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    Category: Books & Reading

    Caused by stupid customers who know how to read (and often those who don’t!), feel for the poor librarians or book store clerks who are often tasked with finding a book solely by the color of its cover.

    Trying To Go Beyond Beyonders

    | USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (I’m working in the kids’ section of our bookstore.)

    Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for the fourth book in the ‘Beyonders’ series.”

    Me: “Oh, well, ‘Beyonders’ is a trilogy.”

    Customer: “Okay. Do you have the fourth book?”

    Me: “It’s a trilogy, so there isn’t a fourth book. But I can show you some of the other books by that author. He’s pretty popular!”

    Customer: “No, my son wants the fourth book of the Beyonders, not something else. Can you order it for me?”

    Me: “No, because there isn’t a fourth book.”

    Customer: “My son SAID he wants the FOURTH BOOK. Just show me where they are and I’ll find it myself.”

    (I show her where the three books are. After combing through the shelf for five minutes, the woman leaves empty handed and angry.)

    Customer: “I’ll just order it online!”

    Even Jack Reacher Can’t Fix This One

    | Canberra, ACT, Australia | Bizarre, Books & Reading

    (Two women, talking extremely loud, walk in. I let them browse and keep on with fixing a display because it’s a mess. Suddenly one starts yelling:)

    Customer: “IS LEE CHILD DEAD?!”

    (I realise that she’s screaming at me… from the other side of the shop.)

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: *with a great deal of attitude* “I SAID… IS LEE CHILD DEAD? WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME?!”

    Me: “I apologise, ma’am. Usually people walk over to me, or say hello first, when they have a request or a question.”

    Customer: “Well, I was too busy talking to my friend! YOU should have been eavesdropping on our conversation!”

    Me: “So I could butt in and tell you about Lee Child?”

    Customer: “No! How DARE you?! I come in here to relax, not to be bothered by know-it-all shop people!”

    Not Happy About The Bright Future

    | KY, USA | Books & Reading, Technology

    (Finishing just this year, our branch underwent a three-year-long, multi-million dollar renovation. It was much needed as the original building was from the 1970s and no longer met building safety codes. We have received nothing but compliments on the updates until…)

    Woman #1: “Oh, my god! This is horrible!”

    Woman #2: “Isn’t it?”

    Woman #1: “Why is it so bright? Where are the dark corners for me to hide? Where’s the history? There’s no history here! I want my exposed brick! I want the busts back on the tables! Where are the busts?”

    Coworker: *to me* “Have we ever had busts on the table?”

    Me: “Not that I’m aware of.”

    Woman #1: “My taxes are not paying for this! This is awful!”

    (Woman #1 storms out with Woman #2. Neither actually looked at the books.)

    Doesn’t Have The Gift(card) Of Foresight

    | Miami, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Books & Reading, Money

    (I have previously worked for a large bookstore chain that went out of business. I now work at their competitor.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling [Current Bookstore] in South Miami. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “Yeah, do you guys accept [Previous Bookstore]’s gift cards?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t. They were a different company, so they’re not valid here.”

    Caller: “But when I go to their website it redirects me to yours!”

    Me: “Yes. When the company closed, [Current Bookstore] bought their domain, and I believe their mailing lists, but they were never actually affiliated with them.”

    Caller: “So you don’t accept their gift cards?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but no. They were a different company. ”

    Caller: “So what am I supposed to do with this gift card?”

    Me: “I’m afraid there’s nothing you can do. The company went out of business. It’s closed. The cards are worthless now.”

    Caller: “But someone paid good money for these cards!”

    Me: “I understand that. But I worked for [Previous Bookstore] when they went under. When they announced their bankruptcy, they also made it very clear that as they liquidated they would only accept gift cards through a certain date. There were signs all over the stores. You had two months to come and use the card. After that, even the stores stopped accepting them. [Previous Bookstore] didn’t exist. They were owned by a liquidation company at that point.”

    Caller: “But someone paid for this. And you’re telling me that money is gone?! That’s unacceptable! I want my money!!”

    Me: “Ma’am, with all due respect, the store closed three years ago. How important could the value of that card be to you if you’ve waited three years?”

    (Click.)

    Some Employees Never Grow Up

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bad Behavior, Books & Reading, Funny Names, Theme Of The Month

    (When employees forget their name tags we have temporary tags for them to write their name on and stick them to their shirts. One day I forget my tag, so I grab a temporary one and write ‘Smee’ as my name. I am called to assist an older couple with an issue at a register. After the issue is taken care of the conversation goes as follows:)

    Wife: “Smee? What kind of name is that?”

    Me: “Oh, it’s an old family name. Goes back many generations.”

    Wife:  ”Really? Is it European?”

    Me:  ”English, actually. It started with a famous relative.”

    Wife:  ”Oh, how famous?

    (The husband turns away and suppresses a laugh and smile.)

    Me: “Well I had a great, great, great, great, great uncle who sailed with a famous sea captain as his first mate.”

    Wife:  ”Really? What sea captain was that?”

    Me:  ”Oh, you know, Captain Hook!”

    (The husband cracks up.)

    Wife:  ”Oh, my. Wait. Who?”

    (At this point I got called away to another register. As I left the husband and the cashier were laughing and the wife was asking who Captain Hook is.)


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