"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

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hey, Wait! It Can't Be Wednesday Already!

First, I have to share this comic - it's from a fabulous artist who did a series of comics called "Benry Knows Best" which for now, you can find over at The Ack Attack (and if you haven't read her recaps, they will change your rewatching of Lost forever!) Yes, yes, this is another Lost thing, but it's beautiful and Ben is totally and forever my all time favorite Lost character, so this is just a fantastic last comic.
It's kinda small - click on it to see the bigger picture.

Okay, I'm starting to cry now, so on to the real reason for Wednesdays.

Does everybody know what time it is?

Okay, so all the crazies decided to come out this week. No. Seriously. I think they all decided to come to my store. Every. Single. One.
Look! A movie about life in RETAIL! Whodathunk?

Fine, fine, maybe not all of them. But it's either nothin' or everything! Find a balance people - you know, only so many crazies allowed a week.

Anyways, on to the awards!


A customer calls about a return.

Lady: "Yes, I bought a nursing review book last week. But the cover is falling off and the pages are ripped and the CD is missing, so I want to return it."
Other than that it's in PERFECT condition!

Um, I'm sorry - how did you NOT notice all that here in the store?!

Us: "We can do an exchange."

Lady: "What if you don't have it in stock?"

Us: "Then we can order you a replacement."

Lady: "No, I just want my money back. I don't want anything else."

Us: "I think I smell something fishy....."
And I don't think it's him...


I get called to the front to approve a no receipt return.

The woman is returning five books. Her story? They were "gifts". (the most convenient and probably least real reason people return books.)

So I look at them. One has a ripped spine. Like pretty seriously ripped. Like we can't put on the shelf and sell it spine. Sorry, it has to be in salable condition.

Second one has GOO on the cover and is SO old the pages are like bright yellow. Like ugly-I've-been-sitting-on-a-shelf-for-about-twenty-years yellow. And it's just a mass market paperback. No way I'm taking that one back. No how.

Third and fourth one are in fine condition and we carry them, so sure I'll take them back.

Fifth one... a travel book - beginning to take on that yellow hue as well - that was published in 2002. Um, most travel books are updated and revised every year, because things change. 8 years old, ain't gonna cut it, lady.

She said she got them as gifts? I want to know what YEAR!
I got this for my birthday approximately 26 years ago - I can return that... right?


I get called up about a return (again). A customer has one of those electronic Spanish/English translating dictionaries that he wants to return. Problem is, it's been opened. The package is cut and we can't take back electronics that have been opened unless it's damaged and then we'll exchange it for the same item. I explain this to the customer. He looks at me as though I have three heads.

I explain again.

Man: It doesn't work.

Me: Oh, well we can exchange it if it's damaged.

Man: No, I don't want it. They told me it translates from English to Spanish AND from Spanish to English. It only does English to Spanish. I don't want it.

Me: Well, let's take a look at it. (I pick up the dictionary turn it on and show him, step by step how to translate from Spanish to English. TWICE.) It seems to be working fine.

Man: No, they lied to me. They told me it translated both ways, it only does from English. I need one that goes from Spanish.

Me: (showing him again) It's working just fine. See? It translated to Spanish. I'm sorry, I can't take it back once it's been opened except to exchange it for the same item if it's damaged.

Man: It doesn't work. It doesn't do from Spanish.

Me: I just did it several times. It does translate from Spanish. I just showed you how.

Man: No, it doesn't work. I want to return it.

Me: I'm sorry. It works just fine and I can't take it back because it's been open. (At this point I realize that he will keep me talking in circles ad infinitum so I apologize and walk away, hoping he will get the hint. *sigh*)
How my brain looks after a customer like that. srsly.


That sounds a lot funnier than it actually is.

1. Coworker J is told there is a mess in the men's room. She gets a male employee to guard the door where she finds a pile of, well, you know, on the floor. (This I will NEVER understand. How hard is it to actually get it INTO the porcelain bowl, huh?) When she goes to throw away the paper towels, she finds ... A BEER CAN with BEER still in it IN the trashcan.

Her reaction? Well, someone was having a good time.

What on earth would cause you to throw a partially full can of beer into a restroom trashcan in a BOOKSTORE?
Yeah, so this picture has nothing to do with the story, except it's beer -
but I had to work Lost in again SOMEWHERE!
2. A woman approaches me and asks me to help her find a book. She seriously invades my personal space. SERIOUSLY. Which I can normally deal with. Except her breath was seriously BAD beer breath. Maybe she was hanging out with the other guy?


And here's the story to make all of you glad that you do NOT work retail.

I answer the phone. (1st mistake)

Woman: I was wondering if you could tell me if you have a book in stock.

Me: Sure, what book?

W: What?

M: What book?

W: Oh, it's called An American Childhood and I think it's by like Dillard, Annie Dillard. I don't know the publisher.

M: Sure, it looks like we should have it, let me go check.

W: What was that?

M: Let me check to see if we have it.

W: Well, can you tell me, once you check, how much it is?

M: It's $14.

W: How much?
M: $14.

W: For the hardcover?

M: No, that's for the paperback. I don't have a hardcover listed. It may be out of print, or they might not have put out a hardcover. I'm not sure.

W: Well, how much would the hardcover cost?

M: There isn't one listed here, so I'm not sure, but hardcovers usually run around $25.

W: How much?

M: Around $25.

W: That's how much the hardcover would be?

M: There isn't a hardcover showing here, so I'm not sure. I can check and see if there's a listing on our website (At this point you could not have paid me enough money to explain to her about used books)

W: So you could order it?

M: Let me check and see if there's a hardcover listing. (I put the phone on hold FAST before she has a chance to say anything else. Look up book on Borders.com. No listing for a hardcover. I pick up the phone again.) Hello? (dead silence) Hello?....... Hello?

W: What? Hello? Oh did you find it?

M: No, I'm sorry. It looks like there's only a paperback edition available. We have it in stock, would you like me to hold it for you?

W: I hate this book and now I hate it even more since I have to replace it.

M: ....

W: How long can you hold it for?

M: 24 hours.

W: What?

M: 24 hours.

W: Well, I don't know when I'll be able to make it to the store. It might be a couple weeks.

M: You can call back when you know you'll be coming and we can hold it for you then.

W: But if you don't have it I can order it, right?

M: Absolutely.

W: What?

M: Yes, we could order it.

W: Can you ship it if I order it?

M: Yes.

W: How much would it be?

M: $14.

W: And that's for the paperback?

M: Yes.

W: And how much was the hardcover?

M: There is no hardcover. It's either out of print, or they didn't make it.

W: It's what?

M: Out of print.

W: Well, the one I borrowed from the library was a hardcover. Then I lost the stupid thing and now I have to replace it.

M: It might have been a library edition. Sometimes they have library editions that aren't sold through bookstores.

W: What was that?

M: (Why did I have to bring that up? WHY? WHY?) It might have been a special library edition.

W: Oh. So you only have the one copy?

M: Yes, just one.

W: But it should still be there when I come in right?

M: Probably, but I can't guarantee it.

W: What?

M: I can't guarantee it.

W: But you can order it?

M: Yes.

W: And that's $14 even?

M: Yes. (YES! I can HANG UP! Oh, wait...)

W: But it's not really a popular book right?

M: I don't know.

W: Has anyone ever bought a copy since you opened the store?

M: ...

W: Never mind, never mind. That's water under the bridge.
Like this bridge?

W: So you have a copy and you can order it for me if it's not there when I come in.

M: Yes. I'm sorry, I have a customer waiting for me.

W: All right, thank you... what was your name again?

M: (through gritted teeth) Rebecca.

W: So I'm going to check on some things and if I decide I want it I'll call you back. When do you work?

M: (ummmm.... NOT) Anyone here would be able to help you.

W: So I can ask anyone and they could put it aside for me?

M: Yes. Bye.

W: Bye.

She hangs up FINALLY! and the customer waiting at the desk gets all snarky and is like, she should have just accepted your answer and you should have hung up on them a long time ago.

An hour or so later I answer the phone again! (2nd mistake)

M: Thank you for calling Borders in ****** This is Rebecca speaking, how may I help you?

W: Did I talk to you a little while ago about An American Childhood?

M: Yes.

W: And what was your name again?

M: (Through extremely gritted teeth) Rebecca

W: I think I do want to take that book. Can you put it aside for me?

M: Sure.

W: And how long can you hold it for?

M: 24 hours.

W: Oh, I don't think I'll be able to make it tomorrow. I might be able to come the next day.

M: That's fine.

W: And it was $14?

M: Yes.

W: Even?

M: Yes.

W: And how much would that be with tax?

M: I don't know, it would have to be rung up.

W: Is there regular tax on books?

M: Yes.

W: the full 8%?!

M: Yes.

W: And you only have it in paperback?


We hang up... finally.

But Wait! There

Two days later I answer the phone (3rd mistake)

W: Hello, you were holding a book for me. An American Childhood. I won't be able to come in. I don't know when I'll be able to make it so you can put it back on the shelf.

M: All right. No problem.

W: Do you think it will still be there when I do come?

M: I don't know.

W: But if it's not you can order it, right?

M: Yes.

W: It's not a very popular book. No one should buy it, right?

M: ... I'm sorry, I have a customer waiting. Bye!

I swear, if that woman comes in while I am in the store she may not leave alive. Or intact.

And by the way - these were the EDITED conversations! SERIOUSLY! Add a "what" after pretty much every single thing I said, plus several dozen more iterations about price, hardcover vs. softcover and how she didn't like the book.


I think I need some ice cream just thinking about that!

See you later :D

P.S. Here's a treat for reading all the way to the end...
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures


Anonymous said...

I think I sold the English/Spanish translator to that customer. I had to explain the difference between the "talking" and "non-talking" models about 10 times and I still don't think he got it. I was actually afraid he was going to steal it. I'm glad he actually purchased it but sorry he attempted to return it.

Jessica said...

Dharma Beer!!! Much better than the nasty beer that was in the trash! Actually I wouldnt know I don't drink it ewww!

Alan Andrews said...

LOL. I can't remember the number of times I wrecked a bathroom and left my beer in the trash! Wait, now I remember...never.

Laura Marcella said...

O.M.G. That lady! You sure have a lot of patience. I don't think I would've handled that as well as you did, haha!

And that books-return lady and Spanish to English translator guy. LOL! It's so ridiculous when customers try to get away with things when the retailer KNOWS what they're up to!

aLmYbNeNr said...

O.M.G. you poor thing. I was going to say my favorite was the translator incident but, after reading everything, it has to be the lady, the really annoying a** lady. OMG. I don't know how you put up with that.....on.multiple.occasions. I could feel your pain as I was just sitting here reading that and shaking my head and raising my eyebrows and pulling my hair out. I sincerely hope you never meet her in person. *grits teeth*

JW said...

I love the photos. The one for the circular discussion was my favorite. :)

Teebore said...

She said she got them as gifts? I want to know what YEAR!

Or what store. I mean, just because someone gave you a bunch of used books doesn't mean you can return them to a new bookstore...

What on earth would cause you to throw a partially full can of beer into a restroom trashcan in a BOOKSTORE?

Seriously! I mean, who doesn't finish their beer before throwing it away?!? ;)

I ALWAYS seemed to get called up to handle bathroom issues when I work. I've plungered our toilets so many times I should be part of the plumbers union.

I sometimes wonder what the people clogging our toilets do at home. Do they just have a massive toilet? Do they just >shudder< leave it?

Falen said...

awww! That puffer fish needs a kiss!

I hated it when they asked me when i worked. i usually lied...

CC said...

I miss retail so much now, okay not really. You just reminded me why I don't miss it. I miss you though!

Readerly Person said...

Wow... It was painful just reading that conversation! Good job surviving it, though!

- Rebecca

tershelb: an irrational and irritating customer.

Jenn said...

I have been through time-wasting conversations like that a number of times when I worked retail, too. My heart goes out to you, and good job keeping your patience and biting your tongue:P

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

@queen-spork: okay, so which coworker are you - the curiosity is killing me ! And it would be HILARIOUS if you were the one that sold it.

@Jessica: DHARMA! Hope you're enjoying you'r "LOST" book. *snort* guess I have it on the brain just a bit, huh?

@Alan: I KNOW! Right? Seriously. Crazy crazy.

@Laura: I can't believe I had the patience either. Looking back it's funny because it was just SO long! Gotta find the humor.

@aLmYbNeNr: I think the hilarious thing is that these all happened within a few days time. *phew* crazy!

@JW: thanks! Finding the pictures is one of my favorite parts of putting this post together. It also helps make what might sound whiny more tongue in cheek funny - at least, that's my GOAL.

@Teebore: hahahahaha! I wonder the same thing about people... do they leave pee all over their toilet seats at home? Do they throw their paper towels on the FLOOR at HOME? #unansweredquestions

@Falen: That fish was SO cute, I had to put the picture up. And why do they think we would WILLINGLY tell our schedule to a random stranger? I should ask when they're going to be somewhere random, just to throw them off.

Them: When are you working?
Me: When are YOU going to the pet store?

@Readerly Person: I hope it wasn't TOO painful. Though it was rather painful at the time. and I love that VW!

@Jenn: My tongue should be several centimeters shorter from all the biting it's received over the years ;P

Blam said...

Hello? (dead silence) Hello?....... Hello?

You were feeling so lucky there for a second, I bet. Wow. That was some conversation.

And I had something more to say about it, I'm sure, but that was days ago and my Internet connection dropped out and I got discouraged enough to stop typing but the tab for this window has been open the whole time so the preceding useless lump of a paragraph has been sitting there waiting for its shot at stardrom and it would be rude to just delete it after all this time.

Them: When are you working?
Me: When are YOU going to the pet store?

I love it.

VW: osestees — [oh zez teez] v. 'ow a Frainch persun shoots ze wah-tair at zair short-sleeved shairts

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

@Blam: Sorry about your bad internets :(

haha :) That lady was ReDicUlouS!

At least your paragraph finally got a chance to see the outside world ;)

AchingHope said...

Oh. My. Ridiculous.

You made me want to strangle that lady. Seriously. Mum left the room, because I was starting to look murderous.

Love it. SO glad I don't have to live it.

@teebore: Haha, the funny thing is, I was thinking the same thing. I mean, I wouldn't do it, but if you're going to drink beer in a public restroom, at least finish it, right?

Pete said...

Just stumbled onto this, googling Dharma Beer.... Did that woman ever come in for the book??? LOL