Category: History

Customers who don’t remember history are not only doomed to repeat it, but in some of these stories, to completely rewrite it!


You’ve Been Benched

| MA, USA | History, Tourists/Travel

(I work at a historic site in Massachusetts, and we have strict no-touching rules. The customer had just purchased admission.)

Me: “All right, now, before you head in, just a reminder not to touch any of the furniture inside, as the pieces are several hundred years old.”

(The customer gives a noncommittal grunt before going into the site. Not five minutes later, I look inside and see him sitting on an 18th century bench, which I should add, has a rope across it to stop people from sitting on it.)

Me: “Sir, I’m sorry, but you can’t sit there.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “The furniture pieces here are historic, and we can’t have visitors sitting on them.”

Customer: “Well, if you don’t want people sitting on the furniture, you should inform them before they pay!”


Should Have Been More Frank(lin)

| USA | Extra Stupid, History

(I work at a presidential home, and in our gift shop we have a fandex that lists all the presidents to date. As I was ringing up a customer, this happened.)

Woman: *looking at fandex* “George Washington wasn’t a president!”

Me: *struggles to keep a straight face as she argues about this with her companion and eventually comes to the conclusion that she meant Benjamin Franklin*



, | FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, History, Popular, Religion

(I’m slicing meat for a customer. I notice he’s wearing a shirt with a cartoon leprechaun flipping the middle finger and holding a half-empty glass of beer.)

Me: “Nice shirt.”

Customer: “Oh, this? Yeah, I’m Irish, so…”

Me: “I kinda figured.”

Customer: “What about you?”

Me: “Well, my ancestors were mostly German—”

(Suddenly the customer stomps his feet together, stands at attention, and does the Nazi salute.)


Me: “—Jews. German Jews.”

Customer: “Oh.”


Being Very Frank About It

| Kansas City, MO, USA | Books & Reading, History

Customer: “Do you have the Diary of Anne Frank?”

Me: “Of course. It’s in the Military History section in Holocaust studies. I can take you there.”

Customer: “Why is it in the Military history section? That is a disgrace. It should be in Memoirs section!”

Me: “Well, yes, it could go there, but we try to be as specific as possible with memoirs and diaries to help customers find what they are looking for. We also have presidential memoirs in American history, and celebrities memoirs in performing arts.”

Customer: “That is ridiculous! How rude!”

(The customer stormed out. I found out later that this customer later returned to the store and moved all of our copies of the Diary of Anne Frank to the Memoirs section. Apparently she felt very strongly!)


She’s Saigon Crazy

| Rio Grande, NJ, USA | Bizarre, Geography, History

(After assisting an elder woman pick out a watch from our display case, I proceed to take her to my register to ring up the rest of her order. I scan the watch first then go to put it in a bag when she stops me.)

Customer: “Oh, could I put that in my purse instead?”

Me: “Sure.” *hands her the watch*

Customer: *takes a closer look at the box, then frowns* “Oh. Oh this is made in China. I can’t buy this.”

Me: “That’s fine. I’ll just take it off then.”

(I remove the watch from the transaction and continue scanning her items.)

Customer: *continuing* “I only buy American you see. Or if I can’t, I’ll get it for lots of money off.”

(The last item she has is a medium sized ceramic pot. As I scan it I look inside it.)

Me: “It’s made in Vietnam, ma’am.”

Customer: *thinks this over, and then smiles* “Oh, that’s okay, then. My husband shot lots of people over there. Besides, I’m only going to use it for flowers anyway.”

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