Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bookstore Pests


TO: All Staff

FROM: The Uberboss

DATE: September 21, 2011

RE: Troublesome Customers

My attention has been recently drawn to some troublesome customers that seem to be increasing in number, and need to be dealt with in a way that minimizes problems and customer dissatisfaction. It is imperative that all staff be on the same page in this matter, as our corporate success is dependent on teamwork and a cooperative spirit. Naturally, I welcome possible solutions for these misguided people:

1. The Indoor Skater. Lately, we have had several skatebaorders or skaters coursing through the store on wheels, scaring other customers and diminishing the sedate d├ęcor. This may result in customer injuries and possible customer loss. Accordingly, I am directing maintenance to install speed bumps at random intervals within the aisles.

2. The Dirty Old Man. Frequently hanging around the "adult" magazines, this person rarely buys, but spends hours in perusing the materials.  I direct that anyone spending more than 20 minutes in this site be given a bath and good scrubbing. Afterwards, each suitably sudded former dirty old man will be given a tract persuading that cleanliness is next to godliness.

3. The Coffee Freak.  Baristas will now enforce a "two shots" limit.  Any more coffee will have to be decaf.  Wired customers tend to speed read and reshelf rather than buy.

4. The Wet-the-Finger-and-Read Customer.  These will be deprived of browsing privileges, and purchase books or magazines unseen.  Repeat offenders will be deprived of offending digits.

5. The Bookstore Furniture Is for Sleeping Customer.  This should be a signal for staffers to vacuum the immediate area, especially if said customer uses shelves for sleeping.

6. Intellectual Gladiators. Sometimes customers get into arguments, and this leads to fisticuffs. This cannot be allowed to escalate into a generalized brawl between different philosophical camps.  Instead, have the two meet in the ring in the back, put on mitts, and debate!

7. The Pickup Romeo (Juliette).  These are easy to manage. Merely direct him (or her) to a nearby club or church.  Tell them, "Hon, are you sure you would meet someone here that you could take home to Mama?"  That confuses them.

8. The Proselytizer.  Wierdo who passes out leaflets for free.  The danger is that customers won't buy our stuff.

9. Coffee Shop Lecturer or Performer.  There's always some who show up.  This might well be dealt with by having an Open Mike Monday, where anyone can get up and perform.  (Staff members with accordions are forbidden to participate.)

10. The Publication Mutilator.  Occasionally a patron may mutilate books or magazines. These fall into two categories: the censor and the coupon-clipper. Act very shocked and disappointed with the first offense. And make them pay for the art book.  Second and subsequent offenses call for the person to wear a conical hat and sit on a stool in front of the store.


Big Sky Heidi said...

It's a bitch that Borders closed.

I'm glad accordions are forbidden on open mike nights. They are awful!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Here in Huntsville there are all of these frequenting our local book stores. Good eye for satire -- or do you know first hand?

Bilbo said...

Book stores and libraries attract some of the same sorts of people, but nevertheless I've always found them to be good places to meet some nice people. The memo misses one of the most despicable denizens of both bookstores and libraries: ass clowns who insist on using their cell phones (at top volume) in public for the most personal of conversations.

Atomic Dog said...

Some bookstore patrons use the tables in the coffee shop as a place for doing work, or conducting business. Therefore, the tables may be occupied for several hours if the bookstore provides WiFi.