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    An Interest In Corruption

    , | USA | Money, School

    (I work in the fines office of a university library. A professor has come in, outraged that he has been blocked from checking items out. Upon pulling up his account, I see that he has a staggering 700 books checked out and $4,500 in fines.)

    Professor: “I need to check out books for a presentation tomorrow! This system is corrupt!”

    Me: “If there are more than $80 in fines, patrons cannot check out. But as long as you bring these overdue books in before [date] all the fines will be removed.”

    Professor: “I can’t do that!” *pulls out checkbook* “Here’s what I’m going to do. I will write you a check for $4,500 so I can check out more books. Then, when I bring the overdue books in, you will pay me the $4,500 back with interest. Got it?!”

    Not Much Of An Enabler

    | Kansas, USA | Bigotry, Crazy Requests, Top

    (My college has a free laser tag game set up in the courtyard by a local group. One of the players, a boy I know fairly well, is knock-kneed to the point of it being a minor disability, and slowing his steps tremendously. He is a good shot, however, and wishes to play. We have about three rounds when a woman storms up to the two men running the event as we all re-load.)

    Woman: “Why are you letting them pick on this poor boy?”

    Employee #1: “Pick on… who?” *looks at group, confused*

    Woman: *points at the knock-kneed boy* “Him!”

    Me: “We’re picking on you?”

    Boy: “No, don’t think so. I’m having fun!”

    Woman: “How can you have fun? They can all run around, and you can’t! You have to hold still!”

    Boy: “A lot of people hold still, there are the forts to hang onto.”

    Girl: “And thanks for reminding him about the disability, lady.”

    Employee #2: “Ma’am, I assure you [company] does not allow bullying in its games.”

    Woman: “You can’t let disabled people play sports! They feel discriminated against!”

    Employee #1: “So, in order not to discriminate against this boy by letting him play, we should discriminate against him by not letting him play?”

    Woman: “I’m reporting this!” *storms off to the help desk*

    (She found out that the help desk was student run, and the boy running it was the knock-kneed boy’s former roommate. She was laughed out!)

    Reading Requires Reason

    | Yorkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I work at a very busy college, with around 10,000 spread over three sites. During office hours, all calls divert to the main free-phone number, which just happens to be covered by me.)

    Me: “Hello, [company name], how can I help?”

    Caller: “Yes, I want to make a complaint. I sent an email around two weeks ago and still haven’t heard anything back!”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. Let me check the records and I’ll call you back in ten minutes.”

    (I then check all emails from two weeks ago, then three weeks ago. No luck. When I look for one week ago, I find the enquiry and the reply, sent within three hours. I call the client back.)

    Me: “Our records show that we responded within three hours of your enquiry. You may be looking to far down in your mailbox as the replay was sent one week ago, not two.”

    Caller: “Well, I haven’t checked my email.”

    Me: “Wait, if you haven’t checked your email, why have you called to complain?”

    Caller: “Well, I don’t read my emails very often!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we can only send the email, not make you read them.”

    Casting An Extra Super Duper Ginormously Wide Net, Part 2

    | Toronto, Canada | Crazy Requests, School

    Me: “Thank you for calling [college]. How can I direct your call?”

    Caller: “Hi, I’m looking for a student.”

    Me: “Certainly. Do you have the student’s name?”

    Caller: “I met them at an event at our church and wanted to talk to them about what they’re studying.”

    Me: “That seems quite reasonable. If you give me their name, I can either route your call to their dorm room, or leave them a message in their student mailbox.”

    Caller: “Well, I didn’t catch their name. Are there a lot of students there? Could I describe them to you?”

    Me: “We have about 1400 students, but I do know most of them in dorm, so we can give it a try.”

    Caller: “Okay. They’re Asian.”

    Me: “Sorry, ma’am, but roughly half of our student population is of Chinese descent. I’m afraid that doesn’t really narrow it down much.”

    Caller: “Oh. They’re male?”

    Me: “Sorry, that’s still a large percentage of our student body.”

    Caller: “They’re studying the Bible.”

    Me: “This is a Bible college, so I’m afraid that doesn’t narrow it down at all.”

    Caller: “Is there a way that you could just announce over a speaker or something, that someone is looking to speak with a student that was at [church name] this past Sunday?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I’m sorry. I can’t interrupt classes to do that.”

    Caller: “Oh, okay.” *click*

    Related:
    Casting An Extra Super Duper Ginormously Wide Net

    What A BS Degree

    , | The Netherlands | Bigotry, School

    (I’ve been helping a student from China get her books for her Master’s programme. Her English is fine, but she has a strong accent. After I’ve finished helping her, the next customer steps up.)

    Customer: “If that’s how she speaks English, she’s going to have serious trouble with Dutch. She’ll be useless in class!”

    Me: “Actually, her courses are all in English, so she won’t have to learn Dutch.”

    Customer: “What? That’s ridiculous! They’re making all these courses in English to let lazy foreigners get in easily. What about us, hmm? We have to put up with having to speak a foreign language in our own country just so she can come here and basically get handed a place at university by the stupid management. I bet she’ll get a job here, too. Everyone seems to think it’s more prestigious to hire some foreigner than someone who actually knows the language and the culture and everything!”

    Me: “… Anyway, let’s get your books. What is your major?”

    Customer: “International relations.”


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