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    Past The Point Of No Return, Part 2

    | Tampa, FL, USA | Books & Reading, Technology

    (I have reserved an audio-book at the library and have come in to get it. I am looking at other books, when another customer runs up to me and grabs my reserved books—which still have my name on it—out of my hands.)

    Customer: “Oh, my goodness! I have been looking everywhere for this one!”

    (She starts to walk away from me with the audio-book in her hand.)

    Me: “Um, ma’am. That’s my audio-book. I reserved it.”

    Customer: “Why do you have to be so greedy! I want this book! It’s not yours; it doesn’t have your name on it!”

    Me: *pointing to the large sticker with my name on it* “Actually, it is!”

    (The customer scoffs, and tears the sticker off.)

    Customer: “There! Now it’s not! Thanks for the book!”

    (She storms off to the self check-out counter, and then starts screaming when it won’t let her check the book out. A librarian comes over to find out what the screaming is all about. I stand just behind her.)

    Librarian: “What seems to be the problem?”

    Customer: “There is something wrong with this machine! It won’t let me check this audio-book out!”

    Me: “Actually there is nothing wrong with the machine. That’s my book that she stole out of my hands. I reserved it over a week ago!”

    (The librarian turns to me, obviously not paying attention to what I was saying.)

    Librarian: “Ma’am, please wait your turn.”

    Customer: “I want this book! This girl tried to take it from me! She’s too young to be reading a book like this! It’s too big for her!”

    (The librarian takes the audio-book from the lady and asks to see her library card. After trying to check the book out and it giving her a fail message a few times, she ‘deems’ the book broken, and therefore not able to check out. She starts to walk away with the audio-book, when I stop her.)

    Me: “May I try something real quick?”

    (The librarian shrugs and hands me the audio-book.)

    Customer: “It won’t work! Are you stupid, little girl? She just said that it was broken.”

    (Within seconds, I scan my library card and the audio-book. It checks out with no issues.)

    Librarian: “Well that was interesting! Why didn’t it have your name on the side?”

    Customer: “Oh! I thought she did that herself. She looked like a greedy little girl that felt the need to put her name on everything!”

    Me: “Well ma’am, like I told you, I reserved the book. And by the way, I am almost 30. I am in no way a little girl, and even when I was a little girl I loved to read ‘big books’.”

    (I turn to the librarian.)

    Me: “It did have my name on it, but she tore it off and threw it at me.”

    Customer: “So… can I have that book now?”

    Librarian and Me: *at the same time* “NO!”

    Related:
    Past The Point Of No Return

    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!)

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