Best Of The Decade! 2016

| Right | December 20, 2019

Dear readers,

Welcome back to our walk through the last decade of Not Always Right! We had some fun with 2015 yesterday, today we tackle 2016, the year that we lost Harambe but gained a meme, President Trump became a reality, and the word Brexit became part of the lexicon, never to leave…

It was also the year we published the following highest-voted stories of the year. Enjoy!

 

10. Out Shopping For A New Friend

Neighbors | UK

(I am a teenage Chinese male, but was born and raised in Scotland, so I have the local accent and cultural awareness. For as long as I can remember, a grumpy old woman has lived on the other side of the street. She would moan and scowl at most passersby, but is mostly harmless. I am leaving my house for football practise, when I notice the old lady get off the bus with what looks like heavy shopping bags.)

Me: “Excuse me, would you like me to help you with your shopping?”

(The old lady just stops and stares at me for a moment, like a deer in headlights.)

Me: “I know you only live down the road, but those look heavy.”

(The old lady is still staring, but wordlessly hands me her bags. I take them and we slowly walk towards her house.)

Me: “Wow, you seem to have a lot in here. Are you planning a feast?”

(My efforts of small talk don’t seem to get anywhere, so we walk slowly in silence, until we get to her front door.)

Me: “If you’d like, I can take these to your kitchen for you?”

(At this point she finally speaks.)

Old Lady: “How long have you been able to speak English?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Old Lady: “Your English. It’s almost like you’re a local.”

Me: “That’s because I am. I was born in Dundee.”

Old Lady: “All this time, I thought you couldn’t speak English.”

Me: “Well, I guess we just never spoke to each other until now.”

Old Lady: “No, I suppose we didn’t.”

(She then opens her front door, and gestures for me to take her bags inside. Straight away, I can tell that this old lady might not be able to take care of herself very well, as the house is a bit of a mess, and the kitchen surfaces are dirty and sticky. The old lady seems a little embarrassed so I don’t make anything of it.)

Me: “Right, let me know where you want me to put your shopping.”

(I put the things away for her, making small talk. She says she’s seen me grow up over the years but just assumed because we are Chinese we don’t speak English and don’t associate with ‘locals.’ I am able to correct a few of her misconceptions, too. I finally put the last of her shopping away.)

Me: “Okay, that should be everything.”

Old Lady: “Would you like to stay for a cup of tea?”

(I’m about to mention that I will be late for my football practise, but the look in her eyes and the tone of her voice indicates that she probably hasn’t shared a cup of tea with anyone for a long time.)

Me: “You know what? A cup of tea sounds fantastic.”

(And for the first time in my entire life of knowing this grumpy old woman on my street, I see her smile.)

Old Lady: “Oh, lovely! I’ll get out the good biscuits!”

(For the next hour we chatted some more and got to know each other. She was a widow in her seventies who had lived alone for the last sixteen years, and didn’t make friends easily. From this one hour chat, we established an ongoing plan where I would go to the local supermarket with her once a week to help with the shopping and come back for a cup of tea, and I helped out around the house to keep it clean and tidy. We invited her over to our house for every birthday, Christmas, and even Chinese New Year, which she found very interesting, although the food may have been a little too spicy for her! We remained friends for ten years until her death, where my entire family attended her funeral, much to the surprise of her family, who hadn’t visited her once in the last decade. She will always be a close friend I will remember for the rest of my life.)

9. Travelled North Of Your Nice Level

Retail | Canada

(My friend is running a cash register in the express queue. There are usually at least two very clear signs posted about how many items you can bring into the queue. Normally we don’t say anything unless it’s busy or someone is way over the limit. We aren’t allowed to kick them out of line, but we have to tell them at the end of the order that they aren’t supposed to come through the queue. My friend is ringing through someone who has way too many items.)

Friend: “There you go! And just so you’re aware, this is the express lane, and we reserve this line-up for people with 12 items or fewer.”

Customer: *angrily* “Well, I didn’t know.”

Friend: “That’s fine, but we do have signs posted at the entrance to the line-up to let people know.”

Customer: *condescendingly* “Well, I’m American.”

Friend: *wide-eyed* “Oh, my god. I didn’t realise the education system in the US was so bad! They don’t teach you to read?”

Customer: *flustered* “I thought Canadians were supposed to be nice!”

Friend: *cheerily* “Nope! We’re supposed to be polite. Have a nice day!”

(The customer didn’t say another word.)

 

8. Mistaking The Missus For The Mistress

Restaurant | USA

(A waitress friend of mine has a couple who regularly comes in and jokes a lot together. One day, the man comes in with a different woman. This occurs as she’s getting ready to give them their check.)

Waitress: “You come back soon!”

Male customer: “I will.”

Waitress: *joking* “Oh, and you better be careful or I’ll have to tell your wife you were here with another woman.”

Female customer: “I am his wife. Who has he been here with?”

Waitress: “…I’ll take care of your check now.”

 

7. Fighting For Those Who Cannot

Coffee Shop | USA

(I work two jobs in the same mall, a very large shopping center whose customers are almost always extremely rich. I have just ordered a drink at one of our coffee shops and am waiting for it. I’m unusually kind to the employees because I know from experience that their job sucks. There’s an uppity rich lady waiting for her drink too.)

Barista: “White mocha frap!”

Customer #1: *picks it up and shakes it angrily at the barista* “Is this a caramel frappucino? I didn’t order this! Why didn’t you get my order right?”

Customer #2: “Sorry, that’s mine!” *takes the cup*

(Customer #1 does this with two more cups. The barista’s being patient, but I’d had it.)

Me: “Lady, will you calm your t**s? I’m looking over the counter. Look, he’s making your drink right now.”

Customer #1: *sarcastic* “Oh, I’m sorry! Are you [Coffee Company]’s stockholder? Are you their business agent?”

Me: “No, I work in retail and I deal with b****’s like you all day, and since he doesn’t get to yell at you, I’ll do his share. Shut up already! There are other customers besides you.”

Customer #1: “Excuse me! I have been waiting here for forty-five minutes—”

Me: “Oh, bull-s***. I’ve never waited more than three minutes here for a drink even at their busiest, and I’ve seen all of five customers besides you today. Look, when you work for a living instead of just spending all of your husband’s money on s*** you don’t need, THEN you can yell at this guy. Until then, do us a favor and shut up!”

(She proceeds to screech unintelligibly at me for half a minute, until suddenly her drink shows up. She then tramps off with her bags. When my drink is called, I am confused to see a large instead of a medium cup.)

Me: “Oh, sorry, I only ordered a medium—”

Barista: “No, you didn’t.”

(Sometimes it’s the little things.)

 

6. Being Nice Isn’t In Her ‘Lexi’-con

Vet | USA

(I work at a local veterinarian office as a part time handler and assistant. On one of my days off I bring my own dog in to get her checked. It is fairly crowded, so I take my dog over to an unoccupied corner to wait. A few minutes later a woman comes in literally dragging a young Boxer puppy through the door on a choke chain.)

Woman: *stomps up to the counter* “There’s something wrong with my dog!”

Tech: “I’m sorry to hear that! Can I get your name and some information on your little pup there?”

Woman: *yanks on leash, making the pup yelp* “It won’t listen to me! I’m doing all the d*** commands that your trainer told me to, and it won’t do s***! I’m using your advice, so fix it!”

Tech: “Ma’am, please don’t use that language. Can you tell me your puppy’s name?”

Woman: “Lexi. It won’t even walk right! How the h*** am I supposed to breed this b**** if it can’t learn simple s*** like this?!”

(At this point the poor pup’s eyes are bulging out and she is panting very roughly as the woman waves her arms around and yanks on the lead. I’m not much a fan of people breeding dogs, period, but this woman’s total lack of concern for her pup is setting off all sorts of alarm bells for me. I hang my dog’s leash on one of the provided hooks, give her a ‘stay’ gesture, and quickly go over to help.)

Tech: *looking distressed at the swearing* “Oh! Ma’am, if you need help with dog behavior, this young woman can help you. She’s an off duty handler and one of our best.” *looks to me expectantly* Do you think you can work your magic?”

Me: *gives enraged woman a dead stare* “Not on this b****.”

Woman: “I told you! I don’t need some f****** hippie kid to train my dog! It obviously has something wrong in the head!”

Me: *points to leash* “May I?” *I take the leash without waiting and then plop down on the ground to loosen the chain so that the puppy can breathe* “Hey there lil’ Lexi. Man, that must have been scary. So many new sights and smells and noises! New people and even new, bigger versions of you! I’d be peeing myself, seriously.”

Woman: “What the f*** are you doing?!”

Me: *rubbing the now much more receptive pup on the head* “I’m training her. Now, Lexi, sweetie. I know this big mean b**** has been bad. But I can’t whack her with a newspaper, so let’s set her right, huh? Now, I know that having something around your neck is really scary. But if we don’t do this, then the person with you might get lost and losing your human is punishable by a fine. So do you think you want to try walking with me for a minute?”

(I make a show to the pup of loosening her chain and going into a crouch. Lexi also stands up from her sit and looks at me.)

Me: “All right! Let’s go!”

(I pop up and walk a few steps. Little Lexi stays right next to me and we do a circuit of the waiting room. I give her praise and encourage her to ‘show off to the big guys’ as we go past the other dogs. We come around to my dog, who sniffs the newcomer then goes back to lounging, disinterested. Seeing that they have no issue with each other, I hang the pup’s leash up with my dog’s and go back to the counter.)

Me: “And that is why you ask nicely.”

Woman: “You’re a witch!”

(The woman started screaming profanities at how I ‘hexed’ her dog. The lead vet came out at the commotion and after we explained the situation, she threw the woman out and reported her to the police. When we looked at the security tapes from outside we saw her kick the poor pup when it wouldn’t move from her car, and she was later arrested for animal abuse. My dad’s girlfriend agreed to raise lil’ Lexi and she is now a very happy, sweet dog with no issues on a leash.)

 

5. Stick A PIN In My Heart

Call Center | USA

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. My name is [My Name]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Hi, yes, I am trying to access my voicemail, but I don’t remember my PIN.”

Me: “Oh, that’s all right. Let’s get your account pulled up and we will see if we can update your PIN.”

(We get the account pulled up and I change his PIN for him. I always make sure things are working before I let my customers go.)

Me: “All right, if you would like to go ahead and call your voicemail and make sure the PIN works?”

(The customer does so and the line goes quiet for a few moments. When the customer finally speaks up, he is much quieter than before.)

Customer: “Thank you so much. My wife left me a voicemail to pick up some groceries a few months ago. She passed away last month. I just wanted to hear her voice one more time.”

Me: *sadly speechless*

 

4. Fighting For Three

Grocery Store | UK

(I’m eight months pregnant with twins and am massive. My weight has gone up to 13st and my belly is stretched beyond belief. I’m with my eldest daughter getting the last minute shopping as I’m being induced in a fortnight. I can’t move very fast and am having terrible mood swings. I’m pushing the trolley and my daughter is doing all the running around for me.)

Me: “Okay, nearly done. I need a rest.”

(I feel a trolley pushing into me from the back and turn to see an elderly man.)

Customer: “C’mon, fatty, get out of my way.”

Me: “Excuse me!”

Customer: “You heard. You should be ashamed of yourself. Making her do all the work just ’cause you’re too lazy to bother.”

Me: “Um, I’m pregnant, not fat and lazy. And please don’t push your trolley into me.”

Customer: “I’ll do as I see fit. I’m 70 years old and can still get my own shopping. I didn’t fight in the war just to watch fat slobs like you work your kids to the bone.”

(He then pushes the trolley into my thigh and hip.)

Me: “That’s it! Listen to me you miserable old b******. First of all, if you’re 70 you didn’t fight in any war. WWII ended in 1945; you would’ve been a baby. Secondly, I am obviously heavily pregnant and my daughter is helping as I can’t reach up or bend down. Thirdly, if you ram me with that trolley again I will do it back to you. Just because you’re old it doesn’t give you the right to be an a**-hole!”

Customer: “How dare you talk to me like that! I fought in the war; I could have died for our country!”

(He tried to push my trolley into me, but my daughter moved it. I’d had enough by then and decided to do it back to him. I pushed his trolley into him as he was holding onto it and backed him up to a display and trapped him there. Several people stop to look.)

Me: “Come on, then, you cantankerous old f***er! Not so tough now that the whole shop can see you. Still want to yell at the pregnant lady for being fat and lazy? Still want to ram a trolley into me while I’m carrying twins? I didn’t think so. See, I know you didn’t fight in a war. You’re a miserable, lonely old coward who can only feel better about themselves when they’re making others feel bad. Didn’t work on me, did it? What’s wrong, old man? Forgotten all the horrible things you said to me? Nothing mean to say now that I’m not some meek little woman?”

(I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn, still quite angry.)

Security Guard: “Maybe we can let him go now, ma’am. I think he’s been told off enough. My colleague will escort the gentleman out. May I suggest a complimentary drink and cake from our café?”

Me: *as sweet as sugar again* “Ooh, cake. That’s very kind. He was extremely rude.”

Security Guard: “I know, another customer told us and we could see everything on CCTV. How far along are you?”

Me: “I’m being induced in a fortnight. I have two 7lb-ers in here and I’ve had enough.”

Security Guard: “My wife had twins last year. The last trimester was the worst two and a half months of my life and I WAS in a war! I would’ve gladly gone back to Afghanistan to get away from her at times!”

(The elderly man was asked to leave and I and my (very embarrassed) daughter had a lovely piece of cake. And no, I didn’t feel bad about talking to a pensioner that way. Just because you’ve lived a long time, doesn’t mean you can be rude.)

 

3. Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 8

Medical Office | USA

(During first full week of Advanced Placement and IB tests of my junior year in high school I find myself struck with a particularly nasty illness called norovirus, which causes nearly non-stop vomiting and diarrhea. I am home alone, as my father is out the whole week for business, and I am taking the bus to and from school for exams. Since I knew I cannot miss any of these tests on such short notice, I manage to tough it out for four days, but at that point I have not been able to eat or drink anything that remains in my stomach for more than five minutes. Severely dehydrated and weak, I finally decide to go to a close-by clinic for IV fluids after school. Since they need a doctor on-site to legally be able to give fluids, I call ahead.)

Nurse: “Hello, [Clinic]. This is [Nurse]. How may I help you?”

Me: *very quietly as my throat has started to develop acid sores* “Hi… Do you have the… Do you do IV fluids?”

Nurse: “What’s that, sweetie? I didn’t quite catch that.”

Me: “I need IV fluids… I really need them.”

Nurse: “Unfortunately we don’t have a doctor with us right now, hun.” *I start crying, since at this point I’m worried I will not be able to get out of bed tomorrow for my next exam* “Sweetie, what’s the matter? Are you hurt?”

Me: “No… I think I got norovirus from that restaurant that was shut down last week and I’m home alone and I have my AP tests that I can’t miss and I haven’t been able to eat or drink anything for days and I’m getting too weak to do anything! I can’t go to the ER because my dad didn’t leave me enough money to cover anything and I really need to go to my exam tomorrow!”

Nurse: “All right, sweetie, give me one second.” *the line is silent for about five minutes* “Okay, hun, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to go out to you and pick you up, then we’re going to go to the [Clinic] downtown and get you your fluids. After that I’ll take you home and you give me your exam schedule. Is tomorrow your last day for exams until next week?”

Me: *shocked at her kindness* “Yes, ma’am.”

Nurse: “All righty. Then I’ll take you to your exam tomorrow morning and then we do need to check you into the hospital, all right, sweetie? Give me your address and I’ll be there in a few minutes. Call your dad and tell him what is going on, okay?”

(This nurse had negotiated with her supervisor to get the next two days off work so she could make sure I was taken care of and safe. After my exam the next day she picked me up and took me to the hospital, used a few personal favors to get me in quickly and hold off on payment, and stayed with me until my father could get there. We have since become good friends, and I am currently working on my own MD while volunteering at her clinic. This woman is why nurses really should rule the world!)

 

2. Don’t Have A Cow, Man

Farm | Australia

(I work on a cattle farm in a small town. I am checking fences on the quad bike when a small car drives up the dirt road next to the paddock I’m in. A couple gets out of a small car and walks up to me. This is just a farm; we do not handle customers, just send cattle to the marketplace. I have no retail experience and have had a very bad day and it’s almost quitting time.)

Boyfriend: “Hello there. We’re from [City] and we saw those small cows in the fields back there, and we were wondering if we could buy one?”

Me: “Sorry, mate, the calves aren’t for sale.”

Boyfriend: “But my girlfriend really wants one.”

Me: “Sorry, mate, we don’t sell ’em to people and besides, how would you get it back to your house?”

Boyfriend: “We put it in the boot.” *the trunk*

Me: “Wait, what? You put what in the boot?!”

Boyfriend: “The small cow…”

Me: “What the h***, man! You can’t do that!”

(I climb through the fence and make the couple open the boot. Inside is a week-old calf!)

Me: “Jesus, mate, how the f*** did you get it in there?!”

Boyfriend: “Well, that’s the other thing I wanted to talk about! It wasn’t easy at all; my girlfriend got kicked!

Girlfriend: *shows me her arm, bruise already starting to show* “It really hurts; I think we should get the cow for free.”

Me: “YOU’RE NOT GETTING THE CALF!”

Boyfriend: “That’s not fair! It was so hard to get; we didn’t even have time to close the gate again.”

Me: “You didn’t close the gate…”

Girlfriend: “No. Why?”

Me: *looks back down the road to see half the mob of cattle wandering towards us*

Me: “F***!”

(I grab the calf, which until this point hasn’t felt the need to move much for whatever reason, and place it on the ground. It immediately takes off towards the other cattle, bellowing for its mother.)

Boyfriend: “What the f*** did you that for, you f****** a**-hole! I should kick your a**! We are gonna find your boss and get you fired!”

Me: “Whatever. Just get lost!

(I race to the quad bike, start rounding up cattle, taking them back to the paddock before they get to the main roads. It takes about half an hour. When I get back to the shed the car is out the front and my boss is talking to the couple.)

Boss: “These two just told me the funniest story about you.” *he’s smiling, thinking this has to be a joke*

Me: *still fuming over what happened, begin yelling at the couple*

Boss: “Wait, this isn’t a joke?”

Boyfriend: “No, this isn’t a joke! Your employee is terrible!”

Boss: *takes a moment to process the whole thing, begins to get his angry face on, and I retreat to safe distance* “YOU’RE TELLING ME YOU TWO TRIED TO STEAL ONE OF MY CALVES?! GET THE H*** OFF THIS PROPERTY BEFORE I FIND A DEEP MINE-SHAFT I CAN THROW YOU IN!”

Couple: *shared look of terror on faces, they run to the car and speed off*

Boss: *after calming down* “Beer?”

Me: “God, yes.”

 

1. I Propose Kicking Him Out

Restaurant | USA

(I work at an upscale, very romantic restaurant. Valentine’s Day is our biggest night of the year; we’re booked solid for weeks in advance. It’s not uncommon for people to propose, so I’m not surprised when I see another waiter putting an engagement ring in a cake. A few moments later I hear the woman shrieking “yes!” and clapping. Another couple flags me down.)

Male Customer: “What’s happening over there?”

Me: “I think it was a proposal.”

Female Customer: “Oh, that is so romantic!”

Male Customer: *frowns at me* “You’d better cancel the champagne, then.”

Me: “Sir?”

Male Customer: *stabs at his plate* “You can forget the champagne and the strawberries. You’ve ruined the surprise now.”

(The female customer and I exchange looks.)

Me: “Sir?”

Male Customer: “You let that guy propose. I can’t propose now. I’ll look like I’m copying him!”

Female Customer: “Propose?!”

Male Customer: “Not anymore. These idiots ruined it! How could you let someone else propose!”

Me: “Sir, I had no idea you were going to propose.”

Male Customer: “Well, how are you going to compensate me for your mistake?”

Me: “Sir?”

Female Customer: “Honey, it’s not her fault.”

Male Customer: “They ruined our evening. This should have been magical. I demand to see the manager!”

(I go and get the manager. The couple are whispering back and forth and don’t look happy. Other customers and giving them anxious glances.)

Manager: “Sir, is there a problem?”

Male Customer: “Yes! You ruined my evening by letting that man propose!”

Manager: “Sir, we are not responsible for guest’s proposals.”

Male Customer: “Yes, you are! You knew I was going to propose and your staff let him do it first! And I can’t propose after him!”

Manager: “Sir, I don’t know what we could have done to prevent this. Our staff cannot tell people not to propose.”

Male Customer: *yelling* “Yes, you can! I reserved a proposal!”

(By now a lot of guests are staring.)

Manager: “Sir, please keep your voice down.”

Male Customer: “No! I will not be treated like this. You ruined my entire evening and now you’re acting like I’m the bad guy!”

Manager: “Sir, if you do not calm down I will ask to you leave.”

(The man begins yelling “ruined!” over and over again, and starts throwing his food on the floor. We end up calling the police to get him out. Throughout all of this his companion silently watches. As the police drag him out, still screaming she opens her purse and puts a wad of cash on the table.)

Female Customer: “That’s for saving me from a terrible marriage. Have a good evening.”

 

Previous ‘Best Of The Decade’ roundups can be found here!

2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010

Check back tomorrow, for our 2017 roundup!

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