Anyone who's worked in retail can tell you dozens of anecdotes about the boundless idiocy of the general public. Those who toil in record stores are no exception. In fact, the comments that customers in those establishments utter carry an extra frisson of unintentional comedy due to the shifting popularity of recording formats and the aesthetic properties of music itself. Back when I worked at Everyday Music circa 2003-2004, one gentleman asked with sincerity, "Do you carry CDs?" without even noticing the tens of thousands of them sprawled out before him. Yeah.
Recently, a Seattle music retail employee shared with me a list titled "Dumb Shit," which this person's been compiling for several years. Read these remarks and ROFL, while also weeping for humanity. You're welcome.
"Are these [records] from your collection?"
"Are all these [records] for sale?"
"What album is this?" [holds up Michael Jackson's Thriller]
"What are you doing, just trying to sell all your doubles?"
"Wow, vinyl, huh?! It's back?"
"$20 FOR A USED RECORD, ARE YOU CRAZY?!"
"Is this the weed store?"
Customer: "You have all these old records, what do people play 'em with?"
Employee: "A record player."
Customer: "People still have those?"
"Whoa, Frank Zappa?! I didn't know anyone owned Frank Zappa on vinyl."
"Where is your physical shop?"
"Whoa, they sell soundtracks as records?!"
"Al Green—is that a person?"
"So, what makes an album Classical?"
"Jeez, back when I was a kid, I never paid more than $5 for a record."
"Do the new records still have that crackle and hiss like old records?"
"So what's the deal with used records? Are they better than the new ones?"
"Vinyl is making a comeback? I got a box of old ones."
Customer to a friend: "Hey, do you like reggae? They have Bob Marley."
[Customer holds up a 45] "What format is this?"
"I'm assuming these are all used and you just put new plastic on them?"
"My brother sent me a Clash record from San Francisco that I already have. Can I exchange it here?"
"You have a really interesting punk section." [buys the new Moondoggies LP]
"Are we allowed to party in here?"
"Do you know if they ever reissued any Eagles on cassette?"
"So the hard-to-find ones are all expensive?"
"Who the hell is Tom Petty?"
"You mean to tell me there's a band called the New York Dolls?"
"I don't know how to look through these. Could you tell me if you have any Queen?"
"My father has over 350 vinyls."
Customer: "I don't see any Jimi Hendrix"
Employee: "If we had that it'd be in Used Rock"
Customer: "Oh, okay. Thanks."
[Customer immediately leaves the shop, does not go to Used Rock, does not check for Jimi Hendrix.]
"I just bought a record player. I do not own one single LP; what do I get? I like old-school '80s music like Deep Purple."
"Hi, I am looking for some rock."
"Where do you get all your albums? I didn't think they made those anymore."