Actual Customer came in a couple of weeks ago and ordered some books from me. I took down his name, number, and the books he wanted.
Last week, Actual Customer's books came in. By the time I got around to special orders, it was too late to call anyone, so I put it in a bag with his name and phone number, with a note that he be called.
Yesterday, I noticed that someone had written "Wrong Number" on the bag, and I sighed
Today, after an annoying Staples visit, Actual Customer was waiting for me in the hallway.
AC: "Hey, I ordered some books and was told I would be called when they came in."
Me: "Yea. They came in last week, but we must have written down the wrong number for you."
We walk into the store, I grab the bag with his name and number on it, and hand it to him.
AC: "That Is my phone number."
Me: "Weird. Maybe we dialed the wrong number when we called. Sorry."
He pays for his books and walks out, leaving his credit card behind.
Luckily, he also left behind the bag with his number on it. The number he just verified.
It's Not The Right Number.
He comes back half an hour later, looking for his card.
Me: "I tried to call you, but the number you gave us goes to someone else."
AC: "That is my number, though."
I pick up the phone and call it. It rings. The same justifiably annoyed woman answers the phone.
AC: "Do I not know my own phone number?"
Me: "All signs point to No."
AC takes out his phone. "Excuse me, I have to call someone, so they can tell me what my--- Can I see that number again? That's my Mom's number." He calls the number. "Hi, mom. If someone calls looking for me, could you just give them my number? No. No. It was important. Because that was my phone number for the first twenty-three years of my life. I won't. I WON'T. Ok. Yea. Bye." Puts his phone in his pocket. "So my number is, damn it, I forgot to ask her what my number is."
Four or five year old mutant child (they're all mutants to me, this one was neither good nor bad nor neutral), being carried by his dad, spends about five minutes whispering to his dad, asking him who all the action figures are.
When they walk by the Star Wars plushies, he asks again The dad names Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and C-3PO but can't identify the rest.
Dad: "You should ask the guy who works here. He probably knows."
Kid whispers incoherently to dad.
Dad: "Don't be shy, buddy. Ask him."
Kid whispers incoherently.
Me: This is a stormtrooper, this is Rei, and this one is Maz Kanata. I used to forget her name all the time."
Child whispers incoherently.
Dad: "Don't forget to say thank you."
Child whispers thank you.
Dad rolls his eyes, and they walk around a little longer.
On their way out, the dad thanks me, and says "Are you going to say goodye, bud--"
Child: "GOOD BYE NEW FRIEND. I SEE YOU SOON. BYE BYE." at the top of his lungs, directly into his dad's ear.
Random Loiterer: "Can I borrow your microwave?"
RL: "My microwave is broken. I borrow yours?"
Me: "We...we don't have a microwave. We're a comic book store."
RL: "How do you eat?"
Me: "With our mouths. Sometimes we go out to eat. Sometimes we eat sandwiches."
RL: "No microwave? That's messed up."
He leaves. I wish him all the radiation he could ever need.
Today In "It's Not That I've Lost My Faith In Humanity, I Just Feel That YOUR Faith In Humanity Might Be Slightly Misplaced":
Guy I Haven't Seen In Several Years: "Do I know you?"
Me: "Yea, I--"
GIHSISY: "You're the poetry guy, right?"
GIHSISY: "I think I saw you and your boyfriend at a play slam once."
I scan back through my memories. And, though he wasn't my boyfriend, I know who he's talking about.
Me: "Yea, he was in one that I went to, and we went together once to watch one of his other friends."
GIHSISY: "Short Asian dude, right?"
GIHSISY: "Did you two ever have communication problems?"
Well, he would get angry with me without actually mentioning what he was angry about, and sometimes I would annoy him by not instantly calling him back when he wanted to talk to me but....
Me: "How do you mean?"
GIHSISY: "The language barrier. Do you speak Japanese?"
Me: "No. And that wouldn't have been helpful. His parents were Korean but he was from Wisconsin."
GIHSISY: "So he spoke some English."
Me: "He spoke All English. He's from Wisconsin. Not Korea. Not Japan. Wisconsin. Where English is the primary language."
GIHSISY: "I thought Koreans mostly spoke French."
Me: "No. Are you thinking of Vietnam, or Cambodia which were colonized by France? I don't think most people from either of those countries spoke primarily French, either, but I suppose it was more common there than in Korea."
GIHSISY: "But don't they also have a large French community in Wisconsin?"
Me: "In the 1600s, I guess. But now I'm pretty sure a good chunk of people from Wisconsin speak English."
GIHSISY: "Do you still see him?"
Me: "No. Last I heard he was living in New York."
If you even mention anything about him speaking Dutch, I'm going to brain you with this tape dispenser.
GIHSISY: "That makes sense. There are probably more people there who speak his language."
Me: "Sure. There are a lot more English speakers in New York than there are in Cambridge."
GIHSISY: "I wonder why that is."
Because of Labor Day, my schedule is a little off, so I decide to make up the New Release Board today, but because it is somewhat busy, and I am by myself, instead of doing it over by the back issues, I clear off the counter and do it by the register.
A Random Loiterer comes up just as I've written down the month, and leans on the board, smudging the date that I just finished writing.
Me: "Please don't lean or put anything on the counter. I'm writing on this, and I don't want to have to start over later."
RL: "Of course."
He wanders around the store a bit, grabs a Humanoid book (which are the few books that don't have prices on them), plops it on the words I have just finished writing and asks "How much is this?"
Me: "29.99. Could you please not touch this board I'm writing on? This is the second time I've had to redo something because you put your book or your arm on something I just finished writing."
RL: "Of course."
He puts the book down, wanders around the store for five minutes, picks up another book, and walks toward the counter, putting the boo--
Me: "DON'T PUT YOUR BOOK ON THE BOARD."
--k in the middle of the board, smudging the entire thing.
RL: "Sorry. How much is this?"
Me: "A Thousand Dollars."
Me: "Really. Forty dollars for the book, nine hundred and sixty dollars because this is the third time I've had to start this over. Don't. Touch. The. Counter. Don't. Put. Your. Books. On. The. Board."
RL: "Sorry. I didn't know."
Actual Customer: "Dude, he told you at least three times."
RL: "I guess I wasn't listening."
Me: "Well, as long as you don't put anything on my board again, I'll discount the book back to $39.99"
RL: "Oh, I don't have any money with me. I'm just making my Christmas list."
He leaves, leaving the book on the board.
I wait until I see him walk by the window before saying "You get nothing you Naughty List Dwelling Motherfucker."
AC collapses with laughter into shelf, knocking over a Batwoman Action Figure.
AC: "Oh shit. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Me: "It's cool. That was clearly an accident, and partially my fault. You're still on the Nice List."
AC: "That's not what my girlfriend's going to say if I come home with this book."
Dude Who Came In Earlier Trying To Convince Me And My Coworker That Our Owner Needed To Go Into Business With Him So He Could Make Millions Selling Toys Online Which Would Be Cool I Guess If We Had More Than A Handful Of Toys To Sell: "Did I leave my keys here?"
Me: "No. Sorry."
Dude: "Can you give me the building manager's number?"
Me: "I don't know it."
Dude: "What about the guy who locks the building at night."
Me: "That's me."
Dude: "Ok. What's the manager of the phone store's number?"
Me: "I have no idea. They're closed?"
Dude: "Yeeeeeeea. The lights are off. I think I left my keys on the counter up there."
Me: "That sucks. But I'm sorry, I don't have any contact numbers for them."
Dude: "Who do you call when you don't have keys and have to get into the building?"
Me: "A coworker here. Or I wait for another business to open. I never have to open before one of the ther businesses open, so I've never needed any of their numbers. Sorry."
Dude: "Can you call them, then?"
Me: "I don't have their numbers. I don't even know any of their names."
Dude: "I am so fucked."
Me: "Are those your keys hanging off your belt?"
As he walks up the stairs, he mutters "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I need a nap."
My Very Patient Coworker came in to pick up some paperwork. While he was in the store Baron Von Poopypants came in. I was in the midst of unpacking boxes, which has never deterred him from talking at me.
BvP: Flash comics are really selling, huh?
BvP: Do you think it's because of the TV show?
BvP: I think so, too. I called yesterday, and your coworker said you didn't have the Gee-off Johns run but she pronounced it funny.
Me: It's pronounced "Jeff".
BvP: But it's spelled Gee-off.
BvP: I think Zoom is the best villain because he's not really a rogue, you know? He sort of does his own thing. Not like the rogues, you know?
BvP: I've been reading the Gee-off Jones run because he did Rebirth and Rebirth is one of the best selling Flash stories, right?
BvP: You could say that the Flash has really *flown* off the shelves. Get it? Because he's so fast.
Me: But he doesn't fly. he runs.
My coworker chuckles on the other side of the shelf.
BvP: I guess. Have you ever read any Gee-off Jones books.
BvP: You should. He's really good.
My coworker made his way around the shelves and BvP stood directly in front of him, staring at a shirt hanging from the ceiling.
Coworker: Excuse me.
BvP stands, agog.
Coworker rolls his eyes, and walks around him.
BvP: I'll be going now.
Proceeds to stand in place.
I don't get why anyone likes Fried Green Tomatoes. I didn't understand what it was trying to say, and it took me seven hours to clean it out of the machine.
Guy comes in to the store and, without so much as a hello, says: "I saw The Simpsons in the window."
"Yea." I say, leading him to The Simpsons comic stack.
Guy: "So these are like the TV shows?"
Me: "No. These are different stories, but with the characters you know from the TV show."
Guy: "Because they're real people?"
Guy: "They're about the guy that made them."
Me: "Not really? Matt Groening is a cartoonist. He got famous for his 'Life In Hell' strips."
Guy: "Yea, in the 60s. Before my time."
Me: "No." "No. In the 80s."
Guy: "So you just take these and put them in your VCR?"
Me: "What? No. They're books. You read them."
Guy: "Oh. I don't really read."
Guy: "I was looking for videos. Peace."
Random guy Looking At Back Issues: "Did he really just ask you if you put books in a VCR."
Me: "He did. After opening it, and seeing it was a book."
RG: "I've been having what I thought was a Stupid Day, and getting down on myself, but I feel So Much Better now. Should I go out and thank him?"
Me: "That's your business."
Coworker: How is today going?
Me: A little slow. I feel behind.
Cw: How come?
Me: My hand is bothering me.
Cw: What did you do to it?
Me: Got old.
Cw: Ah. Did you sell any books?
Me: Yea. (goes down the list) And we're sold out of Killing & Dying.
Cw: We should have three more copies.
Me: We don't.
Cw: It's over with the rest of the Hickman books.
Me: No. That's The Dying & The Dead, this was Killing & Dying. We're sold out of it.
Cw: The Rucka book? What volume?
Me: That's Kill Or Be Killed. Killing & Dying is by Adrian Tomine.
Cw: I don't think we have any more copies of that.
Me: WE DON'T. I've been trying to tell you that.
Random Customer: I don't know why anyone reads Marvel comics. They're so expensive.
Me: They're the same price as almost all comics.
RC: No. DC comics are a dollar cheaper.
Me: No. DC relaunched them at a dollar cheaper, but they came out twice a month, so it was more expensive to collect them. And then they bumped the price up, so now they are the same price but ship twice as often, so it's twice as expensive to collect most of their books.
Me: Check the cover. Almost all of the titles that people read are now $3.99 just like Marvel.
RC: Then why does everyone say DC is cheaper?
Me: Because marketing is more powerful than truth.
Me: Back to your original question,a lot of people read Marvel because those are the stories they like. The same reason people should read DC comics or Image comics or Boom comics or anything else. Read what you enjoy, not what's cheapest. When DC comics were $2.99, they were a few pages shorter but with the same amount of ads.
RC: They were not.
RC: You're a Marvel guy, I guess?
Me: I'm a Read Comics I Like guy. Right now it's mainly Image and some Marvel stuff. But back around Blackest Night, I was buying mostly DC.
RC: So you have no loyalty?
Me: Nope. There are so many comics out, why would you waste time and money on a series you're not enjoying? I'd rather spend an extra dollar for something I'm enjoying or just not buy anything at all than spend money on dull story, in the name of saving a buck.
RC walks over to the shelves, gets a couple of All-Star Batman issues, and comes back to the counter.
RC: Are these any good?
Me: I haven't been reading it, but the people who liked Snyder's Batman run have been really enjoying it.
RC: Do you think it sucks?
Me: I haven't been reading it.
RC: Because it sucks?
Me: I have no idea. I haven't read it. It sells well. Nobody has told me that it sucks.
RC: That sounds like it sucks but you want me to buy it.
Me: I want you to buy whatever makes you happy.
RC glares at me, walks back to the shelves (leaving the comics on the counter, natch), picks up some more comics, puts them down, and leaves. Because nothing makes him happy.