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    Tampax, Kayaks, Same Thing

    | Hill Country, TX, USA |

    (I work at a place that provides kayaks, hiking/climbing gear, canoes, and inner tubes for students at our university.)

    Young Woman: “Hi, I need deodorant and a tampon.”

    Me: “Um, we don’t have those here.”

    Young Woman: “What do you mean?”

    Me: “This is the Outdoor Center. We provide outdoor recreational equipment for students.”

    Young Woman: “Well I’m a student, I’m outside, and I need deodorant and a tampon!”

    (About this time my co worker looks up with a look on her face of WTF?!)

    Me: “Yeah…those don’t come with kayaks or canoes.”

    Young Woman: “They should!”

    (I walk off to let my female coworker take over this one.)

    Time To Moooove To Another Cowllege

    | Missouri | Top

    (For three years, my job was to deal with angry parents. I was very good at it. Most of the time.)

    Parent: *angrily* “I need to speak to someone about my daughter’s roommates!”

    Me: “Okay, ma’am, what seems to be the problem?”

    Parent: “Her roommates are awful to her! ”

    Me: “Okay. Can you detail the problems for me? The more specific you can be, the better we can help your daughter and her roommates settle their problems.”

    Parent: “They curse, and they play loud music, and they’re, well, they’re just not *like* us.”

    Me: “In what way are they not *like* you, ma’am?”

    Parent: “Well, they’re…farm people.”

    (Twenty seconds of absolute silence as I am, for once, thrown off my game. I’ve heard racial B.S. and religious B.S., but never *farm* B.S.)

    Parent: “Not that there’s anything wrong with farm people. It’s just that we’re not farm people.”

    (I’m still in shock. She keeps going.)

    Parent: I mean, farms are useful, but we’re from the city. My daughter grew up going to the theater and to museums.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you, as a kid from a farm myself, I’ve been to the theater and to museums. What we probably have here is a personality clash.”

    (There’s about a 10 second pause that just drips with uncomfortable.)

    Parent: “Perhaps I should speak to someone else.”

    The Lost And Take Whatever I Want

    | Norway |

    Caller: “Hi, I lost my cellphone this weekend. I was wondering if you’d found it?”

    Me: “Well, maybe. What does it look like?”

    Caller: “It’s a black Nokia; orange on the sides.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but your phone is not here.”

    Caller: “Oh. Well…can I come by and just, like, take another one?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Caller: “Well, you know, since I’ve lost my phone and all, and it’s not like the phones you have is anyone’s property…”

    Me: “Ehm…well..how would you feel if I gave your phone away to someone else?”

    Caller: *silence* “Well that would be kinda rude.”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Caller: *more silence* *click*

    A Woman Of Few Words

    , | Midwest, USA |

    (I was in our technology support office when a housekeeping staff person, Donna, stopped by. There was no preamble to the dialog below.)

    Donna: “Dr. Franklin gets e-mail in his office.”

    Me: *nods*

    Donna: “Alicia says she can check her e-mail in the office.”

    Me: *nods*

    Donna: “I like e-mail.”

    Me: “Nice.”

    Donna: “Nice?”

    Me: “Not nice?”

    Donna: “I like e-mail.”

    Me: “I like e-mail, too.”

    Donna: “You don’t have it?”

    Me: “I do.”

    Donna: “I like e-mail.”

    Me: *biting lower lip, uncertain what to say or do*

    Donna: “I like e-mail.”

    Me: *glancing at the clock on the wall*

    Donna: “I like to have e-mail.”

    Me: “I like having e-mail, too, and I check it all the time.”

    Donna: “Can I have it? I like to have e-mail.”

    Related:
    The Art Of Ambiguity

    How About We Change His Diaper Too

    | Atlanta, GA, USA |

    Me: “[University name], how may I transfer your call?”

    Lady: “Yes, my son missed his first day of class and for some reason the class room has changed and he can’t find it.”

    Me: “He can come into the computer lab and look up his schedule to verify which room the class is located.”

    Lady: “He is on campus right now wandering around and no one is helping him. He is already late for class, and it is your fault. Can you go find him and take him to his class?”

    Me: “…we don’t provide those services. He can come look he schedule and then go to class.”

    Lady: “Urgh!” *click*

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