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    In Soviet Russia, Language Speaks You

    | Langley, BC, Canada | Books & Reading, Language & Words

    (I am the customer in this story. I am looking for a certain book on WWII, but am having trouble finding the section.)

    Employee: “Hey, could I help you find something?”

    Me: “Ah, yes! I’m trying to find [book]. Could you help me?”

    (The employee has a very wide-eyed surprised look. She slowly nods and motions for me to follow.)

    Employee: *speaking loudly and slowly* “Sir, these help?”

    Me: “No, I’m looking for History.”

    Employee: “Umm…” *looks down the books and hands me a Russian-English dictionary.*

    Me: “Ah, I wasn’t speaking English was I?” (She shakes her head and I laugh.) “Sorry about that, I was looking for [book].”

    (The employee laughs and takes me to where I had wanted to go, the rest of our conversation thankfully in English.)

    General Knowledge Generally Gets You In Trouble

    | Seattle, WA | Books & Reading

    Customer: “Hello, do you work here?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry I don’t.”

    Customer: “Then why do you have so many books in your hands?”

    Me: “I am about to purchase them.”

    Customer: “You read?”

    Me: “Yes”

    Customer: “Then you must work here.”

    Me: “I’m sorry but I don’t.”

    Customer: *picking up one of the books in my arms* “J.D. Salinger? Who’s that?”

    Me: “An author. He wrote Catcher in the Rye.”

    Customer: “See! You do work here! You know what books he wrote!”

    Eulogyology

    | Lancaster, PA, USA | Books & Reading, Funny Names

    Customer: “Excuse me, do you have an ‘ology’ section?”

    Me: “Are you looking for biology, psychology, sociology?”

    Customer: “No, just ‘ology’.”

    Me: “I’m not sure what that is. Maybe you could explain it to me?”

    Customer: “You know, speeches people give at funerals.”

    His Witnesses Will Need A Protection Program

    | Indiana, USA | Books & Reading, Religion

    (For legal reasons, our store cannot offer any discounts on books by a certain publisher.)

    Customer: “I’d like to use this coupon on my order, please.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry. Your order is nothing but books by [publishers], and we can’t accept the coupon on them.”

    Customer: “Excuse me?”

    Me: “See, it says right here in the fine print, ‘Not valid on any [publisher's] products’.”

    Customer: “Well I know that! But you need to give me the discount anyway!”

    Me: “It’s against store policy. I can’t give you a discount on these books.”

    Customer: “Look, I’m using these books to witness to people who don’t know the Lord. You should give me a discount because I’m giving them to people who need them!”

    Me: “There is nothing I can do about that. I don’t set the prices or the policies.”

    Customer: “If [bookstore] really does claim to be a Christian business, then they should give discounts to people who buy stuff to witness to other people! You’re making me waste the Lord’s money!”

    I Can’t Hear Myself Think, Part 2

    | Ottawa, ON, Canada | Books & Reading, Musical Mayhem

    (Our store plays soft, acoustic music over the speakers. An old man approaches me angrily.)

    Customer: “Your music is too loud!”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “Your music is too loud. I can’t read!”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Most people like it.”

    Customer: “You shouldn’t be playing music in a bookstore! It should be like a library!”

    (He storms off, yelling over his shoulder.)

    Customer: “I don’t come in here to buy things, I come in here to read! It should be like a library!”

    Related:
    I Can’t Hear Myself Think


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