Thursday, January 15, 2009

"I'm sorry, I'm going to have to call you back. Apparently I'm ruining someone's evening. Funny, I thought I was in a bookstore, not a library."


Whoa. Last night I'm in Barnes and Noble. I've set a bunch of books about photography on a table AWAY FROM ALL THE CHAIRS AND READERS and I'm looking through them and talking to my friend Christy on the phone. Not loudly and not about anything offensive--we're talking about how her photographer screwed up multiple times and what she should do about it. I'm mid-sentence and this woman who was probably in her late forties comes over and yells at me "We don't care. WE DON'T CARE!" And I calmly say to Christy ""I'm sorry, I'm going to have to call you back. Apparently I'm ruining someone's evening. Funny, I thought I was in a bookstore, not a library."

I hang up, I turn to the woman and her husband, who by the way are perusing Christian Inspiration literature, and Say "I am so sorry I have ruined your experience here. Thank you so kindly for returning the favor." The girl at the table next to me said "holy crap, did you KNOW that woman?" I said nope. And she said "you handled that SO much better than I would have."

I went to replace some of my books and then had to walk by the lady and her husband (I assume) again. They glared. I smiled. I was definitely within earshot of them when I found an employee and a manager and inquired if they had a volume policy. It confused them, I explained that apparently I was interrupting another customer's shopping experience, and they said "No, no policy. We are not a library. Talk, laugh, whatever." The manager wanted to go talk to the customer, but I declined to point her out.

I decided enough was enough.

I mean, I get it. I get why she was upset. Even though I wasn't breaking any B&N rules, I was bothering her. I happened to have been there first, and she SO could have handled that better (a tap on the shoulder? a would you mind, please?) but no. Yelling. Classy.

Mind you, there are people at the table next to me talking. There are people in the cafe that I can hear from across the store. The only reason she felt she had any right to say anything was because I happened to be speaking to a person who wasn't in the bookstore with me. I really would not have minded getting off the phone AT ALL if she had politely asked me instead of yelling. Seriously.

And personally I think that's bullpucky. And also pretty damn funny. When I called Christy back after the fiasco we got a pretty good laugh about it. Some people. Yeesh.


Lisa said...

you rock, THAT was awesome! I would never have come up with that on the fly, i love it!

melissa said...

omg, you have so much more control than me. i would DEFINITELY have pointed them out to the manager.

Anonymous said...

I am a professional law librarian. To my knowledge, librarians have not shushed people since the 1960s. On the contrary, they encourage them to communicate.

Misha said...

So like I really hate it in general when people are talking on their phones in public. Just something about it really irks me I guess because I'm not a big phone talker and I always think of cell phones as meant for an emergency or something -BUT STILL - I can not ever imagine doing what that lady did to you. She doesn't even have the right to tell you to get off the phone!!!

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