote down Ethan.”

Me: “Okay. Well, he probably just didn’t write down the full title, so let’s go grab Ethan Frome.”

Customer: “No! You aren’t listening to me! It’s not Ethan Frome, it’s just Ethan!”

Me: “It’s really not a big deal. We’ll—”

Customer: “It IS a big deal! You’re calling my son a liar!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t intend to—”

Customer: “My son is a very good student. Maybe you should have paid more attention when you were in school, or you’d know that Edith Whoever wrote a book called Ethan!”

Me: “My apologies. Let me grab that book for you.”

(I go grab a copy of “Ethan Frome” and hand it to the customer.)

Customer: “No! What are you, an idiot? You’re trying to trick me by giving me Ethan Frome when I just need Ethan!”

Me: “Ma’am, Edith Wharton never wrote a book called Ethan. She did write a book called Ethan Frome.”

Customer: “MY SON IS NOT A LIAR!”

(I spend the next five minutes showing the customer all of the books Edith Wharton wrote in her lifetime on the computer. “Ethan Frome” appears on every list, but there is no reference to a book called just “Ethan”.)

Customer: “My son said it’s called Ethan, and that’s what I need! Obviously, you people just haven’t heard of it and you’re trying to make me look like an idiot. I’ll show you! I’ll call the school and get them to read me the summer reading list!”

(She calls the school on her cell phone. The school receptionist informs her that the title in question is, in fact, “Ethan Frome.” The customer turns bright red, and eventually hangs up on the poor receptionist.)

Customer: “None of you know what you’re talking about!” *snatches up a copy of “Ethan Frome” stalks off*

Me: “Have a nice day!”

Manager: “You need to take a ten minute break?”

Me: “You have no idea.”

The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 10

| MA, USA | Extra Stupid

(I work at my parents’ bookshop part time and have just gotten off shift. I am still in my uniform (khakis, blue polo, sneakers). I go to another bookstore for a Girl Scout fundraiser.)

Customer: “Excuse me miss, but could you tell me where to find Breaking Moon from Twilight?”

Me: “I don’t work here, but those are two different books: New Moon and Breaking Dawn.”

Customer: “You must work here if you know that they are two different books.”

Me: “I don’t work here, but I do read books.”

Customer: “You are lying to me! You work here! Kids don’t read books!”

Me: “I assure you, I really do not work here, and many children do read books.”

(Customer #1 then drags me across the store to the cashier’s station.)

Customer: *to cashier* “She works here!”

Cashier: “No, she does not, sir, but I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.”

Customer: “She must work here! She knows about books! Kids don’t read books!”

(The cashier hands the customer a summer reading list.)

Cashier: “Here is a list of books kids are required to read. You might want to start at the bottom, next to the words ‘Kindergarden Reading List.'”

Customer: *turns blood red and leaves without buying anything*

Related:
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 9
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 8
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 7
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 6
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 5
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
The Twilight Of Our Literacy