Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I only wish

Customer: So you have all the books right?
Me: Huh?
Customer: You have all the books that are out.
Me: Ummmm, we have a lot of them.
Customer: I'm looking for a book.
Me: Okay. We are a bookstore.
Customer: I'm looking for a particular book.
Me: That's often the case. What book are you looking for?

The customer tells me and I look it up and end up reserving a copy for him.
Nice enough; sometimes you can't help but laugh though.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Times they are a chang'n

Older Woman: I'd like to speak to your boss dude.
Me: Umm? I don't have a boss dude.
Older Woman: (Snotty)You don't have a manager?
Me: No. I'm the manager.
Older Woman: I thought it would be someone older.
Me: And an man?

She Totally ignores me

Older Woman: I'm collecting donations for (someplace or another)
Me: Do you have something in writing? Leave it with me and we'll see what we can do. Someone can check back in a couple of days.

I know times have changed and some people are not keeping up but wow. I'm not that young to begin with and "boss dude" who says stuff like that?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vampires are like cool like you know?

Customer: Do you have the new Stephenie Meyer book "Thirsting for More"?
Me: Umm... I've never heard of that one.
Customer: It's the newest one.
Me: Ok. I have the four books in the Twilight Saga and I have The Host. I can't find any record of one called Thirsting for More.
Customer: It's listed right here on the back of my book.
Me: It's on the back of your book?
Customer: Yes.
Me: Is it above a line that says something like "check out the website www.somethingorother"?
Customer: Yes.
Me: That's a tag line to tell you to go check out the website. It's not a new book.
Customer: No, I think it's a new book.
Me: Trust me. It's not a new book. If it was you would not be the only person looking for it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Why would I lie?

Customer: Do you have (some random books) in stock?

I type the author in the computer and pull up the store stock info

Me: I'm sorry, we don't have that in stock, I can order it for you.
Customer: Do you have anything by him?
Me: Not at the moment. We should have some more in the next few days.
Customer: Well can you look?
Me: I'm looking at the stock right now - it's on my screen.
Customer: You didn't even type anything. You didn't even check.
Me: Umm. It's here on the screen. No stock. I'm not sure what to tell you. I guess you didn't notice me typing....
Customer: You didn't even check.
Me: I'll type it in again if it'll make you feel better but there's still no stock.

Customer leaves in a huff....

I'm sure I could have handled that better but you know what truthfully, there are days I just don't want to be nice.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Canadians can be dumb too

Customer: Do you have the book by our new president?
Me: The Prime Minister?
Customer: No, the president, Obama.
Me: Sorry, I thought I heard you say "our"
Customer: Ya, I did. Our president. Barack Obama.
Me: Are you Canadian?
Customer: Ya.
Me: Ummm... you are aware that Barack Obama is an American right?
Customer: No. Really?

At this point I'm sure I'm being punk'd.

Me: We have a Prime Minister. Stephen Harper ring any bells?
Customer: Oh. Well have you got the Obama book?

...... Stop watching nothing but American tv people! Just stop!!! PLEASE!

Friday, December 12, 2008

How Much?

Customer: How much is this book?

I take the book, turn it over and read the price from the back to him.

The customer takes another book off the shelf

How much is this book?

I take the book, turn it over and read the price from the back to him.

The customer takes another book off the shelf

How much is this book?

I take the book, open the front cover and read the price from the back to him.

Sensing a pattern, I try to help the customer out a little.

Me: The prices are almost always on the back cover or on the inside of the front cover.

Customer: (Rude) I know that.

Me: Okay.

Customer: How much is this book?

I take the book, open the front cover and read the price from the back to him.

Then I decide that it is time for a "break" and I head for the back room, hoping this will break the cycle.


What do I hear?

Customer: How much is this book?

Other Staff: It's here on the back - $19.99

This continued for about 15 minutes. Then the customer (and I use the term loosely as he never actually Bought anything) leaves.

Is there a breeding ground? Where to they come from?

Monday, December 8, 2008

I will not laugh

Customer: Do you have any psychic books for kids?
Me: Books about psychic children?
Customer: No books for kids.
Me: I'm not sure. I'll look.
Customer: I want to train my psychic 9 year old.
Me: Ummm OK.
Customer: You know. So she can use her powers.
Me: Ummm OK.
Customer: 'cause she's psychic.
Me: Ummm OK.

I KNOW I sounded like a customer - repeating myself over and over but what do you say to that?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Weird. Very Weird.

A customer picks up a book off of a large pile that are on display

Customer: Do you have any more of these in the back?
Me: I don't think so all we have left are out here or on the shelf.
Customer: Can you check.
Me: Sure. Do you need more than 12 or 13 copies (what's there).
Customer: No.
Me: Ummm... why do you need to know if we have more copies then?
Customer: I never buy anything that's been on display.
Me: Huh?
Customer: I never buy anything that's been on display.
Me: All the books are on display. That how you can see what we have.
Customer: Well I'd like this one but only if you've got one in the back.

Weird. Very weird. I know he can't see the back shelves from where he is so I tell him I'll go look in the back and snag a copy off the shelf as I go into the back.

Me: Here you go. This copy was in the back. (It was. I did take it back there briefly. So it's not exactly a lie)
Customer: Great.

Then he bought it.
Weird. Very Weird.
I wonder how he does his other shopping. "Can you get me some bread that's not on the shelf?"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Maybe they're trying to tell you something

An angry woman comes into the store with one of our bags. Never a good start.

Me: Hello. What can I help with?
Customer: I got this book and I want to return it.
Me: Okay, what was the problem?
Customer: My friend gave it to me and she KNOWS I don't read.
Me: Umm... maybe she thought you'd enjoy this one.
Customer: I do NOT read.
Me: Ummmm... OK. I'm sure we can return it.

I was afraid to ask for a receipt but luckily it was tucked into the book cover.
I know that loads of people aren't big readers but I'm not sure I've ever met anyone so angry about the fact someone thought they might like a book. I wish I could tell you it was some kind of anger management book 'cause that would be funny but it was just a novel.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

At least I didn't have to talk to them.

We are closed for renovations.
There is a VERY large sign on the door stating that we are closed due to renovations.
It is NOT even during our regularly open hours.
We (as in a bunch of us) are painting. There are tarps EVERYwhere covering everything. We are all covered in paint.

How many people don't just try the door - they pound on it repeatedly.....?

How many?


Seven different people can't read the sign that says that we're always closed at this time. We are extra closed for renovations and they don't notice all of the store is covered in painting tarps and/or wet paint.


At least I didn't have to talk to them.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

You'd think the author would know

Customer: Do you have A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin?
Me: No. I'm afraid it's still not out yet.
Customer: Yes it is. It came out last week.
Me: I know a lot of places had last week's date out there but it's not out yet. It's not even done being written yet.
Customer: You don't know what you're talking about. It's out.
Me: I was just on his website because I'm kind of a fan and I'm waiting for it too and he said he's still not done.
Customer: It's out. I know it is.
Me: Okay, well you go look for it someplace else then. We don't have it. Although, we will, as soon as it's actually out.

I'm getting a bruise on my forehead again. Why do people think that we would lie to them about something like this? Oh and I guess the author was either lying or doesn't know his own book is done. Uh Huh.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New vs Used

Customer: Can you order books?
Me: Sure. What book are you looking for?

The customer gives me the name and author of a book.

Me: I'm sorry. That book is showing as out of print.
Customer: What do you mean out of print?
Me: It looks like it was published in 1956 and then reprinted in the 1980's but I don't see any more reprints and they have it listed as out of print, so the publisher doesn't have anymore.
Customer: Well can you order it?
Me: We can't order it if the publisher doesn't have it. Your best bet is to find it used. __________ is a used bookstore and they're great at finding out of print stuff.
Customer: You said you order books.
Me: I'm sorry. Yes, we do order books for people but we only deal with new books. So if it's out of print and you need a used copy we can't get that.
Customer: You said you order books.
Me: Try (the used bookstore down the road). They are a used bookstore.
Customer: You said you order books.
Me: Right. New books. You can't get this book new. You'll have to try the USED bookstore.

What is with people just standing there repeating themselves at you like that? Do they really think the answer will change if they just keep saying the same thing over and over?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Like many book stores we have a small coffee area in the store. It is less than 1/4 of the store.

This customer has been in every day for about a week.

Customer: You should have a much bigger sign outside saying you have coffee.
Me: We have considered that but since we're mainly a book store it'll have to wait until we get a whole list of other things done.

The customer looks around

Customer: Wow, I never noticed all the books before.

WHAT?? Seriously? I can't even explain how ridiculous that is! There are SO many books. EVERYwhere! Plus our name is ____________ Books.
What the heck did did she think the rest of the floor space was?

Monday, November 10, 2008

My memory's good but...

Customer: You had this book here that I liked but I can't find it.
Me: Okay, maybe I can find it for you. What was is called?
Customer: I can't remember. It was a blue cover.
Me: Okay. What was it about?
Customer: I can't remember.
Me: Umm.. okay. Adult or kids book?
Customer: Adult.
Me: Was it on display?
Customer: It was on the wall over there.
Me: Hmmm.... Okay, let me think, what's been there in the last little while that had a blue cover?
Customer: Oh. It wasn't a little while ago this was maybe three years ago now.
Me: What?
Customer: Yeah, it's been around 3 years I think since I saw it there.
Me: I'm sorry, I don't know what book was on display on that wall three years ago with a blue cover. If you can remember what it was about or what the name was or the author I can try to track it down but.......

THREE YEARS?!?!?! I mean we really try to find these books that people don't know what they were but it was blue and was on display three years ago? That's more than I can deal with....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Scary People

Customer: You know that new Harry Potter book that's coming out?
Me: Sure. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Customer: Well my friend gets it early you know.
Me: Really?
Customer: Yeah. He lives in England and they get it like a week before people here do.
Me: Interesting.
Customer: And you know what? He's gonna scan it in for me and send it so I'll have it early and I just have to pay for the book, but it more expensive there.
Me: Interesting. According to the publisher they have a world wide release of this book on the same day all over the world. You might want to make sure you have the right book before you pay your "friend" anything.
Customer: It's true they get it like a week earlier. They do.

At this point I'm backing away because this is not a kid - this is an adult and he's WAY in my personal space and beginning to frighten me....
Weird. Just weird.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hold Please

Phone Rings

Me: Hello, __________ Books, _________ speaking.
Customer: I'd like to order a book.
Me: Ok. What book are you looking for?
Customer: Oh, that's my other phone. I'm going to put you on hold.
Me: ?
He puts me on hold. After about a minute or so I have customers so I hang up.

Phone Rings

Me: Hello, __________ Books, _________ speaking.
Customer: You hung up.
Me: Yes sir. I had customers to help here in the store.
Customer: You can't $(&%*& do that.
Me: There's really no reason to swear.
Customer: I'll *&*@#% swear if I want to.

I hang up.
And tell the other staff about this guy.

Who does this? You can't call a store and then put them on hold. He either didn't call back or was nice when he did. Why is it that when people are rude to begin with it just seems to breed more rudeness?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

your logic is flawed

Customer: Is my book in?
Me: I can check. What's your name?
Customer says name
Me: No, I'm afraid it's not in yet.
Customer: Well, it should be here.
Me: It's only been three days. It will be here soon but it sometimes takes a little while for special orders to get shipped to us.
Customer: Well do they have it at otherbookstorename ?
Me: I don't know.
Customer: Can you check?
Me: Not really, no.
Customer: Well couldn't you just get it from them for me?
Me: No. We buy books from publishers not from other bookstores. That would be like you going to Canadian Tire and asking them to go to Zellers and buy something for you.
Customer: So?

Really? I wonder where else they've tried this logic....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I can tell you KNOW

Customer: Do you have the new Stephenie Meyer book?
Me: The new one in the Twilight Saga?
Customer: Yes.
Me: Sure.

I show her the stack of "Breaking Dawn"

Me: Here they are.
Customer: Oh. That's not the one I want.
Me: Okay. Did you need one of the earlier ones or maybe the one that's not part of the Twilight books? There's Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn and then there is Host which is Not part of the Twilight Saga books.

I show her the other books.

Customer: None of those are the right one. I need the NEW Stephenie Meyer book.
Me: I'm afraid I don't know of any other books by Stephenie Meyer except these ones.
Customer: (Snarky) Well there is one and these aren't it.
Me: Well I'm sorry we don't have it then. Are you sure it's a book that's been published and not something on her website?
Customer: (Still Snarky) Yes. I KNOW what I'm looking for. Well? Can you order it for me?

I look in the computer

Me: There are no other books by Stephenie Meyers available for me to order.
Customer: You people suck. I just want the new Stephenie Meyer book. You should have it.

She storms out.

What new Stephenie Meyers book????? This woman has been a bookselling phenom. If there was a new book we'd KNOW! I want so badly to actually tell people what an ass they are making of themselves....

Friday, October 24, 2008

I WISH I knew

The Giller Prize is big deal book prize in Canada. The short list of nominations comes out in October and the winner is announced in November. This is early October.

Customer: I'd like a copy of the new Giller Prize winner.
Me: Were you looking for last year's winner or one of the short list from this year?
Customer: I want this year's winner.
Me: They haven't announced a winner yet this year.
Customer: Yes they did. They announced it the other day.
Me: They announced the short listed titles a couple of days ago. I have the list here.

I tell her the titles that have been short listed

Customer: But which one won? I want the winner.
Me: The haven't announced a winner yet. They don't do that until November.
Customer: But I want the winner. I only read books that win prizes.
Me: I don't know which one is going to win. If I knew that I'd also go out and buy a lottery ticket.
Customer: (In a Huff) Well. If you can't tell me who won the Giller this year I don't want anything.

HUH? Really? I'm beginning to accept that people think that mind reading is part of my job but telling the future? Maybe I need a crystal ball? AND there are a LOT of great books out there that have never won anything. I have to wonder what that's all about....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Is "Okay" Code?

Customer: Can I buy the blood on the window?
Me: Huh?
Customer: I'd like to buy the blood on the window.
Me: The blood is a Halloween decoration. We don't sell it.
Customer: Oh, okay. What about the spider webs?
Me: They're the same. Just for decoration. The things that are for sale are the books.
Customer: Oh. Okay.

She goes and walks around for a bit and comes back holding a clay jack o' lantern we have with a display of Halloween titles.

Customer: I'll just take this.
Me: Ummm that's not for sale. It's like the decorations in the windows. They're there to make a nice display for the books. Which are for sale.
Customer: Oh, Okay.

She goes and wanders around the store again and comes back. Again.

Customer: Can I buy those gauntlets?
Me: The ones in the window? In the Halloween display?
Customer: Yes.

At this point I'm admittedly less charitable....

Me: Did you by any chance see our sign when you came in?
Customer: Huh?
Me: The one that says __________ Books?
Customer: Yes?
Me: The BOOKS in the displays are for SALE. We are a BOOK store. We sell BOOKS. The Halloween decorations are not for sale they are decorations.
Customer: Oh. Okay.

Maybe English wasn't her first language?

Friday, October 17, 2008

I just feel bad

I'm helping a customer. A young woman who is looking for a pregnancy guide when a man comes storming into the store and starts screaming at this young lady.

Man: What the @#** is taking so $#@&^*#*@ long?
Woman: Sorry. I'm trying to pick out the best one.
Man: Well just $%#^&**@ pick one &*%^#%#.

I'm just stunned at this point. I can't imagine speaking to anyone like this especially in public!

He starts swearing a blue streak at her about how she's worthless anyway and a bunch of other awful things.

Me: You can't speak like that in here
Man: I'm not swearing at you
Me: I don't care who you're talking to. You can't do it here.
Man: I'll talk to her however I *@#$ want.
Me: Not here you won't. You can cut out the swearing or you can leave.

He starts yelling at me and at this point one of the male staff has come over to see if I need help. He ended up being escorted out.

The lady bought a book and then left.

I don't have anything funny to say about this. It's just sad. I hope she gets the courage and support to leave.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another one....

Customer: Do you have The Canadian Cookbook?
Me: Which Canadian Cookbook were you looking for?
Customer: The Canadian Cookbook.
Me: We have a number of Canadian Cookbooks, several with "The Canadian Cookbook" in the title.
I show her what we have in store
Customer: No. None of those.
Me: Do you know anything else about it?
Customer: No. How hard can it be to get a book called The Canadian Cookbook?
Me: You just saw that I've got several different books with that title and you said the one you want isn't any of them. There are over 3 thousand titles that come up when I search that in my database. It's rather a popular title.
Customer: Well I expect you to know which one I want.

Wow. I know they say that women expect their husbands to know what they're thinking without them telling them but I think it's a bit of a stretch to expect strangers to.....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Difficult Concepts

We don't mind if people want to take a quick browse through a book to see if it's what they want. We encourage it normally. I'm not sure this woman understood the concept of a quick look....

After the woman has sat down and been reading a local history book for about half an hour she pulls out a pad of paper and starts making notes from the book.

Me: Can I ring that through for you?
Customer: Oh. I don't want to buy it. I'm just going to read it and take notes.
Me: I'm afraid that's really not appropriate. These books are for sale. If you want to take a look through quickly to see if it's what you're looking for that's ok, but this is not really what a store is meant for.
Customer: But I just want the information.
Me: And the author just wants to be paid for doing all the work to get that information and put it into a book for you to read.
Customer: Well it's not like I'm hurting it.
Me: You are however using it. Therefore it gets Used. We don't sell Used books. I'm sure that the library has a copy that you can borrow.

Try this experiment:
Go to your local department store and take a hair brush off the shelf and start doing your hair up. See how long it takes for someone to tell you you have to buy the products, you can't just use them and put them back. Tell them you're not hurting it. See how long it takes for security to arrive.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Price Crack

Here we go again....

I want the US price for this book.
Me: We sell the books at the Canadian price Sir.
Customer: I want the US price.
I look at the book. There is no US price listed on the cover just the Canadian one.
Me: There is no US price Sir. It's a Canadian book with only Canadian pricing.
Customer: Well there Has to be a US price and I want it.
Me: Sir, this is a history of the Hudson's Bay Company. Canadian History. There is no US price because they don't sell it in the US.
Customer: Well there still has to be a US price and I want it.
Me: Ok. Since our dollar as of this morning was actually worth more than the US dollar and there is no US price on the cover I'd calculate that this $29.99 Canadian book is actually worth $32 US dollars strictly as a straight exchange, not taking in to consideration the price of brokerage or anything else that would normally be added. Do you still want the US price?

There are times I just can't help myself. What sort of crack to you have to smoke to take a normal person and turn them into these people?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Where do these people get their information?

Me: Excuse me Mame is there something I can help you find?
Customer: No. I'm browsing.
Me: Well I'm afraid if there isn't something specific I can help with you'll have to come back tomorrow.
Customer: What? Are you telling me to leave?
Me: Mame. I'm not trying to be rude about it but the store did close 20 minutes ago.
Customer: I came in before you closed.
Me: Ummm... Yes?
Customer: If I get in before you close you have to let me stay.
Me: What?
Customer: You have to let me stay. I got in before you closed the store.
Me: I'm not sure where you came by that but I'm afraid it's not the case. We closed 20 minutes ago and you are going to have to leave.

What kind of twisted logic is that? I got in before you closed so now you have to let me stay as long as I want? My God. We'd Never get to go home if that was the case.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From the Yarn Harlot

August 27, 2008

An Actual Conversation

Yesterday afternoon I was knitting on the subway, headed toward Rachel H's house so that we could go up to the Aurora Guild and drink beer and eat butter tarts speak to the guild. (Good times.) I sat there, going round and round on a sock with four DPNs, and a woman and her son, maybe 7 or eight years old, got on and sat opposite me. The boy watched me for a little bit, and then turned to his mum and said
"What's she doing?" The mum looks and me, then turns to him and says, quite confidently
"She's crocheting". I smile at the pair of them, and then I say to the little boy
"Actually, it's knitting!"
...and the mum looks at me, quirks her eyebrow up, and says, in a haughty and reproachful voice:

"Excuse me... I think I know the difference."

I was stunned. Stunned stupid. Stunned speechless (which actually happens more often to me than you would expect, considering how many speeches I give.) Who argues with the person actually doing a craft? Who does that?
I stared at her, trying really hard to figure out what to say... and I came up empty. I had nothing. Not a single word. (That's a lie. I had a few things, but they were rude, or bordering on rude, or not particularly clever, like "Are you sure about that?" or "Nuh -uh" and I'm not the sort to be rude, or at least I'm the sort who tries to avoid it.) I sat there opening and closing my mouth like a goldfish.

Usually, when this sort of thing happens, I have a brilliant retort. Not then of course, I never have one then....but way later, maybe 3am, when I sit straight up in bed and think of a brilliant, but now entirely useless comeback. This time though, I've come up with nothing.
Any suggestions then, for a civil, clever comeback? What would you have said?
(Not that it's ever going to come up again, I mean... Who says that?)

I am not the only one dealing with this particular breed of human I see.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

If you're going to be demanding try to get it right

When the US dollar value dropped like a stone last year many people thought that instantly all the prices they pay should change. We dealt with a lot of Nastiness over that.

But some of them REALLY didn't get it.

Customer: I want the US price on this book.
Me: We sell books at the Canadian price Mame.
Customer: Well I want the US price. Look! It's half the price!!
I Look
Me: Mame. Do you see that fancy looking L shape?
Customer: Yes. So?
Me: That is the symbol for the British Pound.
Customer: So? I want that price.
Me: That is the price in pounds sterling. Would you would like to pay in pounds? I believe the current exchange on the pound is something like 2.4 so just double for the Canadian price is very good.
Customer: Oh.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Display Only"

A Customer comes up with dusty hardcover fantasy book.

Customer: I'd like to take this one, and I'd like to complain about the shabby condition of these books. It's all dusty and torn.
Me: I'm very sorry about that Mame. I'm not sure what happened to it.
Customer: Well it is just awful.
Me: Again I'm very sorry, I'll make sure it's taken care of. Where did you get it from?
Customer: It was on top of one of the shelves.
Me: On one of the top shelves?
Customer: No it was on Top of the shelves.
Me: It was on the very top of the shelving unit? With all of the display pieces?

We have some old hardcover books that have been glued together to make some interesting decorations for the tops of the shelves that are too high to use for displaying regular stock.
It dawns on me what she's done.

Me: How did you get it down?
Customer: I took one of the stools.
Me: You took one of the stools that say "Store use only. Do Not Use" and used it to take down part of the glued together display pieces that say for "display only" off of a 9 foot tall shelving unit?
Customer: Yes.
Me: Umm. And you don't see what's wrong with this?
Customer: No, I'd like to buy this book and it's dusty and torn.
Me: It's a display piece. It was glued to the top of a shelf that's why it's torn and it's really not for sale.
Customer: Oh

I'm fairly certain that most of these people do in fact read. Books even. Why they can't read signs like "Do Not Use", "Display Only", "Fiction", "Washrooms" I may never understand.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I don't want to know

Customer: I'd like to borrow this book. (He has the book slightly hidden by his hand on the counter)
Me: uumm. We're a bookstore Sir. We only sell books. You can't borrow them here.
Customer: I don't want to buy it. I'm only going to need it for tonight.
Me: I think you need to try the library Sir.
Customer: They don't have this there.
Me: I'm sorry Sir we only sell the books.
Customer: Well what's your return policy then?
Of course now I know he's planning on taking it home and bringing it back tomorrow after he's read whatever he wants out of it.
This is also when I really look at the book he has in his hands. TICKLE HIS PICKLE! : Your Hands-On Guide to Penis Pleasing.
Me: I think you're missing the point. We sell books here, you can't just take it home and read it and bring it back. It's not okay. Besides which, I really think you'll want to spend more than one night with that. For less than twenty bucks it's probably good bang for your buck.
Customer: (Has decency to blush) Okay I'll just buy it.
I wrote "no return" on his receipt just in case.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The supply chain

Customer: What Bookclub does the store belong to?
Me: I'm not sure what you mean?
Customer: (Snotty) You know. Book club. Like the Doubleday book club. What book club does the store belong to?
Me: We don't belong to any book clubs.
Customer: Well you have to belong to one of them.
Me: We really don't belong to any book clubs.
Customer: (Snotty) Well, where do you get your books from then?
Me: We buy them from all the different publishers directly.
Customer: Stores can do that?
Me: Yes.
Customer: Oh.

I love how people can get quite rude with you when they're not prepared to hear that they're wrong.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Maybe I am psychic

Customer: I'm looking for a book.
Me: What book were you looking for?
Customer: I don't know. My sister said it was good though.
Me: Okay. Do you know the title or the author?
Customer: No. She said it was good.
Me: Okay, we have a lot of good books. What was it about?
Customer: I don't know.
Me: So you don't know the title, the author or what it's about?
Customer: Yes.
Me: Is there Anything you know about it other than your sister said it was good?
Customer: It had a chicken on it.
Me: It had a chicken on the cover?
Customer: Yes.

I kid you not. This happened. The amazing part being that I found that book for the customer. It was A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews.

Friday, September 12, 2008

High Expectations

Customer: I'd like to schedule some computer lessons.
Me: I'm sorry, we don't have computer lessons.
Customer: Well you sell computer books.
Me: Yes?
Customer: Then you should give lessons.
Me: Umm. Well we don't. You could check with the local computer stores I'm sure they know where you can get computer lessons.
Customer: This is disgraceful. You sell computer books you should give lessons. (leaves in a huff)

We also sell books on painting, animal husbandry, toilet training, gardening, foreign languages, golf just to name a few. Thank goodness no one has come in expecting lessons in swahili. Yet. Knock on wood for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Passing Passing Passing

Sometimes people just walk up to us in the middle of the store and start talking. This was one of those.

Customer: You know what you guys should have?
Me: What's that?
Customer: Guitar strings.
Me: Huh?
Customer: You should sell guitar strings.
Me: We're a bookstore.
Customer: Yeah. You should sell guitar strings. The music store ordered my guitar strings and they took forever.
Me: And you think that a bookstore is going to get your guitar stings faster?
Customer: Yeah.
Me: Okay. Umm. Thanks for that recommendation, I'll pass that along.

Really? I'll get right on trying to source guitar strings faster and my goodness they'd better cheaper than the music store... Uh huh.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm not psychic

I'm checking on customers when I come across a rather confused looking man. This happens a lot in the computer section and we try our best to help people figure out what they need.

Me: Can I help you find something?
Customer: I'm looking for a book to help me with my computer.
Me: No problem. There are all kinds of books for that. Do you want help with the computer in general or a program?
Customer: I just want a computer book.
Me: Okay. What operating system do you use?
Customer: I just want a computer book.
Me: I know sir, we just need to know what kind of computer book is going to work for you.
Customer: A computer book.
Me: There are different kinds of computers and therefore different kinds of books. You don't have a Mac do you?
Customer: A what?
Me: A Mac - an Apple computer? It's a type of computer. No problem, if you don't know what it is you probably don't have one. You probably have a Windows machine.
Customer: I just have a computer.
Me: Is it new? Did you just get it?
Customer: Why are you asking me all these questions? You don't need to know if my computer's new to sell me a book. I just want a book to tell me how to use my computer.
Me: I'm just trying to figure out what book you need. As you can see (waving my hand at the shelves) there are quite a few different books on computers. If it's new you probably want something on Vista.
Customer: Listen. (Becoming Rude) I just want a basic computer book. I don't want anything special and I don't need to answer all these questions from YOU.
Me: Okay. (I randomly pick out a Vista for Dummies) This is a basic computer book.
Customer: Now was that so hard?
Me: (Biting my tongue) You have a nice day sir.

I found out later that he came back into the store to return the book. His computer was secondhand and quite old so he didn't have Vista and he was trying to figure out how to use some kind of software, not the operating system at all. I tried to help. Really I did. Some people don't want to be helped.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Customer: Can I photocopy here?
Me: No, I'm sorry we don't have photocopying services.
Customer: I can't photocopy the books?
Me: You want to photocopy the books?
Customer: Yes and just take the pages I want.
Me: No. You can't do that.
Customer: Really?
Me: Really.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Are we both speaking English?

Customer: What's the difference between these two books?
She points to both the mass market and tradepaper copies of a particular book.
Me: The only differences are the size and price of the book. The story is exactly the same; one is just smaller than the other.
Customer: Why?
Me: Why are they different sizes or why are they different prices?
Customer: Both.
Me: The tradepaper is bigger as you can see. That makes the print larger and the line spacing larger which makes it easier to read than the little pocket sized one. The little guy is little. It's easier to pack or carry around with you. The smaller one is less expensive mostly because it is so much smaller.
Customer: Okay. Well want That book in the small size.
The customer points at a totally different hardcover book.
Me: I'm afraid that particular book isn't out in the small size. It just came out in hardcover so It'll be a while before it's available in the little size.
Customer: Well order it for me.
Me: I can order it now for you for when it comes out that size but it's going to be more than a year.
Customer: I want it now.
Me: Well it's here in hardcover now. It's going to be just over a year before it's in the mass market size.
Customer: I want it in the little size now. Order it.
Me: I can't get it now. It's not out yet.
Customer: Well order it in.
Me: We're not going anywhere here. You can get this book in hardcover now. OR you can wait the year for the little size. That's it. Those are the two choices. I can not get that book in this size now.
Customer: Well. If you don't want me to buy it here fine.

My forehead is starting to hurt.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Help Me!

Customer walks into the store and looks around....

Customer: Woah... Man.... There's like books in here. Like lots of books. Woah man. Do people like read in this town?
Me Dumbfounded........
Customer: That many people like read? Like a lot of like books?
Me: Yes.
Customer: Woah...

Help me!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Death and Taxes people.

Customer: I want the newest Harry Potter book.
Me: I'll grab it for you.
I take the book up to the counter and ring it in
Me: That'll be $36.75
Customer: It says $35.00 on the book.
Me: Yes sir the other $1.75 is tax.
Customer: Why is there tax?
Me: Ummm... I don't know there just is. You'd have to ask the government.
Customer: I don't want to pay tax.
Me: Well nobody does sir but that's just the way it is, you can't get away without paying tax.
Customer: Well I'm not paying it.
Me: Well I can't not charge it.
Customer: Fine. I don't want the book then.
Me: Okay then.
Customer Talking like a spoiled child might : I WAS going to spend my gift certificate here but now I'm not going to. I'm just not going to use it EVER. So there.
Customer then storms out
Me: ???

Wow. Completely unaware of how gift certificates work? I'd be interested to know if he understands the concept of income tax and whether the Canadian Tax people know about him....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

You couldn't have needed it too desperately

Customer: I'm here to pick up my book.
Me: Can I get your name?
Customer tells me his name.
Me: I don't see anything on the hold shelf.... Let me check the computer.
I check the computer and find that this person's book arrived more than 4 months ago and was never picked up.
Me: That reservation was canceled when the book wasn't picked up within four weeks of arrival.
Customer: But I really needed it.
Me: It was ordered more than 4 Months ago sir. We can't hold things that long without payment. It was put out on the sales floor and sold.
Customer: That was MY book!
Me: Actually sir, it was our book. It had the possibility of becoming your book for 4 weeks after it arrived. Had you paid for it, it would have then became your book. After that 4 weeks it became fair game for other customers.
Customer: Well I still want it.
Me: Okay sir, we can special order it for you. We will require you to pay for it before it is ordered however.
Customer: I didn't have to pay for it in advance last time.
Me: True, but then you didn't come in and pick up the book you ordered.
Customer: But I'm here now.
Me: It's been 4 months sir. I'll be needing that prepaid.

We did end up ordering this book for the customer. He did pay for it in advance.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You lie!

Customer(on the phone): Do you have a book there that is a very big book of birds with pictures and you press a button and it plays the bird songs?
Me: Yes we do.
Customer: How much is it?
Me: $50.00
Customer: I saw it at another store in town for $25.00.
Me: Really? Maybe it wasn't the same book. This one is very large and has hundreds of pictures as well as the digital player for the bird calls.
Customer: I'm sure it's the same book. I'd like it for $25.00.
Me: I'm afraid that book is $50.00 - I won't be able to sell it for $25.00.
Customer: Fine - I'll get it at the other place.
Not more than an hour later this same customer comes into the store - I knew from her voice right away.

Customer: Do you have a book of birds with pictures and you press a button and it plays the bird songs?
Me: Yes, it's right here.
Customer: How much is it?
Me: $50.00
Customer: Some other store in town has it for $25.00
Me: Is that so?
Customer: I'd like it for $25.00
Me: Well, it's $50.00. I can't sell it to you for $25.00.
Customer: It's somewhere else for $25.00.
Me: Where is that?
Customer: Somewhere else.
Me: Okay.
Customer: So can I have it for $25.00 then?
Me: No.
Customer: Fine I'll take it.

Why do people lie to us?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

In my world the sky is green

Customer: I'd like a copy of Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer please.
Me: Okay, I'll grab it from the shelf for you.
A Moment Later
Me: Here you are.
Customer: Oh. I want it in paperback.
Me: I'm sorry, it just came out in Hardcover. It'll probably be around a year before it's out in paper.
Customer: I want it in paperback. I've seen it at another store in paperback.
Me: Maybe it was another book that you saw? They haven't released it in paperback in Canada.
Customer: I saw it.
Me: Okay, well we don't have it.
Customer: I'm going to buy it in paperback at Ch***ers.
Me: Okay. Have a nice day.

I suddenly feel bad for the poor kid she's going to talk to at Ch***ers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm sure you're very trustworthy

A man comes in to the store that I don't know at all. He's not a regular customer, family or friends of any of the staff or even a neighbour....

Customer: Can I just take this book now and come back later and pay for it?
Me: Umm sorry no.
Customer: But I'll come back later this afternoon I promise.
Me: We really can't allow merchandise to leave without it being paid for.
Customer: I'm trustworthy. Don't I look like I'm trustworthy?
Me: You look very trustworthy sir but I'm afraid it doesn't really matter what I think. We can't allow you to leave with a book that hasn't been paid for.
Customer: Okay, I guess I'll pay for it then.
Me: Okay.

Strange don't you think?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Boy do I get it

Good joke: If People Bought Cars Like They Buy Computers

Check out this link. They understand the people I'm trying to help.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I could if you'd let me

Customer: Can you tell me something? *Holding CD of a local band*
Me: Sure. I'd be happy to.

Customer stands there and stares at me....

Me: What would you like to know?
Customer: Well is this a song? *Pointing at one of the songs on the song list*
Me: Ummm, yes.
Customer: Fine then. I don't want it.
Me: Okay.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Dog's Life it's not

Customer: Do you have that dog book?
Me: Which dog book were you looking for?
Customer: That dog book that's on the bestseller list.
Me: Okay, was it a training book or like a story about a dog book?
Customer: It's on the bestseller list.
Me: Okay, do you remember which bestseller list you saw it on?
Customer: THE bestseller list
Me: In the Globe, MacLeans, The NewYork Times?
Customer: I don't know.
Me: Okay, was it recently that you saw it or a little while ago?
Customer: I don't know.
Me: Okay, Was it one of Cesar Millan's books? Cesar's Way? Be the Pack Leader?
Customer: No.
Me: Marley and Me? A Dog Year? Katz on Dogs?
Customer: No. I'll just look for it.
Me: Okay. Let me know if I can help with anything else.
Customer after 10 min: Here it is I found it myself.
She has Marley and Me in her hands.

I just smile and wish her a Nice Day.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm the lazy one?

*Phone Rings* While I am ringing customers through.

Me: Hello ________ Books, _________ speaking.
Customer: Hello, do you have the phone number for the Walmart?
Me: Umm... No.
Customer: *Rude* Well. Can you look it up for me?
Me: I'm a little busy with our customers at the moment.
Customer: You people are so lazy.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I've looked everywhere!

What is with these people??

Customer: I've looked EVERYWHERE for this book. Do you have it?
Me: Yes.
Customer: I've seriously looked EVERYWHERE in town for this book. I was at Wa**art and Ze**ers and the grocery store and Everyone kept telling me to check here so you were my last hope.

*In Brain Commentary*
Really? You looked EVERYWHERE and they ALL told you that you should try the BOOKstore for the BOOK you are looking for?

Who are these people and why are they all customers at THIS store?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

American Money

Why are Americans so shocked when we tell them that we only accept Canadian currency? We are in Canada after all.

Me: That comes to $9.87 with the tax.
Customer hands me a US $20 & I must have given him a funny look.
Customer: That's more than enough to cover it.
Me: Yes sir, it would be but I'm afraid we are unable to accept US currency.
Customer:*disdainfully*Well Why Not?
Me: We're not set up to deposit US money sir, only Canadian funds.
Customer: I don't understand why everyone keeps telling me they can't take my money. I should be able to use my money anywhere in my country.
Me: Since we are in Canada sir, and not IN your country, we only accept Canadian funds. We can use Visa, Master Card or American Express if that will be more convenient for you.
At this point he's starting to get all worked up.
Sir, do you have a Visa we can use?
Yes, but I'm not paying no Canadian money.
Not a problem sir. We'll charge it to your Visa and you can pay in US money.
Since I know that credit cards pay the merchant in their currency and charge the customer in their own currency at whatever exchange rate is in effect at the time I figure this is a safe way to get the upset yelling man out of the store and still sell the book.
I knew you could take US money. You have to. It's the law you know.

There should be a law alright. One that forces Americans learn that the entire world is not a collection of US states.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Exchange -

Customer: "Do you have that self help book"
Me: "Sorry, which self help book? Do you know the title? Or author?"
Customer: "No, It's that self help book"
Me:"umm... okay, well we have a whole section of self help books. Did you see it on Oprah by any chance?"
Customer: "No"
Me:"Okay, what type of self help book is it?"
Customer: "Self Help"
Me:"I understand that, but there are many different subjects that fall under that category. Did it seem generally inspirational or more specialized, like dealing with grief for instance?"
Customer: "Self Help"
Me:"Umm...okay - here's the self help section. It might be best if you browse and see if you can see it."

I have no idea if the lady found what she was looking for; I went on break after a few minutes. I hope she found "the" self help book.

To Begin

Hello Bloggesphere.

I am starting this blog as a form of therapy. Stress relief if you will.

Readers are suppose to be smart people.... so the theory goes anyway. There are days that I'm quite sure everyone who comes in to the store must be purchasing for someone else who actually reads. There are some really brain dead people out there.

My number one pick so far for truly dumb question:

"So you guys are a bookstore? So do you sell the books?"

I kid you not - this is a question we hear in the store several times a month.

I will share these questions and comments and stories with you people of the screen.