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    Keep The Paranoia, Keep The Stress

    | Florida, USA |

    (Our tea store hands out free samples in the mall in small two ounce cups to people walking by the store. An older woman walks by one day.)

    Me: “Would you like to try some tea, ma’am?”

    Customer: *smiling* “Why yes! I love tea! What flavors do you have?”

    Me: “Well, I have a relaxing green tea, and…”

    (At this point the woman’s expression changes and she cuts me off mid-sentence, waving her hand in my face.)

    Customer: “Oh forget it! I don’t want to relax! Forget it! You should be ashamed!” *storms off*

    Butthead, The Incontinence Years

    | Loveland, CO, USA |

    (I notice a customer is standing in front of a freezer. After remaining there for several minutes, I get concerned.)

    Me: “Sir, can I help you?”

    (At this point, I notice that he’s urinated in the freezer. The customer turns around, zips up his fly, and then pulls his shirt over his head.)

    Customer: “I AM CORNHOLIO! I NEED TP FOR ME BUNGHOLE!” *runs away*

    Coworker: “They don’t pay us enough for this.”

    Betsy Ross 2.0

    | Pleasant Hill, CA, USA | Top

    (A customer has been staring doubtfully at one of our wall maps of the United States. I witness him frowning speculatively and then counting each state slowly.)

    Me: “Sir, can I help you with anything?”

    Customer: “It seems your map of the U.S. is out of date. There aren’t enough states.”

    Me: “Hmm. That’s odd. Let me see.”

    (I examine the map, but can find nothing amiss.)

    Me: “Nope, it looks perfect to me. Is there something I’m missing?”

    Customer: “Yeah, there’s only fifty states on this map.”

    Me: “That’s correct.”

    Customer: “But there are fifty-two states. Alaska and Hawaii were fifty-one and fifty-two. They’re on the map; I just can’t figure out which ones are missing…”

    Me: “…none of them are missing, sir. The United States has only fifty states. Look, we have flags too. For every state, there’s a star.”

    (He proceeds to count every star on the flag. In disgust, he puts the flag away.)

    Customer: “Your flags are out of date too! I’m telling you there are fifty-two states in the USA! You need to update your merchandise and learn about your country!” *storms out*

    Cute Question, Catastrophic Consequences

    | Toronto, ON, Canada |

    (I am of Eastern European descent and many languages from that area have similarities. Two women come to my counter speaking a language I can somewhat understand.)

    Me: “Good day! Can I ask where you’re from? I can understand a few of the words you were saying.”

    Customer: “Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from ***, part of former Yugoslavia.”

    Customer: “Guess where I’m from!”

    Me: “Oh no, I can’t.¬†I’m pretty bad at guessing that sort of thing.”

    Customer: “Guess!”

    Me: “No, no.¬†I’ll get it wrong. Nevermind.”

    Customer: “Just guess! Who cares if you get it wrong?”

    Me: “I don’t want to insult you if I’m really off in guessing.”

    Customer: “Just try!¬†I’m not going to get mad!”

    Me: “Okay, are you from Serbia?”

    Customer: ¬†angrily* “Serbia?! I should beat you for such an insult!”

    When ‘Geography For Dummies’ Is A Step Up

    | Bangor, ME, USA |

    (A customer called to check on the status of a mail order she mailed a week prior. I mentioned that mail orders are sent to Albany, NY.)

    Customer: “Where are you?”

    Me: “I am in Bangor, Maine.”

    Customer: “Oh. Is that in New York?”

    Me: “No. It’s… Bangor, Maine.” pause “Bangor is a city in the state of Maine.”

    Customer: “Really? Where is Maine?”

    Me: “It’s northeast of New York. It is the most northeastern state in the country. It borders New Hampshire to the east.”

    Customer: “It borders what?”

    Me: “New Hampshire.” *long pause* “New Hampshire is also a state.”

    Customer: “…huh. Never heard of it.”

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