Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

This Puzzle Is A Matter Of Life Or Death

| Right | March 4, 2016

(We have a fairly large Japanese community near the bookstore I’m working at, so we stock a sizeable collection of Japanese books. They usually speak German very well; still, a coworker has taken it upon himself to learn Japanese — with little success, it seems, because the Japanese who frequent our store try to keep their distance from him. I am approached by a regular, an elderly Japanese gentleman, a very quiet, unassuming man who, as usual, pointedly avoids my coworker. He approaches me and is, even for his standards, unusually quiet for a long while, waits until nobody is nearby and asks in a small voice:)

Customer: “Excuse me; do you carry books on Seppuku? How to do it right?”

(For those that don’t know the term, Seppuku is ritual suicide. It is quite hard for me to not show my shock about this request, not only that he would consider something like this but also because he would simply and bluntly ask for books on it. On one hand I didn’t want him to do something like this, on the other hand I knew that if I said no he would just find another source. So I tried to find out why while slowly walking him over to the Japanese section of our book store that deals with self help, depression, and the like.)

Me: “If I may ask, I wish to find the perfect book for you; maybe you could tell me what part you need to find perfection for?”

Customer: *again, looking around, then quietly, almost ashamed* “I tried many times, but I just cannot finish. In the end, it never works out.”

Me: “I… maybe if you could tell me the motivation behind it?”

Customer: “Oh, it is the right thing to do at my age! Doctors in Japan agree! It is a Japanese invention, and it keeps you mentally fit! You should try too, you are not too young to do Seppu…” *he stops and I can literally see his face turn to one of realization and horror for the briefest of moments before he regains his perfect composure and seamlessly continues*  “…Sudokus yourself.”

(I pause for a moment and then nod in agreement while ever so slightly redirecting our steps towards books for his (far more agreeable!) actual subject.)

Me: “Sudokus are very popular here too. I agree; I should take your advice and try them myself.”

(I thought I managed to put up the perfect display of ignorance until, at the end of the transaction, he indicates my Japanese speaking coworker, saying with a very small but meaningful smile:)

Customer: “This is the difference, you see: He tries to speak Japanese. But you, you try to understand the Japanese!”

Question of the Week

Tell us about the most outrageous request a customer has ever made!

I have a story to share!