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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.

    Caesar 2: The [Roman] Empire Strikes Back

    | Connecticut, USA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Do you carry books by Shakespeare here?”

    Me: “Yes, we do. Which play did you need?”

    Customer: “The one that sophomores read.” *gestures to the teenager next to her, presumably her daughter*

    Me: “I’m sorry, but there’s not just one play that sophomores read. Do you happen to know the title, or maybe what it’s about?”

    Customer: *loudly* “The-One-That-Sophomore’s-Read!”

    Me: “Well, let’s walk over to the section and see if we can figure it out. A lot of early high school students read A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Romeo & Juliet.”

    Daughter: “I think Romeo & Juliet.”

    Me: “Great!” *pulls out a copy to hand to her*

    Daughter: “I don’t know though.”

    Me: “Okay. Well, could it be Hamlet, maybe? Or Julius Caesar?”

    Daughter:Julius Caesar? Isn’t that the sequel to Romeo & Juliet?”

    No Happy Ending

    | Orlando, FL, USA | Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers

    (A customer brings a book up to the counter, but the front cover is torn off, along with some pages.)

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry ma’am. I’m not sure why a book in this condition was on the shelf. Let me go get a new one.”

    Customer: “No, it’s ok. I did it.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I already read the first part. I just wanted to buy the ending.”

    Me: “Um…”

    Customer: “Do I get a discount? It’s only half the book.”

    In Soviet Russia, Language Speaks You

    | Langley, BC, Canada | Books & Reading, Language & Words

    (I am the customer in this story. I am looking for a certain book on WWII, but am having trouble finding the section.)

    Employee: “Hey, could I help you find something?”

    Me: “Ah, yes! I’m trying to find [book]. Could you help me?”

    (The employee has a very wide-eyed surprised look. She slowly nods and motions for me to follow.)

    Employee: *speaking loudly and slowly* “Sir, these help?”

    Me: “No, I’m looking for History.”

    Employee: “Umm…” *looks down the books and hands me a Russian-English dictionary.*

    Me: “Ah, I wasn’t speaking English was I?” (She shakes her head and I laugh.) “Sorry about that, I was looking for [book].”

    (The employee laughs and takes me to where I had wanted to go, the rest of our conversation thankfully in English.)

    Thick Accents, Thicker Heads

    | New Zealand | Books & Reading, Movies & TV, Tourists/Travel

    (A teenage girl enters the library.)

    Me: “Hi, do you need help?”

    Customer: “Oh, yeah, I’m looking for a book.”

    Me: “Okay. Are you a member of this library or any other Wellington library?”

    Customer: “Oh, no. I’m here with my mother for the US summer ’cause I live with Dad in Florida.”

    Me: “We can sign you up to the library for free and issue you a card. The card will cost two dollars.”

    Customer: “Okay.”

    Me: “So, what book were you looking for?”

    Customer: “Twilight. Have you heard of it? Most people in America have read it, but I’m not sure if it’s here.”

    Me: “Oh, yeah. It was quite big for a while. My sister loved it.”

    Customer: “It’s my second favorite book ever, after Eclipse.”

    Me: “Oh, did you leave your copy in America?”

    Customer: “No, I just wanted a copy from here because everyone here has really funny accents  and I wanted to know how that would change the story.”

    General Knowledge Generally Gets You In Trouble

    | Seattle, WA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Hello, do you work here?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry I don’t.”

    Customer: “Then why do you have so many books in your hands?”

    Me: “I am about to purchase them.”

    Customer: “You read?”

    Me: “Yes”

    Customer: “Then you must work here.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I don’t.”

    Customer: *picking up one of the books in my arms* “J.D. Salinger? Who’s that?”

    Me: “An author. He wrote Catcher in the Rye.”

    Customer: “See! You do work here! You know what books he wrote!”

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