"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, April 14, 2010


Or something like that. Sorry, no majorly witty title for Retail Wednesday this week. And I had to work in the "L" somehow.

Anyhoo. Let's not waste any more time shall we?

Most Annoying Award:

I was called to the front for a customer. When I get up there the customer is holding a pristine, crisp, without even a corner slightly curled, medical book. "I want a damage discount on this!" she announced. I look at the book, obviously confused. She points at a white air bubble the size of a pinhead. Seriously. About 1/16 of an inch in diameter. In the center of a cover, but barely even noticeable. And in no danger of causing any damage to the book. It wasn't even big enough to pop, that's how small it was. I look at her again. She scowls"Can't you give me a damage discount on this?" I look her straight in the eye and say, "I'm sorry, it isn't damaged." (all right, I think I've got to get out of retail. I'm actually saying the things that should probably stay in my head.)
The dot was about as big (maybe) as the biggest dot here.

Phone Freak Award:

Phone rings. I answer. "Thank you for calling Borders, this is Rebecca. How may I help you?"
Customer: Yes, I was wondering if you had a specific pair of shoes in stock?
Me: Um, this is Borders bookstore.
Customer: This isn't FootLocker?
Me: No, it's not.
Customer: Well, do you have their number?
Why, yes! I have it memorized just for your convenience!

(For the record, FootLocker closed in our mall about 3 years ago.)

Private Amusement Award:

We were working on our required pull list - taking books that we have too many of or that aren't selling and sending them back to the warehouse. I picked up the gardening one and was leafing through it at info before heading off to the section. One of my coworkers was standing nearby and we had been joking around. I see one of the titles and it strikes me as a little funny, so I read it out loud. Much louder than I intend. With a (rather cute) guy customer standing nearby. The title of the book? Marijuana is Safer. The guy whipped his head around so fast and looked at me with wide startled eyes. He didn't say anything. I tried not to burst out laughing and ran away so I could tell my coworker (whose back was to him) what had happened. She said, "Well, you don't look like the kind of person that would say something like that."
This is pretty much how he looked.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award:

Guy comes up to coworker A who is standing behind the information desk.
A: Hi! How can I help you?
Guy: Do you work here?
A: Yes, what did you need.
Guy: (leans closer and looks around) Are all the books here for sale?
No, see, the books on the right hand side, second case, third shelf - those are for sale, but nothing else.

Witty Coworker Award:

One of my coworkers recognized a guy that we are sure has been stealing from us. We've never caught him in the act, but we know he does. So she lets all of us know he's in the store. Another coworker, P, asks for a description. He's about A's height, dark curly hair, t-shirt and jeans with a hoodie that he's holding over his shoulder. However, A adds, when he comes in to actually steal, he puts on the sweatshirt and pulls the hoodie up to cover his face from the camera. P blinks and says, "So we're looking for an actual hoodlum."

Wait for it, wait for it... okay there it is. Yeah. It took me a minute too.

The guy on the right? Total hoodlum. The guy on the left? Not so much.

So that's it for the abbreviated version of Retail Wednesday. Man, I need some crazies to come in!

P. S. Sorry this is up so late, but my sister and I got caught up in watching Buffy *cough*Angel*cough*
Who would want to stop watching this extremely palatable face?

and then we went out for ice cream with the Ladies' Fellowship at church. Because as much as I love you guys, this
was much more important :)


chris weigand said...

Too funny and what is even funnier is the fact that those people aren't only in the bookstore, but can be found all over.

Jackee said...

LOL! Those are great awards, especially the ones for the dumb people. And as the saying goes, "There's no cure for stupid."

In other news, your prize should be delivered soon. Enjoy! :o)

Patricia Stoltey said...

Okay, laughing out loud at this one, especially the photos that illustrated your stories. It must be great fun working as a bookseller.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@chris: That is SO true. I used to work in a drug store and you'd have the same kinds of things. Crazy.

@Jackee: hahaha! I need to quote that saying to my coworkers next time we have a particularly dense customer.

@Patricia: thank you kindly. Most of the time it is fun. Occasionally it tries my patience :)

Al said...

How do you keep from banging your head with frustration?
Mmmm, ice cream.


Publish or Perish

Amie McCracken said...

You have made my day.

Tempo said...

Its the loonies and nutters that make working in a shop worthwhile...
I see you meet quite a few.LOL

Jen said...

This is hilarious!!! loonies and nutters definitely a post worth having!!!

M.R.J. Le Blanc said...

I'm loving retail Wednesdays! I used to have a hard time believing people could be this boneheaded...not so much anymore :)

Falen said...

awww! Now i want that ice cream!

Alyson said...

Retail Wednesday!!! These make my day. Thanks for sharing!

Palindrome said...

If I would have been drinking while reading this, it would have ruined Hal even more by splashing him with water.

And now I want an orangutan and ice cream.

Teebore said...

I think I've got to get out of retail. I'm actually saying the things that should probably stay in my head.

Nah, that's when you need to STAY in retail. At least 'til they kick you out. ;)

Why, yes! I have it memorized just for your convenience!

I love how people can't be arsed to look this stuff up themselves, especially in this day and age.

My favorite? We have a Borders not far from my store, and if we won't have something in stock, customers will ask if Borders has it.

Uh...you'd have to ask them.

Do you have their number?

Yes, let me make it easier for you to shop at our competition instead of ordering the book from us.

Are all the books here for sale?

The inverse of this, of course, are the stupid people who think bookstores are the same as libraries, or don't recognize the differences between the two.

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

So far behind!

@Al: Oh, but that's what the info desk is for - banging our heads in frustration :)

@Amie: aw, thanks

@Tempo: Seriously, they do make my day (sometimes they make it miserable, but they make it :)

@Jen: Oh this is such a great outlet to keep me from going insane. And I get to amuse people too. Win/Win :)

@M.R.J. LeBlanc: Yeah, I believe pretty much anything from people now. But they still manage to surprise me :)

@Falen: ICE CREAM!

@Alyson: shucks - you guys make my day too.

@Palindrome: Orangutans are cute, but probably messy. And how much do I LOVE that you call your compy Hal!

@Teebore: My favorites are the people that act as though B&N is a dirty word and go to great pains to whisper or say "your competition" with air quotes. It's like, yeah whatever, I don't want you going there, but I'm not going to spear you with a pencil if you say the name aloud.... hmmm... spearing people with pencils sounds like fun, though....

Teebore said...

My favorites are the people that act as though B&N is a dirty word and go to great pains to whisper or say "your competition" with air quotes.

Ha! Yeah, we get the same thing to for Borders.

And what cracks me up is that the people threatening to go to "the competition" are looking for something (like, say, books on photo-voltaic systems) that NO earthly bookstore is going to carry.