I’m sad to say that I removed yesterday’s post involving a giveaway for the best commenter’s idea for a good rant for today’s post. In retrospect, I should have posted that idea with a little more notice, since responses were lacking. Oh well, you blog and you learn. I’m just glad I didn’t make such a mistake with a book giveaway. Gosh, that would have been embarrassing.
The good news is I remembered something that annoyed me! I recently acquired a part-time job at a local Bargain Books Warehouse in order to earn a little income toward our upcoming vacation and paying for my self-publishing expenses (book cover art, editing, proofreading, etc). No, the job itself is not what annoyed me. (Quite the contrary, I get to read and work on my prequel!) But, please enjoy the conversation I had with a tiny little man of a customer over a $1 book and an eraser.
Back Story: I’m ringing up a woman’s books. She’s a teacher. Teachers get a 10% discount if they show their teacher card thingy. Tiny Little Man is second in line.
Tiny Little Man (from behind Teacher Lady): Oh man, I wish I would have remembered my teacher ID.
Me: Yeah, that’s a shame. At least you only have the one book. (I return to talking to the woman.)
Tiny Little Man (to Teacher Lady): Excuse me, would you mind if I add my book to your purchase and reimburse you? Since I forgot my teacher ID? (Teacher Lady agrees. Tiny Little Man hands me his book and shows me another copy of the book that has some grime on the front of the jacket.)
Me: Sir, would you like a bag?
Tiny Little Man: No. You know, I bought this one because the other one has some stuff on the cover.
Me: At least you found a clean copy.
Tiny Little Man: Did you want this other copy, the dirty one?
Me: Umm, sure. I’ll put it back out.
Tiny Little Man (appalled): You don’t have somewhere you put damaged books?
Me: Sir, it’s called Bargain Books Warehouse for a reason. A lot of the books are slightly damaged, that’s why we’re able to sell them so cheap.
Tiny Little Man: It’s just such a shame to have to buy a book with stains all over it.
Me: Well, sir, at least you found a clean one and it WAS only a dollar, so… (that’s right, he pestered Teacher Lady to save 10 cents)
Tiny Little Man: Do you think someone would even buy this other one?
Me: I’m sure a lot of people would. It’s a dollar.
Tiny Little Man (handing me the book): Do you think that you could get that off?
Me (I start rubbing at stain with my thumbnail, it comes off easily): Yeah, look. No big deal. It’s coming right off.
Tiny Little Man: It’s not though. You can still see where the stain was.
Me: Oh well, someone will still buy it. It’s just a dollar.
Tiny Little Man (snickers): I doubt it. You know people don’t want to buy damaged stuff…
Me (no longer listening or responding): … (Tiny Little Man leaves)
FIVE MINUTES LATER
Me: You’re back.
Tiny Little Man: Yes, I came back for this book.
Me: That will be $1.07 with tax.
Tiny Little Man: Ugh, too bad there isn’t another teacher in here so I could get my teacher discount.
Tiny Little Man (hands me four quarters, a nickel, and two pennies): You know all the books out there (referring to our clearance sidewalk sale) have dirt around the edges of the pages (shows me sides of book).
Me: Well, again, they are only a dollar and most people buy books for the content, so…
Tiny Little Man: Do you have a pencil?
Me: Umm, I have a pen?
Tiny Little Man: No, I need a pencil with an eraser.
Me (looking around counter): Ooh, I found one. The eraser’s a little worn down though.
Tiny Little Man (begins erasing the smudges on the edges of the pages on all sides of the book): Oh yeah, this is working.
Me (I keep looking and spot a full white eraser and hand it to him): Here, this might work ever better.
Tiny Little Man: Thank you. I can’t believe people would come here with dirty hands and touch the books.
Me: Well sometimes they come to us like that in our shipments. Handling dusty books and whatnot.
Tiny Little Man (huffs): It’s ridiculous.
Me: They’re a dollar.
I would have paid him a dollar not to shop at my job ever again. By the way, I spared you guys the part of the conversation where Tiny Little Man dove head on into a bitter diatribe about the supply and demand of popular book titles. You’re welcome.
You should have confessed that you were putting dirt on all the books he liked. Then you should have grimed up the one he bought.
He’s a virgin.
Lmao! Why didn’t I think of that??
Yes, very much so a virgin. If not due to his extreme dorkiness, then due to his tiny-ness. I think he just met the cut off for dwarfism.
That guy is crazy! I had a customer once that wanted a discount because the cabinet she wanted to buy had been touched by other people. I bet the people that made the cabinet touched it!
Ha! That’s classic. I had another customer that wanted to buy a book that was marked down from $65 to $10 and still argued for an additional markdown because it was dusty. Some people should just stay home and watch Maury.
He probably has short-man syndrome since he was being so egotestical :).
LOL! So you are the origin of “egotestical.” Bill Jones Jr put that on his facebook page, I think. Awesome sauce.
Actually I can’t take credit for that (though I wish I could). I actually read it in a Kim Harrison book, along with “uncommon stupidity” which in her world there is a law against. 🙂
Both terms are awesome. Thanks for sharing!
Hysterical! I ran into people like that all the time when I worked in the retail world for 10 years (so glad I don’t do that anymore). There was a woman in a jewelry store buying an engagement ring with her fiance. She refused to buy the one in the case and wanted them to special order one because other people had tried on the ring. She didn’t want anyone else touching it. Quite eyebrow raising!
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people?
My Daughter Dearest brings home strange tales of weird customers from her retail job. But you toppped ’em with that one!
Haha, thanks. From what I’ve seen since I started, some very weird people shop at bargain bookstores. Thanks for stopping by!
We have a McKay’s Used Books here in town and I don’t mind snatching up their bargains even if there is a little schmutz to be seen. After all, content is what’s important. Besides, they have a free book bin outside the entrance that the family and I love to attack. Your “customer” has more issues than I would care to have contact with. You’re a much better person than I. 🙂
You would think I was a much better person, but if you could see my facial expressions and hear the tone of my voice, you would see that patience is not in my repetoire of customer service skills. Lol
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