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    Category: Time

    Appointment Disappointment

    , | Chicago, IL, USA | Crazy Requests, Time

    (I work in a retail portrait studio that gets very busy during the holiday season. It is a busy Saturday, and we are completely booked. A woman walks in with her family dressed to the nines and says she’s checking in for her appointment, but I don’t see it.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I don’t see you in the system. What time was your appointment for?”

    Customer: “10:40 am. Are you almost ready for me? My daughter won’t cooperate for long.”

    (The current time is 3:30 pm.)

    Me: “Oh, well, since your appointment was for this morning I won’t be able to get you in now because we are fully booked—”

    Customer: “What do you mean? I made an appointment and I expect to be seen!”

    Me: “Yes, but you are five hours late for your appointment. As I was saying, we are booked today but I do have time tomorrow if you like.”

    Customer: “This is outrageous! I can’t believe you don’t honor appointments!”

    Me: “We do, but you are five hours late.”

    Customer: “But you should be ahead of schedule!”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I didn’t show up for my appointment earlier so you should be ahead of schedule now since you had one less appointment to do!”

    Me: “Ma’am, unfortunately, all of the other guests we’ve had today didn’t magically know to show up earlier for their appointment because you wanted to come in later.”

    (She continued to rant about how we should be ahead of schedule for her until we finally asked her to calm down or leave. The other guests in our very crowded studio started clapping when she left.)

    Doesn’t Live In The Real World

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid, Time

    (I’m the manager of a watch store in a mall. I am taking care of some display work when a couple walks up to my kiosk.)

    Me: “Hi there! Is there anything I can help you find today?”

    Customer: “Hey. No, thanks. I think we’re just looking.”

    Me: “Okay, sounds good. Just let me know if you have any questions.”

    (I go back to my display work and the couple wanders around the booth. As they come closer to me I notice the man is looking confused. I’m about to ask him if there’s something I can clear up for him when he speaks up.)

    Customer: “Are any of these watches real?”

    Me: “I… What?”

    Customer: “These watches you’re selling. Are any of them real?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. All of my watches are 100% authentic time pieces.”

    (Meanwhile, his wife is snickering.)

    Customer: “No, I mean are any of these real gold?”

    Me: “I’m afraid not, sir. Seeing as I am in a kiosk in the middle of a mall, I do not have the security systems in place for me to sell genuine gold watches, which often start at several thousands of dollars.”

    Customer: “Oh, but what about this one right here? It looks like it would be a real gold watch.”

    Me: “No, sir. That watch is gold colored plating over base metal, mostly nickel. It runs $39.95.”

    Customer: “Oh. But are those real diamonds on it?”

    Me: “… No. I think they’re glass or plastic.”

    Customer: “You sure you don’t have anything real in the back?

    Me: “I’m a kiosk, sir. I don’t have a ‘back.’”

    Customer’s Wife: *outright laughing now* “I am so sorry. You have been so patient!”

    (She drags him away. A manager at the next store who has observed this and is in hysterics.)

    Me: “I give up. Are you hiring?”

    Very Slow To Register

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Time

    (I’m heading to the only open checkout lane of a supermarket. A man in his mid-thirties, visibly in a rush and carrying only a single carton of milk, gets there only a moment after a little old lady carrying a basket with only two items in it.)

    Old Lady: “Don’t worry, young man. I’ll be done very quickly.”

    Man: *fidgeting* “No problem. Take your time.”

    (The cashier rings up both items. The old lady whips out a coupon.)

    Cashier: “I’m sorry, but this coupon is for a different brand of this item.”

    Lady: “Oh, dear. Can you send somebody to switch it out for me?”

    (It’s a few minutes before a stock-boy shows up with the correct brand. The man is getting more and more antsy and frustrated as he watches the cashier void the previous item and ring up the new one.)

    Cashier: “That’ll be [new total].”

    Old Lady: “Oh, dear. I almost forgot. I have another coupon here.”

    (It’s a manufacturer’s coupon. It doesn’t go through and takes a manager to come and help the cashier ring it in. By now the man’s face is turning red and he’s practically gnawing on his wallet out of frustration from waiting.)

    Cashier: “I’m so sorry, sir. We’re almost done.”

    Man: “Yep, no problem.”

    Cashier: *to old lady* “Okay, the total is [newest total].”

    Old Lady: *looking through her purse* “Oh, dear…” (A moment later she produces a checkbook.)

    Old Lady: “Who do I make it out to?”

    Man: *screaming* “God d*** it!”

    (With that, he hurls the carton of milk at a wall, where it explodes and sends milk cascading all over the wall and the front of the store.  The man storms out leaving a stream of profanity in his wake. We all watch this in stunned silence. A few moments later the old lady pulls her hand out of her pocket.)

    Old Lady: “Oh, never mind. Here’s a $5 bill. Had it all along! Silly me…”

    Needs To Give That Caller A High-Five

    | Hampshire, England, UK | Awesome Customers, Time

    (It’s about 4:45 pm. We have a strict rule about not taking yourself off the phone until 5 pm exactly. People still do, but it’s a gamble. The earlier you take yourself off, the more likely you are to get in trouble, but the longer you stay logged on as your coworkers log off, the more likely you are to get a call. Sure enough, my phone rings, but most calls are only 10 minutes to resolve so I don’t mind.)

    Me: “[Company] customer services. [Name] speaking. How can I help?”

    Customer: “Hi there. I was hoping you could tell me [very basic bit of information that's on his documents].”

    Me: “Of course!”

    (I answer.)

    Customer: “Excellent. Now, am I correct in thinking your offices close at 5 pm?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. That’s correct.”

    Customer: “Ah, I see. Now, tell me, honestly. Are you one of these companies that hang up on customers as soon as the clock strikes 5, or do you stay logged in until the last second to take calls?”

    Me: “Honestly? We’re a company of over 600 employees. I can’t speak for each individual. I can assure you, though, that I have never met a manager in this place who would tolerate someone hanging up on a customer to go home on time, and it’s certainly not something I would do.”

    Customer: “That’s good, dear. So, I was wondering if you could tell me…”

    (The customer then basically strikes up a conversation with me. Every few minutes, he asks me what the time is. As soon as the clock hits 5 pm, he bids me farewell and hangs up. He had phoned a 25p per minute phone number so he could help a random stranger get home on time.)

    Time Waits For No Chinaman

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Math & Science, Time

    (An older customer approaches my cash register.)

    Customer: “Did you know that all the reality TV shows you watch today are 35 years old?”

    (I look up to see if he was joking as some people with odd senses of humor come in my store. He isn’t.)

    Customer: “Yeah! Five years ago I created a virus that turned all the TV transponder clocks back 50 years to 2008. At my old house, I received a TV station from China that was all in English and they said that the year was 2100. If you believe that the year is actually 2014 you are sadly mistaken.”

    (I am still speechless. I don’t know if I should mention the inconsistencies in the time that it actually is or is not, so I just ring up his purchases. After the customer leaves, the next customer approaches.)

    Next Customer: “It is kind of a scary thought that that man is allowed to operate a motor vehicle!”

    Me: “Yeah. I figured I shouldn’t tell him that I have actually lived in China and we pretty much agree on what year it is.”

    (The man’s purchases: two Neil Diamond cassette tapes easily over 30 years old. Maybe he was stocking up for the next time he releases the virus again!)


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