Weird Things Customers Say in BookshopsWeird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s so good finding out I’m not alone in dealing with weird customers.
I used to work at a stationery store and had a couple of weird customers but not too many.
I also worked at a shoe store that had it’s fair share of strange customers but for some reason, the customers that come into a bookstore are on another level. A lot are downright rude, many I don’t understand how they function and some I assume have to be pulling my leg, they are that ridiculous.

Here’s some of the weird customers I experienced just as I was reading this book (I assure you, there’s been many more.) I’ll try to keep this updated with all my experiences!

1. Customer: *angrily* Kids books these days!
Me:… ?
Customer: They all have to have morals! *storms out*
Me to other bookseller working: We should have a kids section without morals. Wait, that sounds weird.

2. Customer: Do you have any other Angelina Ballerina books beside this one? It’s been squashed. Me: *goes to inspect book, as children’s books generally do get damaged quite easily. Book is in perfect condition, no signs of “squashedness”* We do have some other Angelina Ballerina books, I’ll show you where they are. *takes customer to other Angelina Ballerina books*
Customer: Oh, but this is your only copy of this one?
Me: Yes, sorry, that’s our only copy.
Customer: Well it’s for a gift so I might go look at (other bookstore) because they will hopefully not have squashed books.
Me: Sure.
*customer stays in store a while and accidentally knocks a hardback picture book onto the ground before hurriedly leaving.*
Customer: *comes back into bookstore, picks up an entirely different book to purchase- The Magic Faraway Tree.* Do you think this will be alright for a 4 year old?
Me: If it’s for bedtime stories that someone will be reading to them, then yes, definitely.
Customer: Well obviously. They’re not going to read it on their own.

Me to customer walking in store: Good morning, how are you?
Customer: Good thanks. *walks around a bit*
Me: *thinks customer is browsing so continue on with inventory maintenance*
Customer: *waits by counter, not asking any questions, just looking at bookmarks, occasionally picking something up*
Customer: *starts staring at me intensely*
Me: ….Hi, can I help you?
Customer: You had an edition of the Jungle Book that’s the same as this Alice in Wonderland book, where is it?
Me: *looks at Alice in Wonderland book* We have a beautiful Just So Stories that is similar to this edition, would you like me to grab it?
Customer: No, it was the Jungle Book. It was here last week.
Me: Well we have a whole Jungle Book display in the window, if you have a look you might spot the one you’re after.
Customer: Okay. *walks out of store* *keeps walking, never to return again*

Customer: Do you have ‘Miss Pedigree’s Home for Wayward Children?

Me to customer walking in: Hi how are you?
Customer: *glares* walks off to shelves.
*5 minutes later*
Customer: *rudely* When are you getting new books in?
Me: …sorry?
Customer: I’m looking for a particular book.
Me: Sure, what’s it called, we might be able to order it in for you.
Customer: *gives title of book which was originally published in 1985 and is the third in an unknown series*
Me: We’d be able to order it in for you, but it’s highly unlikely that we’ll receive a book that was published in 1985 and is the third in a series in our next delivery…
Customer: Okay then I’ll order it. *eyeroll*

*phone rings*
Me: Robinsons Bookshop Eastland this is Grace speaking.
Customer: Hi, I’m looking for a book that I saw in your store but I can’t remember what it’s called. It was about a coffee shop or a bakery or something.
Me: Was it ‘The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul’?
Customer: No… it wasn’t that one…
Me: Do you remember what it looks like or whereabouts in the store that you saw it?
Customer: I don’t remember what it looks like but when you go into Highpoint they have a sales table and it was on the bookshelves near that.
Me: …you saw it at the Highpoint store, not our store?
Customer: Yeah. I think the authors name must begin with one of the early letters in the alphabet.
Me: Is it Jenny Colgan’s ‘The Loveliest Chocolate Shop In Paris’? Highpoint definitely have that in stock.
Customer: Hmmm… I dunno. I’ll have to go in again.

*phone rings*
Me: [Bookshop name], Grace speaking.
Customer: Hi would you be able to look up a book for me?
Me: Sure thing, what’s it called?
Customer: Alice In Wonderland
Me: *is assuming someone is pulling me leg* uhhh… there’s many editions of Alice in Wonderland, is there a particular one you are after?
Customer: A children’s edition.
Me:…. there are quite a few children’s editions, did you have one in mind?
Customer: I’m just on your website now [website shows what we have in stock so the customers can more easily make decisions].
Me: Oh good, if you have the ISBN I can look up which one you are after.
Customer: *gives ISBN*
Me: *types in ISBN. 0 in stock.* So it seems we don’t have that edition at the moment but our [other] store does. I can get it transferred here if you like.
Customer: *rudely* I need it by tomorrow.
Me: Okay sure.
Customer: Can you recommend one for a 6 year old?
Me: *looks at our Alice selection, picks up an Usborne Illustrated edition* Yep, I’ve got one here. *after many attempts manages to give customer ISBN so she can see it*
Customer: Oh that one looks good. Who’s the author?
Me:…it’s still Lewis Carroll…
Customer: Okay I’ll get my husband to pick it up today.

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