A Gross Misunderstanding Of The Books

| Gainesville, FL, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

Customer: “I’m looking for a book for my grandchildren. I don’t know the title but I know it’s some kind of encyclopedia of gross things and the cover has a picture of a kid picking his nose.”

Me: “Yes, I know that book. It’s called Oh, Yuck. Here’s a copy for you.”

Customer: “Do you think that would be embarrassing for me to send it to my grandchildren? I mean, it’s gross. Do you really think it would be appropriate?”

Me: “I don’t know, ma’am. I thought you already knew it was gross based on your description of the book.”

Customer: *sets book down* “I just don’t think it would be appropriate. Can you show me some storybooks?”

(I take the customer to the storybooks and she keeps asking for recommendations, so I show her book after book and she rejects them. Finally, she makes a suggestion.)

Customer: “Well, I’ve heard of this one book. Do you have ‘Walter the Farting Dog’?”

Me: ” Yes, it’s popular. Right here.”

Customer: “But wouldn’t that be kind of gross? I don’t know if that’s appropriate. A farting dog? That might be embarrassing for me to send to my grandchildren.”

Me: “…I don’t know how to help you if you keep asking me for gross books and then saying they’re too gross, ma’am.”

Customer: “I just heard those were popular. But I can’t send that. It’s too gross. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?”

(I end up just leaving her to browse in the storybooks section.)

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Customer

| CA, USA | Crazy Requests, Money

(This all takes place over the phone.)

Customer: “Hi, I would like to know how much the Montblanc rollerball and ballpoint pens are?”

Me: “Okay, which ones?”

Customer: “There are only two kinds, rollerball and ballpoint.”

Me: “Right, I understood that, but we also carry fountain pens. I meant which specific design?”

Customer: “The black ones.”

Me: “Sir, they’re all black.”

Customer: “Oh. The nice ones then.”

Me: *face-palming, because they’re ALL expensive nice pens* “One moment.”

Me: “Okay, the Classique ballpoint is $575 and the Classique rollerball is $595.”

Customer: “Are you sure?”

Me: *sighs inwardly* “Yes, sir, I am holding them in front of me right now.”

Customer: “Oh. Do you have other brands that would be $200 or less?”

Me: *glances at the hundreds of pens in the case* “Yes, sir, but there are literally hundreds of pens.”

Customer: “Well, what do they look like?”

Me: “Sir, like I said, there are literally hundreds of pens. You’d need to come into the store to narrow it down.”

Customer: “Oh.” *click*

Ordering Books Not By The Book(store)

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

(I work as customer service for an online bookstore that also has a physical store.)

Caller: “Hi, what’s your website? I want to buy books.”

Me: “I’ll spell it for you. It’s [Site].”

Caller: “Could you repeat that? I need to write it down so I can take it to [Cell Phone Provider] and ask them to order for me.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I must’ve heard wrongly. I thought you said [Cell Phone Provider].”

Caller: “That’s what I said!”

Me: “Ma’am, I don’t think they provide those services.”

Caller: “Oh, I know. But I’m a paying customer and an old lady. I’ll just make a fuss until they help me.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can help you order over the phone right now. I also see by your area code that you live near the store. You can come in to our store instead for help.”

Caller: “Oh, I don’t want to bother you. It’s okay; they’ll help me. What was the site?”

Me: “Well, it’s [Site], but you aren’t bothering me. This is actually my job, so I can help you.”

Caller: “Nonsense, you sound like a busy girl. Thanks!” *hangs up*

Santa’s Little Helper

| Nashville, TN, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I am working as a cashier at a bookstore two weeks before Christmas. The customer I am helping is an older, portly man with a white beard and hair. He’s wearing jeans with a red sweater and white suspenders. He even has on red sneakers. There’s no getting around it: he looks like Santa on his day off. As I’m checking out his purchases, I notice that behind him in line there is a little girl tugging her mother’s pant leg and whispering furiously to her. I finished helping the older man with his purchases and wish him a happy holiday, then turn to the mother and daughter to help them with theirs. As the mother sets her books down on the counter, she turns to her daughter.)

Mother: “It’s okay, honey. You can go ask him.”

(The little girl approaches the man as he and his wife are preparing to leave, and taps on his leg to get his attention. He turns and looks at her.)

Customer: “Yes, dear?”

Little Girl: “Excuse me, sir…” *she looks back at her mother shyly, who encourages her, then turns back, whispering* “…are you Santa?”

Customer: *smiling and whispering back* “Yes, I am.”

Little Girl: “Really?”

(The customer beckons his wife over, who approaches with a smile and reaches into her purse, handing him something, which he then presents to the little girl: a candy cane. This seems to convince her, and she and “Santa” chat for a little bit while his wife talks to her mother and me.)

Customer’s Wife: “All the kids ask him that, and he loves how happy it makes them when he says yes. That’s when he got the idea to carry around the candy canes and dress in red. This is his favorite time of year.”

(“Santa” and his new friend finish their conversation and join the rest of us at the counter as I am finishing ringing up the little girl’s mother.)

Me: *to “Santa”* “You’re awesome.”

(I got a candy cane, too! Merry Christmas!)

Christmas Is Closing In

| Sheffield, England, UK | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

(I have just served a family with kids who, as they leave the shop, notice our selection of Christmas products. One of the kids picks up a bell and starts ringing it. This story takes place at around 7:00 pm.)

Kid: “Listen, everyone! The store is now closing!”

(He then puts the bell back and rushes off out of the shop with his family. The assistant manager and myself look at each other in exasperation at ‘yet another kid playing with the bells,’ and share a quick chuckle about if anyone took it seriously. Lo and behold, the next person to approach the counter…)

Customer: “What time does [Shopping Centre] close tonight?”

Assistant Manager: “Ten o’clock.”

Customer: “So why are you closing early?”

(The assistant manager and I glance at each other again, trying not to laugh, and the customer quickly realises the truth.)

Customer: “Oh! It wasn’t one of you who said it?”

Assistant Manager: “No, it wasn’t.”

Me: “It was just some kid messing around.”

(She sounded quite relieved after finding out the truth, but we did note that for a few minutes after the kid’s ‘announcement’ the shop was noticeably emptier. We don’t think she was the only one who took him seriously.)

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