Monday, July 19, 2010
More Customer Requests...
I'm looking for a book, it's of religious or spiritual poetry. The pages are brightly colored. Do you have it? (no idea, we need a little more information - words in the title, even one word in the title, name of an author (first OR last name), name of any of the poets...anything, anything)
Do you have a map of Afghanistan? (no, but we can order it)
Do you have the original Buddha Board? (no, but we can order it, and we did)
I'm looking for a book about the history of Spain.
Do you have any children's books in Russian? (no)
Three teenagers (or early 20's), 2 guys and a girl, all with piercings, tattoos and a skateboard among them, approach the register. "Alex Gray," one of them says. I send them to information. One of them comes up a few minutes later with a book of paintings by Alex Gray and asks, "How much is this? There isn't a price on this." I look at it, find the price (granted, it was in tiny print), and tell him "It's $29.95." Disappointed, he says "Do you have anything in here for $25 or less? Or is everything more than $25 so that people with $25 gift cards have to spend a little more than 25 dollars?" I said, "We have LOTS of things under $25. You happen to want something very specific, this book of Alex Gray paintings. For instance, we have books in mystery, by Alex Gray (probably a different one) that are $7 or $8."
Do you have the American Heritage Pictorial History of the Civil War? (no, it's out of print)
A woman called, she sounded older, with an almost quavery voice. "Do you have Dreamsicle figurines? I live on the coast and want to buy some but I don't know where to get them."
"We don't have them," I said, "Have you tried maybe a Hallmark store?" At the same time I was looking on the computer to see what Dreamsicle figurines ARE (and for those of you who don't know, like I didn't know, they are little white-ish figurines with wreaths of dried flowers on their heads). I find some pictures of the figurines and some books..."There are books about them, books about their values, they are collectible."
"Oh, I know! I want to start a collection for my granddaughter. Can you tell me how much they are worth?", she asked.
"I can't see inside the books, I can just tell that there are some books available. I'm not seeing any stores to buy the figurines themselves, though there are a lot of the figurines available online."
"Oh, I don't do anything online. Do you know where I could go to look at them and see them?", she asked (again).
"I'm sorry, I don't. You might try calling a mall and seeing if they know where one might buy them."
"Oh, that's a great idea! Do you have the number for the mall? I don't want to call information."
A woman with two teenaged girls with her approached me. "Go ahead and ask her," she told one of the girls.
"Do you have any books on how to get into prostitution?", she asked me.
"Um, how to get into prostitution?", not sure I heard the question right.
"Don't ask it like that, that makes it sound bad," whispered the other teenager.
The first teenager said, "Well, I mean, about someone who was a prostitute, or people who are prostitutes..."
"Do you want a biography or memoir about someone who was a prostitute? Or books that are study prostitution in society??", I ask, trying to get clarification.
The woman (I assumed she was the mom), jumped in, "She wants something about woman who were prostitutes but who got out of it, what was it that made them get OUT of being prostitutes." She knew what part of this project SHE wanted to emphasize.
"Ah." I take them to the women's studies section and show them a few books about the sex trade and feminism. I tell them I'll go check on the computer. I bring back a long list of books that might be what she's looking for, most of them not in the store. "On this list are books that might be helpful. We can order most of them. Is it for a report?" (I know, it's July, but thought I'd ask in case they needed the books quickly).
"No," the teenager answers. "I just want to know how they got into being prostitutes."
I left them browsing in the women's studies section. whew.