"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Retail Wednesday With a Winner Reveal at the End!

I feel like I need a theme song or something. "Here it comes, walking down the street, it's just making fun of everyone I meet.. Hey, hey Retail Wednesday..." And that's about as far as I get.


On to our awards!

Odd Question Award:

Okay, so the question wasn't really THAT odd, it was more the way they went about asking for it. A mother and son approached me to ask if we had Native American short stories. I asked if they meant stories about them or stories by Native American authors. "I don't know," the mother shrugs. "It's supposed to be stories about oppression. But it has to be fiction." ?! She could give me no more information. I'm sorry, if you don't even know what you're supposed to be getting, then I sure don't!
Well, until you do, don't come running to me...

Captain Obvious Award:

Rainy weekends are fantastic for business. We are already a weekend store, but if it rains, then we are absolutely mobbed. Last Saturday was one of those days. The cafe was packed, the store was filled with browsers and we were all kept running nearly constantly. Early afternoon, after picking her way around several strollers, small children, hordes of adults and teeny boppers, a woman looks at me, points at the kids' room and announces: "It's a MESS in there!"

Most Annoying Award:

One of our baristas was running some magazines up to the register. On her way back to the cafe a customer accosts her, throws up his hands in the "Time Out" signal and says, "Hold on - time out! I'm looking for The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Because this will make me want to help you...

Pulling Teeth Award:
Sometimes trying to get information out of customers is particularly difficult.
Example 1 -
Guy: Where is Personal Finance?
Me: (taking him toward the section) Are you looking for something specific?
Guy: The computer said it would be on Shelf L.
Me: (Boy do I wish that the computer didn't give shelf letters - we don't really use them.) Is there a particular book? We file them more by author than by shelf letters.
Guy: (gives me sarcastic look) Oh, really. Well, the author is *******
Me: What book are you looking for?
Guy: (perusing the shelf) You spell the name like this - * * * * * * *
Me: (WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE BOOK YOU MORON) Do you remember the title?
Guy: Yes, it's ______________.
Me: Here you go! (now just walk away)

Example 2
Woman: Do you have books on events?
Me: What exactly do you mean?
Woman: Like planning events.
Me: What kind of events? We have a couple books on like baby showers or wedding showers...
Woman: No just events.
Me: We don't really have anything just on event planning.
Woman: Well I bought one here before so I know you have them.
Me: Do you mean planning events like as a business?
Woman: Yes.
Me: Oh, okay. That would be in Small Business. (take her to the section, find the one book we have on it)
Woman: No, like wedding planning.
Me: (Well, maybe if you had said that in the first place we could have saved five minutes of both of our lives that we will now NEVER GET BACK.)
So true, Benjamin, so true...

Strangest Topic Award:

We had not one, but two people ask me in the same day for books on yoyos. I just thought it was rather odd for two people to ask that in such a short amount of time, but the real winner for strange topic this week was the woman who asked for our section on marionettes.
Why would you want books on these? CREEPY!

Book Rearrangement Award:

We have a history table near our biography section. When recovering I discovered not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Michael Jackson biographies sandwiched between various stacks of history books on the table. I'm really not sure what kind of statement they were trying to make.

Private Amusement Award:

A guy asked me if we carried any books on magic, like slight of hand. We don't have many, but I show him the ones we do have. He asks if we have any DVDs. I say, unfortunately no. He says, "I probably have to go to one of those crazy stores with the nutty people." Gives me a big, weird grin and walks away. Ummm.....
I know what I'd find - weirdo customers like this one.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award:

Yesterday we got a phone call. Customer wanted to know if we had a specific book. I was helping another customer place an order, so I passed the call off to a coworker. Later that day the customer comes in and asks another employee for the book. After she has looked for it for several minutes she asks me. I recognize the title and tell her to ask if it is the same customer that called to ask us to hold it. She does and it is. I shake my head. If he put it on hold, then obviously it would not be on the shelf anymore. So the customer heads up to the register. The cashier cannot find the book, so the coworker that helped him on the phone is asked if he set the book aside. Coworker looks at me strangely. "I told him we didn't have it."
Okay, so this picture has nothing to do with the story, but when I googled "don't have it" this came up and I had to laugh and then post it.

Densest Customer Award:

A coworker is standing behind the register, ringing up a customer. A girl leans across the queue line and hollers at him, "Excuse me, do you work here?!"

Usually if someone is standing BEHIND the register with that glazed look in their eyes, it's a pretty safe bet that they DO actually work at the store you are in. Usually.

And now onto the most important award of the day...
*loud cheering commences*

I can't tell you how much I wish I could send each and every one of you an owl. It's been so much fun "meeting" all of you and I hope we have a long and fun blogging friendship ahead of us. So stay tuned because I'm sure I'll throw another one of these contests when I reach some other unplanned milestone.

So without further ado:

The "already a stalker" winner is:

And the "new stalker" winner is:

Congratulations to Joan Crawford and Erin!

E-mail me at sonshinemusic(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and your happy little owl will find its way to your mailbox. (Erin, yours might be a little longer since he hasn't officially been born yet, but it will go out within a week)

Thanks to everyone for entering and posting and linking and everything!


AchingHope said...

This was hilarious and I laughed (well, duh, you heard me). And hoorah to the winners!

VW: pardions, a group of people who party-on all the time.

AchingHope said...

Okay, so blogger just told my verification word didn't match, but it posted my comment anyway. Weird.

Falen said...

haha! Joan has a new owl baby in her already large owl family!

Dangerous With a Pen said...

Oh my gosh, I was just laughing out loud like a crazy person. I worked at a Barnes & Noble for one day once. I am a teacher and I was looking for summer work and I told them right up front I couldn't do night hours, so if they needed nights, they would be better off with someone else. I guess they were happy to have a teacher in the kids' section, or they weren't listening or whatever, so they ONLY gave me nights. I told them I couldn't do it. So I got paid for one training day and that was the extent of my employment, LOL. Reading your posts about customers cracks me up, because I could completely imagine myself thinking the things that you write. I often find myself thinking similar things when parents return first grade homework with notes like, "I didn't understand the directions". Oy.

Anywho... CONGRATS to your lucky winners! Avert your eyes from the weeping and rending of garments over here. I still think your owls are precious and maybe one day I'll convince you to sell me one. Or twenty five. So that I can populate my writing room with them. And it will be all cool and mod and creepy enough to keep people out. :D

Hehe... so glad I found your blog, you crack me up!

Erin said...

When you say Erin do you mean ME? Wheee!!!!

Thank you. I'll email you my mailing deets now.

Jenn said...

I cried a little bit because I didn't win an owl. Hahaha.

But seriously—who is a better owl-mom than Joan?
I'm sure Erin will be a good owl mom too:)

Sonshine, your Retail Wednesdays make me laugh out loud. Often.

Congrats Joan and Erin:)

Jessica said...

I realized today during my shift that it was Retail Wednesday. My head hurts but still I made it through your stories with a huge smile on my face! How come all these things happen when Im not around???

Erin said...

Thanks Jenn. It's nice to know you have confidence in me!

Frank Quick said...

Yay Joan! I hope the owl makes you unbelievably happy!

Now onto comments. I will try to keep this one from becoming a book.

I spent 7 years working in and then managing bookstores. I started out in a B&N then got head hunted by Waldenbooks (Gods I hate malls.) and eventually wound up managing a Borders back home.

In all that time my favorite people, by far, were the ones insisting that they were looking for books written BY Harry Potter. I tried to explain that HP was part of the title but they wouldn't believe me. In the end I ordered an out of print book through a vendor twice for a book on economics by Harry Potter.

You would think that people buying books would be smarter.


Y.F.N. Palindrome aka Hannah said...


Teebore said...

Damn you Crawford! >shakes fist< This all part of your nefarious plan to conquer the world via owl, isn't it?

At least I have Retail Wednesday stories to get me through the upcoming Owlocalypse.

Odd Question: What, you don't have an "Oppression" section? ;)

Pulling Teeth: Wait, your shelves are lettered? Borders really is a whacky place... ;)

Strangest Topic: I LOVE the things to which people think we have whole sections devoted. How many marionette books do they really think have been written? It's like customers imagine there's an unlimited number of books written on every subject imaginable.

Densest Customer: Okay, I thought the people that asked "do you work here?" when I'm wearing a name tag, pushing around a cart of books and carrying a hand scanner were dense. Asking the people behind the counter? That's a new level of dense.

Joan Crawford said...

HOOOOORRAAAYYYY! I am Champion of the Owl! Yes, my pretties, yes, come home to Mama. Soon, my lovelies, soon it will be our time!

(that Teebore is onto something)

SonshineMusic said...

:( to all of you who didn't win. Seriously. I would so make one for each of you if it wouldn't make me go broke.

But I will DEFINITELY do more contests (because I had SO much fun and met SO many new people.) Besides, this way I can blackmail you into continuing to read my blog. mwa hahahahaha

@Teebore: I know, people ask me if I work there all the time, and I figure it's just a conversation starter for them, but this one just took the cake. Except for that one back around Christmas, but I'll save that for next week

Al said...

I've got an award for you at my blog