The Joys of Working in a Bookshop – #33

Sometimes we call people to let them know their books have come in.

Me: *rings number*
Man, in Dutch: “Yes?”
Me, in Dutch: “This is Bookshop [Name], I’m calling to let you know that the book you ordered-”
Man, in English: “Speak English!”
Me, switching to English: “Oh, I’m sorry. This is Bookshop [Name]. I’m calling to let you know that the book you ordered has come in, so you can come by to pick it up.”
Man: “What?”
Me, more slowly: “Your book, Life Advanced, has come in. You can come by our shop to pick it up.”
Man: “You are where?”
Me, wondering how he has not remembered visiting us when he ordered the book: “We’re opposite city hall.”
Man: “City hall, which department are you in?”
Me: “No, we’re Bookshop [Name], opposite city hall.”
Man: “What?”
Me, more slowly and a little louder: “Bookshop [Name], on [Street], opposite city hall.”

This went on for a while. Firstly, rude, dude. Whatever happened to “Could you please…”? Secondly, Life Advanced is a textbook for an advanced level English language course. This was the second time in as many weeks that someone spoke to me on the phone in this manner; it may have been the same guy twice, but I can’t be sure. Either way, what the hell are they doing taking an advanced English course if they’re at this level?

And thirdly, what is up with people who keep answering their phones with just “Yes” or “Hello”? You’d think they’d have enough confusing conversations to reconsider this strategy…

The Joys of Working in a Bookshop – #32

Got a phone call at work the other day.

Me: “This is Bookshop [Name], good afternoon. Erika speaking.”
Other end of the line: *is silent*
Me, thinking I may have done that thing where I speak so fast I finish saying hello before the line actually connects: “Bookshop [Name], good afternoon?”
Other end of the line: *is still silent*
Me: “Hello?”
Man, after another long silence: “Hello.”
Me: “This is Bookshop [Name], what can I do for you?”
Man: “Hello.”
Me: “Hello. Who is this?”
Man: “Nobody.”
Me: “I don’t think I can help you, sir. Goodbye.”

The Joys of Working in a Bookshop – #1

This woman called the shop a moment ago.

Me: *tries to help her look for an annoyingly unfindable ancient book that’s out of print, while attempting to ignore smacking sounds on the other end of the line*
Woman: “I’m eating, I hope you don’t mind.”
Me: “No, no, of course not.”


Really? Really? She couldn’t wait ’till she’d finished eating before picking up the bloody phone? And talking to me FOR NINE WHOLE MINUTES WHILE EATING? REALLY?