Bookstore Hell: Customer Vultures Invade Hoarders


BookbitchFrom BookAce, December, 2010:

It's been assholes to the left of me and vultures to the right this week, man. And it's not just me! My sweet-as-sugar co-worker who nobody could hate, he's that nice, has had two different customers scream at him in the last couple days!

By now everyone's heard about Hoarders melting down. My store did not close, afflicting me with a mix of relief and survivor's guilt. The vultures and discount rats began gathering days ago.

Are you closing? Is everything on clearance? Is everything free because you're closing? Why isn’t this on sale? Can I just steal shit since you’re closing anyway? No way will I buy one of those crappy Plus cards or e-readers, you won’t be around in a year.

The day before the big announcement I asked a man to take one of our free cards. FREE. And he says to me, “I dunno, let’s wait and see how your stock does. HAHAHA.”

Me: …=| “It’s free. It doesn’t matter what our stock does.”

Guy: “I…I know, I was just…”

Me: B|

It wasn't funny then when I was thinking my paycheck was on the line, and it's not funny now after knowing people personally affected here. (He noticed I was not amused and left quietly.)

Then later, an old man came up and slapped a book down. It’s a hardcover, 40% off for Plus members, 30% off for everyone else.

Old man: “I’ll buy this if you give me the 40% off.”

Me: “Are you a Plus member?”

Old man: “I was a member a long time ago.”

(We started up this Plus program last fall. Yeah…a long time ago. Sure.)

Me: “If you’re not a Plus member, it’s 30%.” (Still a good deal, honestly.)

Old man: *long stare*

Me: *GTFO stare*

Old man: “Fine.” *stomps off*

THIS IS NOT A FUCKING FLEA MARKET. And I'm not haggling just because you think we're desperate enough to be pushed around. At least use "please." It's not that hard!

Then today it was time for the usual dicks to gang up. First came generic asshole guy. Throws the greeting card he's buying at me along with his credit card and gives nothing but monosyllabic answers. The guy's pretty high up in police rankings, believe me, I'm sure he's capable of using a full sentence and maybe even "thank you."

Then came Bible thumper guy. After I muttered under my breath about hating the people who put the stickers on books, (because they put two different priced stickers on said book and I was like, "WTF?") the guy goes, "Hey!" He holds the Bible out at me and stares at me long and hard, pointing at it.

Me: *puzzled stare back*

Guy: "It's not good to hate." *walks away*

I wanted to tell him that if everything in the Bible is true, the head dude upstairs surely has a number of more pressing issues with me than my annoyance at the sticker people.

Then not even a half hour later comes condescending change guy.

I'm not good at math. Disorder-level not good. And I'm not ashamed to pull out a calculator when someone pulls the whole, "I have change!" just as I open the till (ignoring that I always wait for them to offer change beforehand...) because I don't want to shortchange them or be shortchanged. This guy has the change once the till is open. I ask my co-worker quickly what the even-dollar value should be because she's a whiz and she gives me the answer. The guy harumphs at me and goes, "That's so simple, you need to ask her for that? And they've got you running the register? Geez."

Then I got so flustered apologizing for my bad math skills that I forgot the answer my co-worker gave me and had to ask her again, my face burning at this point, while the guy huffs and puffs and rolls his eyes.

Thanks a lot, jerkass.

Not long after that came a discount rat, asking what the sale price on everything was. Turns out she thought we were closing. After I corrected her she shut up about things that weren't on sale, but she still kept pulling that move where custies lean over the counter and ask after every item, "That was on sale, right?" ARGH.

Got a three-day weekend though. Gonna head up to the gun range this weekend and use one of those silhouette targets. "What's that bitch? Did I just hear you say 'everything should be free LOL!' because thousands of people losing their jobs is funny? And you don't want a member card? And oh, you're too busy gabbing on your phone about your hook-up last night to thank me after I fetched books for you for an hour, but you're NOT too busy to interrogate me about the price of every item? Well, meet my little friend..."




 read more Bookstore Hell here

read more Crazy Customer tales here








Borders Books Closed 7 Years Ago: How Employees Kept Their Sense Humor with Signage



From September, 2011:

We say goodbye to Borders today and wish all the bookselling slaves the best of luck in searches for new work. We all have our memories of Borders and the neighborhood stores and their friendly faces will be missed. Here's some funny pics of clever merchandising done by the Borders Slaves during the last days (compiled by myself and RHUer JohnnyBob):
















Hellspawn Encounter: I sold an ancient pack of Pokemon cards to a 5 year old for 12 cents, who promptly destroyed them



From Famac, Tales From Retail:

Today was the final day at a large retail store where I work as a cashier. For the past couple weeks we have been trying to clear out our inventory as much as possible, so shelves were getting disassembled and moved around quite a bit.

Fast forward to about 2:00 today. A little kid and his parents come up to the register to buy some clothes and a few toys. One of these toys was a really grimy pack of playing cards. I pick them up and see that it is an unopened pack of Pokemon cards from 1999, Generation 1, with a Venusaur on the cover. Since these cards were probably forgotten under a shelf somewhere for twenty years, they do not scan correctly, so I call my supervisor over. She keys something in and they end up costing 12 cents, because it is our last day and everything is 95% off.

I realize that they might have something special here. I say to the father "these are pretty collectible and might be worth something". He just smiles, waves me away, and hands them to his kid, who to my horror rips the package open and starts manhandling the cards, folding them and tearing pieces off.

My only consolation is that they had some water damage and were discolored, so maybe they weren't worth that much.






Crazy Ladies: "There, now it's undecorated!"



From adventurehunter9876, Tales From Retail:

I'm at a closing store. We are coming up near the end of our time though, but the crazy isn't. On to the story!

We recently got the go ahead to sell displays. This extends from tvs, to furniture, and now that it's after Christmas, trees. However, as many may be familiar, some are decorated, some just have a strand of lighting. Since decorated ones contain various types of ornaments, each one has to be given a UPC in order to be scanned in the system and then sold. As trees are up to 80% off however, we ran through most of our stock. Naturally, people want to buy the displays.

Now, 99% of people understand we can't sell displays when we say so. Especially when we say they can put their info down to have a chance at buying it. Like fixtures, it'll be first come first served. But it is not that time just yet. Most try to ask us once, but just accept no. Shockingly enough however, not everyone can accept this simple, one syllable word. Crazies.

This lady asked, and those of us in the area (we're condensing product closer to the entrance) said we cannot sell displays, but she could put her name down. She then asked my buddy if the one next to the first one, a non-decorated one, counted as decorated since it had lights. He cheerfully said no, that she could buy it if she wanted. She asked him for any boxes from the back to pack it up in. Off he went to the back.

Now, she doesn't wear a name badge, but our hr manager was out on the floor with us. She has quite the biting wit. She comes up, and this is after being told no, but as soon as my friend was out of sight, the crazy lady starts picking the ornaments off of tree number one. HR lady goes up to her and asks why take off the ornaments? Crazy lady replies that my friend told her it was okay, that she could buy decorated tree. Full stop.

HR lady, who was close enough to hear the conversation, says nothing like that happened. Crazy lady demands a manager. I suppose she thought manager would overrule and sell her the tree, but as a closing store, all fucks have been thrown out the window, from floor associates all the way up to store manager. And for our liquidation manager, he's seen and done it all, it's far from his first rodeo. He does walk the floor, but he seems to me to be a numbers guy, always trying to eke out the most profit from the remaining product.

So HR lady says she is a manager, and no, crazy lady can't have decorated tree. They exchange some words, crazy lady taking more ornaments off all the while. More of us come over, and we try to prevent her from taking more off. Store manager comes up, but is unnoticed by customer, for now.

Crazy lady "Kiss my ass!"

HR Lady "Should I report that threat?"

Crazy lady throws her hands up in the air "What threat?!?!"

HR lady "kissing your ass. Cause the only way I'll do it is if you force me down there"

Guys, guys, we lose it. Crazy lady gets red in the face and throws ornaments down on the ground. How dare you laugh at me she says. Then whirls around and starts ripping ornaments and ribbons off the tree she wanted. Moves fast, but I suppose the crazy is aiding her. Gets about half of the stuff off the tree before we can block her. And I kid you not, she actually says "there, it's not decorated. You better sell it to me."

Manager comes to the front and tells her to get out, that she's not allowed anymore. Next time we can call the cops, but I doubt she'll be back. She leaves, but apparently a guy standing off to the side was her husband. I don't know how he viewed things, but for whatever reason, he actually asked about the tree. Cue what the fuck from all of us. Manager said she'd do it, but his wife was still unwelcome and cops would be called if she tried to come back.

Guys, he actually starts picking at the tree. As we stare at him (group had grown to about six store workers), after thirty seconds he stops and just leaves. Guess he came to his senses. Or he figured that his wife would kill him for not leaving with her. Whatever, end of encounter. We cleaned up, and promptly moved all display trees to the side stockroom under the guise that vendors wanted them back until we can do the upc for the ornaments.

Hopefully the biting cold and lack of product will keep the craziness to a minimum for the last days of the year, and our last weeks at the store. sigh Who am I kidding, they never stop.

Happy New Year everyone!