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    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 11

    | FL, USA |

    (I am a customer at a bookstore. I’m browsing the teen literature section to see what all the hype is over the Twilight series. A nearby customer sees me paging through one of the books and speaks up excitedly.)

    Girl: “I love Twilight!”

    Me: “Oh, are you interested in vampire stories?”

    Girl: “Absolutely! I love anything to do with vampires! I know about all there is to know about them!”

    Me: “You must be a big Bram Stoker fan, then.”

    Girl: *quizzical look* “Who is that?”

    Me: *puts Twilight down quickly*

    Related:
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 10
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 9
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 8
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 7
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 6
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 5
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 4
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 3
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy, Part 2
    The Twilight Of Our Literacy

    It’s About To Get Ugly In Here

    | Wisconsin, USA |

    (I work with a surprisingly attractive staff. While I’m not ugly, the majority of my coworkers are more attractive than me. An elderly man walks up to me.)

    Customer: “I want you to serve me. Attractive people never have good service. You are NOT attractive, so I know you’ll do a great job!”

    Me: “Ummm… thanks?”

    They Won’t Move A Muscle, Although They Can Move You To Tears

    | Virginia, USA |

    (We have an aisle at our grocery store that is split down the middle by food displays, making two very narrow aisles on the sides. One aisle is blocked by my coworker, who is busy is explaining to several customers how to tell if food is safe since we just lost power after a large storm. The other aisle is blocked by another customer looking at the labels of juice bottles. I am trying to get down the aisle and excuse myself past the customer.)

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t have to be the one to move. I’m the customer! He should have to move.”

    Me: “Oh, well I—”

    Customer: “I mean I’m the customer! He’s blocking the way! Employees should be moving, not the customers!”

    (I walk past the lady and start picking up groceries further down the aisle. The customer then decides to go after my coworker, who is still busy helping other customers.)

    Customer: *to my coworker* “Sir, you really need to move! You’re blocking the aisle!”

    Other Customer: “Ma’am, it’s not that big of a deal.”

    Customer: *to my coworker* “No, you need to move! I’m the customer! I shouldn’t have to move!”

    Coworker: “Ma’am, I’m very sorry. I’m moving out of the way.”

    Customer: “That’s right! Customers shouldn’t have to move!”

    The Girl Who Cross-Shopped The Employee’s Best

    | OR, USA |

    (A customer walks into the bookstore and begins looking around.)

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

    Customer: “Yes, there is this book that I heard about on the radio that I want to read.  I can’t remember the title, though.”

    Me: “Alright, do you know who the author is?”

    Customer: “No, but I’m pretty sure that he was from Norway, and it came out really recently.”

    Me: “Okay, I can’t think of any books by Norwegian authors that are big right now, but I can try to see what we have. I’ll go ask my boss if she can think of anything.”

    Me: *to my boss* “Do you know of any books by Norwegian authors that came out recently?”

    Boss: “No. Do they know anything else about it?”

    Me: “I’m not sure, but I will ask.”

    (I walk back to the customer.)

    Me: “Neither of us can think of anything by a Norwegian author that came out recently. Can you think of anything else about the book? If we don’t have it in stock, I can special order it for you.”

    Customer: “I think it was a mystery.”

    (On a hunch, I walk out to our new book display and pick up “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Swedish author Stieg Larsson.)

    Me: “It wouldn’t happen to be this, would it?  This book came out very recently in hard cover and is very popular right now.”

    Customer: “That’s it!”

    Me: “Excellent! That book is actually part of a series.  We have the first one right over here if you are interested.”

    (I walk over and grab the first book and hold it out to her.)

    Customer:The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Okay, that looks good!”

    (I continue holding the book out for her, but she doesn’t take it.)

    Me: “If this is all, I can ring it up for you right now, or I can set it aside for you while you browse.”

    Customer: *happily* “Oh, no, I’m not going to buy it. Now that I know what the book is, I am going to go home and buy it on my Kindle!” *turns and leaves without another word*

    For Battery Or Worse

    | Leesburg, VA, USA |

    (A woman and her young son walk in with a small magnetic whiteboard with a detachable marker.)

    Customer: “I’d like to return this please, but I don’t have the receipt.”

    Me: “Sure, no problem.”

    (When I try to process the return, the whiteboard doesn’t show up in our system. I take a closer look and realize that it doesn’t come from our store.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t return this for you. It isn’t our product.”

    Customer: *angrily* “What! Don’t be ridiculous. I bought it from here! I’m sure!”

    (Sensing a potential problem, I call my manager over. He looks at the whiteboard.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, this brand belongs to [competitor]. I worked there for seven years; trust me.”

    Customer: “No! I only ever shop here!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this isn’t our product.”

    (The customer refuses to believe us. She forces us to call the store branch she claims she bought it from and pull their records to try and find her purchase. Half an hour later, she’s still arguing with us and her son is looking increasingly embarrassed.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, I assure you that this product does not come from our store. Look.”

    (He goes to the computer and pulls up our competitor’s website. He clicks on a list of their brand names, which include the one printed on the whiteboard.)

    Customer: *angrily* “But I never shop at [competitor]! I get everything here!”

    (Suddenly the customer’s son speaks up.)

    Customer’s Son: “Wait, mom, didn’t we go there to buy batteries a couple weeks ago?”

    (The customer’s anger dissipates and she gets an embarrassed look on her face.)

    Customer: “Oh… right…” *looks at us* “Well, how was I supposed to remember that?!”

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