People often call or visit the bookstore I work at and ask us to make a special order for them. There’s no way we can stock every book people want to buy, but we’re happy to order books for no extra charge. Sometimes when people ask for a book we don’t have and I tell them I could order it for them, they say something like, “Oh, no, I need it today.”
Until recently, I assumed most people who said this were lying. I can’t recall a single instance in my life when I needed a specific book on that past today. If I was looking for a book to read recreationally, any number of books would do and I could wait if I was set on one book. If I needed a book for school or church I definitely did not wait until the day I needed it to look for it. I figured a few of those I-need-it-today people were truthful but poor planners, but I thought the others were just looking for a reason not to place an order, which they don’t need–a simple “no, thanks” would suffice.
I’m starting to think most of these people aren’t lying, though. I think there are a lot of people who really don’t know how bookstores work. They don’t realize we don’t carry every book that’s been published, especially not copies of 20-year-old books that weren’t even hits when they came out. Maybe they usually order from Amazon, but can’t wait 2–5 days for shipping this time or maybe they’re not book people at all or maybe there are more absent-minded people than I thought. Who knows?
Side note: I think there is a discernible difference between speculating and judging. Don’t you?