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    Totally Trashed

    | Lansing, MI, USA |

    (This takes place in a food court during my college’s homecoming game. While I am sweeping the floor, a drunk girl is about to put her trash in a machine I use to clean the floor.)

    Me: “Woah, wait! What are you doing?”

    Drunk girl: “Isn’t this a trash can?”

    Me: “No, this is a floor cleaner. The trash cans are over there.” *point behind her*

    Drunk girl: “It looks just like a trash can!”

    Me: *stares at wide, 4-wheeled, car-shaped floor cleaner* “Uh–”

    Drunk girl: “What does this thing do?”

    Me: “It cleans floors.”

    Drunk girl: “Well, it looks just like a trash can!”

    Me: “I’m sure it does.” *start to walk away*

    Drunk girl: “IT DOES!”

    It Works Better When Fed Cheese

    , | California, USA | Technology

    (Our college has students of all ages in attendance. Sometimes, the older ones need a little more guidance with using technology. Today, an older gentleman approaches my help desk brandishing several handwritten sheets of lined paper.)

    Student: “My teacher says I need to type this.”

    Me: “Okay! Well, I think the best program is Word. Just double-click on that blue “W” right there.”

    (The student pokes the monitor’s screen with his index finger.)

    Me: “Ah, well, actually, we don’t have touchscreens. You have to use the mouse. See?”

    (I gesture to the mouse.)

    Student: “Oh, okay.”

    (He picks up mouse, places it on the monitor screen and clicks. The he looks at me expectantly.)

    Me: “Er, well, you have to use it on the mouse pad.”

    (I take the mouse and put it back on the mouse pad. Then I show him that when moving the mouse, the cursor on the screen moves.)

    Student: “It’s not working very well. Maybe you guys didn’t feed it enough.”

    Through Ickiness And In Health

    | East Lansing, MI, USA | Family & Kids

    (I answer a lot of calls from parents concerned about the living arrangements in our dorm rooms.)

    Parent: “So, what’s the deal with co-ed floors?”

    Me: “Well, most of our floors are co-ed by wing, but a few are co-ed by suite, where one suite is all boys, and next door is all girls. Your student will never have to share a room or bathroom with the opposite gender.”

    Parent: “Why would anyone want to do that?”

    Me: “Well, some people find that living with the opposite gender is fun.”

    Parent: “Yeah, but I mean, boys are icky!”

    Me: *speechless*

    Parent: “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve lived with my husband for 20 years, but…eww!”

    No Aspirations As Long As You’re Under This Roof

    | Alberta, Canada | Family & Kids

    (I am a receptionist at a local college and I am doing some follow-up calls for people who indicated they were interested in attending by filling out one of our forms.)

    Me: “Hi, is [name] there?”

    Woman: “Yes. May I ask who’s calling?”

    Me: “Yes, this is [name] from [college] calling. I’m just following up with the person who filled out a form for us saying they were interested in one of our programs. Do you know if they still are?”

    Woman: “That’s actually my son. He’s only 11 years old. Are you sure you have the right number?”

    (I double check the number and name on the forms with her, and they are correct.)

    Woman: *sighs* “Oh my God. Could he have done this online?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s very possible.”

    Woman: “Oh man, is he going to get it. Thanks for the call. We’re going to punish him for this!” *hangs up*

    Model Behavior

    | Poughkeepsie, NY, USA | School

    (Several other high school students and I are on lunch break at a Model UN simulation. I am part of the Nigeria delegation. We are all about 15 years old.)

    Woman: “So, are you a visiting diplomat from Nigeria?”

    Me: “No, there’s a Model UN for high school students here today. I’m not really a diplomat.”

    Woman: “Oh, cool. So you’re like some foreign student who gets sent here to do some simulation?”

    Me: “No, I go to [local high school]. I’m not actually Nigerian.”

    (Note that I am white and do not in any way remotely resemble someone one would expect to be from Nigeria.)

    Woman: “Isn’t it a felony to impersonate an ambassador?”

    Me: “No, it’s a model UN meeting. I’m not impersonating anybody. My tag clearly says ‘Model United Nations.’”

    Woman: “Well, I’m reporting you to campus security!”

    (She goes over to the campus security booth nearby and says something to the guard. The guard responds and she angrily walks away. As soon as she is gone, he bursts out laughing).


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