|Glory gets it.|
We get crazy questions at the bookstore all the time, but usually they're prefaced with something like, "This is probably a long shot, but do you have..." or "You probably don't carry X, but I thought I'd check, just in case." I like these questions. I LOVE that customers think of our little independent bookstore as a place that might carry unlikely items: frisbees (seasonally), nail polish (sometimes), chemistry goggles (yes, during textbook season), swimming goggles (no), drumsticks (no), glitter glue (obviously), scented markers (usually), wine bottle stoppers (usually), giant carabiners (only recently), or novelty socks (always). I could go on, but you get the picture. Bookstores carry a lot more than just books these days, and I can't tell you how gratifying it is when a customer expresses amazement over our non-book selection.
It's when they get really ticked off when we don't carry something that I have to shake my head. I've been told off for not carrying swimming goggles (see above) or drumsticks (ditto).
Here's a rough transcription of my conversation with a customer today on the phone:
Woman (with a severe case of up-speak): Hi? I'm calling to see what kinds of things you might have on wrestling for kids?
Me: Sure, I can look into that for you. How old is the child?
Woman: He's five?
Me: Okay, great. So, ah, wrestling...um...did you have in mind something like a book about the WWF, or maybe something more like greco-roman wrestling?
Me: I mean, do you want something like the kind of wrestling you might see on tv for entertainment? Or more like wrestling as a sport?
Woman: I just want stuff on wrestling?
Me: Okay, let me get your name and phone number, and I'll see what books are out there, and I'll give you a call right back.
Woman: Actually, I want wrestling DVDs.
Me: Oh, I'm sorry, we don't carry DVDs but I will see what I can order for you.
Woman: You don't have any wrestling DVDs in stock?
Me: No, I'm sorry, but our warehouse might have just the thing if you'd like me to research it for you.
Woman: Well, what books do you have in the store?
Me: I'm afraid we don't carry much in stock in terms of wrestling books for 5 year olds, but I can see what...
Woman: *Interrupting me and mysteriously losing her up-speak* Oh, no. I need it today. Are you telling me you can't help me at all? I called you because I thought you were supposed to be a good bookstore. I should have just called Barnes & Noble!
Yeah, I'm sure the Barnes & Noble the next town over has plenty of wrestling DVDs suitable for a five year old. Good luck, lady. I could hear the dudgeon in her voice as she slammed the phone down.
I should have just directed her to the internet to find suitable gifs, for they are a-plenty!