This has become extremely therapeutic for me.
As therapeutic as these socks.
Ever since starting these weekly blogs customers just don't annoy me the way they used to. Instead of staying irritated, I end up trying not to smirk as I wait for them to leave so I can scribble everything down before I forget, saying to myself... "oh, this'll make a great blog entry." :)
Now without further ado, on to this week's awards!
Sleeper Award: (when a seemingly normal customer surprises me completely)
I pass two older teenage boys sitting at the book club table in the back of the store. They have a couple of those "movies you have to see before you die" books in front of them and are busily discussing stars such as Audrey Hepburn. I am mildly impressed as usually teenage boys are hanging out in graphic novels or the erotica section making idiots of themselves. These two seemed intelligent.
Notice the word "seemed". Ten minutes later I am helping a customer in the sci-fi section and he is recommending a book to me. (I love it when customers do this, by the way. It's one of the reasons I love working in a book store)
Now, the sci-fi section is in front of the book club table and I'm two rows away from the table, but the shelves are only about 4 1/2 or 5 feet tall, so I can see over them. In the middle of a sentence my attention is drawn away as suddenly one of the teenage boys' heads pops into view. Then his shoulders. Then there is a bounce and he is STANDING ON THE TABLE. Looking around as though he has simply taken a step.
Wow, the floor is further away when I stand up here.
I interrupt my customer and call, "Excuse me! Please get off the table." The boy looks at me and steps down - his face completely emotionless. No grin of mischief, no sheepish look, no nothing. Weird. I don't know why he wanted to get on the table. Ten minutes later the two of them leave still talking about movie stars. Again I say, weird.
Odd Question Award:
Again, two older teenage boys come into the store. They barge right up to the info desk and push in front of the customer I am helping. "When was Alice in Wonderland published? and Lord of the Rings?" I tell them to wait while I help my customer. They get exasperated and stomp off. When I return to the desk after finishing with my customer they have snagged not just one, but two of my co-workers to help them solve this imminently important mystery. One coworker is looking it up in our database, but that only lists the date the edition was published, not when the original copyright was. Another coworker is taking them to the section to look inside the book to find it. (As both a Tolkien and Carroll fan I was rather ashamed inside that I couldn't for the life of me remember either answer. Wonderland was in 1865 and LOTR:FotR in 1954) "So, Alice was written first," they say and stalk from the store. And once again I say Weird.
Ah, yes another one of those age old "which came first" questions.
Captain Obvious Award:
Yesterday a girl approached me and asked, in all seriousness, "Could you please tell me who wrote Dante's Inferno?" Ummmmm.... there is no good way to answer a question like that.
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Cutie Patootie Award:
A little boy, about 4 years old, came in with his father. They're in the front of the store and the dad starts to head to the right. The boy grabs his hand and tugs him to the left. "Dad, no," he says. "This way. Come this way. I'm the expert. You follow the expert." SO adorable.
Which reminds me of one of my favorite little kid stories ever. We have these blue stool things in the kid's room. There are 4 of them and they are arched so when you put them together they make a donut shape. There was a little boy - maybe 2 or 3 - sitting in the hole in the middle. He sits down and lolls his head back stretching his arms around the rim. "Hey Mom," he calls. "Look, I'm in a hot tub!" :D
Outright Bizarre Award:
Girl approaches the info desk. "Excuse me. Can I use my library card here?"
"No, I'm sorry you can't."
Girl walks away and then a moment later her mom comes up. "You can't use your library card here?"
Mother: "Well she was told by the lady at the library that she could use it here."
Me: "I'm not sure why they said that, but you can't."
Mother: "I was standing right there when they told her. Why would they say that?"
Me: (AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) "I don't know. You can't use a library card here."
Mother: "Well." and walks away.
Apparently they missed that part that says "@ your LIBRARY"
Most Annoying Award:
I was the only person working the floor and I had to run into the back for a moment. Literally a moment - only gone for about 60 seconds. When I come back to the info desk there is a GROWN MAN sitting, yes SITTING on the desk swinging his feet and WHISTLING!
As soon as he seems me he jumps down and exclaims, "It worked!"
I think, yes, because I would never have come out to help you if it weren't for the fact that you were sitting on the desk.
I look up the book he wants and as I lead him to the section he says, "It was just my whistling. I know it's terrible. You just wanted me to stop."
I grimace a smile and say nothing. What DO customers want you to say during moments like that?