The Diary of a Bookseller
By: Shaun Bythell
A year in the life of a second-hand bookseller in a small Scottish Town. Shaun Bythell owns The Book Shop- the second largest 2nd hand bookstore. So it fulfills two dreams of mine. Owning a bookstore and living in Scotland.
But also provided great memories of customer service which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I can laugh about them now 🙂
The stories of his customers well, I recognized all of them. I don’t think you need to sell books (I didn’t.) People are all the same and I laughed out loud in some places and shook my head in others. There’s the…
You can discount this right?
At least Bythell owns the bookstore. You have no idea how many people would ask me that and I just sold gift certificates and gave directions like I owned the place or could make those decisions.
The know it alls.
“I was here last week. The store was here a week ago. Are you telling me its closed down in that time? How long have you worked here?”
Aren’t you a mind reader?
“I saw these red boots in a window over the summer at one of your stores (there’s over 200 hundred stores at the place I worked.) I don’t remember the store but it wasn’t only a shoe store or maybe it was… Where was that?”
Perhaps the most annoying of them all. You give them what they want when you can just to make them happy. But I always wanted to say like, “I know the deal here. I know you’re full of it.”
The just plain rude.
Needs no explanation.
I think the only type of customer he didn’t get was the dreaded flirts…
Some people need to understand that smiling at people is one of the top tenants of customer service. I have to do it. I don’t want your number I’m not going to give you mine and it’s not really impressive that you can guess my name even if you say you aren’t looking at my name tag.
And as good as I tell myself I am, as much as I say I learned working the other side, I also am the girl that has stood in a bookstore trying to decide what books I wanted to buy while loudly exclaiming I can get them all on Amazon and still pay less.
I’m going to knock that off.
I also thought his back and forth with his employee Nikki was very funny but she would not have last anywhere else.
So it was a walk down customer service memory lane. Strange thing though? As much as it could suck I loved the job. It was fun. Interesting. I meet so many people and I forced myself to get over my anxiety and do it. I kind of miss it- especially at Christmas time because let me tell you there is no power like escorting Santa through a packed mall.
I was going to say be nice to people who are working retail this holiday season but really we should all strive to do that with everyone. But maybe just try a little harder 🙂 Remember its not the employees fault that you don’t have a gift for your wife at 6pm on Christmas Eve. Christmas does not come out of the blue!
Recommend: Yes. But keep in mind you may only find it interesting if you are into book selling, Scotland, book towns or customer service.