Sales Assistant Fiona McAndrew was left in a state of shock today after a man bought a magazine in the Trowbridge branch of WH Smith.
Speaking to reporters, she said that the man approached her checkout carrying a copy of Classic Bulldozer in one hand, and a five pound note in the other.
'I asked him what he wanted, and he said he wanted to buy the magazine. Of ocurse, it took me a while to take it in. So I said "You mean you want to give me money for it?" and he said "Yes". Then I asked him whether he had got lost, and had actualy meant to be standing around with the other several dozen people reading all the magazines for nothing. He said No, he wanted to take it home and read it.
'I asked why he didn't come in during his lunch hour, or after work, and spend a few hours trawling through all the magazines like normal people do. He said that he wanted to study it more closely at home.
'Well, I remembered our sales training, and the tactics we should use to prevent sales. So I asked him if he wanted a half price chocolate orange, or some other chocolate, or some sweets, or whether he would be happy with a six foot long receipt for a single item, plus a another piece of paper offering 20% off everything except for anything you want.
'Each time he just said No thank you. So in the end, I had to take his money. Naturally I got a severe telling-off and told that under no circumstances was I to sell any more magazines, but it was worth it for the unique experience.'
The customer, identified only as Martin Wisden of 47 Mortlake Terrace, Trowbridge, was later sectioned to prevent him causing any more distress to WH Smith customers and staff.
One of the crowd of people reading the magazines, Dave Michaels, said: 'They gotta lock up nutters like him. Otherwise Smiffs will expect the rest of us to pay!'