Skip to main content

Caution: Don't Feed The Customers....

Customers are strange creatures. The last couple of days have been an exercise in reminding me of this-----

Somewhere along the way, the idea of a bookstore has become synonymous with an information help line (seems plausible as we generally have quite a bit of updated information at our fingertips), though most often, we are used as a library (again very plausible, in most schools and perhaps some homes, children are taught how libraries work well before they understand how to purchase a book). Those of us in the retail end of the book business deal with these things on a daily basis--we've all had the customer who expects us to find the red book he saw promoted on his favorite news program 3 weeks ago that we had on a table near the door 2 weeks prior and why don't we have it waiting for him at customer service already.... *sigh*

But, sometimes there are moments in the day where we pause for a moment and think to ourselves, really? Did he/she just ask that? Most things are completely innocuous, and if they thought about what they were actually asking, we hope the customer would realize how bizarre it sounds from the other side. Though, perhaps not....

First was a man on the phone:

Customer--Can you give me the number to the bookstore?
Me--???  You want the phone number to the bookstore you just called?
Customer-- No, I know there's a bookstore in **name of our shopping center**
Me--Yes sir, that's us.
Customer-- And there's a bookstore right across from you.
Me--You mean **name of our competitor**?
Customer--Yes, but, I don't want their phone number. I want the phone number to the bookstore. You know, the used place where they're doing some construction.
**it dawns on me he's referring to a small, used bookstore, cleverly called The Bookstore, about 5 miles from us, one of those places everybody loves, but, that might shut down before you can turn around**
Me-- Oh, you mean, The Bookstore. I don't even know if that store is still there anymore.
Customer--It's still there. Now, do you have their phone number?
Me--No sir, the only bookstore's number I have is the one you just called.
Customer--Oh, okay, thanks anyway. *phone clicks off*

Sorry, we don't keep random phone numbers about our person--especially those of our competition--we are a bookstore, not "information"--they can be reached by dialing 411 

Then there was the man who stomped his way up to customer service 2 hours before we closed:

Customer--What do you guys do with the books that are left out at night? **he stares me down with the most accusatory glare I've ever received**
Me--The books left out?
Customer--Yeah, I was reading a book the other night and left it on the table, what do you guys do with them?
Me--We shelve them all before we leave the store.
Customer--Uh, I just looked on the shelf and my book isn't there. So where is it?
Me--What's the name of the book?
Customer--**rambles off title of the book**
Me--**pulls book up in computer** Well, it looks like the book might have sold since the other night.
Customer-- Scoffs-- Great, now I HAVE to buy it on my iPad. **stomps away from the customer service desk**

Sorry, what part of bookSTORE do you have a problem understanding. I apologize that the book you were reading here the other night (which we make no qualms about you doing for FREE) was sold between the time you left and the time you came back, but, that's what happens at bookSTORES. If you didn't care enough about the book to buy it in the first place, don't get mad at me when someone who does care enough about it comes along and takes it to its forever home.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."



Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.


The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

Scottish Festival and a bit of poetry...

The 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival was held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on April 7th - April 9th. This was the first time I'd ever attended. I'm sad to say I didn't even know the festival existed until last year. On Saturday, April 8th, a group of friends and I made the several-hour trek, determined to enjoy everything we could.
The weather was glorious, all bright, bonnie sunlight and mild temperatures. Seemed mother nature approved of the festivities. The campus was appropriately kitted out, and nearly everyone in attendance was properly *ahem* kilted out. 
Bagpipes playing, we ate meat pies--- well, mine was a 5-cheese mac & cheese pie--- watched clans parade their colors, got sunburned (darn our fair, Celtic skin), and wanted the day to last forever.
There were a host of competitions, everything from Scottish/Irish dance-offs, sheep dog trials, Tartan races, a Celtic poetry competition, piping and drum trials, even a bonniest knees competition (…