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    Understanding Of The Technology Is Backwards

    | York, England, UK | Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (It’s a crazy busy day in the library, with queues of around 10 customers per member of staff, and everyone is run off their feet. A lady comes in on a mobility scooter who is known to staff as a bit of a deliberate time waster. She starts shouting for a member of the staff to come and assist her.)

    Me: “Can I help you?”

    Customer: “Yes. I want something photocopied.”

    (Normally photocopying would be self-operated by the user, but I can see why it would be difficult to do from a mobility scooter.)

    Me: “Okay, no problem. Let me give you a hand. What do you need copying?”

    Customer: “This!”

    (She pulls an artist’s pad from her bag, which has a picture of a bird on it.)

    Me: “Thanks. Let me get that copied for you.”

    Customer: “Hang on. I need to finish the leg. Do you have a fine liner?”

    Me: “No, I’m sorry. I can get you a biro though?”

    Customer: *grumbling* “I suppose that will do.”

    (I hand her the biro and she starts painstakingly drawing in the leg of the bird. I glance over at the desk and see the queue has become even longer.)

    Me: “I’ll pop back when you’ve had a chance to finish that.”

    Customer: *shouting* “DON’T YOU DARE! STAY HERE! YOU HAVE TO HELP ME. I’M DISABLED. I TAKE PRIORITY!”

    Me: “I understand, but if you aren’t ready for me to help you, I can come back later—”

    Customer: “Write on this in mirror writing for me.”

    Me: “Pardon?”

    Customer: “I need you to write on it backwards. Put my name and the date and the title, but backwards.”

    Me: “Um, I’m really sorry but I don’t think I can do that. Why does it need to be backwards?”

    Customer: “So it will be the right way round when you have photocopied it.”

    Me: “That… is not how photocopiers work. It will be fine written normally. I promise.”

    Customer: “You are so stupid! It’s the same as when you take a photo… That comes out backwards, too.”

    Me: “… I’m pretty sure that doesn’t work like that either.”

    Walking A Very Fine Line

    | ID, USA | Books & Reading, Money

    (My husband and I have just walked into the library, when we hear another patron berating one of the employees.)

    Patron: “Nobody told me I had library fines! Now I can’t even use the library computer cause of that and it is an EMERGENCY!”

    Employee: “Most people know to check when their books are due, to prevent having fines.”

    Patron: “I can’t be bothered with that! I’ve told all you employees multiple times! I expect you to personally CALL me the night before I have a book due. EVERY TIME.”

    (At this point, the employee, my husband, and I are biting our lips to not laugh out loud at her ridiculous request.)

    Employee: “Well, I’m sorry about that, but due to the number of people on file, we can’t personally keep track of your books. That’s why we print out receipts with due dates.”

    Patron: “USELESS! THOSE ARE USELESS TO ME! Oh, and don’t you DARE try emailing me either! My email is only for certain uses and getting emails from this library is not one of them! I will get extremely angry if you email me! I’ll just ignore it!”

    (She continues to berate the employee for her own mistakes, and finally leaves after paying her ridiculous amount of fines. My husband and I go up to the employee.)

    Me: “You handled her so well! I’ve worked in customer service before, and you were definitely a lot nicer than I would have been. I just paid off my library fine, and it’s really not that hard to keep track of when things are due and what I owe.”

    Employee: *sighs* “Oh gosh, thanks. Sometimes… people… ugh… just people. Sometimes people suck.”

    The Heavenly Penny Finally Dropped

    | Salt Lake City, UT, USA | At The Checkout, Funny Names, Movies & TV, Rude & Risque

    (I work in a small local library. A patron comes up to the front desk with a mischievous look in his eye. He plunks down a stack of movies.)

    Patron: “I didn’t know you guys had stuff like this.”

    (Not everyone knows that we lend videos and music, so I start on my standard ‘things you can get from the library’ spiel.)

    Patron: “No, man, I know about that! I meant porn!”

    Me: “Wha?”

    Patron: “Like this one, here!”

    (He holds up an old VHS.)

    Patron:Penis from Heaven!”

    Me: “‘Pennies,’” sir. It’s Pennies from Heaven.”

    Patron: “Oh. Well, you can keep it, then.”

    A Very Close Knit Community

    | USA | Awesome Customers, Bizarre, Holidays

    (Occasionally customers bring in presents for the staff to show their appreciation. Normally it is cookies or flowers from their yards. Some of the newer staff are still getting used to this generosity. One afternoon in mid-November a woman brings in something different.)

    Customer: “Pick one.” *lifts a a large, clear garbage bag full of brightly colored knit scarves onto the counter*

    Me: “Oh, wow. What is the occasion?”

    Customer: “It’s the holidays! I made all of these and I want to share them!”

    Me: “Are you sure? That’s very thoughtful! You’re a much more prolific knitter than I am.” *carefully removes a scarf from the bag*

    Customer: *quickly moves to my coworker at an adjacent desk* “Here! Pick one! Merry Christmas!”

    Coworker: *looks up startled*

    (I shrug, smile, and go into the work room to tell the other staff what is going on.)

    Coworker: “Thank you. That’s very sweet.” *gingerly picks a scarf*

    (The customer manages to find every staff member in the building and give them a scarf. She leaves immediately afterward.)

    Coworker: “So, uh, do you guys all know her? Does she do this every year?”

    Me: “I have… never seen that woman before in my life.”

    Best To Try To Rise Above It

    , | Portland, ME, USA | Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I am in the middle of a health scare involving my lungs, and my doctor has told me not to use the stairs for more than one flight. I need to be on the fourth floor, so I am waiting for the elevator when a patron storms up to me.)

    Patron: “Excuse me! I don’t know if you read the sign, but it clearly says that this elevator is for handicapped people. Not people who are just too lazy to use the stairs.”

    Me: “…I beg your pardon?”

    Patron: “You need to leave the elevator for the people who really need it.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I need the elevator.”

    Patron: “That’s bulls***.”

    Me: “Look, lady. One of my LUNGS is not functioning right now, and my doctor has told me that I’m not allowed to take the stairs.”

    Patron: “Your doctor is too easy on you!”

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