13 December 2009

'Tis the season: Part Three

Now we come upon that part of the Christmas shopping season where it becomes impossible to have any sort of real conversation with a customer without being interrupted by some other "customer" who "just has one question" (usually about the location of some other store in the mall or the store/mall hours).  Come on, people, kindergarten rules apply at all times, and unless your "question" is a medical emergency/lost child you need to wait your turn.

  • I had a pair of very nice grandmas in (separately) buying books for their graddaughters (who are probably college-age judging by the wish lists); the first needed books by that "Gerald Lewis" guy who wrote the "Chronicles of Nautica" but not those books...there was one on divorce (errr, yeah, we've got all of CS Lewis's theological works); the second was looking for some "Chuck Pontiac" books but not the diary one (she bought a gift card instead once I summarized the plots of a few of Chuck Palahniuk's books, I tried to get her to buy Fight Club)
  • some girl was sprawled out on the floor smack in the middle of our fiction section reading an ancient mass market - completely oblivious to the customers trying to shop around her; I finally had to tell her to find a chair after the customers complained she was blocking their access to the shelves and aisles (which she was - I had to step over her three times and she didn't take the hint)
  • someone was looking for books on DIY taxidermy as a gift (I've got books on how to field dress and use all of your deer, but no taxidermy)
  • this was the weekend before finals and the STUDENTS (grrr) were out in force hogging the tables and asking if we had their course textbooks in stock (which we don't for this reason); one girl even plugged her laptop into an outlet in some random corner of the store and left it there for at least three hours (I have never in my life been so tempted to take a customer's "abandoned" belongings and lock them in the office just to teach her a lesson)
  • A lady about my age showed me the Twilight-themed Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights editions and asked if I knew anything about the books (only that they're like my favorite books ever, sheesh); I talked her out of those editions and into ones that were slightly cheaper and annotated (important when trying to decipher Joseph's ramblings in WH)
And, once again, I have an "I am not even remotely responsible for your homework" entry:
  • a ninth-grader (maybe, she looked kind of young) showed me a copy of a teen paranormal fantasy/romance book and asked if it counted as science fiction (not really) because she has to write a book report about an SF novel; so I went and showed her all sorts of SF things (Ender's Game, Leviathan, Boneshaker, etc; I was pretty partial to Phillip K. Dick about her age) and then she says "But my teacher said we could use Twilight" in a snotty-pouty way (grrr, you know what, you asked me a question and I gave you an answer; if your teacher is willing to let you use Twilight then you're going to have to take up the question of appropriate choice of project with him/her; I don't think Twilight is SF at all, I'm completely not responsible for your homework, and I have more paying customers than I can shake a stick at right now; stop wasting my time)
PS: I probably logged 8-10 miles running up and down the store for 8 hours.  We got slammed.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your posts about your job during the holidays! Retail is SO fun! I work for Hallmark servicing the card sections in a Kroger and a Publix grocery store. I constantly have people asking me where stuff is. I usually tell them that I don't work for said store, but I use my grocery store common sense and direct them anyway...LOL! Happy Holidays =o)