I haven’t shared any customer stories lately because the store’s patrons have been relatively normal for the past couple of months. Today, however, the humdingers were out in full force.
Customer: I’m looking for a book.
Me: (nodding – this IS a bookstore, after all)
Customer: It was being promoted on a TV show I saw.
Me: (waiting for more information)
Customer: It’s a book on finances written by a woman.
Me: Do you know the title of the book?
Customer: No. I can’t remember.
Me: What about the author’s name?
Customer: I don’t know. But she was on that TV show that comes on at 9:00 every morning.
Me: What’s the name of the TV show?
Customer: You know. It’s the show that comes on every morning.
Me: Sorry. I don’t watch TV in the morning. Do you know what channel it’s on?
Customer: Channel 10. Or maybe it’s channel 11. Do you have a TV guide I could look at?
Me: Sorry, no. I’ll need a little more information to be able to find this book.
Customer: Well, the lady had on a red dress. And had a really nice hairstyle.
Me: Sorry, that doesn’t help me.
Customer: Oh. Well, maybe if I just look around in the store I’ll see the book.
Me: All of our books on finances are right here.
Customer: Oh. Okay, I’ll go check at the other bookstore then.
My apologies to the staff of the other bookstore.
Customer #2 – with three older kids in tow
Customer: I’m looking for a book on . . . (she leans over the counter and beckons me to come closer as she whispers in my face – garlic breath surrounds us) you know . . . the birds and the bees.
Me: You mean sex?
Customer: Shhhh. I don’t want the kids to hear.
Customer: I need a book to explain the birds and the bees to my kids.
Me: (I look at the kids, all of whom are of an age where they would already know the basics) Okay. Let’s take a look over here.
I point out a few books to her. Meanwhile, her adolescent children are destroying my store displays, yelling and fighting with each other, and causing a rather large disturbance. The mother continues to invade my personal space with her garlic breath and nauseating perfume. She flips through some books and finally herds her kids out the door without buying a thing. I breathe a sigh of relief.
All in a day’s work.