I was recently part of a discussion about annoying things people do in bookstores. I find these stories horrifying and hilarious at the same time. AND I WANT TO HEAR MORE RIDICULOUS RETAIL REPORTS.
One woman said she worked in the children’s department of a bookstore.
“I had a boy in the department for 20-25 minutes who occasionally called out for his mom, then went back to what he was doing. Turned out, what he was doing was pulling the stickers out of a sticker book.”
She confronted every woman of the ‘right’ age asking if they had a son in the children’s dept. She finally found the mother at the register very far from the children’s department.
“I told her that her son had been looking for her and had been destroying books. I don’t think it was store policy for me to use the term ‘destroying books’ but I was beyond angry.”
If it was me, my words would have melted the paper the store policy was written on. Clearly, some people … such as The Becky … are ill-suited to work in retail.
Another time the store had a couple dump their kids, then go to the restaurant next door. The children were too young to actually tell the bookstore employees where the parents were and after paging throughout the store, someone walked over to the restaurant and found them.
There was also the customer at another bookstore who was offended when the store wanted her to pay for the board book her little darling had chewed on, since it could no longer be sold. She didn’t really want to buy a second copy because they already owned a copy at home.
Nice lessons to teach, eh?
Another bookstore employee said she’d only been working there for two months, but already had all kinds of bizarre requests. Like people who wanted refunds because they didn’t like the book. After they read it.
These must be the same people who think libraries are those places where knitting groups meet or that grocery stores are those places where you’re supposed to yak REALLY LOUDLY on your cell phone about your unfortunate rash. In the cereal aisle. Where I want to be.
Oops. I digress.
Apparently, people bring back books with coffee spills and other stains, and wonder why they can’t get a refund.
Who ARE these people?!
This might be my favorite story, though …
“One of the oddest things that happened at our large independent was when a customer came in to buy a copy of The God Delusion. He was so angry with the fact this book had ever been published that he took his newly procured copy, sat on one of our comfy reading chairs and proceeded to destroy the book. He tore out page after page and shredded them until he was surrounded by quite a pile of debris. When he was done (and he was busy with the project for quite some time), he stuffed all the scraps into his bag and left. I have often wondered whether this gesture of defiance actually made this guy feel any better.”
If he lives near BeckyLand and feels as strongly about video, it might explain the copies of Rocky II, III, IV, and V I saw crushed on a road once.
I can’t recall hating a book so much that I wanted to destroy it, although I did have that run-in in high school with Sinclair Lewis ….
PLEEEEEZE tell me more stories about bad retail behavior. Doesn’t have to be bookstores. If you don’t have retail stories, you could also tell me which book we might find you methodically shredding in a comfy bookstore chair. If you were a whack-job, that is.