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    It’s Going To Be A Hooray Kind Of Day

    | Columbus, OH, USA | Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I volunteer regularly at a big science museum in Columbus, which has everything divided up into different ‘worlds.’ The world I work in is set up as ruins on a mysterious island, where you have to go around solving puzzles in order to ‘wake up’ statues and eventually enter the main tower. It’s a slow morning and the only guests are a mother and her kids, one about six months and the other about three.)

    Mother: “What do you see when you wake up, [son]?”

    Son: “Umm…”

    Mother: “If you stand there and look straight up, what do you see?”

    Son: *looks around, then down at his shoes* “Umm…”

    Me: *cheerfully* “Up at the sky!”

    (I raise my hands up and wave them around a little, trying to encourage him to look up. Eventually he does and his face lights up.)

    Son: “A snake!”

    Mother: “Hooray!”

    Me: “Hooray!”

    Son: “Hooray for me!”

    (They proceed around the rest of the area with the mother gently directing her toddler through each puzzle. I’m meant to stay in my assigned area, but every once in a while I hear a little voice pipe up with ‘hooray for me!’)

    They Don’t Know Jack

    | London, England UK | Extra Stupid, History, Movies & TV

    (While working at an artefact exhibit for the RMS Titanic, I am standing by a list of all passengers and crew on board. The list is broken down by class and survived or lost. )

    Customer: “This list is wrong. I can’t seem to find Rose’s or Jack’s name.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Rose DeWitt-Bukater, and Jack Dawson. I looked everywhere in the list, and they’re not there.”

    Me: “No, they wouldn’t be.”

    Customer: “Well that’s stupid. Rose should be in the first class list, and Jack should be in the third class. This is wrong.”

    Me: “Because they’re not real.”

    Customer: “No, I’m pretty sure they were.”

    Me: “And I’m definitely sure they were not.”

    Customer: “Well in the movie—”

    Me: “In the MOVIE, Rose gives them a fake name and tells them she’s in third class. She would be listed as Rose Dawson if she existed. And Jack won his ticket in the first ten minutes of the movie, so his name would have not been on a record anywhere, which the movie pointed out in the first five minutes. And it’s a movie.”

    Customer: “Next you’re going to tell me the Heart Of The Ocean is fake too!”

    Me: “Yes, I am.”

    Customer: “Then what did I spend £20 on? What a waste of money!”

    E Pluribus Dumbum, Part 2

    | Berkshire, England, UK | Extra Stupid, History

    (Our museum has a big display of Roman materials. I’m sitting in the second room: a room full of mosaics. Next door is the first room: a room full of Roman tools. We have an example of almost every Roman tool I’ve ever seen. A lady and her daughter walk out of the first room, into the second.)

    Daughter: “How did they make all of these things, mummy?”

    Lady: “All of them BY HAND! The Romans had NO tools!”

    Related:
    E Pluribus Dumbum

    Bigots Don’t Get A Discount

    | Germany | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Theme Of The Month

    (I work at the ticket office of a museum. Tickets are €4 for children, and €6 for adults. We also have a family ticket for €17. A mother with two children comes in.)

    Customer: “I’d like a family ticket for me and my kids.”

    Me: “Ma’am, it’d actually be cheaper to buy three separate tickets.”

    Customer: “Are you trying to tell me we’re not a family just because I’m a single mum? I can’t believe you’re discriminating against single parents!”

    Me: “I’d never. In fact, I was raised by a single mother myself.”

    Customer: “What if a gay couple came in with two children? Would you give them a family ticket?”

    Me: “Yes, I would, because it’s a better deal for them.”

    Customer: “So, those fancy rainbow families get a discount, but a hard-working single mum of two who can hardly make ends meet doesn’t?”

    (Before I can respond, the customer grabs her children and storms off.)

    Discrimi(nation)

    | Canada | Bigotry, History, Theme Of The Month, Tourists/Travel

    (I work at a museum which features a large permanent exhibit of local First Nations artefacts, living spaces, and other historical paraphernalia. Because of this, we offer free admission to First Nations patrons. I have just finished printing tickets for two First Nations women. The next woman in line is Caucasian.)

    Woman: “Did they just get in for free?”

    Me: “Yes.”

    Woman: “Why?”

    Me: “They’re First Nations. We offer free admission to those with status cards.”

    Woman: “But that’s outrageous! I have to play $15, and they get in free just because they’re lazy natives?”

    Me: “Ma’am—”

    Woman: “It’s not our fault they spend all their money on booze and can’t afford the museum! Why should they get in for free?”

    Me: “Ma’am! This museum features artefacts that were at one time stolen from the local bands. They are now put on display in exhibits of cultural history, of which the museum now makes a profit. You think we should charge the members of the culture it was stolen from to come see it?”

    Woman: “Yes!”


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