Things at Booth and Noble are not always as they seem. For instance, although I may act like I care why you are interested in obtaining a particular title, I can most assuredly assert:
I do not.
I do not care the history of why you might want the book. I don't care if someone from your family read it when they were little and you now want it. I don't care if you read it when you were a child and loved it. I don't care if your husband read about it in the New York Times and you think it would be a good Father's Day present.
I don't care. Honestly. It's not that I want to hurt your feelings - I really don't mean to.
But do I come to your work and blab to you why I really want my cable? Or my life history at McDonald's? Or why I prefer white chocolate Lattes as opposed to regular ol' mocha Lattes at StarBooth?
I do not. I do not give my life history because I assume that you have other things to worry about - like making my damn sandwich, or producing a delicious frothy beverage from your magic hot wand.
Um...ok, strike that last sentence from the record. I'm not sure I want anything frothy from your hot wand, Mr. StarBooth.
So, forgive me if I do not care why you want to return an item. Is it not enough that you want to return it? Do I need a history of your un-desire for this object?
Perhaps I speak too soon. For yesterday, a gentleman came in with an opened and listened-to audio book.
Booth and Noble's policy on such acts are as follows:
We will exchange an open audio book for the same item, assuming the original is damaged. We will only refund if the audio book is unopened.
This, I think we can all safely assume, is because an opened audio book is possibly a uploaded audio book, and thus is a used audio book. It's not like we can resell an opened audio book anyway - what, one of our customers is going to buy a cling-film wrapped audio book? Not our customers - they return items because "this page is slightly folded in one corner." Prissy to the extreme.
I ask the fellow what is wrong with the audio book.
"It doesn't work right," he unhelpfully explains.
"What doesn't work right?" I ask.
"It's too quiet."
"IT'S TOO QUIET."
"[pause]. Did you try turning up the volume?"
"I did part of the way, but it didn't help."
I look at the CD. I wonder if this is a problem with the CD, with the CD-player. I look at the man. And realize what the problem is:
he's wearing hearing aids.
"[sigh]. Let me call my manager."
And another satisfied customer of Booth and Noble gets his refund.
Perhaps he should return his hearing aids instead of all his CDs.
As I hastened to put the returned audio book back in the receiving area, I passed a young man wearing a teeshirt.
You know how lame it is to wear shirts with not-so-funny sexual innuendos on them?
For instance, "You must be ____ this tall to ride" or "your mom called and she wants me to come over and do her." (I may have made this last one up, but you get the idea).
You know what's lamer than that?
Wearing a HANDMADE sexually explicit tee-shirt.
In rather poor handwriting, written with a Sharpie marker, a young man had written on the upper portion of his right shoulder (evidently, he couldn't center it):
"I only date 10's, but I'll take 2 5's."
Ha! Ha! Ha! Just the thing to pick up women in a bookstore, no? I wonder why he decided to put that shirt on.
Actually, thinking about it...no, I don't really care.
Check out this interesting story from NPR about Book Returns, a process that is extremely wasteful. Turns out, when customers order books willy-nilly (a practice that Booth and Noble encourages), it costs the company an enormous amount of money and the environment an enormous amount of happiness to return, restock, and then resend the books around.