Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Weird customer #5016

So, obviously owning a used bookstore you run into a few weird customers. I couldn't even begin to remember all of the strange things I have heard or seen in this store. Here is the latest weirdo:
Last Thursday a new customer came into the store. He seemed very normal and nice. He had seen our website and was very curious about the theme. We have a haunted theme even though we carry all books. Anyway, he bought a few Sci-Fi books and commented on our great selection. He said he would definitely be back. Great! Always nice to get new customers, right? The next day was Friday and he showed up at our door again. We were working at the front counter and said hello when he walked in. At that point most customers start wandering around or ask about a specific book. He came up to the counter and just stood there and stared at us. I asked if he had a question, but he didn't respond at first. Finally, after a minute or two, he asked if I was Debby, the owner of the store. I said yes and then there was silence again. I then asked if there was something I could help him with. He reached out with a stack of papers in his hand and said "read this". Well, over the years people have handed me many things to read. I have learned the hard way to ask what it is first. He said, "Well, it's a story." Now, it just so happens that I was leaving in about ten minutes and I said this to him. He then said that it wouldn't take but a few minutes. I went on to tell him that I had some things I needed to finish before I left. He kept insisting that it would take no time at all. I asked if he could maybe leave a copy with me and I'd get to it later (NOT!). Of course that was his only copy. "Will you be in tomorrow?" he asked. Then he realized he had a writing class that day. Could he come in Monday? No we're closed. What about Tuesday? He said, he'd come then. Oh goody! We then tried to get him to tell us why he wanted us to read it. He said he did not want it critiqued, because he already knew that it was great. That was a first. What did he want? This went on and on for a ridiculous amount of time. It was like pulling teeth to get him to tell us what it was about or why he wanted me to read it so desperately. Finally he admitted it was a zombie obituary. Well, that's a new one. Sounds like maybe it could be interesting, but still WHY? "So", he says, "maybe you could hang it up in the store. You could direct people to various parts of the store to read the rest." Uh...okay, not going to happen. At that point the phone rang. I was late getting out of there, so during one of the many lulls in conversation I went to get my stuff. He kind of wandered off and I got out fast.
Of course, Tuesday afternoon he shows up. Luckily enough I was in my office on the phone, but I could see and hear him on the security TV. He asked for me and was told I was on the phone. I was not going to come out until he had left. He then starts badgering Sarah about reading it then she could recommend it to me. Finally, she talks him into leaving it. As soon as he left I came out of my hole and read the thing. I just did not want to read it with him breathing down my neck. Thank goodness I did, because it was horrible! We all read it and agreed that it was pretty bad. Funny concept, but badly written. I'm no expert, I can't write at all(obviously!) but a 12 year old could have done better. It was supposed to be an obituary for a dead? zombie, but it was realllly long and was hard to follow. He's called twice today to talk to me, but of course I'm "not in" when he calls. He said he would come in today, which I have been dreading, but he never showed up. How do you tell somebody like that to take a hike? He's a customer and I don't want to lose him, but please, go sell crazy someplace else.


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