& Fridays: The Things You Hear at Bookstores…

As I’m sure anyone in a customer service position would agree, you get some weird questions. At a bookstore, it’s not any different.

Here are a few strange questions and problems I’ve had to recently solve:

Customer: I’m looking for a book.
(They ALWAYS pause right here. It’s a bookstore, folks…)


[Phone call]
Me: Thank you for calling ____. This is Sarah, how may I help you?
Customer: Yes, I’m looking for a book. I don’t know the author, but I know the cover is blue and the title is “Maui.”
Me: Are you looking for travel guides on Hawaii?
Customer: No, it’s a book that tells you places to go when you’re in Maui.
Me: Okay, we have quite a few books on Hawaii in our travel section, and several specifically on Maui. The one that just popped up on my search does has a blue cover.
Customer: Great. Is that one there in the store?
Me: Yes, we have this one on our shelf. Now, most books on Maui will be blue, because it’s an island.
Customer: Sounds good. I’ll be there in twenty minutes.


Customer: I’m looking for a book. The details of it are slipping my mind. But I do know the author has three last names, and one of them is Smith.
Me: That’s going to come up with a lot of results. Do you remember anything else about the book or author?
Customer: No….I think it might be Science Fiction?
Me: Okay…I’ll search authors names “Smith” in Science Fiction…
Customer: Most of these authors only have two names.
Me: Unfortunately, I cannot limit the search by number of names.
[Ten minutes later, after combing through over 150 results]
Customer: Hang on, “Clark” sounds familiar. Maybe “Clark” is in the name?
Me: Do you think the author is “Clark Smith?”
Customer: No….I’m thinking it was “Something Something Clark”
Me:…It isn’t Mary Higgins Clark, is it?
Customer: That’s it!!
[Note: Mary Higgins Clark is shelved in our Fiction Section. Not Sci-Fi…]


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