The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 11

| FL, USA | Right | August 7, 2012

(I am a customer at a bookstore. I’m browsing the teen literature section to see what all the hype is over the Twilight series. A nearby customer sees me paging through one of the books and speaks up excitedly.)

Girl: “I love Twilight!”

Me: “Oh, are you interested in vampire stories?”

Girl: “Absolutely! I love anything to do with vampires! I know about all there is to know about them!”

Me: “You must be a big Bram Stoker fan, then.”

Girl: *quizzical look* “Who is that?”

Me: *puts Twilight down quickly*


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Portrait Of A Customer As A Young Man

| Curitiba, Brazil | Right | August 4, 2012

Me: “Hi, this is [bookstore]. Can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, do you have Ulysses in stock?”

Me: “We have it on paperback and hardcover. Do you want to make a reservation?”

Caller: “What is the author’s name?”

Me: “It’s James Joyce, sir.”

Caller: “J-A-M-E-S-J-O-Y-C-E, 10 letters… thank you! I’m doing some crosswords and I needed the answer to this. Thanks!” *click*

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Not A Baby, Or Even A Maybe, Part 2

| New York, NY, USA | Working | July 30, 2012

(It is after 11pm, the store has closed, and we are putting back books customers have left out. As I’m putting a book away, I get a sudden, intense pain in my back. Within five minutes, it is the worst pain I’ve ever had, and I can’t stand up anymore. I curl up in the aisle, and radio for help. My coworker comes over.)

Coworker: “What are you doing?”

Me: “I need help. Something’s wrong!”

Coworker: *whispering* “Are you pregnant?”

Me: “No. It’s my back. I can’t stand.”

Coworker: “It sounds like you’re pregnant.”

Me: “I’m not! Please, I’m in so much pain. I need someone to put me in a cab to the hospital.”

Coworker: “You know, sometimes girls get sudden pains, and they don’t THINK they’re pregnant, but it turns out they actually are.”

Me: “Go. Get. Help!”

Coworker: *leaves and comes back with the store manager*

Manager: “He says you’re having ‘pregnancy pains?'”

Me: “NO. My back. I need to go to the hospital.”

Manager: “Oh! Okay, I’ll call someone.”

(By law, my store must call an ambulance. While we’re waiting, my manager asks me a bunch of questions about my pain, and tells me he thinks I have a kidney stone, which he’s had himself. The EMTs come in several minutes later.)

EMT: *looks at me* “You’re not pregnant.”

Coworker: “I think she’s in labor!”

Manager: “If you say ‘pregnant’ one more time, I’m firing you!”

Coworker: “But she is!”

(I went to the hospital. Turns out, I did have kidney stones. But when I came back…)

Coworker: “How’s the baby?”


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A Whale Of A Story

| Pleasant Hill, CA, USA | Right | July 29, 2012

(My coworker and I have been laughing over a list of dumb laws during a quiet spell at the registers.)

Me: “Check this out. It’s illegal to hunt whales in Utah.”

Coworker: “Well, now, that’s not very specific. Is it illegal to hunt FOR them, as in go looking for one, or is it illegal to FIND one and harpoon it? Because, let me tell you, the second one is a lot harder!”

Me: “Well, if I ever go to Utah, I think I’ll walk up to a cop and ask them where I can go hunting for whales, just to see his reaction.”

(As we continue joking, a customer overhears us and becomes angry.)

Customer: “You filthy murderers! How can you think hunting whales is funny?!”

Me: “I assure you, ma’am, there is little danger of me actually harming a whale in Utah.”

Customer: “That’s no excuse! You think you could get away with taunting a police officer by openly admitting you were going to commit a crime?”

Coworker: “Yes… actually, in this case, we probably could.”

Customer: “HOW?!”

Coworker: “Well, since whales live in the ocean and there are no oceans in Utah—”

Customer: “Don’t treat me like I’m stupid! I’m calling the producers of Whale Wars on you! You’ll be shamed in front of the whole nation!” *storms out*

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Time To Close The Books On This One

| Livingston, NJ, USA | Right | July 25, 2012

Me: “Thank you for calling [bookstore]. How may I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, yes, I’m trying to reach your store in Short Hills but no one will answer the phone.”

Me: “Oh… well, the location in Short Hills actually closed three years ago.”

Caller: “No, I don’t think you know what I’m talking about. I mean the one in the mall.”

Me: “Yes, that was our only location in Short Hills. It closed because the mall wanted to jack up the rent.”

Caller: “That’s ridiculous! I go to that store all the time. The number I have isn’t working and I can’t find it listed anywhere, so I need you to give me the phone number.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry to tell you this, but the number isn’t working because that store no longer exists. You can’t find it listed for the same reason.”

Caller: “I was there last week!”

Me: “I… don’t think that’s possible. There isn’t even a bookstore in that mall anymore.”

Caller: “Oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Get me the number or get me someone else who can!”

Me: “Ma’am, I actually used to work at that location. It closed down, so I transferred to this store three years ago. Is there something I can help you find, other than the number for the Short Hills store?”

Caller: “You know, the employees at the Short Hills store are going to be VERY upset that you’re saying this about them! I’m going to drive over there right now and tell them all about this!”

(One hour later, my coworker answers the phone.)

Coworker: “Thank you for calling—”


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