a customer came up to me in my section looking for summer reading books, which we didn't have (which he was suprised about, of course, even though the kids go back to school in, what, two days?) so he wanted me to call another store. the phone in my section doesn't call out and he didn' want to go down stairs because he had two toddlers playing in our play area, and trying to separate a two-year-old from Thomas the Train before they're ready is like trying to amputate a limb. so i called from my portable store phone.
Other Store Guy picks up. i gave him the product #, almost all of which start with 978. SO: i started with 978.
he said, "Mmm hmm" in an encouraging way.
i gave him the rest of the numbers.
he said, "I'm sorry, i cant hear you well." so i spoke the numbers louder.
he read them back, and the last two were wrong. i tried again.
he said, "i can barely hear you."
So i told him that it was probably my line, but i was kind of stuck with the portable phone at the moment so that was the best i could do.
so i read the numbers to him again. he told me to speak up. by this time i was almost shouting. and its damn hard to sound polite while you shout digits at someone.
finally i said, "Look, the book's Mercy Watson Goes For A Ride. its pretty common."
he looked it up and said, "Oooh. i see. you didn't tell me the '978' part."
and i blurted: "Yeah, i did. it was the first thing you wrote down."
i don't think i was being rude, just stating a fact. i could have also mentioned that he actually read the number back, including the evil 978, but had the ending wrong. TWICE.
in the meantime, the customer is standing there laughing at me.
so other Store Guy says, "Sorry!" sounding miffed, and goes to get the book. comes back with book. gets customers name. and asks me, "What store are you from?" which means he's planning on calling my manager to tell them how terrible i am. i tell him our location, and he snaps, "Fine" and hangs up.
Customer, laughing, says, "I'm sorry, hon, i didn't think that would be so difficult." but nicely, which made me not want to hit him.
i went back to ask my manager fro a new phone, and told him the last call i made, they couldn't hear me. OH, and the last guy i talked to was...odd. he asked me, how so? so i told him the Tale Of The Oddball Phone Conversation From Bookstore Heck. and he said, "OOoohh."
i think that in the few minutes that i was finishing up with Mr Dad, the guy had already called to complain. i'll have to ask my manager about it next time i'm in. i'm curious about what he said, and how TERRIBLE and MEAN and RUDE he said i was. i wish i could have Mr Dad there as a witness, to describe the expression on my face. i'm sure it was a good one.