Sunday, July 24, 2011

Liquidation Diary: Snarkfest 2011

I try. I really and truly do. Snark, while often funny, is a low and often mean expression of humor. And yet, if any situation calls for it...
It's barely nine in the morning, the store has just opened, the bookseller is still working to dig out the front of store from yesterday's onslaught.

Customer: That book is twenty-seven dollars here. I can get it at Costco for sixteen.
Bookseller: Then go to Costco.
What is it about the front of store that brings out the meanest in people? Why do they feel the need to attack as soon as they walk in the store?

Customer: So, everything is discounted 40%, right?
Bookseller: No, the discount varies from section to section, from 10 to 40%.
Customer: Why would anyone want to shop here then?
Bookseller: I have no idea

The queue for the registers goes around the store; half the people in line have one or more shopping baskets filled to the brim; many can be observed discarding stacks of books as they wait. The phones are ringing without pause. There are children racing around with no adult supervision, tearing stuff off the shelves.

Customer: Why does the store look so awful?
Bookseller: I don't know.
 So many snarky opportunities arise at the registers.

Customer (handing gift card to cashier): I'd like to check the balance on this card so I can use it before your store closes.
Cashier (looking at the card, then handing it back): You'll have to go to Barnes & Noble to do that.

Customer: What do you mean I can't use my teacher discount? 
Cashier: Sorry. All special discounts ended when the liquidation began.
Customer: Well, that's why you're going out of business.

Customer: What do you mean I can't use my coupon?
Cashier: Sorry. All coupons were invalidated when the liquidators took possession.
Customer: Give me the number of your corporate office.
Cashier: Here's our Customer Care number. I'm sure they'll be very helpful.

All day. All day long. You want to be nice. You want to give good service. But it just. Doesn't. Stop.

Eight to ten more weeks to go.


Jennifer said...

Some days I just wanted to stand at the front door and smack everyone just on principle.
"This is $9.99 with 50% off. How much is that?"
"Five dollars."
"So that's the price?"
"There's no other discount?"
"So it's five dollars?"

Rebecca Glenn said...

Oh yes! Like from one day to the next an ordinary retail store has turned into a 19th century village market. I expect someone to offer me their notary services or to wash my car in exchange for a book one of these days.

bookdout said...

I've been reading your posts of the liquidation through my reader and just wanted to give you my commiserations - it sounds tough! I don't think I would suffer so many fools quite as well LOL
Keep your head up :)


Lisa said...

I would love to do a survey (somehow?) noting what titles particularly 'difficult' people tend to buy (at rock bottom prices) I wonder if we could learn something. Something funny, ironic, or possibly scary?

Jaq said...

It's not just the bottom feeders at the going out of business sales...

My favorite were the people who would spend hours talking to me about books (and you remember how I can talk :) ), getting a number of suggestions about books and when I suggested we take some to the register, I was told "no, I'm going to buy them from Amazon, they're much cheaper than you guys."

Rebecca Glenn said...

Yes, Jaq, I do remember how you can talk. It's one of your most endearing features.

And oh, I know what you mean. It's bad enough when you see them scanning the books, adding them to Amazon wishlists, comparing prices. But when they actually engage you, and you pour your little bookseller's heart and soul into making just the right recommendation...