In this post I talked about one of my (and my co-workers) least favorite customer groups, the Spoiled Bride. I've decided to expand upon that into a five-part series – BookWench's Least Favorite Customer Types. Before we continue I would like to offer this disclaimer: I realize that not everyone who falls into the groups I discuss are as dumb/ rude/ lazy as the individual examples I'm discussing in these articles. In fact, the reason a lot of these groups stand out or are particularly disturbing is how far to the negative extreme they fall in comparison to the hard-working, intelligent people who share their profession.
And on that note- Annoying Customer Group #4- Clueless Nurses.
I think the reason this particular group stands out so much and becomes so grating on the booksellers' nerves is because talking to someone who deals with life or death situations, but can't figure out how to get to the second floor of a building while standing in front of a staircase and an elevator is kind of terrifying. (Still not making this stuff up.) It terrified me so much that I while working at the Borders in California I told my friends that under no circumstances was I to be taken to the hospital closest to the bookstore. I would rather take my chances and head to a different hospital then run the risk of being treated by the nurse who couldn't remember the name of the big test you had to take in order to become a nurse. She was convinced it was the RN-SAT, and could not be convinced that is was, in fact, the NCLEX. I can at least take a little comfort in thinking that she wouldn't find a place to take the imaginary test she was looking for and therefore wouldn't become a nurse.
I'm also concerned when I run across a nurse who has found the Health & Medicine section but cannot narrow down which shelves have the nursing books on you. For those of you who don't frequent the section- they're the ones that say NURSING. Or sometimes NURSING REFERENCE. Something with some form of the word “nurse,” clearly typed in large letters affixed to the shelf in question. What do these people do when confronted with the complexities of the human body? They are aware that people aren't labeled, right?
When I step into a medical facility I want to be assured that everyone treating me is much, much smarter than I am where matters of human anatomy and medical treatment are concerned. Which is why it is so troubling when I know more medical terms and references than the people who are studying/ working in the medical field.
The final straw that plants them so firmly in the Least Favorite Customer list is a trait they share with the Spoiled Brides and, in fact, all the groups on the list, they almost always leave a huge mess. And, since a lot of study materials come with flash cards, they leave a huge mess that we then have to take off the shelf and dispose of because we can't sell the open, damaged set of flashcards, or the study guide that they've written in/ spilled coffee on. I understand that school and textbooks and study guides are expensive, but again, try the magical library place, or skip a couple of fancy coffees and buy the book.
Before the lynch mob forms – I have the utmost respect for nurses who are good at what they do, as it an incredibly demanding and often thankless job. And those who do it well are amazing, and I am very impressed by the friends I have who have chosen this profession. They are much nicer people than I am. And I think they should be first in line to shame/ reprimand the people in their profession giving them a bad name by going out in public and asking for the Cliff Notes to Gray's Anatomy - “Because I don't understand the regular version.”