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…

I is for...

... Iron Maiden


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe


---and not the English heavy metal band from East London...

Day 2 in the realm of morbid/macabre torture devices finds us back in the Middle Ages (there was definitely a fashionable trend of imaginative torture devices during this time). Though, the Middle Ages isn't really when we should be turning our attention when we discuss the Iron Maiden. In fact, there has been some debate as to the exact appearance of this monstrous creation.

It's probably easiest to relocate such a torturous thing back to a time when it seemed everyone was as skilled at exacting a confession as they were at creating the tools to exact those confessions. It's easier to blame ancestors from several hundred years ago than to accept that anyone of civilized disposition would be capable of doing such horrible things with such terrif…

V is for...

... Vrolik Museum



The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? ---Edgar Allan Poe




How about a morbid museum?

Still used by the medical faculty and students at the University of Amsterdam, the Vrolik Museum is a unique collection of odd bones and skulls, pathogenic specimens, and an assortment of anomalous embryos.

The collection was amassed by Dutch anatomist, Gerardus Vrolik (1775-1859) and continued by his son, Dutch anatomist and pathologist, Willem Vrolik (1801-1863). And since Willem's death, various donations have expanded the collection even further. Most specimens are human, though a few zoological specimens have trickled into the collection. Preserved remains, plaster casts, and various models show an assortment of congenital deformities and malformations.

This is one of those places that isn't for the faint of heart---certainly not for those who are easily moved or triggered by…