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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.

    Life Is Stranger Than The Fiction Section

    | SC, USA | Books & Reading, Theme Of The Month, Top, Wild & Unruly

    Me: “Sorry, you can’t check this out.”

    Patron: “Why not?”

    Me: “You have three overdue books.”

    Patron: “Is there anyway you can let this slide?”

    Me: “Nope.”

    (The patron proceeds to take off her shirt.)

    Patron: “How about now?”

    Me: “No. Please put on your shirt before I call the police.”

    (The patron then takes off her pants, pulls aside her underwear, and soaks the floor. It is carpet, so there is a lot of damage. My coworker calls the police.)

    Patron: “Now will you let it slide?”

    Me: “No.”

    Patron: “F*** you!”

    (She goes over to a shelf, puts her back against it, and pees all over. It splashes up and ruins several books. She also defecates, picks up one of the books, tears out several pages, and uses it to wipe. The police arrive, and she calls her boyfriend, who is apparently in another section. He pleads with the police to let her free, but they don’t let her. He then adds to the mess that his girlfriend has already made. The police take him too. Later, we find another section that is completely ruined. That must have been where the boyfriend was.)

    Playstation Meets Playboy

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Rude & Risque, Technology, Underaged

    (It is just after the release of the video game ‘Playboy Mansion’. In Australia, there is surprisingly no required age limit for the game; it comes with a recommendation only for 18+. A customer approaches the counter with a small boy beside her. She is carrying a copy of the game.)

    Me: “Good morning, just that today is it?”

    (I indicate the game, and the customer nods.)

    Customer: “Yup!”

    Me: “I just have to check that you are purchasing this either for yourself, or someone who is over 18. Though there is no legal requirement to be over 18, I must warn it has graphic content and adult themes.”

    Customer: “No, it’s for him, but it’ll be alright. He’s eight, but I’ve said it’s okay.”

    Me: “I must warn you this game is entirely inappropriate for someone so young.”

    (I detail the contents of the game. However, the customer doesn’t bat an eyelid.)

    Customer: “It’s still okay. I’d like to buy it for him.”

    (I cannot bring myself to cater to this customer, so the manager sells the game to her instead. The customer is about to leave, and I approach her.)

    Me: “If you view the game and you’re unhappy, you can return it to us within 30 days for an exchange.”

    (The customer is reasonably pleasant about this but keeps dismissing my concerns. The boy skips off happily with her. Two days later, she returns with the boy in tow again.)

    Customer: “I’ve come to return this game; I need to get something better for him. It’s not right for him at all.”

    Me: “Sure thing. I had a feeling you wouldn’t be happy with it once you saw the content of the game. Sometimes it’s hard to explain just how graphic some of these games can be.”

    Customer: “Nah, the game was fine, but you should have warned us about how much reading he’d have to do. There’s far too much to read, and he’s only eight. His reading’s not that good yet. There really ought to be warning stickers for this sort of thing. Have you got anything easier?”

    This Is A Bad Sign, Part 2

    | ON, Canada | Books & Reading

    (We have signs all over the store advertising 30% off hard cover books in huge letters. A customer approaches, holding a paperback.)

    Customer: “So, this is 30% off?”

    Me: “No, sorry it’s only the hardcovers that are on sale, as the sign says.”

    Customer: “Well, that’s very misleading.”

    Me: “Sorry? Why is that sign misleading?”

    Customer: “Well, it’s misleading because I didn’t read the sign properly.”

    Related:
    This Is A Bad Sign

    Not A Hobbitual Reader

    | Mount Pleasant, MI, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Hi, I’m looking for Tolkien’s books.”

    Me: “Alright, which ones?”

    Customer: “The four he wrote.”

    Me: “Well, ma’am, he wrote more than just four books.”

    Customer:The Lord of the Rings.”

    Me: “Ma’am, not to be rude, but The Lord of the Rings is only three books.”

    Customer: “The first one of that trilogy then! The Hobbit!”

    Me: “I’m afraid we don’t have any copies of that at the moment.”

    Customer: “Oh. Well, do you have anything else by Tolkien?”

    Me: “Well, we do have The Silmarillion—”

    Customer: “I don’t speak Spanish. I guess I’ll try at one of the other stores, thanks.”

    He’s Not Fine With It

    | Zion, IL, USA | Books & Reading, Money

    (A few weeks earlier, we had a massive power outage in the area. Even after we got power back, the system was down for a time, and patron accounts were not accessible. Because of this, if anybody wanted to use the public computers, we had to print out a guest pass. The system is now working again.)

    Patron: “I’d like a guest pass to use the computer, please.”

    Me: “Actually, the system is back up. You should be able to sign in with your card.”

    Patron: “The fines on my card are too high; it won’t let me on.”

    Me: “Oh. I’m sorry. In that case, you can’t use the computer.”

    Patron: “I don’t understand. Somebody printed a guest pass for me last week.”

    Me: “That’s because the system was down. Nobody was able to use their cards then. But now that they’re back up, we have to go by the rules.”

    Patron: “Tell me something: if somebody came in from a different library district and had to use the computer, what would you do?”

    Me: “I’d give them a guest pass.”

    Patron: “So how is this any different?”

    Me: “If a patron came in from a different library district, then they wouldn’t owe us money.”


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