|Not my image. Found at JustforScientists.com|
Okay, okay, I know that everybody who has ever worked in retail can lay claim to outrageous/stupid/offensive customer stories and that booksellers have no corner on this market, but this morning I wanted to share with you a few recent encounters I've had that might make you smile.
Woman: I'm looking for a bestseller I read about? [NB: She used upspeak, indicated by the question marks I'm using for her]
Me: Do you know the title or author?
Woman: No, I can't remember?
Me: That's okay. Just tell me what it's about and I'll bet I can pinpoint it.
Woman: Umm, it was about these children and then they grew up?
Me (in my head): So, that covers roughly 75% of all of fiction then. Are you an idiot?
Me (out loud): Hmmm, can you be a bit more specific than that?
Woman: I think they were boys?
Me (in my head): Yup, definitely an idiot!
Me: (out loud): Do you remember where or when you heard about this book?
Woman: I think it was in the newspaper a few years ago.
Me: Can you give me anything else to go on?
Woman: No, not really
Me: Was it The Kite Runner? It's about two boys in Afghanistan who then grew up. But in different places and under vastly different scenarios.
Woman: Maybe. That doesn't sound very good.
Me (pulling hair out): Why don't I just make a few suggestions for you, then?
Woman: I'm looking for that book about cancer.
Me: Could it be The Emperor of All Maladies, the book about cancer that just won the Pulitzer Prize?
Woman: No, I don't think so. It's old.
Me: Is it a health book or informational books that tells you about cancer and how to live with it? Is it a novel? A memoir?
Woman: I don't know if it's a novel or memoir
Me: Can you tell me a bit more about it?
Woman: This woman got diagnosed with cancer and then her friends were sad.
Me (in my head): So basically every book about cancer, ever written?
Me (out loud): Anything else you can tell me? That's still pretty broad
Woman: No, I don't remember anything else
Me: How 'bout I just make some great book suggestions for you, then?
Woman walks into the shop. She's standing between a large stuffed giraffe with a yellow hat (as in The Man with the Yellow Hat) and a shelf of picture books and toys: Do you have a children's department?
Me: Why, yes. Yes we do!
Woman: Where is it?
Me: Ummm, you're standing right in the middle of it.
For reference, she was standing between here:
|4' tall giraffe with Yellow Hat (photo from store's website)|
|Our hard-to-spot children's department (photo from store's website)|
It's too long to include here again, but I happen to have a post for Scenario IV that involved a woman looking for Shakespeare who apparently doesn't know her ABCs. You can read it here if you'd like.