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    Save It On A Flesh Drive

    | WA, USA | Books & Reading, Language & Words, Technology

    (Our library offers several touch-screen computers that customers can use to check out items themselves. The customer is a friendly regular, but a little shy because English is not her first language.)

    Customer: “Why does this machine require flesh?”

    Me: “W-what?”

    Customer: “This machine. I am touching it, but it does not work. Is because…?”

    (She shows that she is wearing gloves.)

    Me: “Oh! I’m sorry; yes I suppose the screens don’t work if you have gloves on. I had never really thought about that.”

    Customer: “Ah. Okay, sorry to be bother.”

    Me: “No, no! That is the best thing I’ve heard all week.”

    (Now whenever the computers have problems, the staff joke that they ‘require flesh’ to function, and someone must be sacrificed to appease them.)

    Needs To See The Parenting Section

    | NY, USA | Books & Reading, Family & Kids, Top

    (Two brothers start fighting over a toy in the Children’s Room. They aren’t listening to their mother, who is trying to select books to take home.)

    Me: “If you boys can’t share nicely with that toy, I’ll have to put it away so neither of you can play.”

    Boys: “Okay, miss [my name].”

    Mother: “Thank you. They never listen to me.”

    (The boys start fighting again. I go in and take the toy away, putting it up out of reach. The boys start crying in unison.)

    Boys: “Mommy!”

    Mother: *to me* “I can’t believe you really took it away! That’s so mean!”

    (She grabs the boys and they leave. I am speechless, but now I know why they never listen to their mother!)

    Checking In On Checking Out

    | Australia | Bad Behavior, Extra Stupid

    (A customer has been using a self-checking machine. Half way through, she decides she doesn’t want a certain book and takes it back to the shelves. I’ve been watching her, so I know that she has actually checked the book out to herself before putting it back on the shelf.)

    Me: “Excuse me! Can I just get that book from you, and I’ll check it back in? Don’t worry about shelving it; I’ll take care of that.”

    Customer: “No, no. I don’t want this.”

    Me: “I understand, but I just need to check it back in. Otherwise, it still appears as being out on your card.”

    Customer: “But I don’t want it.”

    Me: “I know. I understand. I’m not asking you to take it. I just want to check it in.”

    Customer: “Are you daft? I. Don’t. Want. This. Book.”

    Me: “Right. Look. If you don’t let me check this book in now, in four weeks time you are going to receive a letter informing you that this book is overdue.”

    Customer: “No, I won’t. I haven’t borrowed it.”

    Me: “Yes you have!”

    Customer: “I don’t understand how someone as stupid as you got a job here. See those?” *points to security gates*Those are what check the books out to me. If I don’t carry the book through there, they aren’t on my card. Get it?!”

    Me: *giving up* “You’re too right, ma’am. Sorry to have bothered you.”

    (She leaves with a smug look on her face. Then I pick up the book and carry it out to my desk.)

    Coworker: “You aren’t going to check that in, are you?”

    Me: “H*** no.”

    (Sure enough, five weeks later the customer comes in ranting and raving about ‘never having borrowed that book’. I bring it out from my desk and put it in front of her.)

    Me: *shrugs* “Is this the book?”

    Customer: “F***ing b****.”

    Graded A For Audacity

    | Melbourne, VIC, Australia | Crazy Requests, Top

    Customer: “Why won’t anyone help me?!”

    Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, I didn’t see you. What can I do for you?”

    Customer: “I’m a student, and I have an essay due in two days.”

    Me: “Okay, well what can I do for you? Do you need some research material?”

    Customer: “Research material?”

    Me: “Yes, like books, or websites, maybe news paper articles?”

    Customer: “No, I need you to type up my essay.”

    Me: “We don’t actually offer that service, but I can certainly find you a computer to use to type it up.”

    Customer: “Fine.”

    (I set the customer up on our word processing computer and give her some extra time to make sure she can get the essay finished. I then move away to continue working.)

    Customer: *at the top of her voice again* “Excuse me! What are you doing?”

    Me: “Did you need some help?”

    Customer: “You haven’t even started my essay and you’ve walked away!”

    Me: “Wait… are you asking me to actually write your essay for you?”

    Customer: “Yes!”

    Me: “No, I can’t do that. You have to do your own essay, I’m afraid.”

    Customer: “This library is horrible!” *storms out*

    (Things didn’t end there; after leaving the library, the customer spent half an hour outside in the car park, screaming at people not to go inside!)

    Judging A Book Search By Its Cover

    | USA | Bad Behavior

    (I’m a volunteer at my local library. I see a woman looking at our Young Adult section with a confused look on her face.)

    Me: “Excuse me, can I help you find anything?”

    Customer: *rudely* “Ugh, yes, finally! Someone is here to help. I’ve been searching for 15 minutes for a book for my daughter. She’s been wanting to read it for ages!”

    Me: “Well, if you can just give me the title and the author I can check if we have it in right now or if it’s currently checked out.”

    Customer: “Thank god someone’s doing their job around here. It’s [name of book] by [author].”

    (Before I even start typing, I realize why she isn’t finding the book, but I’ve barely begun explaining before she cuts me off.)

    Me: “Oh, I see what the problem is—”

    Customer: “Aren’t you even going to look up the book!? Every time I’ve come here, you people are incompetent! I can’t believe they pay you people any money at all!”

    Me: “Well, actually miss, I don’t receive a salary because I’m a volunteer and—”

    Customer: “Are you kidding me!? It’s no wonder you’ve been no help!”

    Me: “Actually, ma’am, I know where the book you’re looking for is.”

    Customer: “What? I can’t believe this! You little brat! What are you trying to do, waste my entire day?”

    Me: “No, I’m very sorry to inconvenience you, but I’ve tried to tell you where the book is twice when, both times, you interrupted me.”

    Customer: “You little b****! That’s it! I’m leaving and I won’t ever be checking out any more books! Without me, you’ll go out of business! I’ll just go get the f***ing book at [chain bookstore]. We’ll see how you like that, huh!”

    (At this point, the customer storms out of the library. Hearing the lady cursing and yelling, the library manager comes out of his office asking what happened. I explain the situation.)

    Manager: “Well, where is the book? How did you know where it was without looking it up in the system?”

    Me: “I’m the one who checked it out.”


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