September 01, 2008

How We Love and How We Hate

by Alan Beatts

Ten Things that Customers Do that We Love
Five Things We Hate

We love it when a customer --

Tells us how much they like the store.

Lets us know when we suggested a book that they loved.

Brings their family and out of town visitors to see the store.

Writes nice things about us on Yelp .

Comes up the the counter and says, "Can you help me find a book? I don't remember the author or the title but it was about . . . ."

Makes sure we hear about a new author or book that we should have in stock but don't.

Suggests books to another customer and gets mistaken for someone who works here.

Warns us about bad movies.

Brings in their pets and / or children for us to meet.

Sits on the couch in back for hours, petting Ripley and reading.

We hate it when a customer --

Asks us to check the price of a book on Amazon.

Walks in and, without so much as a "How are you doing?", asks peremptorily, "Where's the cat!" (At this point we often explain that Ripley is a cat, not a geyser, and doesn't appear on a schedule).

Takes a bunch of books off the shelves, reads them while sitting on the couch, and then _leaves them on the floor_. (We're happy to re-shelve books but it's really nice when they're brought up to the counter and not hidden under the couch).

Brings in books to sell that a) are a mixture of all sorts of stuff, mostly _not_ SF, fantasy or horror and / or b) are covered with so much cat hair, dust or other matter that we have to vacuum them before buying them.

Comes in the shop -- past two signs listing our specialty, past two big displays of books -- stops at the counter -- in front of another sign which mentions our specialty -- and asks, "Where are your cookbooks?" And then is shocked and slightly offended when we tell them we don't have any.

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