November 1, 2011

SURVEY: Weird interactions with customers


Uli Lenart

Uli Lenart, Gay’s The Word Bookshop:
This summer we released Joan Taylor‘s Conversations with Mr. Prain, which features a lonely book stall owner who encounters a wealthy gentleman interested in a volume on the early work of Cézanne. They begin a conversation, which results in a strange visit to his mansion near Oxford. Because we were intrigued by their encounter, we thought it would be a fun idea to reach out to bookstore owners in the U.S. and the U.K. and ask them about their most unusual interaction with a customer. Uli Lenart, the assistant manager of Gay’s The Word Bookshop–the only GLBT bookstore in England–provided the most interesting response so far:

“Ok so I’m in the shop by myself and nobody’s in, and I just quickly pop to the office area at the back to grab a handful of Armistead Maupin (don’t be so immature) and then, as I come charging back onto the shop floor I find myself screaming at the top of my voice in surprise as I almost fall over this terrified Japanese student who must have been tentatively tip-toeing around the shop. I apologise. Then I start laughing. Rather uncontrollably. Then I’m apologising for laughing, as I’m laughing. From the glare he shoots me as he leaves the student is, however, most certainly not amused. Whoever you are…I’m very sorry.”

Okay, so what’s your weirdest interaction with a customer? (Dumbest questions ever asked count as weird interactions, in case you were wondering.)