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    Perhaps This Isn’t Your Calling

    | Winnipeg, MB, Canada | Crazy Requests, Home Improvement

    (I’ve just started a new job as a secretary for a house construction company. The former secretary is training me.)

    Former Secretary: “This job is a snap. Answering the phone is the easiest part. All they ever want is lot prices or house prices. Oh, the phone is ringing now; go ahead and answer it.”

    Me: “Good morning. Thank you for calling [Company Name]. This is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

    Caller: “I need you to fix my hot tub.”

    Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to the former secretary* “This guy wants us to fix his hot tub.”

    Former Secretary: “What?”

    (The former secretary takes phone, talks a little, and then hangs up.)

    Former Secretary: “He had the wrong [Company Name]. He thought he was calling the head office of the hotel he’s staying at.  That was weird. Oh, the phone’s ringing again.”

    Me: *answers phone*

    Caller: “THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN MY TREES! MAKE THEM STOOOPPP!”

    Me: “One moment please, sir.” *to former secretary* “Um, this guy says ‘they’ are cutting down his trees.”

    Former Secretary: “Are you kidding?”

    Me: “I thought answering the phones here was supposed to be easy?”

    Former Secretary: “It usually IS!”

    Toying With The Public

    | AB, Canada | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

    (I work for the municipal division of a road construction company. One part of my job is going out to sites, once the job has been completed, to take measurements for our quantities reports. To do this I use a measuring wheel tool. I am out measuring a sidewalk that has just been completed.)

    Pedestrian: “Aren’t you a little old to be playing with children’s toys?”

    Me: *confused* “Pardon?”

    Pedestrian: *gestures at the wheel* “That’s a toy for toddlers! With those bright colours and all the noise it makes!”

    (The wheel is fluorescent orange and black, and makes a ticking noise as the number of meters roll up.)

    Me: “Well, first, I’d like to say that you are never too old to play with toys. Second, this is a measuring wheel, and I am using it to record my company’s final quantities on the city sidewalk program. It’s a tool, not a toy.”

    Pedestrian: “What a horrible liar you are! Let’s see what your boss has to say about you playing with some kid’s toy on the job AND lying!”

    (With that she storms off. I continue my work. When I return to the office later that day my safety manager calls me to her office, as she deals with complaints. She was crying from laughing so hard.)

    Hard Hats vs. Hard Heads

    | Buffalo, NY, USA | Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Top, Wild & Unruly

    (One day, I have a flat tire in front of a coffee & donut shop that is under construction. The shop is obviously unfinished, and is full of equipment and blocked by orange cones. The construction workers on site kindly change my tire and refuse to take my money, so the next day I return with pizzas, wings, and subs as a thank you. As I’m passing out food, an SUV pulls into the lot. The SUV mows down an orange cone which gets stuck under the vehicle and starts making the loudest grinding noise imaginable as it’s dragged along. The foreman goes over to speak to the woman driver. She is yelling at the drive-thru apparatus, which is obviously not operational–just like the rest of the unfinished coffee & donut shop.)

    Woman: “I’d like a large fries, a Big Mac, and a Diet Coke, please!”

    Foreman: “Ma’am, this location is still under construction. There’s no one here to take your order. Furthermore, this is a coffee and donut chain. Even when the building is done, they won’t sell burgers. If you’re looking for burgers, go up the street to the corner.”

    Woman: *exasperated sigh* “Oh, alright then. I’ll take a large coffee with three sugars and a bagel sandwich with cream cheese and jam. Ooh, do they have fritters here?”

    Foreman: “I’m sorry if I was unclear, ma’am, but this store isn’t open yet. There are no employees inside to make your food. Heck, the electrical isn’t installed yet.”

    Woman: “Why, you little fibber! I can see your whole crew eating right over there! You just don’t want me to have a lunch break even though you’re getting one!”

    Foreman: “Ma’am, that food was brought by the woman over there in the suit. We helped her change her tire the other day, so she bought us pizza.”

    Woman: “Pizza?! You said this was a coffee and donut place!”

    Foreman: “The pizza was bought at [local grocery store]. It’s not from here.”

    Woman: “From [local grocery store]? Don’t be ridiculous! This building looks nothing like [local grocery store]! Do you think I’m stupid?!”

    Foreman: “I’m paid to build restaurants ma’am, not give IQ tests. But you’re in a restricted construction zone and you need to leave right now.”

    Woman: “This is bulls***! I demand to speak to your manager right this instant!” *she sees me and starts shouting* “Miss! Oh, Miss! I’d like to speak to you!”

    (I pick my way across the unpaved lot.)

    Woman: “Miss, I’d like to lodge a complaint about your employees!”

    Me: “Madam, I’m not their manager and this building isn’t open for business yet. However, if you pull your right wheel up on that curb, perhaps the crew can dislodge the traffic cone stuck beneath you before you leave so it doesn’t damage your vehicle.”

    Woman: “Of course you’re the manager! You’re wearing a suit and heels! And what’s this nonsense about a traffic cone? I didn’t run over any traffic cone! I tell you it’s like the whole world has gone crazy!”

    Me: “Well, it seems like part of it certainly has. Regardless, I’m not the manager here. However, I am the attorney who’s going to flag down that nice police officer across the street if you don’t cease trespassing and vacate these premises immediately.”

    Woman: “Well, I never! I’m going to call the corporate offices and complain about the whole lot of you. You see if I don’t! I’ll have your jobs!”

    (The woman pulls her car out of the lot, oblivious to the horrible noise being made by the still-wedged traffic cone. She also mows down another cone as she leaves, although that one doesn’t stick.)

    Foreman: “Good grief. So much for Darwin and natural selection.”

    Related:
    Hardcovers Vs. Hard Hats

    Polymorphic Pleasantries

    | Adelaide, Australia |

    (I am calling a Housing Trust tenant to arrange a new time for us to re-glaze her shower screen. The maintenance centre has just called to say this particular elderly lady has several doctor’s appointments. These conflict with her original appointment time.)

    Me: “Hello. This is [name] from [glazing business]. How are you?”

    Tenant: *chirpily* “Oh, terrible. It’s this blasted weather, you know.”

    Me: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

    Tenant: “That’s alright, love. How are you anyway?”

    Me: “Alright, thank you. I agree with you about the weather, though. Anyway, I was just calling about–”

    Tenant: “Oh, yes. I am all dizzy, and my head hurts. And it doesn’t help that I’m allergic to the sun.”

    Me: “That must be very frustrating. I just spoke to–”

    Tenant: “And I’m polymorphic! If I go outside and change form, they’ll get me!”

    Me: “That’s not a good situation to be in at all. Anyway, I understand you’ll be going into hospital on Tuesday morning. We need to change your appointment time. Is–”

    Tenant: “I hope I win the $20mil in the lottery this weekend. Then I can move to Tasmania. Oh, the weather in Tasmania! I hear it’s beautiful and cool over there. Not like here!”

    Me: “Yes, I’ve heard that too.”

    Tenant: “Oh, you’ve been there? What’s it like?”

    Me: “No, but I do have it on good authority that it is definitely cold.”

    Tenant: “Oh, good. I hate being in this pension house. If I win this weekend, I will move to Tasmania and get rid of the pension. They can’t get me there, because it’s over the strait.”

    Me: “It would be wonderful if you did win. Can we come Tuesday afternoon to fix your shower screen?”

    Tenant: “Hang on darling, I’m blind.” *papers shuffle* “Sure, love. I’ll be home from the hospital by then.”

    Me: “Fantastic. It was lovely talking to you!”

    Tenant: “And to you, dear! When I win this weekend, you can have a share.”

    Me: “That’s very kind of you. Have a lovely weekend!”

    Tenant: “You too, dear.” *hangs up*

    Feel The Burn, Pay For The Lawsuits

    | Houston, TX, USA |

    (I work for a construction company that often works on residential streets. As we were working on one road, a woman stepped under the caution tape and proceeded to walk through the construction zone.)

    Me: “Excuse me, ma’am, but you’ll have to go around this area. I could give you an alternate–”

    Woman: “NO!”

    Me: “Uh, I’m afraid you have to. It’s against the law to go into construction zones.”

    Woman: “CAN’T YOU SEE I’M GETTING MY F***ING EXERCISE?!”

    Me: “…”

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