Lemme tell you something…


ECA long time ago I worked at a Barnes and Noble and got this,

Understand the scenario now, we’re INSIDE the Barnes and Noble,

Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for a book.”
Me: “Yes m’am”
Customer: “It’s a fiction one, not one of those self-help books.”
Me: “Okay”
Customer: “It’s brown. Has a brown cover.”
Me: “Do you know the name of the author?”
Customer: “No, but the book is fiction.”
Me: Do you know the genre?”
Customer (gives me a patronizing look): “Fiction.”
Me : “Yes, but the genre?”
Customer (enunciates like I’m the one being obtuse): “Fiction. Fic. Tion.”
Me (maintaining composure): “Yes, but is it Science Fiction- ”
Customer: “Why would I read science fiction?”
Me (composure cracking – must. not. laugh. in her face!): “What genre do you prefer to-”
Customer: “Can I speak to somebody who knows what they’re doing?”
Me (relief!): “By all means. I’ll get the manager.”
Customer: “Well thanks for that!”

I call our manager on the mike, but stay with the customer as that is both professional and I also enjoy seeing my manager squirm. A former teacher and librarian, she really doesn’t have the tolerance for these people.

Manager: “How can I help?”
Me: “This customer would like-”
Customer: “I can speak for myself.”

Now customer has all of her information together, thanks to our conversation, and presents it thusly –

Customer: “I’m looking for a book with a brown cover in the fiction genre.”
Manager: “Certainly m’am”

Stands before computer screen

Manager: “Author’s name or title?”
Customer: “I don’t know the author’s name, or the title! That’s why I’m here!”
Manager: “M’am, I’ll have to ask you to lower your voice for our other customers.”
Customer: “This is so stupid. You’re talking just like him.”
Manager: “We’re trying to help, m’am. Genre?”
Customer: “I just told you the damn genre! Fiction! FICTION!”
Manager: “M’am, I’ve already asked you to lower your voice.”
Customer: “I wouldn’t be shouting if you all weren’t treating me like I was stupid!”
Me: (I have to turn away at this point, and abruptly busy myself with something, anything)
Manager (controlled burn): “Don’t go anywhere, Easy (E.C.).”
Me: “Okay.”
Manager:  “Fiction is not a genre m’am, it merely differentiates between factual and non-factual. Genres are like crime drama-”
Customer: “Why would I read a crime drama?”
Manager (anger simmering to a boil): “M’am, I don’t know you.”
Customer: “You sure as hell don’t! No wonder people don’t read anymore!”
Manager (under pressure anger): “M’am, this is the third and final time I’ll warn you about your tone.”
Customer: “Fuck you! I’m leaving!”
Manager (steam escaping, still angry): “Have a nice day.”
Customer (storming off): “I’m never coming here again!”
Manager (boiling anger reducing to simmer): “Thank you.”
Me: “Marry me.”
Manager (still simmering anger): “Shut up.”
Me: “I don’t care if you’re older.”
Manager (breaks into reluctant smile – anger gone): “Shut. Up.”


At this moment, I should probably mention that my eBook, PERPETUAL BULLET, is available at Barnes and Noble.


4 responses

  1. Is your book brown and in the fiction genre?

    November 17, 2013 at 9:07 am

  2. brothers in arms! I worked at FYE awhile back and this brought fond memories of “I’m looking for the song they play on the radio by that guy who left a band”

    June 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

  3. Deb Courtney

    I. Love. This.

    June 28, 2013 at 1:05 pm

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