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    Category: Tourists/Travel

    Tinker, Tailor, Waiter, Spy

    | Mendoza, Argentina | Bad Behavior, Food & Drink, Top, Tourists/Travel

    (I am a US citizen. I don’t look like a native Argentine. I’m with a group of my friends. I have a face that is often mistaken for a worker wherever I am—even in the USA. I grab a menu so I can decipher it while we are waiting for a waiter. A customer grabs me by my lapels.)

    Customer: *in Spanish* “We’ve been waiting for 40 minutes and no one has come. Why? We’re hungry and livid!”

    Me: *thinking quickly* “I’m sorry, ma’am. We got a sudden lunch rush. Half of our wait staff called off because of sickness, and those who are here are working as hard as we can.”

    Customer: “It’s not enough! You better take our order, NOW!”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, you’re next on my list. I’ll take care of you right now. Let me go get my stuff; I’ll be right back.”

    (She shoves me away, and into another table. I stand up, apologize, and rejoin my friends.)

    Friend: *in English* “What was that all about?”

    Me: “That lady has been waiting for a while and she’s angry about it.”

    Friend: “So… she… thinks you’re a waiter?”

    Me: “Yep, and she’s going to be waiting a while longer.”

    In Need Of A Sanity Check

    | Federal Way, WA, USA | Bizarre, Money, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a retail financial institution that cashes all types of payroll checks. The customer that walks up to my window is a regular that comes in once a month to cash her government check that has an image of the Statue of Liberty on it. We are almost finished with the transaction.)

    Me: “Did you need anything else today, like money order or stamps?”

    Customer: “No, but I had a question about my check.”

    Me: “Ask away! I’ll do my best to answer!”

    Customer: “That picture of the Statue of Liberty on the check, does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Customer: “Does that mean I get to fly to New York and see the Statue of Liberty for free?”

    Me: “Uh, no. It does not let you fly to New York for free.”

    (I hand the check to her to sign, as I start to get cash from her transaction.)

    Customer: “You’re a liar! It does mean I get to go to New York and see the Statue for free! You’re just trying to keep the ticket for yourself!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the picture on the check is just a symbol representing America. It is not a plane ticket.”

    Customer: “LIAR! You’re a LIAR!”

    (At this point, she snatches the check from the tray under the glass separating us, and runs off screaming about me being a liar.)

    Coworker: “What was that?”

    Me: “I seriously don’t know.”

    A Badly Drawn Request

    | San Antonio, TX, USA | Health & Body, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a theme park as a caricature artist.)

    Customer: “Hey, if I get one of these done can you make me skinny?”

    Me: “Well, it’s a caricature, so you can have an exaggerated bikini body or something if you like?”

    Customer: “Oh, good! Can you make my teeth look better, too?”

    (I can see the customer has a gap in her teeth.)

    Me: “Well, if you’re sensitive about something like that you could always give me a closed mouth smile.”

    Customer: “And could you make me blonde? And maybe a smaller nose?”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m not sure you’d want a picture if I altered it that much.”

    Customer: “Why not?”

    Me: “Because… it wouldn’t look like you!”

    Discrimi(nation)

    | Canada | Bigotry, History, Theme Of The Month, 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!”

    Racism Comes In Many Languages

    | AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Geography, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I am standing behind a woman at a supermarket. Of the two cashiers available, one is of Asian descent and speaking in what seems to be Chinese to some customers. The other appears to be of Middle Eastern descent, whose customer is speaking very loudly and slowly.)

    Woman: “Do you understand what I’m saying? I want this in a separate bag.”

    Cashier: “Certainly, ma’am. I can definitely speak—”

    Woman: “—it’s like they don’t even cater for English speakers! Not a proper American in sight!”

    (The woman then spots me, a white guy in my late 20s.)

    Woman: “You’d know what I mean! Eh?”

    Me: “I’m an Australian tourist here visiting friends, et Je crois que vous ‘tes conasse raciste.”

    (“I think you’re a racist b****”, in French.)

    Woman: “UGH!”


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