Open Diary Entries

If you'd only just LISTEN....


So this is my problem.

I've noticed a trend here, just more and more often. People don't listen! I work in retail, and so even though it's a bookstore (where, at least theoretically, the people are LITERATE), I deal with the bottom of the barrel daily. They don't read. They don't listen. They don't pay attention.

"Which table is the 50% off table?" I was unaware of any such thing, and told the customer so. She got snooty and said it was written on a sign, and when I told her to show me said sign, I got led to a sign at the end of a table, which said "French Memo Boards--50% off!” But of course, being a customer who doesn't pay attention, all she saw was that big 50%. Why should she have to read the whole sign?

Same deal with a girl claiming books were 20% off, which applies only to the top ten paperback bestsellers. (It says so on a sign, "Top Ten Paperbacks--20% Off!" but for some reason in her mind it applied to any book that was in sight of that sign.) When her friend inquired as to whether she'd gotten the expected discount, the girl replied that she didn't, that she was "taken in by their DECEPTIVE little sign." Okay, I can see it being deceptive if there was a big 40% off sign and what it applied to was unclear or covered up or otherwise ambiguous, but that sign plainly stated what the discount was on. Why is that "deceptive"? Because it had a number on it and you couldn't be bothered to read the rest of it?

A man on the phone. "Do you have this book?" "Hold on, let me check." (I check, and find that the book has to be ordered.) "Okay, sir, I'm back. The book--" "DO YOU HAVE IT?" "Um, the book would have to be--" "WELL DO YOU HAVE IT?" "My computer says the book would have to be ordered--" "SO YOU DON'T HAVE IT?" ::shaking head::

A woman on the phone. "Do you have any books about or by Orson Welles?" "Let me check." (I check, and find the only ones available have to be ordered.) "My computer shows we don't carry any, we'd have to order them." "Oh, okay, I'm going out of town in a few days so that won't do me any good." "Okay, well, sorry about that." "That's okay. So you don't even have one?" HUH?? Yes, we have one or two, but I figured I wouldn't mention it, there's no possibility that you'd want the one or two that we might have. What?

"Can I pay here?" "No ma'am, I have no register at Customer Service, you can check out under that sign that says 'check out' in the corner." "Okay then." I begin to walk away. "Wait, I want to pay for this." WHAT???

"Do you have a Star Wars section?" I explained how each type of book was with its own type of book, like adult fiction with the fiction books, Star Wars kids' books in the kids' section, comics with the other comics, et cetera. Her response was a blank stare, then "Well do you like have like a Star Wars SECTION?" LISTEN TO ME!

"Where are the magazines?" "They're across the back of the store." "Okay, thank you!" (And then the lady begins to walk in the OTHER DIRECTION. When I caught up to her to turn her around, she laughed and told me she was scatterbrained. Really?)

"Where are your videos?" "We don't carry videos, ma'am." "Oh. Well, I need this video of a documentary on the Amish, do you think you might have anything like that?" LISTENNNN!

"Your name please?" "Probably by Monday." Eh? What the hell do you think I said?

"Today there's a special and you'll get your second hardback fifty percent off." "No thanks!" "What do you mean no thanks, you're buying two hardbacks." "What? Oh, I'm sorry, I never listen to people like you, you're always trying to sell me something." FUCK OFF.

One day we're all locked out because there was a confusion over which manager was opening so neither came. People periodically came up to tug on the doors, and we explained to them that no one had showed up to open as such. Yet at least half the people insisted on tugging on the doors themselves, even though the store was obviously dark and we were all sitting there waiting too. Why won't you listen?

"Do you have any Pokémon folders?" "No, sorry, we sold out a while ago." "Well, do you have any, like, Pokémon folders, that you can put cards in?" Yes, the answer changes if you ask twice, just like when you ask Mommy for ice cream.

"Here's my discount card." "That's from Winn-Dixie, sir, do you have ours?" "Ehh? Well okay, if you don't need it...." Er. "How much?" "It's a dollar." "But no, I had the discount card...." "Sir, that was a WINN-DIXIE card, if you have ours I'll scan it." "The OTHER lady always gives me a discount." "If you have OUR card, you can get the discount, you gave me a Winn-Dixie card." "It's always something, isn't it?" Hmm, maybe he gets an excuse for not listening because he was also seemingly senile or something, but damned if he didn't know how to assert what he thought was his right to 10˘ off his newspaper....

"Two days ago in the paper I saw an ad for your ONE DAY SALE. Is that still going on?" Arrrrghh....

"How much are your comics?" "They vary in price, you'd have to show me the particular one you need." "Okay, but how much are your comics?"

"This book says it's twenty dollars!!" "Yes. It is." "But that's a LOT. Isn't there a discount or something?" "Do you have a discount card?" "NO...." "Then, no." "Well, can you MAKE it on sale?" It costs what it costs, jerk.

"I need the Christian devotional pamphlets to pass out." "We don't sell those, ma'am, the best I can do is devotional books." "Well, I need some of those pamphlets; where do you put those?" "Ma'am, we don't sell them." "Well, what I need is a pamphlet...."

"Did you find everything you needed today?" "Cash please." WHAT?

"Do you have any tapes?" "Tapes, as in, audio tapes?" (withering look) "YES, AUDIO TAPES, like you put in your VCR?"

What with all the many years of schooling all of us are required to go through, all the listening we are forced to do, we really don't do it too well in real life, do we?

Sometimes I wish that "survival of the fittest" applied to humans in a more strict fashion.


How long have you been working there? Perhaps a vacation might be in order, sonds like you could use a break, or a new job one or the other. p.s. my englesh sucks, sorry. [sheldonious]

i'm glad i'm not the only one who has to put up with stuff like that! one customer thought something was $2 when it was $3.50, and when i told her, she said "well i only have $2 so you will just have to take that", slammed the money on the counter, took her thing, and marched out! >:| [Nebulous]

Hey,I'm supposed to work at the local Waldenbooks this I know what to look forward to(I just hope they won't mind the reading material having "pages and pages of writing" *wink*) ~Mina-Marie (

Be very afraid......when I worked in retail (a pet store) I was trying to figure out why a womans parakeet died after only 1 maybe 2 days. I went thru everything: food, no drafts, suddenly I asked if she was sure it had water. There was a pause & she responded "They need water?" What a horrible way for an innocent animal to die.

LOL...I've heard you tell me some of these stories before, but they always blow me away when I hear them again. I couldn't do it. I would go postal on day three. People. Bleargh. [Pin'k]

*laughs* OK, I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be sympathetic or not, but in any case - I've read your Work Log and it's one of the funniest things I've ever read (I laugh at stupid and rude people....especially people with no logic whatsoever). If stupidity is a birth defect, then I'm all nice and cheery but if it's because you're an IDIOT all on your own...get outta my shop!! [katqueen]

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