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    I Tremble For Our Children

    | Niagara Falls, NY, USA | Top

    (A teacher calls me to her classroom. She is trying to project an image on a screen behind a student for a TV camera shot with the projector at eye level in front of the student.)

    Teacher: “There is a shadow behind the student now. How can I get rid of that?”

    Me: “You can’t. He is blocking the light from the projector from getting to the screen. You could put the projector behind the student, but the image would be smaller on the screen.”

    Teacher: “Then what can we do?”

    (I get the idea of holding a piece of paper over part of the lens of the projector to create a square area where the student stands where no light would shine. This gives the shadow a bit neater of a shape rather than a human shape.)

    Me: “Here, hold this paper over the left side of the lens where the student is standing.”

    (The teacher puts a piece of paper RIGHT IN FRONT of the students face.)

    Me: “No, right by the lens so a square unlit area will be where the student is standing.”

    (The teacher moves the piece of paper and puts it directly BEHIND the students head.)

    Me: “No, here…”

    (I put the piece of paper in front of the projector lens, leaving a nice square dark area on the screen where the student would stand.)

    Teacher: “Well now there is a square there! There is no image directly behind the student, just around the student!”

    Me: “Yeah, I know. There is nothing you can do about that, though. It’s the physics of light.”

    Teacher: “What if I ask your boss? Think he could do it?”

    Me: “No, he cannot bend light around objects.”

    Teacher: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because he’s not a black hole.”

    Fun With Language Barriers

    , | Seattle, WA, USA | Top

    (I worked at this little burger joint in Seattle. I’m white, but I’m bilingual. Our grill workers all spoke primarily Spanish, so I would talk to customers in English and call back orders in Spanish.)

    Old Man Customer: “Now, what is a pretty young thing like you doing speaking the Dirty Man’s Language?”

    Me: “Excuse me, sir?”

    Old Man Customer: “You should be speaking English! Its only natural, here in America!”

    Me: “It’s just fastest, sir. The language communicates more efficiently in an environment like this.”

    (I was not about to tell him that the grill workers were mostly South American immigrants, after hearing his first reaction.)

    Old Man Customer: “Have some pride in your country! SPEAK ENGLISH when you call back my order, do you understand?”

    Me, knowing full well that his order wouldn’t actually come through if I did that: “I’m sorry, sir. I’m afraid it’s procedure.”

    Old Man Customer: “I want to speak with your manager! This restaurant is just UNAMERICAN!”

    Manager, who had been working the register next to me: “Si, señor?”

    Old Man Customer: *storms out*

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    Welcome To People’s Pizza, Comrade

    Why Some Folks Have Children

    | Reading, Berkshire, UK | Top

    (A man comes in with about 4 children running about behind him. He comes up to the counter.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yeah…I’m looking for some *whispers*…porn.”

    Me: “You mean adult movies?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I guess.”

    Me: “Sorry, we don’t stock those here.”

    Customer: “What?!”

    Me: “There are some stores in the town centre. Perhaps you can try there?”

    Customer: “I want some porn now! What kind of store is this?”

    Me: “I apologise, but we don’t stock adult movies.”

    Customer: “This is ridiculous, I only want to watch some porn with my wife.”

    Me: “Sorry, this is a family store.”

    Customer: “MAYBE IT’S FOR THE KIDS TOO! ”

    (Customer storms out with all 4 children jumping around behind him as I stand there dumbfounded.)

    A Bad Day To Be A Pair Of Jeans

    , | Corbin, KY, USA | Health & Body, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (It was about 5 minutes to closing on a Saturday night and we had maybe 5-6 employees working all female. A new bar had just opened next door, and a drunk man wandered in.)

    Drunk Man: “I need to buy some matches.”

    Me: “I’m sorry sir. We don’t sell matches–only clothes.”

    Drunk Man: “Well, then sell me a lighter. I need a cigarette.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir. We don’t sell lighters or matches, just clothes.”

    Drunk Man: “D*mn it, just give me one.”

    Me: “I don’t have one, sir, or trust me I would.”

    Drunk Man: “You lying b**ch! Give me a f**king match you b**ch!”

    Me: “Sir, you need to leave or I’m calling the police. We don’t have lighters or matches. I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.”

    Drunk Man: “I’ll get it myself!”

    (He storms off toward the men’s department. I call my co-worker in that department, then call the manager to give them a heads up. A few minutes later the man goes running out (empty handed) and my co-worker is racing after him. She grabs my phone and starts screaming over the intercom for our manager. I asked her what happened.)

    Coworker: “He pissed all over the Levis!”

    Fighting Crazy With Crazy

    | Texas, USA | Top

    (Keep in mind that I’m male with a deep voice. We do not send techs to troubleshoot; troubleshooting has to be done on the phone, then we send a tech to replace parts.)

    Me: “Thank you for calling ***. How may I–”

    Customer: “Send me a tech to fix my computer.”

    Me: “Well, what’s wrong with it?”

    Customer: “It’s not working!”

    Me: “Well, ok, but in order to get it working again, I would need to know what exactly is wrong.”

    Customer: “I just told you it’s not working. Send me a tech to fix it!”

    Me: “I’m afraid I can’t do that. I can help you perform some troubleshooting and–”

    Customer: “Why the f**k can’t you just send me a tech?”

    Me: “Well, like I said, I can’t do that. All I can do is troubleshoot with you on the phone to find out what’s wrong and then–”

    Customer: “WELL THAT’S GREAT, A**HOLE! I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU SAY! SEND ME A TECH, NOW!”

    Me, fake crying: “Why? Why do you hate me so much? Don’t you know how hard it is for a single mom with 5 kids to make a living?” *sob*

    Customer: “???” *hangs up*

    (I got written up for that. It was totally worth it though!)


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