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20 January 2007

T.M.F.I.

Another too-too interesting afternoon in the bookshop. This flighty female comes in looking for a copy of An Unquiet Mind, by Kay Redfield Jamison I hand her the book, right, and she goes: "Oh, I can't believe you've got it. I've been looking everywhere for it; thought I was going to have to order it online." I smile and say: "It's actually quite popular - we've sold 11 copies so far." She slaps the counter, smiles manically and says: "That's amazing! It's a book about bipolar... AND I'M A BIG ONE!!" And what did I do in response, you may ask? I observed, as if from a distance and in slow-motion, how I, with infinite grace and tact, replied: "Uhm, well... at least things more fun that way. Have a great day!" My, what a comfortable scenario! Why did she have to say that? Was she specifically looking for a reaction from me? Who knows? I don't even think she knows why she did it. Gotta go, though. A customer has just shoved her purse in my face so that I can dig among the small change for the 95 cents she needs to finish paying for her House and Leisure. I think I need to get out of here soon.

12 comments:

dorothy said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA - i worked at wordsworth once many many years ago. and i remember this person coming to the counter with about six books titled (along the lines of)

Beating Depression
Anxiety and Panic Disorders
Finding the Light
Dealing with Bipolar Disorder
etc etc

So after this person pays, and I've done packing them all into bags, I smile and say:
'Well now, have a lovely day!'

wreckless said...

Working with the public brings such a wealth of insight and amazement to oneself doesn't it? I haven't been around to visit your post lately, but I was just telling a friend of mine about your raving intelligence when it comes to horticulture.

neko said...

hmmm... i now wonder what clerks think of me, [like im not paranoid enough] when i shop..

i always try to be friendly; smile, small talk -- some clerk people can be totally rude.

maybe she was lonely and insane and wanted someone to talk to?

who knows..

Wendy said...

I know exactly what you mean! Need to get out of retail ASAP!!! --before I kill a customer.

"Where is your non-fiction section?"

Triggermap said...

Hey, as long as she doesn't become a regular and pops in once a week to regale you with tales of her empty life, then consider yourself spared :P

I worked at a CD shop for a year in varsity and I had a few of those who mistook fake friendly service for genuine interest.

Twanji Kalula said...

I feel you at the moment. It's one thing to have freaky customers, but when a number of your colleagues are of a nutty variety it just makes things worse.
I am tired of this retail thing...
I am sure we could spend hours exchanging stories.

mike said...

I had a British kid shove his hand in my face on three separate occasions (same kid), filled with coins. He said 'How much money is this? I'm English', as if by way of explanation for his not being able to add up coins.

On the third time I said 'You know, I'm South African and I can still count American money.'

Someone today asked me if I lived in an 'actual city' in South Africa. Being friendly is a curse, sometimes.

Karen Little said...

In my experience (which isn't too vast, and I admit I'm a little judgemental), people who constantly confess to being bipolar actually have a combination of that and borderline personality disorder. The whole thing is that it's easier (and cooler) to have a mood disorder than to have an innately flawed personality...

wreckless said...

Hey triple E, i remember reading a post in which you gave some of the coolest most recent things beign done in the molecular biology field. I scoured your posts, but couldn't find it. Help me find it please.

stroibessi said...

I don`t know if you can remember the bearded old man that sits in the shop every night? I`m sure he was around when we were still working together. He never buys anything, but tries to chat with all the young girls. He`s probably just lonely, and harmless.

Tonight, however, the greek girl and I saw him slobbering through a very raunchy photobook, stopping to stare at the most revealing picks for several minutes. Sometimes he even nods off, snoring away at the naked beauties on his lap...
Ek weet nie so mooi of ek moet ril of lag nie ?!?

~d said...

Hiya EOH

Was thinking about you...thought I would pop in and say HI.

"Hi!"

xxoo
d

Wendy said...

It is quiet here without you....