From the truth-about-customer-service website “Not Always Right” (‘collecting stories that prove the customer is not always right’) comes this true-to-life exchange between an Ohio bookstore employee and a potential book-buyer.
A woman approaches me at the counter, looking over her shoulder as if she is looking out for someone.
Me: “Can I… help you, ma’am?”
Woman: “Yes, um, I was wondering if you had any books about…” *drops her voice to an urgent whisper* “… the ‘F’ word.”
Me: “Well, um, we have the ‘Kama Sutra’ in our world cultures section and our romance novel and erotica are—”
Woman: “No, no! The other ‘F’-word.”
Me: *thoroughly confused* “I’m afraid I’m not following ,ma’am…”
Woman: “The ‘F’-word, you know!”
Me: “Really, ma’am, I don’t. Would you like to write it down for me to—”
Woman: “FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! FEMINISM! I’m looking for a book on feminism! Now the whole store knows my business! THANK YOU!”
(She proceeds to quickly flee the store, apologizing to other patrons as she leaves.)
Next Customer: “Is she going to be all right?”
Me: “I certainly hope so.”
One hopes that if the woman hadn’t fled in fear of being branded a feminist, the employee would have helped assure her that the F-label isn’t something to be ashamed of. A great quote by Kate Nash comes to mind:
Feminism is not a dirty word. It does not mean you hate men, it does not mean you hate girls that have nice legs and a tan, and it does not mean you are a ‘bitch’ or ‘dyke’, it means you believe in equality.