parents, hug your children close...
The following is a verbatim exchange between a me and a customer I had the pleasure of helping today during my bookstore shift. The part of me will be played by me. The part where I said I had the pleasure of helping her is because, for the most part, I did because that's my job, but mostly it's because it feels like that's what I'm supposed to say. And then I'm supposed to try and sell you a discount membership.
On with the show!
Me: "Here you are, one copy of Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales. Is there anything else I can help with today?"
Customer: "I don't think so, no. Thank you for your help."
Me: "You're welcome. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with today!"
Customer: "You know, there is something you might be able to help me with."
Me: "I'll certainly try! What is it?"
Customer: "Is Beatrix Potter related to Harry Potter?"
Sidebar - I've been at this gig long enough to know I shouldn't even begin to doubt people are giving me a hard time when they ask me things like this. It's a little trick I've employed since the Great Request for MC Hammer's Greatest Hits Incident of Ought 7 (secondary sidebar - remember when I used to write all my posts in lowercase? good times. good, good times...), but honestly, when faced with this particular question, my mouth wasn't saying "Seriously?" but my face likely was.
Back to the show!
My face: "Seriously?"
Me: "Well, no, in fact, Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter are not related when you take into account Beatrix Potter was a real person and Harry Potter is actually a fictional character."
Customer: "Oh! OH! Hahahahahahaha....ha...ha...um, so I guess I'm done in this area now."
Me: "Have a great day!"
My brain: "You're totally going to write about this, aren't you?"
And so I did, and you're all probably thinking that's enough, as well as "What a great story!" and "People are wacky!" and perhaps "Thanks for sharing!"
But wait! There's more!
Several minutes later, I was walking through the main sales floor when I spotted this particular customer at the cash registers, so I stepped over to ring out her purchases. As I was preparing to tell her her total, this is what she said:
Customer: "Oh, wait! I have this!"
This? This was one of our educator discount cards. Let me capitalize every letter in those three words for you to emphasize my point - EDUCATOR DISCOUNT CARD. Now let me put an exclamation point between each of those capitalized words to just be annoying - EDUCATOR! DISCOUNT! CARD!
She was an educator. An individual charged with educating children like yours and mine during a large portion of any given week day. And she was completely, absolutely not ironically unaware that Beatrix Potter and Harry Potter are not, in fact, related.
You're welcome, pretty much every other country in the entire world.
In a related note, when I asked my oldest son what he did today in his Careers class, this is what he told me:
My son: "We watched 'Dirty Jobs.'"
Me: "You did what?
My son: We watched 'Dirty Jobs.'"
Me: "Let me see if I understand this. You watched a TV show????"
My son: "Yeah. We've done that, like, three or four times. Hey, have you ever seen the episode where he makes pooh pots?"
YES! Yes, I have seen the episode where Mike Rowe, the host of 'Dirty Jobs' makes pooh pots because I have both a high school and college education (and I work for just over minimum wage at a book store, so hahahahaha, who's the self-important smart one writing this post, hmmm?), and because I'm not in school, a place where I assumed there's learning to be done and tests to be taken, I can sit down on a Tuesday night and enjoy an episode of 'Dirty Jobs' after all my work is done and there's not a grade hinging on it. Hell, if I don't get to an episode right away, I can store up five or six hours worth of it on my DVR and take what might likely be considered a masters course in it when I watch them all over a rainy Saturday afternoon (and if that's the case, I just wrote my dissertation on 'Desperate Housewives' last weekend)(also, why am I still watching 'Desperate Housewives'?).
My kid watches TV in lieu of learning things in school (sigh...) that will help him focus on his future career goals. Considering his dream is to be a NBA superstar, I guess I should stop complaining about the hours he spends watching 'SportsCenter.' He's obviously going to be my meal ticket when I'm older.