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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!”

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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.)

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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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Returner Burner, Part 3

| Austin, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading

(I work for the largest national book store in the US. I get this phone call.)

Customer: “Hi. I ordered a book off y’all’s website and was wondering if I could return it to the store?”

Me: “I’d be happy to check that out for you, ma’am. What was the name of the book?”

(She tells me and I look it up. The information tells me it is non-returnable, but I tell her I’ll check with a manager to be sure. Manager confirms my concern.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that item is non-returnable though the stores. If you wish to return it, you will have to ship it back. There should be a return label in the box and I’d be happy to walk you through it.”

Customer: “See, this is why I usually order from [the largest distributer of online goods and my employer’s biggest rival], you little b****.”

Me: *taken aback* “Whoa! But ma’am, if you bought it from [previously mentioned company] and wanted you to return it, you’d have to ship it back, too.”

(She hung up on me.)

Related:
Returner Burner, Part 2
Returner Burner

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Not Quite Married To The Reading Material

| Boston, MA, USA | Bizarre, Family & Kids

(I’m a female bookstore employee in my mid 20s. While walking through the store, a customer approaches me and asks for help finding a book for her 15-year-old son. After discussing a couple titles, I am able to recommend a book for her. Afterwards, she tries to strike up a conversation…)

Customer: “You know, I just don’t understand why he doesn’t read anymore. He used to love to read, now he says he hates it.”

Me: “Well, you know, when I was about that age, I stopped enjoying reading so much because I didn’t like the assigned reading. I didn’t like being told what to read. Maybe that’s what he thinks, too?”

Customer: “Oh, I see… and are you still like that? Do you still have that independent streak?”

Me: “Uh… well… Now that I work in a bookstore, I can—”

Customer: “No, I mean in your personal life.”

Me: *stammering* “Um… I guess? Sort of?”

Customer: “Oh, dear, no. That’s not good marriage material. You can’t be like that, you know…” *winks and nudges me, chuckling*

Me: *stunned, muttering* “Well, good thing that’s not in my life plan to begin with… Enjoy your book!”

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