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  • Had It Up To Their Neck With Bad Customers
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    An Unlikely Story

    | WA, Australia | Books & Reading, Liars & Scammers, Money, Themed Giveaway

    (I have been checking books back in that have been left on our returns desk and come across a new book that has been badly damaged by what looks to be coffee. When the patron comes back to the circulation desk, I show her the book.)

    Me: “Good morning! I’ll check those out for you in just a moment. Unfortunately because this book has been damaged quite badly, we won’t be able to have it in our collection any more. The replacement cost will be [dollar amount]; are you able to pay now or should I send an invoice out?”

    Patron: “Oh, it was like that when I took it out!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but we’d never loan something in that condition, and as it was on your membership, you are liable for the damage done to it while on loan.”

    Patron: “I didn’t do it! You can’t prove I did it! It must have been the person before me! I won’t pay! It’s been like that for ages.”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is a new book. We only got it last month and the only person to have it before you was I. And I can assure you, I didn’t spill coffee on this book.”

    (There is a long pause.)

    Patron: “Um, how much was it?”

    The Odds Of Her Believing Are Ever In Your Favor

    | MD, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Themed Giveaway

    (I overhear the following conversation between a boy who is about 12, and his grandmother.)

    Grandmother: “What are you reading there?”

    Boy:The Hunger Games.”

    Grandmother: “What’s that about?”

    Boy: “Don’t worry Grandma. It’s about these kids who enter a Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament, and the winner wins a bag of candy!”

    Grandmother: “Oh. That sounds nice!”

    Didn’t Read The Signals

    | WA, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Technology, Themed Giveaway

    (I overhear a library patron talking to his small daughter.)

    Patron: “You’re turning five today; do you know what that means?”

    Daughter: “Uh…”

    Patron: “Do you know what you finally get today? It’s so exciting!”

    Daughter: “A pink Nintendo DS?!”

    Patron: “What? Uh, no. We’re getting you a library card.”

    Me: “…weeee! Happy birthday!”

    Doesn’t Make A Lycan Sense

    | USA | Books & Reading, Geeks Rule, Pets & Animals

    (We get a lot of kids at the library where I work. One of our regular customers, who’s about eight years old, walks up to me.)

    Customer: “[My name], I have an important question.”

    Me: “Yes?”

    Customer: “Are werewolves real?”

    Me: “Nope, werewolves are made up.”

    (He looks taken aback, like that wasn’t the response he was expecting.)

    Customer: “What?! But, but wolves are real!”

    Me: “Right. But wolves are wolves, and people are people.

    Customer: “Huh?”

    Me: “If you’re born a wolf, you’re a wolf for the rest of your life. If you’re born a person, you’ll stay a person. So since you were born a person, you’ll never turn into a wolf.”

    (The customer thinks about this for a minute.)

    Customer: “That doesn’t make any sense!”

    (The customer walks away, slowly shaking his head.)

    The Mother Should Be Booked

    | Edmonton, AB, Canada | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Top

    (I am in high school, and earn money by paging in a library in a low-income area. Pages do the ‘grunt work’ of a library—mostly putting away books and cleaning up after people. I spend a lot of time in the children’s section, and talk a lot with the kids.)

    Seven-Year-Old Girl: *showing me a picture book* “This book is really cool!”

    Me: “Is it? What’s it about?”

    Seven-Year-Old Girl: “It has dragons, and horses, and a bad guy, and fighting!”

    Me: “Wow, that sounds like a pretty good book. Are you going to check it out and take it home to read?”

    Seven-Year-Old Girl: “No, I can’t.”

    Me: “Why not?”

    Seven-Year-Old Girl: “My mommy can’t read, and she says that she doesn’t want us to read. She says that books are dumb!”


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