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.