31 December 2009

'Tis the Season: Cue the returns!

Now we enter the part of the holiday season where we become lucky to even make money because people are returning their holiday gifts.  The season of returns is greatly complicated by:
  • people who do not read the return policy printed on the back of the receipt
  • people who did not get a receipt and wish to return their gift (for which you get store credit at the lowest-selling price at the discretion of the manager; we absolutely will not give you cash for the list-price of the item so if you have an issue with your gift you need to be honest with the giver and ask for the receipt...or just suck it up and quit whining)
  • people who got a gift receipt and only want cash for the item (gift receipt = store credit for the purchased price or you can exchange for a different item and we'll credit the purchased price of the returned item; take it or leave it)
Repeat the above three ad nauseum.  But now some funnies:
  • An embarassed customer asked for the nearest location of a competitor bookstore; she'd been gifted with their gift certificates and we don't have one of their stores in the area, closest is about 90 minutes away (awkward)
  • A little kid hugged me after I helped him find the Percy Jackson books (I generally don't like being touched by strangers but happy little kids who like to read books....I'll make an exception)
  • Totally gave some 10-year-old-ish kid the death-glare for getting a boat-load of manga off the shelf and leaving it everywhere in the graphic novel aisle...then I asked if there was anything he wanted us to hold at the cashwrap for him to purchase (he said no); came back 5 minutes later and the kid was gone but he'd put all the books back (never underestimate the power of learning how the death-glare and "mom" voice work on children)
  • A mom dragged her teenage daughter over to have the poor kid thank me for helping Mom find the books the daughter loves so much (I felt sorry for the daughter because, yeah, being forced to thank someone you don't know is pretty awkward and it's doubly awkward when you're desperately trying to be cool; I told her she was quite welcome, I was glad she liked the books, and, PS, mothers do grow out of the "embarassing" phase)
  • A college student asked if we "had the textbooks for his class" and I said I could order them if he would give me the titles; he looked confused and asked why I needed the titles (yup, this is our future; having to explain to a college student that I am not clairvoyant was the highlight of the conversation...I also had to explain that the UI has a campus bookstore and most of the professors order the textbooks there; which begs the question...what did he do during the fall semester?)
And that does it for holiday season 2009.  Have a Happy New Year!


  1. Anonymous7:21 PM

    Oh, this almost makes me miss the good old bookselling days. Almost.

  2. I came to your blog thru Boston Bibliophile and am so very glad I did! I love your experiences with teenagers (ps they are the same all over the world!) I did the "mom glare look" at two young adults in the library who picked up a dozen magazines and strew them all over and left. They did not tidy up but the girl definitely mentioned to her boyfriend that I was annoyed!