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    Just Tell Him The Title, Pure And Simplex

    | WA, USA | Rude & Risque, Top

    (A customer approaches the counter with his girlfriend/partner. He wants to make sure that he has returned all of his items. The only book left on his account is one on a sensitive topic.)

    Me: “Well, it looks like there is just one… uh… health book on here.”

    Customer: “What? What ‘health book?’ I don’t have no ‘health’ books out.”

    Me: “Uh… it is a book about a… specific illness. If you like, I can show you how to look up your account information in private at our website.”

    Customer: “No, no, no! I don’t have time for all that. Just tell me what the dang book is!”

    Me: “It’s called Managing Herpes.”

    (The girlfriend’s eyes go wide and she turns to the customer.)

    Customer’s Girlfriend: “You… what… but you said… WHAT?!”

    (Both of them left quickly after that!)

    Our Great DiscrimiNation, Part 2

    | UK | Bigotry, Top

    (I’m in the library, queueing at the front desk to take out two books. I’m standing with my arms wrapped around the books. Patron #1 is talking to a librarian at the counter, while Patron #2 is waiting further down the counter.)

    Patron #1: “Do you have any Islamic books?”

    Librarian: “Well—”

    Patron #2: *patronizing* “No, dear, because this isn’t a Muslim country. It’s a Christian country.”

    (Patron #2 looks around at me and the librarian as though she expects us to agree. We are both white.)

    Librarian: “Actually, we have a collection Islamic books in both Urdu and English. They’re just over here.”

    (The librarian shows Patron #1 to the books.)

    Patron #2: *to me* “Can you believe that? Why do we need Paki books in our libraries? This is what’s wrong with this country. Maybe instead of speaking Paki, they should learn English and try to fit in!”

    (I remove my books from my arms and lay them out clearly where she can see them. I have a sociological study of the Philippines and a history of India, as my two closest friends were born there).

    Me: “Maybe what we need are more books that teach people to stop being bigoted and start respecting and understanding other people.”

    Patron #2: *scoffs at me and leaves*

    Related:
    Our Great DiscrimiNation (Not Always Working)

    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 4

    | Pennsylvania, USA | Top

    (I have a patron who has asked for our astrology books, but she has written “astronomy” in her notes. I ask her to clarify.)

    Me: “Okay, so are you looking for astronomy or astrology?”

    Patron: “Um…”

    Me: “Science or mysticism?”

    Patron: “Um…”

    Me: “Are you citing NASA, or Madam Cleo?”

    Patron: *blank stare*

    Me: “Sorry; bad joke. Is Jupiter a god, or is it just another planet?”

    Patron: “What?”

    Me: “I’m just trying to figure out what you’re looking for here. Let’s try this: are you looking for star signs, or just stars?”

    Patron: “I don’t understand what you’re asking me all this for. I just want astrolognomy!”

    Me: “Let’s try one more time. Would the phrase, ‘What’s your sign’ be in any way relevant to what you’re looking for today?”

    Patron: “Are you making fun of me?!”

    Me: “I’m trying not to, really!”

    Related:
    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 3
    All Signs Point To Duh, Part 2
    All Signs Point To Duh

    Dewey Decimal Disobedience

    | Teaneck, NJ, USA |

    (Note: Because it is a large, central location, the public library is sometimes used for town meetings. However, the library employees have nothing to do with these meetings. On this particular night, a public hearing is being held on the topic of firefighter layoffs.)

    Firefighter #1: *leaving meeting* “I can’t believe they’re actually firing people! This is so f***ed up!”

    Firefighter #2: “Those f***ing d***s!”

    Firefighter #1: “I’ll show them! I’ll mess up their card catalogs!”

    Me: *to coworker* “Do you want to be the one to tell him we use computers?”

    Weighting For The Other Shoe To Drop

    | South Carolina, USA |

    Regular Customer #1: “Hey, have you lost weight?”

    Me: *beaming* “I have, in fact! I’ve had to fight pretty hard for it. Thank you for noticing!”

    (Ten minutes later…)

    Regular Customer #2: “Are you having a baby?”

    Me: *no longer beaming*


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