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  • This Round He Lost (In Translation), Part 4
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    For Battery Or Worse

    | Leesburg, VA, USA |

    (A woman and her young son walk in with a small magnetic whiteboard with a detachable marker.)

    Customer: “I’d like to return this please, but I don’t have the receipt.”

    Me: “Sure, no problem.”

    (When I try to process the return, the whiteboard doesn’t show up in our system. I take a closer look and realize that it doesn’t come from our store.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I can’t return this for you. It isn’t our product.”

    Customer: *angrily* “What! Don’t be ridiculous. I bought it from here! I’m sure!”

    (Sensing a potential problem, I call my manager over. He looks at the whiteboard.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, this brand belongs to [competitor]. I worked there for seven years; trust me.”

    Customer: “No! I only ever shop here!”

    Manager: “I’m sorry, but this isn’t our product.”

    (The customer refuses to believe us. She forces us to call the store branch she claims she bought it from and pull their records to try and find her purchase. Half an hour later, she’s still arguing with us and her son is looking increasingly embarrassed.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, I assure you that this product does not come from our store. Look.”

    (He goes to the computer and pulls up our competitor’s website. He clicks on a list of their brand names, which include the one printed on the whiteboard.)

    Customer: *angrily* “But I never shop at [competitor]! I get everything here!”

    (Suddenly the customer’s son speaks up.)

    Customer’s Son: “Wait, mom, didn’t we go there to buy batteries a couple weeks ago?”

    (The customer’s anger dissipates and she gets an embarrassed look on her face.)

    Customer: “Oh… right…” *looks at us* “Well, how was I supposed to remember that?!”

    Welcome To Scoff-Fuss Depot

    | Westminster, CO, USA | Bizarre

    (A male customer comes in looking for the copiers to enlarge a photo. I assist him with his copies and then return to my register. The customer continues to browse the baskets by the register.)

    Customer: *holds up a flashlight* “What’s this?”

    Me: “That’s a flashlight, sir.”

    Customer: *holds up a packet of Post-its* “What’s this?”

    Me: “Those are Post-it flags. They have adhesive on the back of one end so you can use them to mark pages in books.”

    Customer: “Adhesive, huh? Sure…” *gives me a knowing smile*

    Me: *confused*

    Customer: *holds up some speakers* “So, what are these? Little TVs?”

    Me: “No, sir…those are speakers.”

    Customer: *looks slightly alarmed* “Speakers? For what?”

    Me: “For a computer, sir.”

    Customer: *rolls eyes* “Computers! You know, I feel terrible for leaving here without a present for the grandkids, but EVERYTHING you sell these days is poison or dynamite! It’s not SAFE!” *storms out of the store*

    Single-Handedly Stupid

    | California, USA | Extra Stupid

    Me: “How are you doing? Did you find everything all right?”

    Customer: “No, I was looking for left-handed writing instruments, but apparently, you don’t have them. I guess I’ll have to take my business somewhere else. I feel bad for my son, though. He has been suffering.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I believe that all pencils and pens work for both right-handed and left-handed people.”

    Customer: “Then, why is he suffering? He says his hand hurts every time he writes! You don’t understand!”

    Me: “I am left-handed. I have been using the same pencils and pens as everyone else, and never had a problem.”

    Customer: “I don’t like your tone! You are so disrespectful and unsympathetic! I want to speak to your manager!”

    He Sees You When You’re Sleeping

    | Coon Rapids, MN, USA |

    (It’s about a week before Christmas. A man who is in the camera section for literally three hours finally comes up to be rung up. He is just buying a few office things. I say the regular things that we say to each customer and in the middle it turns weird.)

    Customer: “Have you been a good girl this year?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Would you be on Santa’s naughty or nice list?”

    Me: *feeling uncomfortable* “I am sorry, I don’t know what you are talking about.”

    Customer: “Did you ask Santa for a special toy this year?”

    Me: “Since I am not a child, no, I did not ask for a toy.”

    (I think he realizes his weird questions aren’t getting anywhere, so he is quiet for the moment. When I am done with the transaction I mumble for him to have a nice day.)

    Customer: “I hope Santa brings you a very special toy this year. You’re a very good girl!”

    Ma Earth Thanks You Anyway

    | Baltimore, MD, USA |

    (When I ring out customers with small items or few things, I ask if they want a plastic bag in the interest of not wasting one on something small.)

    Me: “And did you want a bag for your pen, sir?”

    Customer: “No, thanks. I just want the receipt. Save the tree.”

    Me: *looks questioningly* “Sir, the bag is plastic. It doesn’t come from trees.”

    Customer: “Whatever. Something about dolphins and the Amazon…” *walks out*


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