I have no idea who the person was who waited on me, but it was not the elderly couple that have been behind the counter in times past. Also, I was the only patron in the store and the woman was clearly bored out of her mind.
But I explained my need to her and the titles and authors of the two books that I was looking for and I made it clear I was all...
Fortunately, the SF and fantasy section was alphabetized and they did not have the book I craved.
The other book was in the comparative religions section.
She showed me three huge bookshelves with books two deep, a hodgepodge of barely related titles and subjects with no recognizable order. There must have been a thousand of them. She waved her hand, boredom on her face. "It's probably in there somewhere."
"Sorry, I said, "but I'm coming back from a business trip and I'm on a schedule. Could you help me scan just the first rows and help me find the title? It's very common. I'm certain you have it."
She turned and walked away and said over her shoulder. "It's in there somewhere. You might want to come back some other day."
Nope. I'm not.