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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    Category: History

    Customers who don’t remember history are not only doomed to repeat it, but in some of these stories, to completely rewrite it!

    History Is Never Old News

    | Barrington, RI, USA | History, Technology, Top

    (I am working in the print department of an office-supply store. An older customer comes in with a folder of very old newspaper articles.)

    Customer: “Hello, young lady. I was just wondering if you could make some copies of these articles for me. They are getting old and I would like to preserve them.”

    Me: “Of course!”

    Customer: “Thank you very much. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go look around while you do this.”

    (I agree, and he hands me the articles. I can see that it is an article about a man who was killed during World War Two. In one of the articles, it shows a picture of the deceased man holding a baby. As the customer has requested, I make copies of the articles that are beginning to fray, rip, and yellow. After making the copies, I quickly laminate them in order to keep them really preserved. The customer comes back.)

    Me: “So you know, sir, I noticed that the articles you had were starting to rip, and I assumed that was why you were making the copies. When I finished the copies, I laminated them for you.”

    Customer: “I appreciate that young lady, but I can’t afford the lamination.”

    Me: “I like history, and I think historical documents are very important to keep. The lamination is free of charge!”

    (The customer begins to cry.)

    Me: “Sir, are you alright?”

    Customer: “Yes, yes. Do you see this baby in this picture? This was me when I was just a few days old. This was the only time my father ever held me before he died. This is all I have to remember him by, and you just helped me to keep them preserved so I can keep his memory alive. Miss, please… can I give you a hug?”

    Me: “Of course!”

    (He gives me the warmest hug I have ever experienced.)

    Customer: “Thank you, miss. You have no idea how happy you just made an old man.”

    (I am also crying, due to the joy I gave this customer by taking two seconds to laminate his articles. After pulling away from him, I notice that my manager is also beginning to cry.)

    Manager: “Sir, these copies are on the store. Have a nice day, and come see us if you ever need anything else.”

    (The customer leaves with a huge smile on his face, and my manager and I are both cheery for the rest of the day. When I arrive at work the next day, I find a small bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk with a note from the customer.)

    Note From The Customer: “I picked these flowers for you from my garden. They aren’t much, but I was hoping I could brighten your day as much as you brightened mine.”

    (I still have that note, along with one of the flowers that I kept and pressed in a scrap book. I will never forget that man, and the father he never knew.)

    Intelligence Is At An All Time Depression

    | Kansas City, MO, USA | Crazy Requests, History

    (We have a lot of customers who come in looking for something for someone else as a gift; however they often have no clue what they are looking for. Just ‘that thing their friend collects’.)

    Customer: “What is the name of that red glass?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but can you be any more descriptive?”

    Customer: “You know, that red glassware that people collect.”

    Me: “Um, ruby flash?”

    Customer: “No, no, no. It’s old, and collectible!”

    Me: “Is the glass itself dyed red, or is it painted red? Or is it a different base color with red designs?”

    Customer: “It’s red. Or pink.”

    Me: “Cape Code? Currier and Ives? Vaseline? Murano? I…I really need more information before I can help you.”

    Customer: “It’s the name of all the glass! I don’t collect it! My friend does! I want to get her some!”

    Me: *trying one more time* “Depression?”

    Customer: “DEPRESSION! THANK YOU!”

    (The customer walks away without even asking me where it is in the store.)

    Coworker: “Um… depression glass means any cheap translucent glass that was made during the Great Depression. It comes in almost any color you can think of, not just red and pink.”

    Me: “You want to go explain that to her?”

    Coworker: “Nope.”

    E Pluribus Dumbum, Part 2

    | Berkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, History

    (Our museum has a big display of Roman materials. I’m sitting in the second room: a room full of mosaics. Next door is the first room: a room full of Roman tools. We have an example of almost every Roman tool I’ve ever seen. A lady and her daughter walk out of the first room, into the second.)

    Daughter: “How did they make all of these things, mummy?”

    Lady: “All of them BY HAND! The Romans had NO tools!”

    Related:
    E Pluribus Dumbum

    Stamping Her Place In History

    | Kill Devil Hills, NC, USA | Bigotry, History, Themed Giveaway

    (A male customer comes into my post office. I am a female, as are all but one clerk here. The customer asks me for a stamp. My partial book is a Rosa Parks stamp; I hand him one. He becomes enraged.)

    Customer: “A woman?! Don’t you have a picture of a cat or a dog, instead? A woman! I don’t even know who this person is! I will not use a woman!”

    (I act calm, but I am furious.)

    Me: “This woman is Ms. Rosa Parks. She worked for the freedom and equality of all people, of every color. She is one of the people who made sure people of every race are welcome here. And she did it all without any acts of violence.”

    (He takes his stamp. He sees my fury, and backs down pretty fast. Surprisingly, he became a very gentlemanly customer after that.)

    Discrimi(nation)

    | Canada | Bigotry, History, Themed Giveaway, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a museum which features a large permanent exhibit of local First Nations artefacts, living spaces, and other historical paraphernalia. Because of this, we offer free admission to First Nations patrons. I have just finished printing tickets for two First Nations women. The next woman in line is Caucasian.)

    Woman: “Did they just get in for free?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Woman: “Why?”

    Me: “They’re First Nations. We offer free admission to those with status cards.”

    Woman: “But that’s outrageous! I have to play $15, and they get in free just because they’re lazy natives?”

    Me: “Ma’am—”

    Woman: “It’s not our fault they spend all their money on booze and can’t afford the museum! Why should they get in for free?”

    Me: “Ma’am! This museum features artefacts that were at one time stolen from the local bands. They are now put on display in exhibits of cultural history, of which the museum now makes a profit. You think we should charge the members of the culture it was stolen from to come see it?”

    Woman: “Yes!”


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