I’m at the back of the shop working with a customer. Naturally. Just about as far from the phone as I can be while still being in the shop. I make my excuses and start moving toward the desk.
I’m rounding the corner now, moving past the Science Fiction and Horror sections, and I pick up the pace. I don’t like to run in here (me running isn’t a pretty sight, and I am not in great shape), but I know that I only get four rings before the call goes into the answering machine, and most folks hang up rather than leave a message.
Now I break into what passes for “sprinting” on my part. I fly past the vintage paperbacks (OK…”fly” is also a relative term), up past the cash register and get to the desk just as…
“This is the York Emporium.”
“Yeah. Hi. Is this a used book store?”
“On West Market Street?”
“Do you have romance novels in there?”
“Uh…well, yes we do.”
“Is my wife in there?”
Suddenly I know how every bartender in the world feels when they get a call from someone's wife.
“Well, uh, she may have been. Can you describe her?”
He does. And, yes, she was here. She had just left. Now what do I do?
This is a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, I don't want to be caught in a lie. On the other hand, it certainly wouldn't be stellar customer service to be the cause of a customer (a paying customer, I might add) catching the ire of a husband. As a general rule, I try to stay on the good side of husbands. So.....I vamp.
“Well, yes she was here. And I've got to say that she really felt good about herself, sir. She bought a couple of books, but they are on sale this week and she saved about 35%. She only spent about 6-bucks. She said her husband would be proud of her because that was a lot less than she had spent last time and that she was going to bring him in before the end of the sale.”
“Oh! OK. Well...good. Thank you.”
Maybe I should start asking folks if they need me to supply alibis. This could be a new profit center.