r/idontworkherelady | “SELL ME THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!”


People who love reading actually do exist Full story: I just found this community. My
story happened nearly a decade ago, and isn’t extraordinary, but it was very satisfying.
Exact wording is a little iffy thanks to a poor memory, but it’s a close approximation. Around this time in my life, I worked retail.
I was regularly mistaken for an employee of various stores, even if I wasn’t in clothing
that even remotely resembles a store’s uniform. I must have had a customer service aura or
something. I don’t know. My friend too. It’s also not uncommon for customers to knowingly
ask other customers for assistance in the area I live in. It’s an “I know you don’t
work here, but was hoping you could help” kind of thing. So, a friend and I were at a mall, browsing
a small bookstore. We both loved reading all kinds of stuff. Fantasy and Science Fiction,
actual science, history, comics, travel, hobbies, even the occasional trashy romance novel.
You name it, and one of us has probably read a book that falls under the category. I mean,
we both just loved reading pretty much anything. We were also both very familiar with our local
bookstores in general. Browsing at bookstores was one of our favorite pastimes. We’d been in the store for about 30 minutes
or so, moving from section to section and talking in low voices about various books,
authors, and series with enthusiasm and excitement. We were also discussing which ones we wanted
to buy, and had baskets with us. We were pulling books off shelves, reading the back, flipping
through the first few pages, and reshelving the books we didn’t decide to buy. It’s important to note that both of us were
dressed extremely casual. She had on a very low cut shirt, and I was in jeans and tank
top that showed a bit of cleavage. Definitely not the professional attire that the bookstore
employees wore. We’d just reached the comic section, when
this lady came up to us and interrupted our conversation with a question about a specific
book. The only employee apparent in the store was in the process of ringing up several customers. I asked her what the book was about, and after
she told me, I told her what section it would probably be in and pointed the section out.
Then I turned back to my friend and resumed our conversation. Well, this lady didn’t like my response and
was not going to have it. She interrupted us again, and asked why I wasn’t looking the
book up on a computer and escorting her to it’s exact spot on the shelf. I said “Sorry, Ma’am. I don’t actually work
here. I’m just another customer, who happens to love books. I’d still take you to it, but
I’ve never heard of the book you’re asking about. What I told you before is the best
help I can offer. ” I then turned back to my friend and resumed
the conversation. Suddenly this lady grabbed my wrist. I turned towards her in total shock
and outrage, and my friend is giving her a murderous ‘WTF do you think you’re doing you
crazy lady” kind of look. My friend had gone from kneeling near the bottom shelves to standing
in an instant. I calmly looked down at her hand and then
looked her in the eye as I gently but firmly removed her hand from my wrist. Then I stepped
back out of arm’s reach. Lady: ” I know you work here.” Me: “How dare you touch me like that. I’d
think that the way we’re dressed would make it obvious that we don’t work here. ” Lady: “I’ve been in here for 15 minutes and
you two have been moving from section to section while talking about books. You work here!” Me: “No. I don’t.” Lady: “Yes you do. I saw you putting books
back.” My friend, who is much less polite than I
am: “You saw us doing all of that because we love to read, and we were looking at books,
you freaking idiot.” (It’s possible that her response had several more F-bombs. At that
time, freak was my friend’s favorite word, and she sometimes used it every other word.
I enjoyed the word myself, but customer service was so ingrained in me that I most likely
stuck to purely polite language. ) Her: (Offended and outraged) “I’m going to
report you to your manager.” Me: (smiling and laughing a little) “Ok. You
do that.” Lady: (While looking me in the eye) “I mean
it.” My friend: (also laughing) “Go ahead.” I turned and exchanged a glance with my friend
before we both turned back to watch her. The actual bookstore employee was less than
10 feet away and well within hearing range. My friend and I were eagerly awaiting her
complaint. When she got to the actual employee, we were
thrilled to hear her recounting the tale of how rude we were to her, and how we should
be fired. The employee looked confused, and then looked
where the lady was pointing. The lady looked over at us too. I smiled and waved. My friend
laughed. “No, Ma’am. They don’t work here.” Lady: “But they’ve been moving from section
to section and talking about books!” Employee: “I’m sorry for the confusion ma’am,
but they don’t work here. All employees of [bookstore] wear a badge like this.” (Shows
badge) Lady: “But… but… but… They were talking
about books and they were excited!” Employee: “They don’t work here ma’am.” The lady turned toward us looking extremely
confused, embarrassed and deflated. “But….” I was laughing pretty hard, and making no
attempt to hide it, but I did wave at her again. Employee: “What was the name of the book you
were looking for ma’am and I’ll help you find it.” The lady bought a single book. Between my
friend and I, we bought around 20 or so books. (I had worked a book ‘allowance’ into my monthly
budget.) The lady was gone when we checked out, and the employee apologized to us for
the inconvenience. I told her that it really wasn’t her fault that some people are idiots,
and we all kind of chuckled about how ridiculous she’d been. To this day, I can’t get over how impossible
she found it that someone who didn’t work in a bookstore might know about books and
be excited about them. I mean, I might love reading, and read from a broad range of categories,
but I’ve never considered myself as falling into hardcore territory. Sadly, I do live
in the southern United States, so “them readers” is also a phrase that I’m familiar with. She
just didn’t look like the kind of people that I’d heard it from. Guess you really can’t
judge a book by it’s cover. I don’t work for your competitor. I’m just
planning my wedding. XL
Many years ago, back when cell phone cameras were still a new concept, I was getting married.
Without a lot of money for a wedding, I was planning the ceremony myself, and drove to
all the craft stores in my area to find affordable inspiration. I had a system for keeping the ideas organized
so I could come back to the right stores and find the items later. This involved taking
a picture of the item right above the price tag, and then jotting down in a note book
what I could use it for. I would also write the code for the photo above the note so I
wouldn’t get mixed up. After discovering how pricy craft stores are,
I decided to try my luck at Wal-Mart. They have craft supplies, right? So there I was, minding my own business, snapping
a picture and writing in my notebook, when an employee walked up to me and said, “Ma’am,
are you doing price comparisons right now?” I nodded and said yes, and started to explain
my system, thinking this was just a friendly person I was going to have a chat with. The employee held up her hand. “I don’t need
to know all that. You can’t take pictures of the prices. You can write them down, but
if you keep taking pictures, I will kick you out of the store.” My mouth dropped open. That escalated quickly.
There had to be a mistake. I asked, “but how will I remember what the item looked like?” She shook her head. “Not my problem if you
have a bad memory. Put the camera away.” And she turned on her heel to march off. So I had a dilemma. I couldn’t plan a wedding
with no pictures, but I couldn’t take pictures of the prices. Okay, I would just take a picture
of the item without the price and include the price in my notes. I wrote everything down first, just in case
she threw me out before I got all the info, and then snapped the picture. Sure enough,
she rounded the corner of the shelf where she had been hiding and said, “I said no pictures!”
I stood still and replied, “I didn’t take a picture of the price, ma’am. You can see
it if you want.” “I don’t care. You’re leaving now.” Just then another employee walked up. I don’t
know who she was, but the other employee immediately went meek. Nice employee: “What’s the trouble here?” Angry employee: “She’s using a camera phone
to do price comparisons.” I spoke up and said, “I stopped taking pictures
of the price like she asked, but I’m planning my own wedding to save money, and I need pictures
to know which things go well together.” Nice employee: “So you don’t work for another
store? These are for your own personal use?” I nodded and said “Yes, I can’t afford a big
wedding, so I’m doing everything myself. I just need ideas and places to get things for
cheap.” I briefly showed her my notebook and a couple
of the pictures I had taken. The nice employee nodded like she was impressed
and said “that’s a great idea. I should have done that too. Weddings are too expensive.”
She then turned to the other lady and said, “She’s fine, come on, I could use you over
here.” I said thank you and the nice employee said,
“Not at all. Congratulations.” And led the other woman away sulking and silent. I was able to put together the entire wedding
for under $1000. I don’t work for the cruise ship.
L I drive water taxis. Home base is downtown,
and the furthest dock we pickup and dropoff at is occasionally occupied by small cruise
ships. It takes about 10 minutes to get between the two locations if there are no other stops,
but we don’t exclusively service the cruise ships. We also pickup and dropoff virtually
anywhere in between. We run on a schedule; departing downtown on the hour, departing
the dock near the cruise ship at half past. For some crazy reason, the cruise ship passengers
frequently think their all inclusive cruise includes water taxi rides downtown. I frequently
had to explain that I don’t work for the cruise ship and we charge $3 + tip per person each
way (which means I have to argue with the same old dilapidated Karens both ways as they
always try to argue that they already paid on the way downtown and shouldn’t have even
had to pay then). The only time I can remember ever received a tip from a crusty cruise ship
Karen was when one crumpled $5 and threw it at me exclaiming, “You obviously need this
more than I do!” I replied, “I probably do need it more than you. Thank you. Now I’m
halfway to my goal of paying for my next meal at Wendy’s.” My regular customers got a kick
out of that, and tipped handsomely. One day, I was transporting the captain of one of the
cruise ships. We got to talking about how awful his passengers were to me. The end result
of the conversation was that the cruise ship would launch their own tender and shuttle
their own passengers for free. All of my coworkers rejoiced when they saw the cruise ship’s own
tender putting across the harbor. Why did it have to be Hot Topic
M So I was at the mall with a friend of mine.
We went mostly for makeup but decided to browse other stores. I want to mention she’s a
short native/Filipino girl wearing a flying squirrel onesie, and I’m a taller, kinda
pale Greek girl with blue hair, wearing shorts a black tank top and a flannel (face is also
decently pierced). We decide to go into hot topic to look at new mercy hoping to score
socks or some crap when I hear this guy say “I’m ready to check out.” I don’t
pay attention to it and keep lookin along, then he says again, but louder “I’m ready
to check out!” In our direction so we look up and look over at this guy, like forty something,
short and holding up his stuff in both hands just staring RIGHT at me. I’m super confused
and just quick reply “I don’t work here, dude I just want a shirt.” He seemed confused
and irritated but then silently waited in line. My friend absolutely laughed her butt
of and I’m never EVER going to hear the end of it.

61 thoughts on “r/idontworkherelady | “SELL ME THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!”

  1. So you talk and get excited about video games means that you work for gamestop according to the lady at the beginning about books seriously

  2. When I worked at Whole Foods, we were “trained” on how to spot the difference between people like wedding lady doing personal comparisons and professional competitors coming in to steal layout ideas and other “secrets.”
    It was kinda weird. Because we ALSO had to sort them from visitors from sister stores that were essentially taking pictures and doing the same thing. Just sometimes they’d be in groups and we’re our “friends.”

  3. I LOVE reading and get excited about books! I'm on disability so have no "allowance" for anything. But back when I was working retail and had lots of lovely commissions, I bought megatons of books. Now, I get my fix another way. THE LIBRARY!!!! I downloaded the OverDrive/Libby app , for free , onto my tab, and using my library card, I am able to peruse the extensive ebook section of my public library. I can download over 20 books at a time for 21 days.

    You will need a good wifi source, and a library card. Oh, and either a PC, laptop or tab.

    Go mad!

  4. The local Wegmans (supermarket chain from Rochester, NY) has a sign showing the prices of several items there and at the closest Tops (supermarket chain from Buffalo, NY) and the date they checked the prices.

  5. I bet the cruise ship passengers then complained about having to wait for a single tender instead of the convenience of the water taxis. Just the nature of the beast.

  6. Walmart employees really are like that… Back when my local Walmart was rearranging their stock, they had put the beer and wine temporarily by the baby isle… I thought this was funny and tried to get a picture of it and the manager stood right in front of me telling me I wasn't allowed to take pics of Walmart stuff

  7. On the one and only time I went on a cruise, my family and I were mistaken for employees. To be fair we are Filipino and most of the service crew were Filipinos or Indonesians. However on the night that this happened, my family and I just got done watching a show (it was a family reunion to celebrate the grandparent's 65th wedding anniversary). The older folks decided it was time for bed while myself and a few others were famished and decided to hit the buffet. Things were fine until this Guy and his kid show up. He asks us for utensils. All of us at the table look at him as we're in the middle of a meal, so I gestured that they're over there next to the drink station. He then asks for other things straws napkins etc. I tell him that they're all right there. Then before he leaves, he comes up to our table and starts clapping; "Great customer service guys, one star review I'm going to have to talk with your manager". Keep in mind that we're all dressed up in suits and gowns, the staff for this eatery were wearing plain black shirts and pants. Three of us look at him and reply; "We don't work here!". Though I did call him a [email protected]$$. He scoffs and walks off with his kid. I actually chased after him and showed him the key pass that they issue to all passengers, cause frankly I didn't want the staff getting into trouble as we had gotten to know a few of them who even made some pinoy dishes for my Grandparents. The guy just walked away, no apologies. We just told the staff about the incident as a heads up. Only bumped into the same Man twice after that, noticed that the one time he did recognize me he kinda crossed to the opposite side of the ship. Other than that it was a fun reunion.

  8. Back when Costco was called Price Club, there was only 1 in about a 50 mile radius. I had placed an order and was in the store to pick it up and, while waiting, I was browsing around. At the time, I was carrying a Handy Talkie =and= a cell phone (an old =brick= phone with extended battery, so it tells you how long ago this was) and I was approached by an asst mgr asking what I was doing. I said I was just browsing to see if there was anything else I might need. I had been on the phone to both my dad and our foreman checking on this. I was informed that they didn't allow communication from within the store and that I needed to leave. I said, "So, a cop or fireman can't carry radios or phones in here, either?" "No, that's different." "How? I'm on the clock, just as they are. Be that as it may, I'm waiting for my order to be brought up. It's a pallet of 4 55 gal drums of motor and hydraulic oil. While I need it soon, you are =not= the only oil seller in the area and I can certainly take my $1,200 order elsewhere." Needless to say, I got my oil and that policy was rescinded within a year. 🙂

  9. So, if you're in a book store, talking about books, you must work THERE, regardless of what you're wearing …

    Why do I feel, if this lady walked into a Police Station, she'd end up trying to report a crime to one of the PRISONERS??!

  10. Cruise ship Karens should be given this example: she has an ''all expenses paid for" vacation at a fancy hotel resort. One day, she decides to leave the resort to do some shopping; & grabs a cab.

    At her destination, she informs the cabby that she doesn't owe him fare, because he's part of her vacation!

    The cabby, who works for a city based cab company, goes: "Wtf, lady?"

    And I suspect the nice Walmart employee who put the obnoxious one in her place was a supervisor. Maybe even the one who'd trained her!

  11. In third grade I was reading at the college level. All through high school I wore cargo pants, US Army BDU pants to be specific, partly because I discovered I could carry 4 paper backs with me at all times. I regularly shopped at two used book stores, two new book stores, was known at all local flea markets for looking for books and spent way too much time at the library. I don't understand people who don't read.

  12. "But they were talking about books, so they must work here!!" In a flipping bookstore! How dare they talk excitedly about books lol.

  13. I've heard "them readers" before, i've had a co worker ask "why would you read a book if you dont have to?", i had no answer because i couldn't say all the things i wanted to.

  14. I also live in the southern united states and have never heard anyone use the phrase "them readers". And I come from a large family of readers.

  15. I downvoted. Because you're clickbaiting us and lying in the thumbnail. I expected to hear about a rare book, and possibly some kind of entitlement or disrespectful attitude toward an actual book. Not some stupid southern karen who can't comprehend that people like to read….

  16. Haha, I had a bizarre experience with books/reading recently. I was flying to a convention and had my Kindle handy to read on the plane. A woman who sat next to me (early 40s, maybe late 30s in age) had not only never seen a Kindle, but in fact never heard of an ebook, and I had to explain to her how this was a legitimate, real thing, and yes, you actually can buy books legally for it. I then had to explain that yes, it only does books, it IS only black and white, and yes, I do read enough to make it more than worth owning, as it doesn't tire my eyes like LCDs, carries my entire library, plus I'd bought it cheap at a pawn shop.
    She just couldn't fathom why I would choose to read a book, rather than watch a video or play a game, and kept asking me questions like "Don't you have a laptop or tablet or cell phone or something?", to which I replied "Yup, in my bag" and pointed at the above-seat storage. She just seemed quite baffled by my choosing to read.
    It was a truly surreal experience.

  17. Back when I was homeless for 6 months on Black Friday 2004 at a Walmart in the North, I was nearly mistaken for a shop lifter. I had a purse full of pads as Aunt Flo had recently visited me and my bathroom trips looked like an episode of Berserk. I was taking pictures with my basic, not even a flip, Nokia cell phone of items I wanted for Christmas. My aunt interceded and explained what I was actually doing so I never got pulled away. She told me about when we got to her home.

    A shame I didn't get the chance to maliciously comply and enjoy their embarrassed looks as I dump out a bunch of mostly unused maxie pads out for them. I may have had one used pad in there cause I enjoy the option of not wearing a dirty pad and waiting to change if there were nowhere to properly dispose of them available.

  18. The Wal-Mart no picture policy is not restricted to just Walmart. I used to work in a seasonal Halloween store and part of the new employee training was telling everyone twice that we were to be on the lookout for people taking pictures of the store. I guess there was an upstart company founded by someone who didn't like someone in power in our store and the only reason they even started their own business was to steal our guy's livelihood. So I guess you could make the argument that K-mart spies could infiltrate and ripoff the Walmart business model and layout and stuff, but that seems a bit paranoid to me.

  19. Please don't assume all Hot Topic employees have blue hair or piercings, or dress in all black. I shop there all the time, and while some of them do have an edgier look, just as many look 'normal' and have mainstream hair colours and dress styles.

  20. Why do I get the feeling the people who use the "I saw you put things back" argument are the same people who leave random things just lying around the store. Like a bucket of ice cream on the bread shelf, or a single orange amongst chip bags.

  21. Competitor price checking used to be a thing before the Internet became a giant database of store prices. Years ago, I was thrown out of K-Mart because I was writing down prices of a number of household goods when I was helping my mom redo her house after a hurricane. The guy was a jerk and refused to listen to my explanations. They could have made thousands of dollars from us, but no. I never shopped K-Mart again

  22. A wedding for under $1,000 is very impressive. I like the organization used and the high levels of patience. Congratulations on your wedding.

  23. If a crazy person like the bookstore lady assults you by grabbing onto you, you can legally slap her in responce and claim self defence right?

  24. So, literally yesterday, I got confused for someone working at the local grocery store. And it did end up getting to the "I'm going to talk to your manager" point. And so, I said "Go ahead. Well, my direct superior isn't a manager, she's my employer. She's not in this city right now, so you'd have to call her. I'll save you the trouble of looking her number up. It's (phone number). Oh yeah, and my name is (my name), my employer's name is (name)". Karen dialed the number and put it on speaker.

    "Hello, is this (name)? I'd like to complain about (my name)'s rude behavior towards a customer"
    "This is (name), however, I can safely say that you're not (my name)'s customer"
    "And why is that? I know that she works h-"
    "She's a full-time housewife. Can you tell me what sort of customer relationship one could have with a housewife?"
    "Uh… but… she said you're her employer?"
    "Technically, that could be seen as true. She's getting money from me and doing work for me. Good day, madam"
    "Wait, hold on a-"

    Karen was not happy about being hung up on, and so turned her anger back onto me. I just ignored her while finishing my shopping, with her following me and berating me all the way. It was only when I started loading items from my cart onto the belt that she realized I was actually a customer. At that point, she stopped complaining at me long enough for me to say "Again, I'm a housewife, and currently going shopping so I can make dinner tonight. Please go away, I don't work here, I can't help you, and you've been rude enough that even if I did work here, I wouldn't want to help you"

  25. There are work apps like Field Agent and Easyshift that use secret shoppers to take pics of items and prices. Easy work for teens/college students if they know how to do it without being caught.

  26. I have a B&N Nook (and I have a Amazon Kindle on it as an app)… I have something over 3,000 e-novels on it presently… I pre-fer it because my wife used to become irritated when I read 2 or 3 books simul-taneously… Now, she can’t tell which book I am currently ‘engrossed’ in….

  27. OMFG, seriously? Unfortunately, the only bookstores left in my state (North Carolina) seem to be Barnes and Noble and a plethora of used book joints in my very very college town. I love to read. I was so excited once about the next book in a series I love that I didn't even get in the car. I got a coffee and a snack, planted myself in a chair, and spent the next 3 hours devouring that book. People who don't read frighten me.

  28. Walmart employee wasting time spying on customers when her supervisor needs her, and threatening to throw a customer out of the store. Golly, I have been to Walmart less than 5 times. I have been lucky never to be treated badly.

  29. @6:25 "They were excited about books!" That's got to be the worst excuse ever. That's how you get hired. Just come into a store and be excited by their product. Please tell me she's not involved in hiring for a company!

  30. The thing i can never understand is why entitled people think its ok to assault people. Dumb people not listening sure, people insisting on things that are obviously untrue par for the course, physical assault wtf.

  31. Walmart freaks out if you take photos. My son was there with friends just playing a game. They were only photos of certain items. They got kicked out. 😠

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