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    The Gift Of Friendship

    | NY, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

    Customer: “I am going to pay with a gift card.”

    Me: “Okay, swipe it there.”

    Customer: *swipes gift card*

    Me: “Would you like me to take the gift card for you? There’s nothing left on it.”

    Customer: “No, I like to keep them on my desk.”

    Me: “Okay…”

    Customer: “I keep them on my desk because when I invite my friends over, I see who’s really my friend. If the gift card is still there when they leave, they are a true friend. If not, I know to have a shotgun waiting for them when they come back!”

    Me: “… Good idea?”

    Now Has Self-Scanning Under Their Belt

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology, Theme Of The Month

    (I am working the self-scans when I see a customer put some grapes on the electronic scale and enter the produce number.)

    Self-Scan: “Place your item on the belt.”

    (The customer leaves the grapes on the scale.)

    Self Scan: “If you wish to purchase this item, please place it on the belt.”

    (The customer still keeps the grapes on the scale.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items and try again.”

    (After the self-scan says this, the customer takes the grapes off the scale and places it on the belt. The customer then tries to scan another item but nothing happens.)

    Self-Scan: “Please remove all items from the front belt.”

    (The customer takes the grapes off the belt, places them on the scale and re-enters the produce. Once again, when the customer is told to move her item to the belt, she leaves it on the scale. She then takes the grapes from the scale and places it on the belt. Confused about what is happening, she calls me over.)

    Me: “Yes, ma’am. How may I help you?”

    Customer: “I keep trying to purchase these grapes but every time I put them on the belt, it tells me to take it off.”

    (I put the customer’s grapes on the scale, enter the produce number, and place them on the belt when I’m told.)

    Customer: “What did you do?”

    Me: “I entered your grapes, weighed them, and placed them on the belt when told to.”

    Customer: “But that’s what I did.”

    Me: “Actually, what you did was put them on the belt after the self-scan told you to remove them.”

    Customer: “So when do I put them on the belt?”

    Me: “The first time it tells you to.”

    Customer: “So when the self-scan tells me to put something on the belt, that’s when I do it?”

    Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

    Customer: “You learn something new every day!”

    Oh, Boy!

    | New Zealand | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Top

    (I’m working the checkout on a fairly light day. The next person in queue has a young girl with her, about six or seven years old. The girl pulls out a hat from her pocket and puts it on, then reaches for an energy drink on display.)

    Mum: “Sweetie, you can’t have that. They’re not good for you.”

    (The girl’s face and shoulders drop as she is visibly and suddenly deflated. She takes off her hat and puts the can back.)

    Girl: “But mum… I was Mikey! He has them all the time! How did you know it was me? Mikey told me when I wear his hat you would think I was him and would let me buy it, and wouldn’t know it was me.”

    Mum: “Oh, sweetie, I’m your mummy. I would recognize you anywhere, no matter whose hat you were wearing.”

    (The girl calms down, but is still upset. As her mother and I exchange pleasantries, the girl puts the hat back on and pulls it down low over her face, but I can still see her lips trembling.)

    Me: “What a lovely boy you have there, ma’am. He looks really big and strong.”

    (The girl cranes her neck up to look at me under the low visor, her eyes huge and shining.)

    Me: “Hi, young man. What’s your name?”

    Girl: *smiling and trying to fake a deeper voice* “Mikey! Mikey! Michael.”

    Me: “That’s a great name, son. You take good care of your mum there, okay?”

    (She nods gravely, completely happy and satisfied. As they walk out, I hear the girl’s tiny voice.)

    Girl: “Mummy, mummy, I knew it! I knew it would work! Mikey said it would! Do you think daddy would know it’s me, too?”

    (The mother turns and gives me a thankful smile and a wink before leaving.)

    Accentuating The Problem, Part Deux

    | RI, USA | At The Checkout, Bigotry, Language & Words

    (I’m from a region that has a very unique and distinct accent. Despite having lived in the region for my entire life, I do not speak with the accent. My lack of regional accent and the unusual spelling of my first name will often lead to customers asking me where I’m from.)

    Me: “Can I help you with anything else?”

    Customer: “Yes, your accent and name are interesting. Where are you from?”

    Me: “I’m from this state.”

    Customer: “No, no. You misunderstood me. Where were you born?”

    Me: “I was born in this state.”

    Customer: “That can’t be! You don’t talk like you’re from this state and I’ve never seen that spelling of your name! Stop lying to me and tell my where you’re really from!”

    Me: “Sir, I’m telling you the truth. I was born here but I grew up in a Francophone family which is why I don’t have the typical regional accent.”

    Customer: “You’re definitely not from around here if you’re from a whatever-you-called-it family! I want you to tell me where you’re really from!”

    (Finally fed up with the customer keeping me from my work I give up trying to argue with him.)

    Me: “All right. I’m from Quebec, Canada.”

    Customer: “See, was that so hard? You speak very good English for someone from Quebec. You must have studied hard. Have a nice day, mademoiselle!”

    Related:
    Accentuating The Problem

    Easy To Label The Problem Customers

    , | Erie, PA, USA | Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (Instead of repeatedly having to tell customers prices, we have case tags with the name and price listed in front of each product. A customer walks up and I go up to the counter to greet him.)

    Me: “Hello! What can I get you today?”

    Customer: “Yes, hello. I would like a half pound of this bologna.”

    (He walks over to the case that has several different kinds of bologna in it. The case tags are clearly labeled in front of each product. I politely ask again which product he wanted.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, sir, which one did you want? We have [Name Brand #1], [Name Brand #2], and [Name Brand #3].”

    Customer: “This one.”

    Me: “Sir, I can not see which one you’re pointing to.”

    (The man starts to glare at me. He points once again.)

    Customer: “THIS… ONE…”

    (Finally giving up on the hope he’ll actually say brand of bologna he wants, I walk around the counter to the front.)

    Me: “I apologize. Which one did you want?”

    (Without speaking, he points to the bologna he wanted.)

    Me: “Oh, the [Brand Name] beef bologna.”

    Customer: “YES! I’ve been pointing to THAT one.”

    (I slice the desired amount of meat for the gentleman and thank him for shopping with us. My coworker then walks up to me.)

    Coworker: “That’s okay… I had someone completely ignore the label and ask for the white circle cheese.”


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