Stories from the Bookstore

Yesterday must have been some sort of official “I left my mind at home” day . . . Oh, not me! Ha. That never happens . . .

Anyway, I fielded the usual “do you BUY books?” “No, I’m sorry, we’re a bookSTORE, we SELL books,” – and no, I don’t really say that. But I want to. And I answered the phone and listened to the up-to-three-times-a-day automated call from Google.

I called a customer to tell her that the book she’d ordered had arrived. She asked me “which bookstore,” and okay, I can understand that. If you frequent several bookstores in a week’s time. When she came in, she looked perplexed and asked to see my note to make sure it was HER name and HER number. Then she wondered who had ordered the book.

Um, yeah, it was her – late last week. And her name, and her number. That’s how I knew to call her . . .

About an hour later, an elderly gentleman came in and said he wanted a couple paperbacks. I showed him the section in which he said he was interested, and he told me, in no uncertain terms, that he NEVER BOUGHT USED BOOKS.

So I took him back up front, to our local section, and pointed out several mysteries, new books. He barely paused to look as he stomped out the door, muttering that HE didn’t buy used books.

Just goes to show that simply because you’re an elderly WWII vet – at least that’s what his cap said – doesn’t mean that you can’t be a jerk. And in case you’re wondering, his hearing was perfectly fine . . .

Stuff like that always bothers me, on two levels. First, I never think customers are “bothering” me unless well, they do something like this. Like when you’re focused on a task and your kids are doing the “Mom, Mom, Mom, never mind” thing and so you’ve been interrupted for no good reason.

But second, and mostly, because I like to chat with customers, find out what they like to read, talk about books or whatever – and someone like this, whose interaction is so one-sided, perplexes me. Like the lady who came in one day, first time, and flat-out told me that I should rearrange my entire store and buy all her “practically brand new” hardcovers. More like she demanded that I do these things, because it was ALL ABOUT HER.

Sure, the customer is always right. Well, no, I don’t really believe that. The customer is always right if our policies (or me) are wrong. And yes, for my husband, I CAN admit when I’m wrong!




4 comments on “Stories from the Bookstore

  1. The customer is always right unless they’re obviously wrong, it’s that simple. “:)


  2. As Rich says. “I am wearing a badge. It says customer. Therefore whatever I say is right.”


  3. Your job would be a lot easier if all your customers had my mentality! My mentality is that I’m probably wrong, but I’m hoping that by asking polite and sensible questions, I might be able to figure out why I’m wrong and together we can work out a solution. 😀


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