Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I answered the phone at the bookstore where I work. "Do you have the April issue of PCGamer magazine? It has a beta game. The April issue."

"Let me check," I said. After walking over to the newsstand, I looked at the current issue of PCGamer. "No, I'm sorry, I don't. I have the May issue. As soon as the new issues come in, the old ones go out. We don't have any back copies of magazines."

"Are you sure it's not the April issue?" she asked again. "There's a game in there that my son really wants."

"I'm holding it in my hand, and it is the May issue," I said.

"Well that sucks," she spat. "My son really wanted that game."

"I'm sorry," I said. "We don't all get our shipments on the same day. You could try calling another bookstore and see if maybe they still have the April issue."

"Fine. I guess I'll have to do that then." And she hung up.

Another phone call had a young woman calling and asking if we had a specific textbook in stock at the store.

"We don't usually carry textbooks, and we don't have that one in stock" I told her.


"Ah, we can order it for you, or you can order it online if you'd like," I offered.

"No. never mind," she said right before she hung up.

A third call came from a man. He wanted me to order a book for him. I was having a hard time hearing him and had to ask him to repeat things several times. I asked if he'd like to be notified by email when the book would be shipped and he said he would. He stumbled several times over his email address, and I had to ask for clarification on some of the letters. "F" can sound like "S" over the phone, "B" can sound like "P", and so on. Evidently I asked for clarification one too many times for him and he said "GODDAMNIT" pretty loudly. We did ultimately get through the call with his order complete.


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