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Hopefully, This Experience Sinks In

| Right | May 17, 2012

(Note: I’m a lifeguard at a large waterpark. A guest approaches my station.)

Guest: “Being a lifeguard is soooo easy! I mean really, you just sit there all day and whistle at people.”

Me: “Excuse me, but I need to watch the water. I can’t really talk right now.”

Guest: “Ugh, you’re kidding me, right?! You’re not doing anything!”

(At this point, a coworker—also a lifeguard—speaks up.)

Coworker: “Listen, we get paid minimum wage to save lives. We are out here all day, everyday making sure people like you don’t drown. This job is hard because, honestly, we have to save people like you, okay?”

Guest: *defeated* “Oh. Sorry.”

(The guest slinks away. I found out that later in the day he had to be rescued.)

Please Activate Your Brain While You’re At It

| Right | November 10, 2011

(I’m cashiering at a large department store. I have a customer who is really pushing my buttons by requesting different things in different bags and just being a pain in the butt. By the time she’s ready to pay, I just want her out of there.)

Me: “Ma’am, your card was declined. You can try it again though, if you like.”

Customer: “Wow, that’s weird. This card is brand new.”

(She swipes it again, signs, and it is once again declined.)

Me: “I’m sorry, it still won’t go through. Do you have another card?”

(The customer spends ten minutes looking through her wallet and finally emerges with another card and swipes it through. She keeps looking at her first card while the second card is processing.)

Customer: “Do you think it didn’t work cause I didn’t activate it?”

Me: “Yeah, probably.”

Customer: “Why do they make you do that anyway?!”

Cats Love Fish And Chips

, , , , , | Healthy | March 23, 2022

Early in the afternoon, I take a call from a woman wanting to bring a found cat in to be scanned for a microchip. My city has a large feral cat population, so most found cats don’t belong to anybody and are not chipped, but I told her to bring the cat any time we were open.

Two hours later, a couple walks in with a beautiful white kitty sitting in an open cardboard box. I bring them into the exam room so he doesn’t escape from the box and get into trouble, and get the microchip scanner.

The scanner beeps almost immediately. Huzzah! He has a chip! I check in our computer in case he’s a patient of ours (no dice), then look up the chip number on the AAHA website. Second huzzah! The chip is actually registered! Many people have chips put in but never register with the chip company, rendering the chip useless.

The chip company gives me the number they have on file with the owner and I call it. It goes to voicemail, but third huzzah! The voicemail message indicates that is in fact the phone of the owner on record.

The owner calls back almost immediately and we get as far as “Do you have my cat?” and “Yes!” before the call drops. I spend ten minutes trying to call back, but can’t get through. I thank the people who brought the cat in and set him up in a kennel to wait for the owner to call back.

About half an hour later, the owner calls back. The poor man had spent all day putting up lost cat posters in his neighborhood, finally got the call that his kitty was found, and his phone ran out of battery. We gave him directions to our clinic, and waited for him to arrive.

About 40 minutes later, the found kitty’s owner arrived. The cat had been kennel shy with us (i.e. nervous and hissing at anyone who approached), but as soon as his owner appeared, I opened the kennel door and he climbed right into his daddy’s arms.

This kitty’s owner did everything right to enable us to contact him, and I’m so glad I was able to reunite them.

Irregular Regulars

, , | Right | May 4, 2009

(At the dry cleaners where I work, an elderly woman comes in nearly every day. We think she has something wrong with her mentally, but she’s a sweet lady.)

Customer: “Hi, girls!

Me: “Hello, again!”

Customer: “It’s a very nice day today, I’ve just been on a walk!”

Coworker: “Yes, looks bright and sunny!”

Customer: “The sun has made me tired. I feel like I need a nap…”

Me: “That’s a good idea. Why don’t you take a nap?”

Customer: “Okay!”

(She takes me literally and lays down right there in front of the door.)

Coworker: “Um… how are people going to give us their clothes for cleaning?”

Customer: “I don’t know.” *doesn’t move*

Me: “Can you please move?”

Coworker: “Please, we need to keep the doorway clear.”

Customer: “But I really like it right here!”

Me: “Wouldn’t your bed be so much more comfortable?”

Customer: “Oh, I guess so.”

(She gets up, takes some more mints for her coat pocket, and shuffles out the door.)

Me: “See you tomorrow!”

The First And True Language Of America

, , , , , | Right | September 23, 2013

(I’m waiting in line behind a woman who is speaking on her cellphone in another language. Ahead of her is a white man. After the woman hangs up, he speaks up.)

Man: “I didn’t want to say anything while you were on the phone, but you’re in America now. You need to speak English.”

Woman: “Excuse me?”

Man: *very slow* “If you want to speak Mexican, go back to Mexico. In America, we speak English.”

Woman: “Sir, I was speaking Navajo. If you want to speak English, go back to England.”


This story is part of our Native-American roundup.

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