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  • September Theme Of The Month: Overheard!

    Can’t Use That Trick In The Book

    | KS, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests, Extra Stupid

    (I am working at my town’s library over the summer when the phone rings. I don’t normally answer the phone because they often need something done on the computer, which as a part-timer I don’t use, but since my superior isn’t around, I answer it.)

    Me: “[Town]’s Public Library, how can I help you?”

    Caller: “Hello. I would like to return a book.”

    Me: “Okay, then, there’s two ways you can do that: you can bring it in while we’re open and we can check it in then or you can come and put it in the drop-box bin which we will check it in as soon as we clear it.”

    Caller: “Can’t I just tell you the name and you could check it in now?”

    Me: “No, ma’am. We have to have the book to check it in.”

    Caller: “That’s ridiculous! I have the book right here so you can check it in!”

    Me: “No, ma’am. The book has to be back here at the library for me to be able to check it in.”

    Caller: “You lazy workers, making me bring the book there when you could just check it in from here!” *click*

    (At this time my supervisor comes back.)

    Supervisor: “Were you just on the phone?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am, and I’m am never answering that thing again!”

    Handily Not Available

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Crazy Requests

    (I am working alone at night at a small town library. The town also has a prison nearby. A customer approaches the desk.)

    Customer: “I’d like to order a specific book.”

    Me: “What’s the title?”

    Customer: “‘How to Use Your Hands as Lethal Weapons.’ The prison librarian would never order it for me.”

    (I was relieved that I couldn’t find it for him either!)

    Be Under-Wary

    | Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Bizarre, Rude & Risque

    (I work at library in a small town outside of Pittsburgh. Most of the people who come in are elderly. One day a regular in his 80s walks in carrying something black in one of his hands.)

    Me: “Hello, sir, how can I help you today?”

    Customer: “I don’t want to get too personal with this, but here.” *drops black thing on my desk* “I found this outside.”

    Me: “Oh, is it a T-shirt?” *grabs it but quickly realizes it is not a T-shirt but is actually a pair of men’s underwear* “Oh, my god!”

    Customer: “I found it on the stairs and I don’t know if this is some kid’s idea of a funny prank.”

    Me: “Why didn’t you just throw this away?”

    Customer: “I thought you might want to find the owner.”

    (I’m laughing to the point where I’m at tears about now and calling over to my coworker. The customer just stands there, making absolutely no expression. I honestly had no clue what this guy wanted me to do with this wet, rain-soaked underwear that was on my desk.)

    Coworker: “What’s wrong?”

    Me: “There’s underwear on my desk and I don’t know what to do.” *explains what just happened while the customer still stands there not making any facial expressions*

    (The guy finally left to use the bathroom and my coworker picked up the underwear with a plastic bag and I scrubbed the entire desk down. After all this happened, my coworker turned to me.)

    Coworker: “What if that underwear belonged to the customer and that was his way of flirting with you?”

    (I’ve never been able to look at this customer again.)

    Hooked On One Ad Only

    | London, England, UK | Bizarre, Rude & Risque

    (We have a small ad board where patrons can pay to put up notices and adverts. Two eagle-eyed old ladies noticed that such a patron is promoting her psychic hotline while also promoting her other business venture… a massage parlour.)

    Old Lady #1: “This is completely unacceptable.”

    Library Manager: “I do apologise that this might offend you ladies, but there is nothing I can do.”

    Old Lady #2: “We demand you take it down!”

    Library Manager: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but we cannot prove that her business isn’t legitimate. She has paid for both notices and they are at opposite ends of the board.”

    Old Lady #1: “But she is a fraud!”

    Old Lady #2: “She is preying on vulnerable people!”

    Library Manager: “One moment, are you referring to just her psychic business?”

    Old Ladies: “Yes!”

    Library Manager: “And you want just that one taken down?”

    Old Ladies: “Yes!”

    Old Lady #1: “Look, if she’s a hooker she’s probably not a real psychic…”

    This Is What You Regularly Face

    | London, England, UK | Bizarre

    (A sweet little old lady approaches my information desk.)

    Customer: “Hello, love. I am looking for the rates for housing benefit.”

    Me: “Certainly. Could I take your postcode?”

    Customer: “It’s [postcode].”

    Me: “Okay, that’s great. According to the government website, your benefit rate is [amount].”

    Customer: “Oh, it’s gone up. Are you sure?”

    Me: “It here says that the benefit increased this year.”

    Customer: “Right. Well, could I get your name, please, dear?”

    Me: “Certainly, it’s [My Name].”

    Customer: “And do you work everyday?”

    Me: “Actually, I’m part-time so I am only here Monday and Fridays.”

    Customer: “Good. So if I find out that this information is wrong, I know when to come in and smash your face in.”

    (The lady gathered her things and left. I am still in shock.)

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