From August, 2011, Ilia's first post as Bookstore Slave:

Hello all, you can call me Bookstore Slave. 

Now on this day, I was a fellow customer in this store. I had no uniform, no name tag, and a purse over my shoulder. I was carrying a basket of books I was planning to purchase, and stopped frequently to READ the goddamn excerpts on the inside cover.

Custy: Can you tell me where to find [insert obscure book title here]?

Me: Unfortunately I can't. I'm not an employee. You can ask them at the information desk though.

I point out the info desk, which is a whole 15 feet away.  

Custy: I don't want to walk that far! Just tell me where it is!

Me: Lady, I don't work here.

I walk away and select another book that catches my interest.


She follows me down the aisle, yelling and banging her fist on the shelving.

Me: LADY! I don't fucking work here! Ask a goddamn employee!

The woman goes fucking ballistic and a manager arrives at a dead run, probably thinking somebody's getting murdered. 

Custy: Fire this bitch! She swore at me and refuses to help me!

The manager looks at me, looks at the customer and then says: Ma'am, this is not one of our employees.

Custy: This woman was rude to me and I won't stand for it! You fire her right now or I'm calling your corporate office!

Manager to me: You're fired.

The woman strutted off like it was her birthday and I got a coupon for the trouble. To this day I don't know whether she was stupid, or just that goddamn determined to get SOMEBODY fired that day.

--Bookstore Slave


read more from Bookstore Slave here

read more Bookstore Hell here

for more Mistaken Identity tales go here




Retail Memories: The Best Part of My Job


Jason 019zz

From u/KiraRiver Tales From Retail:

I work a a fairly large chain bookstore, most often in the kids section and a good part of my job is recommending books. I've had a few heartwarming experiences but this is probably my favourite. One day a few weeks before last Christmas an older woman came in with her grandson who looked around 10.. The woman was quite polite but the boy looked like he would rather be anywhere else.

The grandmother motioned me to the side and quietly told me that her grandson struggled with reading, and she was hoping I knew of some books that might be easier to read but not to juvenile. I asked her a few questions about his reading, interests, and if she was opposed to certain content, the basic questions for recommending kids books, and then got the okay to go talk to him.

Grandmother had mentioned that he like minecraft so I introduce myself and ask him a couple questions about his adventures in the game. He opens up a bit, starts talking and stops glaring at me so I count it as a win. I ask if he'd be interested in reading a minecraft book, kid starts glaring again and quietly says he's not good enough at reading for that. I assure him that I've got minecraft books that he can read and are for kids his age, and lead him over to the kids comics section. I pulled off a few minecraft graphic novels and a few others that I thought he would like and handed them over. Kid's face lit up like a christmas tree when he started reading and realized that while they weren't easy to read they were no where near as difficult as chapter books would be for him.

Grandmother is trying and failing not to stare as she watches her grandson read happily. I go over and explain that comics will have the shorter sentences and context clues he needs right now without being childish. I also recommend a few series like Captain Underpants that are between a comic and classic book. I was told by the cashier that the boy read all the way out the store and the grandmother was super grateful and wrote a glowing review of our store. The kid still comes in from time to time and is now reading full chapter books and it always makes me smile when I see him.




Retail Hell Memories: Be careful what you ask for



From The Keyoracle:

About 15 years ago my daughter was in her first year of college and was working at one of the college book stores. The college was not that far from home and while she did have a dorm room she did come home for the week-ends. Since she did not drive I had to pick her up which required some coordination. There were also other reasons that I needed to get in touch with her

This was before cell phones were ubiquitous and neither of us had one. So I would often have to call her on the book store phone. When I did the person answering the phone would ask who I was (I guess to cut down on the boyfriend – girlfriend calls.) I would say that I was her dad and they would go get her.

Apparently saying that I was her dad annoyed her greatly. She told me that she was now an independent woman and that she did not want her coworkers to think that she was still dependent on her “daddy” and that I should stop telling them that one of her parents was calling.

So the next time I called and they asked who I was I told them that I was her parole officer. She was even less happy with me.

-- The Keyoracle



Dumbass Customers: He Doesn't Read


Carolanne 071

From sadpigeons Tales From Retail:

I work at a bookstore that sells books. Lady comes up to me one day:

Me: Hi, welcome to bookstore, how can I help?

Lady: Hi, I need some advice. I'm looking for a gift for my son. He's 14 and really likes computers and video games.

Me: Sure! A popular book at the moment which he might like is Ready Player One--

Lady: Oh no, he doesn't read.

I did not know how to react. I stood there in stunned silence for a few seconds before saying "I'm sorry"?

Lady: I said he doesn't read books. He just likes video games.

Me: I'm sorry then, I don't think there will be anything here at this bookstorethat will really appeal to your son.

The lady looked very pissed, but all she said was "Thank you", and then immediately left the store.

This happened a few weeks ago and every so often I find myself wondering if her son ever started reading.






Monstrous Customers: His dismissive hand wave is what got me



From audoric, Tales From Retail:

I work at a college bookstore. Usually people are really nice but sometimes you get someone who thinks the world exists only to serve them.

A guy came in, headphones on, talking on the phone. He walks up to the register with around 7$ in food. I ask him how his day is. He ignores me, not even facing the counter.

Okay fine, he's on the phone, so that's not surprising or unusual. I scan everything and tell him the total. Hearing this, he sighs, then slowly rummages through his pockets.

This guys them starts lazily throwing crumpled $1's and change mixed with just trash on the counter. Clearly he's expecting me to sift through it and count it for him.

Okay, fine. It turns out to be only $3.48 so I tell him.

He looks at me like I'm trash then pulls out his card–oh okay. I ask if he still wants to use the change. Up until this point I didn't really care about his behaviour, but he then does this dismissive hand wave as if saying, 'yeah, obviously.'

Okay no, not obviously, but whatever. I pick up the change, complete the transaction and ask if he would like the receipt. He does that same damn hand wave again!

I tell him to have a nice day and I gladly see him walk out the door. He hadn't said a single word to me this whole time.

This wasn't some explosive display or a sneaky kon-artist, but the fact that he didn't treat the cashier as a human being with a life and emotions is just sad. Does he treat non-workers that way? Maybe...






Discount Rats: I Can Afford A Trip To Turkey, But I Want A Discount On This Book


Discount smallFrom Holly

Just today some guy asked if we had a senior discount, and got upset that we didn’t. He claimed he “needed” it.

The kicker? Before he mentioned the discount, he was telling me all about a trip he was going on to Istanbul. The places he was going to visit, the beautiful spots he was going to see. It was a whole travel package to some of the more famous places. I'm pretty sure he was shelling out some major money for this.

Why he wanted the discount? He was buying a travel guide.

Sorry, but if you can afford a lengthy trip to Turkey, I don’t have any sympathy.

You want me to feel bad for you? Clam up about the high priced travel plans and buy “Bankruptcy for Dummies.”