Friday, 8 July 2011

weird things customers say in bookshops #7



[Due to the forthcoming book release of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops', I've removed some of the 'Weird Things...' quotes from this blog. 


You can still find some here and here, and you can find all the information on the book over here]. 


Thank you. xx

41 comments:

  1. I find the Harry Potter woman offensive, considering where Harry Potter was written and by whom and where.

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  2. This is very true. Thankfully we, and the number of people who love Harry Potter, considerably outnumber her.

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  3. Doesn't your brain hurt just a little after dealing with this kind of people? *lol*

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  4. oh, my:) You have my sympathies - I don't know if I could remain calm:)

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  5. Oh, the Enlightenment! I'm a librarian, and a while back I heard a college girl refer to it as "about electricity or something." Apparently this misconception is widespread.

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  6. Thanks for this. I alternated between laughing and gawping at some of the people who manage to stumble into bookshops having left their brain at home watching the news.

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  7. omg, this is so hilarious! Ha ha ha!

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  8. That shoe mother is so typically Highgate/Muswell Hill-ish! And it totally fits that he's called Alfie...

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  9. Absolutely wonderful! Had I been sitting down I would definitely have fallen off my chair.

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  10. This was hilarious. Sad that people like this exist, true -- but you've amused many people. *dashes off to read the rest in the series* ~Ali

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  11. Aren't we British so wonderfully eccentric? Can you imagine a parallel in say France or Germany? No.
    I suspect the quaffing of tea keeps you sane.

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  12. I'm always left speechless after these posts. They're the kind of funny you can't even laugh, and the kind of shocking you're simply left jaw gaping.

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  13. That said, I did actually laugh aloud...inside. I'm working among bookshop customers after all.

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  14. Hi I´ve been reading your seven post about "weird things..." I couldn´t be laughing out loud more enthusiastic. In fact, I work too with CS and it´s a nightmare what we have to face everyday not only with costumers but also with employees with the same brain as our costumers. I have a blog too (Spanish) And I will be sharing a few of my experiences with clients of the business. Thank you for making this friday so joyful. Yo have one more follower in your Twitter Account since today.

    PS: I got scared with the Robert Pattison one, I believe it was the 5th post you made. Those Twilight fans are scary.

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  15. As someone who works in retail, I LOVE you for this!!! People are absolutely ridiculous.

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  16. Here via @neilhimself!

    I work in a (new) bookshop here in the States, mostly in the Children's Dept.

    I am printing these. All of these, including past entries.

    I am then posting them to our break room.

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  17. Oh, dear. How much of your day do you spend caught between laughter and tears? Wow! Hilarious post, but I suspect that's because I didn't actually have to deal with these people. :-)

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  18. God, those are hilarious. It reminds me of the old Twilight gaggle in BN.

    Old Man: No, there's five books in the Twilight Saga.
    One of Four Suitably Impressed Old Women: Really? Which one did we miss?
    Old Man: The Host. It's between the third and fourth, or maybe the second and third, I can't remember.
    Me: [slamming head into book in manga section, trying not to go over there...]

    I honestly don't even want to know how he imagined that continuity to work.

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  19. I feel your pain. It's been many years since I worked in a book shop (and sadly, it was one of those Mega-Chain-Bookstores), but I remember facepalming many a time. Of all the things my customers said, the only one I remember hearing over and over again was, upon my asking if I could help them find anything was "Oh, I don't read."

    Sadly, given the location, I was more inclined to believe that, than them just trying to avoid a sales person. I worked for a CD-store during the same time frame, and had a woman walk in and ask if we sold music CDs. All I could do was point.

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  20. Goodness gracious, this is funny stuff. I don't envy the amount of time you're forced to deal with crazed customers, Jen, but I must admit that your job provides many amusing anecdotes.

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  21. We get insane comments and requests constantly in our book shop in New Orleans...one that will forever be my favorite is the phone customer who asked for a PHOTOGRAPH book of mythological creatures.

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  22. High comedy. The guy asking about the security cam... what a moron. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. Amusingly enough, there was a lamp shop called Enlightenment around the corner from my college dorm. The owners were quite proud of their pun, especially when it came up on people's caller-ID.

    I've worked in libraries for the past 13 years, so I've had my fair share of ridiculous requests, but yours are among the most amusing I've ever read. Can't say that I wish you more dodgy customers, but if they happen to appear, I hope you'll keep sharing them with us.

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  24. I have had people say the same thing to me about not liking my name and wanting to call me something else. I always told them that was fine, but not to be offended if I didn't respond.

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  25. As a recent bookseller in That Large, Green American Bookstore Chain, I can sympathize with all of these anecdotes. I had a women come in and ask if we sold fiction books.

    that's it, there's no punchline.

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  26. Thanks so much for posting these - they are amazing. By triangulating based on your customers, I have now worked out that your bookshop is in one of two locations:

    1 - just by the nearest bus-stop to a mental outpatients department, or

    2 - somewhere just before The Enlightenment.

    Possibly both...

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  27. Ha. Cuirthe - I like you very much.

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  28. I so wish that these were untrue but having been a used book store owner myself I've found the "book buying public", using the term lightly, just doesn't seem to get that the only way to stay in business is if the books are actually purchased, with money.

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  29. Keep them coming!
    Some are really unbelievable!
    I've always thought I should write down the funny things my students say or write in their essay, but never took the time to do it. One I won't forget: "Shakespeare, famous writer from the 18th century"!
    Em

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  30. I was alternating between laughing good-naturedly, (cards, shoe mother and exercise bike stories) and wanting to strangle someone (notably the Harry Potter idiot.) I get some daft questions at WHSmith. Recently: "You know those books that say they're £2.99 with any magazine? What does that mean?"

    Head, meet desk.

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  31. I have a bookshop in Switzerland, and years ago, I wrote down some of the most outrageous questions from customers.

    Here's a sample:

    Female custoumer, after briefly looking around the shop: "Do you have Beethoven's Fifth?

    Me: No.

    Her: Do you have Mozart's "Don Giovanni" then?

    Me: Neither.

    Her: Any Wagner then?

    Me: Nope, sorry.

    Her: You don't have any of these?!? What kind of record shop is this?

    Me: It's a Bookshop."

    Unknown female voice over the phone:
    "Is my son in your shop?"

    A question that was asked repeatedly over the phone:
    "Have you received volume 26?" (... or 24, or 6, or...)

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  32. These are great. I'm looking forward to seeing the book. If you're open to outside submissions, my co-blogger works at a small academic bookstore and had a curious, but humorous, exchange with a customer who insisted the blue lettering in his email meant my friend was yelling at him. He demanded an apology, but my friend couldn't change the color of his replies, so the customer would not be appeased. I can't decide whether the man was scamming my friend for some reason or he is a genuine fruit cake.

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  33. Phil - keep your eyes peeled for a blog post I'll be doing tomorrow :)

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  34. The Coraline comment is killing me left and right!

    I so can't wait for all these hilarious happenings to be a book.

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  35. The Coraline comment made me remember a discussion I overheard some years ago, just when the final Lord of the Rings film came out where one of the guys talking seriously dissed the trilogy as a "World of Warcraft"-rip-off.

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  36. Oh my god, I burst out laughing at the lot of these. Especially the Harry Potter one (reminds me of my dad who tends to start reading books from the end and instantly gave up on HP because he didn't understand a lick of what was happening in the last chapter of the Philosopher's Stone, I told him to try it from the start but he said, if he didn't get the ending there was no way it was going to get any better if he started with the first page. Go figure)
    Cat

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  37. oh man.....ive got twelve years of retail, and these comments bring up so many stories lol. keep these coming, im loving the laughter!!

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  38. Just went to all the "Weird things customers says in bookshops". Funny, and indeed, weird ! Some of them made me wanna punch the customers.. but anyway, thanks for sharing !

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  39. Great blog. Found it through The Customer is Not Always Right. They posted a link over on Facebook.

    http://www.pardoe.info

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  40. I'm sending you a virtual hug, since I can't hug you in real life. I owned a yarn/needle craft shop for several years. The stories I could tell. Retail-there's nothing else like it.

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