Annoyed Professionals Share The Worst Thing Someone Wrongly Tried To Correct Them On
No one likes to be corrected. It’s extremely annoying to be told you’re doing something wrong, especially when you’re an expert at what you do. The following stories all feature moments when someone tried to correct a professional on what he or she does best. In each case, whether they tried to correct them during presentations, in front of their bosses, or even in a group e-mail with multiple participants, they failed terribly. Sit back and get your stress ball ready—you’re going to need it!
#1 I Told You It Wouldn’t Work
I work in lightning protection here in the States. I do the estimating and the designs for the largest company in the southeast and have been doing it for seven years. I was certified through our industry’s certification company. The amount of engineers and architects that love to argue with me about the code is astounding.
Since I estimate and design systems, my main job is to know that code. The worst was the Army Corps of Engineers. Two weeks after we submitted our design, it came back with a “Revise” stamp and a very snarky demand from the Corps that we change our design to the one provided in the bid package. I went back and forth on email and calls with the engineers trying to explain to them that their system would not work since it was potentially a dangerous hazard .
They responded by saying, “We don’t care what you say, we know better, so just do it”. So I did. I designed exactly like they had and put a disclaimer on the drawing saying there would be issues and we were not responsible. A few months went by, and it was installed. They called the inspector, who then gave it a failing grade without even getting on the roof.
The Army was upset and tried to blame the whole thing on us. I politely forwarded the countless email chains to the officer in charge. They were left with no choice but to scramble to get it up to code. As a consequence, it resulted in us issuing a change order to bring it up to the code, which was around 75% of the original cost of the project.
#2 Read The Sign
I didn’t specialize in it, but when I worked a the deli in my local grocery store, I had a guy come in asking for some sliced ham. I asked him if he wanted Black Forest ham, honey baked or mesquite ham. He looked at me oddly, saying that it’s not “mesquite,” but “mestique.” I pointed at the sign and label (on the actual ham) that read “Mesquite Ham” but he still corrected me. I gave up. This was a good 15 years ago and I’m still mad about it.
#43 At Least It Ended Well
I wrote software for a large, interactive art piece. It was presented in such a way that it encouraged self-discovery of how it was used, but it wasn’t too difficult that people would be unable to pick up on the main operation of it. There were three stations that interacted together but separated by some distance. I saw some guy very flamboyantly operating the device and explaining how it worked to a small crowd around him.
I was intrigued so I walked over to hear him. He was completely wrong. I gently, and politely, pointed out where he was wrong. He looked around at “his” crowd and told me I just didn’t understand what he was saying. Anyway, I continued to point out where he was wrong in his explanations. He told me I just didn’t know what I was talking about.
I hesitated and considered just thanking him and walking away, but then thought better of it. I looked at him and told him I wrote the software for what he was doing. I told everyone I had been writing and running it on my laptop at home every night for the last six months. The crowd’s attitude changed, people thanked me, and I wandered off. It was weird how invested that guy was in being right and the center of attention. At least he was polite at the end.
#4 That’s Pretty Basic
I’m a professional pastry cook. The general manager at my new job tried to teach me how to crack eggs. His method? Crack the shells open by tapping them with a fork.
#5 You’d Think He’d Stop After You Said You Were A Pro
A new house got built next door to mine, and shortly after the owners moved in, they knocked on my door to complain that my house was built too high. I explained that my house was built on flat ground and their builder put up their house on lower ground. The guy proceeded to give a long-winded spiel about how earthworks are done.
That’s when I told him I did earthworks for a living, and that I have done the earthworks for 300+ houses in my suburb alone. I was even able to name his builder, site supervisor and engineer since they were industry friends of mine. I also made him aware of a law that said that he had to pay to fix my fence since it was broken during the building of his house. He still hasn’t paid, and legal procedures are beginning soon.
#6 From The Other Side
I got shut down by this actually. I was arguing with my cousin while we were in an old, hydraulic elevator. I said the hydraulic elevators are slow and have far more failures than cable elevators. The guy standing across from us laughed, shook his head and claimed to be an elevator repairman. “That’s not true at all,” he said with a smirk. I was ashamed.
#7 Who Once Ate Italian Food, Really?
My parents are Italian, and they taught me how to speak Italian. I’ve had people in the U.S. who are a quarter Italian at best, or who once ate Italian food, correct me on the pronunciation of various Italian dishes. Yeah, I’ve forgotten how to say a lot of things, so maybe I’m not a ‘specialist’ per se, but “sauce” isn’t called “gravy” in Italy, sorry.
#8 Wrong On Multiple Levels
My friend and I went to Dapper Day at Disney, where people dress up in vintage wear. One of Disney’s photographers asked my friend if she was interpreting a Disney character and she replied that she was simply wearing a generic dress from the 1950s. The photographer began telling us how her dress was definitely from the late 1940s instead.
“You may have researched it, but I lived through it,” He said. “Next time, you should look at a picture.” We are both professional theatrical costume designers with strengths in historical costuming and her dress was taken directly from a 1955 catalog. Further, based on his approximate age, the man was definitely not older than five in 1955.
In the Netherlands, we have different sized glasses for our pilsner. They all have a different name. The smallest is called a flute, the middle is called a vase, and the largest is called a pint. M ost people drink flutes or vases. You’d order “a flute, please” or “a vase, please” and you’ll always be served the house pilsner in the size you ordered.
As you might have guessed by now, I am a bartender. I was at work in a bar and had a group of five dudes drinking vases. The thing is, if you ask for “a beer,” you’ll be served a vase of pilsner as a standard. Everyone knows this; it’s common knowledge in the Netherlands and no one ever objects to it. These dudes had been ordering “five beers” the whole night, thus t hey were served vases the whole night.
When the time came to pay, I gave them their bill and it listed 35 vases of pilsner. Then they tried to argue with me that the glasses I served them, were not vases but flutes. I told them I was not going to argue about something as ridiculous as that, but they refused to pay, so I told them to Google it. They did. They found a website that listed the sizes and names of the glasses, but they wouldn’t believe it because “the website must be owned by Heineken.” They refused to pay.
In the end, I told them to pay or I’d call the cops, so they paid but also said they were going to write a complaint e-mail, which I encouraged them to do. At this point, even other customers were telling them to stop being ridiculous jerks. I kindly asked them to never return again. They came back a week later, but I told them they would not be served.
#10 Healthy Way To Deal With It
I’m a Harley mechanic. I swear, most Harley riders have to pretend they know everything about their bike! I don’t even argue with them anymore, I just tell them what’s up and if they want to debate about it, I say “okay” and walk away.
#11 Learn Some Science, People
You wouldn’t believe the number of times people tried to tell me that people only become diabetic if they eat too much sugar. I’m a Type-I diabetic, and I was officially diagnosed with the condition when I was just 14-months-old. Does that mean I was I drinking soda from my bottles and using ring pops as pacifiers, then?
#12 I Know How Things Affect Me
Someone tried to correct me on how my dyslexia affected me. My own dyslexia. Not the concept of dyslexia, but my day-to-day functioning. I know how and when it impacts me. Unless you have my body and my mind, you couldn’t possibly have any clue how it affects me. I’m the one living with it. The nerve of some people…
#13 You Can’t Be, Though
I have a master’s degree and a lot of people refuse to believe I’m really dyslexic because I can read.
#14 Don’t Tell Me How To Do My Job
People without their ID constantly try and quote various laws about being able to order adult beverages when out with parents. I work in a pub, which is part of a chain. We’re regularly tested for Challenge 21. No, I’m not handing you a pint when you can’t prove you’re old enough and wouldn’t be willing to pay the $1,000 fine I’d receive.
#15 People Who Know Nothing Are The Worst
I’m a professional music producer. I have been for years. My productions get great reviews from people and are often singled out by music magazines and other industry professionals. People who know what they’re doing are nothing but nice and supportive. But I get heck from salty bedroom guitarists all the time . Seems like every time I produce a young band, there’s one guy who thinks he knows it all because he watched a YouTube video.
“The bass knob on the amp should be set at 10 because five years ago I heard that Tremonti sets his bass knob at 10.”
“There should be no effects or editing on the vocals because Black Sabbath in the ’70s didn’t have vocal effects.”
“Double-tracking guitars? What the heck, Nirvana had one guitar player and they were the biggest band on the planet, we’re recording only one take!”
#16 But Really, How Would You Know?
I’m not really specialized, but a commenter online once tried correcting me about the geography of my country, Norway. He was claiming that it was very much flat like all the other Nordic countries, and he refused to believe me when I told him that it’s the opposite. Like, it’s literally filled with mountains. I told him to Google some pictures.
#17 Magnetic Tires?
I have worked in a tire garage for nearly 10 years and am female. I can’t even count how many times people try to tell me how to do my job.
“No, you can’t cross rotate my tires! You will break a belt! The tires will explode.”
“Sir, we haven’t sold bias ply tires in over 10 years. We only sell radial tires and the way I’m rotating them is specific to the drive axle of your vehicle.”
Or my personal favorite: sitting there as a customer lays into me for 30 minutes about how we sold them MAGNETIC TIRES.
“I never had a nail in my tires until I bought your tires.”
“I’ve had three repairs since I bought tires from you guys, this is a stunt to make money off of me.” If only I knew how to make rubber magnetic, I’d be so rich doing all my free repairs.
#18 I… I Know This
For a short time, I was teaching in a school. At the end of the year, an ‘inspector’ visited to go over the way I had corrected the final exams. He insisted that the answer to a particular question was not the one I said was correct. He was the one who had written the question. I argued with him that I was very sure that I knew what I was saying. I had written a thesis about this particular topic. It took a lot of effort not to punch him in the face.
#19 Do You Know How This Works?
I’m a climber. People tell me to wear gloves all of the time. There is a form of climbing where gloves would be somewhat acceptable, but in free climbing and bouldering, you cannot wear gloves because your fingers actually allow you to grip onto smaller pieces of rock better. And besides, gloves are for amateurs—real climbers use their bare hands.
#20 Paternal Twins?
I’m an identical twin and a big biology nerd. I had someone insist that fraternal twins are “paternal” twins. She said she’ll probably have some because they’ve “leapfrogged” through her husband’s family.
#21 All For A Girl
I got a ton of these when I worked at a video game store. My favorite was a guy who came in around the time Skyrim came out and asked if we had “the new Elder Scrolls game.” I said, “Oh, you mean Skyrim?” He laughed condescendingly and said, “No, I mean Skrim .” Thinking he was just mistaken, I was like, “It’s called Skyrim.” He responded, “No it’s not. It’s pronounced Skrim .” At that point, I realized he didn’t even want the game, he just wanted to show up the girl working in the game store with his “superior” knowledge.
#22 Why Are The Ignorant So Loud?
I’m a welder on nuclear submarines. I have over 14 different X-ray welding qualifications at this company alone. I would constantly get into arguments with people who are new and have no real world experience with welding. The amount of wrong information being thrown out left and right is insane. There are plenty of very knowledgeable folks there, but they are overshadowed by the ignorant.
#23 Why Would You Lie About That?
I’m 6’10. A g uy came up to me and claimed to be 6’10″ himself, so he said I must be like, 7 feet tall. “ Nah man, you’re 6’6″ max,” I said. We went back and forth about that for a bit.
#24 Probably Didn’t Charge Them Enough
I was a sked to do the rear brakes on a classic Vespa. T he owner and his pal turned up with the scooter. I loosened off the rear rim and tire, loosened the hub nut and put the rear rim and tire back on.
“Oh hey, wait a minute, what the heck are you doing?”
“I’m getting the hub off.”
“Not like that you’re not.”
At some point, I told them I was a coffee break and that I’d be back when they removed the hub.
Four hours. Four freaking hours they were at it, and the hub wouldn’t budge, not one millimeter. I went back to them, put the rim and tire on, screwed in and tightened two wheel bolts, and using a mallet, I hit three times in one point, then three times 180 degrees opposite. The whole rim, tire, and hub assembly lifted off. I charged them half day labor for a 30-minute job.
#25 Everyone Thinks They Know Computers
I work in IT. Users argue with me almost every day.
#26 This Is Just Too Stupid
A guy who considered himself to be a music maven tried to correct me when I mentioned Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy). He insisted that J.S. Bach composed it when, in fact, Bach never composed any symphonies. Not to mention that Ode to Joy is one of Beethoven’s most famous pieces… Nice try, dude. Maybe read a book or something.
#27 Wow, Useless?
I’m majoring in archaeology. I had a guy start talking to me about dinosaurs. I corrected him and explained how it’s a fairly common misconception to think archeology is synonymous with paleontology. “I study humans, not dinosaurs,” I told him. He then smugly told me that I’d be useless in the field if I didn’t know about dinosaurs. He recommended I start registering for paleontology courses. I still don’t know about dinosaurs.
#28 Why Can’t The Whales Eat By Themselves?
I used to work as an outdoor guide on one of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. Once, I was hiking with a pair of women in their late 40s or early 50s. They were asking me all sorts of questions about the natural history of the island. Mostly simple stuff, but they had a LOT of questions. Then one of them hit me with this gem:
“So, how often do you guys go out to feed the whales and dolphins?” I was genuinely confused for a moment.
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
“Well, you have to make sure all those whales get to eat. When do you go feed them? It must be expensive to have enough food for them all.”
This woman thought that every day, our boat captains would drive around the channel, tossing fish to dolphins and whales until they were all fed. I have no idea where she got this, considering she’d come over on that very boat. It took me a little while to politely convince her otherwise. At least she didn’t contradict me after I corrected her.
#29 Food Is Hard
I’m a food scientist, and this happens all the darn time. One person insisted that MSG gave her terrible migraines. She was eating pizza, which has no MSG. Another person said that apple cider vinegar alkalized the body and prevented diseases. I pointed out that’s an acid. Another person told me agave nectar was so much healthier and that I should replace all my sugar with it. I told her that agave nectar is just a fructose-glucose mix and that she might as well use corn syrup. She got really mad. Like irrationally mad. There is so much misinformation about food.
#30 Don’t Talk About Things You Don’t Know
I’m a knife maker. A friend tried to tell me that the curve on the Katana was forged in! No, it’s made by differential hardness in the quench. Then she tried to tell me that tempering a knife meant hardening it.
#31 You’d Probably Know
“Amputees will regrow their limbs eventually!” No, I think I would know if they were, considering I AM an amputee.
#32 What DOES That Mean?
I study computer science and was trying to explain how check digits work, so I gave the example of a credit card and he said, “No, I’m pretty sure they just encrypt the credit card number.” What does that even mean?
#33 Cool That Someone Else Chimed In
I used to do primarily firearms law as a Canadian lawyer. I taught a course in firearms law at university, I’ve been consulted on it by lawyers, I’ve even had judges tell other lawyers to phone me with firearms law questions. I had a law student tell me that I was oh-so-wrong about firearms law on a particular topic. Eventually, they went and cited a particular case, which I politely told them they were wrong about.
They keep going on, talking about how just because I was a lawyer and they were students, didn’t mean they were wrong. Meanwhile, I was just holding my tongue. Eventually, someone else chimed in to be like, “Uhh, don’t you know who that is? The case you cited was a case he personally argued and won on .” Satisfying as heck.
#34 Never Could Have Been.
I studied geology for some time and I was telling someone about how the area we live in is mostly limestone because it used to be sediment that was on the ocean surface. They said the place we live is above ground, so it could have never been below sea level. Geoscience classes must not be very popular with students in this day and age.
#35 At Least He Stopped Talking
I studied history at university and worked for a while as a tour guide in Prague, Czech Republic. I had a customer once on a walking tour of the city get really snarky with me because I called the river running through the city the Vltava. He declared to the whole tour that I was incorrect. I asked him if he’d heard it referred to as the Moldau, as that was the German name for the river during the Habsburg era when German was the official language, but he said no. The river was called the Danube, according to him.
I pointed out to him that the Danube didn’t run through Prague, and asked if maybe he was thinking of Brno? No, he said, adding that he had definitely read in a guidebook that it was the Danube. Then, another tourist in the group showed him her guidebook where it clearly said ‘Vltava’. Then, another showed him a map. And another showed him another guidebook, and so on until the whole group had basically shown him what a dummy he was being. He didn’t apologize, of course, but at least he shut up for the rest of the tour.
#36 Just Wanted To Feel Cool, I Guess
I give planetarium shows and at the end, I hang around so that people can come to talk to me. Usually, it’s small children that want to tell me about their favorite planet or something equally cute, but there are always old dudes that wait around so they can tell me something ‘wrong’ they noticed in the show. They’re never correct.
Most recently, during part of my show, I put up a picture of the moon and the earth. When I showed it, I pointed out that this picture was ‘to scale.’ After the show, this guy was ADAMANT that ‘to scale’ was meaningless unless the conversion was given (1:2, 5:672, …). I tried to make a joke a couple of times to defuse the situation, but he wouldn’t leave.
It was so hard not to tell him he was wrong. T he weirdest part of this interaction was that this was something I said exactly one time around seven minutes into an hour-long show. After all that time, he still thought it was important enough to spend like five minutes correcting me on it. I firmly believe that there are amateur astronomers who go to planetarium shows just because they want to correct people on things. It’s weird.
#37 That’s Serious Fighting
I’m an ornithologist and have handled literally thousands of baby birds. Someone in the neighborhood was asking on our neighborhood Facebook group what to do if a baby fell out of its nest. I told her to put it back. A guy hopped on (no idea who I was) and went off about how the mom would never return if you touched the baby. I informed him it was an old wives tale; the mom would surely come back.
That fired him up and he went on about how I was an idiot and didn’t know anything. I informed him of my job and added a picture taken that day of me holding four nestlings. I added in an article about me for good measure. He decided to double down and tell me I was clueless. Ugh. I literally do this for a living, where as he does not.
#38 How Many Languages Do You Speak?
Someone in my school tried to correct my Spanish (I’m Puerto Rican, a Spanish speaking colony of the US). I started talking full Spanish and he walked away.
#39 You Can Literally See It
I worked in orthopedics as a medical assistant for over 13 years. In the last practice I worked, there was a surgeon who was always right and could never admit to being wrong about anything. He also always had to point out if someone else was wrong; you know the type. I had worked up a patient and took her history regarding her hip issues.
If a patient had any prior x-rays or other images, we would pull those images up on the computer. This lady previously had a fluoroscopic hip injection so I pulled up the images from that procedure and documented it in the office note. After the doctor in question had seen the patient, he was at the computer work station making more documentation into her record.
I was standing there at the desk along with a couple of other medical assistants. The doctor said, “Oh, by the way, that lady has not had a fluoroscopic hip injection, so I took that documentation out of her note.” As I said earlier, I had been working in orthopedics for 13 years and I knew quite a bit about it. So, being the hard-headed person I am, began to argue with the doctor that yes indeed this woman had had that procedure.
He argued right back. I said, “I pulled the images up in the exam room.” He said, “Sometimes you can confuse a hip injection with an SI injection.” No. No, you can’t. You can literally see the needle going into the hip joint. And… it was also labeled. So then he said, “Ok, let’s go look at those images and I’ll show you.”
So we went back to the exam room and I pulled the images back up and he sat down at the computer to look at them. I stood there and watched him look at those pictures for at least a minute as he realized he was wrong and didn’t want to admit it. He finally stood up and said, “You were right, I’ll add the documentation back to the note” and he stormed out of the room without another word.
#40 Did The Friend Know?
A friend of ours tried arguing with my wife, telling her she had her facts wrong about autism. S he’s a Doctor of Psychology at one of the top children’s hospitals in the world and she specializes in autism.
#42 That’s Bold
I was at a Physics lecture given by Donna Strickland, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics last year for her work in lasers. During the questions afterward, some kid (either undergrad or young grad, I didn’t know him) was all like, “I have a comment more than a question…” and proceeded to explain some laser technique to her and that she should use it. Her response was, “Yes, we are well familiar with X in my lab and use it.” I was just kind of amazed at the moxie of a kid who tried to tell a Nobel laureate how to do her research in a room packed with hundreds of people.
#42 I Know Fish
I have kept fish for over 10 years. I worked at a fish store in high school, bred fish for profit, and currently work at a lab which keeps fish and other aquatic animals for scientific and biotechnology-related research. I’ve had countless people argue with me about basic fish care, both online and in real life, telling me that what I’m saying is false.
#43 Everyone Knows Medicine More Than Doctors And Nurses
I’m a nurse and I particularly like it when people try to inform me about medications.
“But I usually take paracetamol every hour.”
“And that’s why you’re here with liver problems, Karen.”
#44 Why Would You Pay If You Already Know Everything?
I am a creative director. Clients always think they have better ideas and then waste my time implementing their changes only to go back to what I originally suggested. But hey, whatever; they pay for it and I get paid, so I guess it works out for me. But it is annoying.
We live in New Zealand, but both grew up in the USA. My fiance was talking to another American coworker about Yosemite National Park. One of his (Kiwi) coworkers told them, “It’s pronounced yo-se-might”. They’re like no, it’s Yosemite. She wouldn’t believe them.