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    Category: Family & Kids

    She Passed With Flying Colors

    | NY, USA | Awesome Workers, Family & Kids, Holidays

    (I organize events for special needs children and their families. I also work as a female clown. A little girl has approached my table.)

    Me: “Well, hi there! Would you like to get your face painted today?”

    Girl: “Yes! I want [Popular Children’s Character]!”

    (She takes a seat, and as I get my supplies I notice she is staring at my head. I am bald due to a medical condition, so I wear nice-quality wigs which, despite their artificial colors, are often mistaken as real hair. Today I’m wearing bright pink.)

    Me: “All righty, then! [Children’s Character] it is. My name is [My Clown Name]; what’s your name?”

    Girl: “[Girl].” *pauses as I ready the paints* “How is your hair pink? Is it REALLY pink or fake? I don’t think hair can actually be like that.”

    (Her mother begins to speak up, but I wink at her.)

    Me: “Well, I have special hair! I can make it any color I want. Today it’s pink, but tomorrow it might not be.”

    Girl: “Wow! Is that magic?”

    Me: “Yup, it’s kind of like magic!”

    (I proceed to paint her face, fielding several questions about my ‘powers’ to the amusement of the mother. Later the mother explains that due to her rabid love of this popular ‘magical’ franchise, other kids have begun to make her doubt the existence of magic. Weeks later, I am hosting a Halloween event when I spot the same little girl, dressed as one of the franchise characters.)

    Me: “Hi, [Girl]! I like your costume.”

    Girl: “Thanks! It’s my favorite—”

    (She stops abruptly and her eyes go wide. Sure enough, I am wearing a curly purple wig. Her mother grins.)

    Girl: “Whoooooaaaaaa.” *to her mother* “Mommy, look!”

    Mother: “See? I told you it was real magic!”

    (As if on cue, my coworker comes out from behind a trick-or-treat door, dressed as [Main Franchise Character] and signing another child’s autograph. The girl looks starstruck.)

    Girl: “Oh. My. GOSH.”

    Mother: *laughing* “Aaaaaaaand that’s just made our Halloween.”

    (It made mine, too!)

    Trying To Con The Family Business

    | Exeter, England, UK | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (I take a male customer’s order with him constantly asking about prices.)

    Customer: “Oh, can we have the family discount?”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Customer: “Yeah, I always get a discount here. The owner lets me.”

    Me: “He hasn’t told me anything…”

    Customer: “Yeah, the owner is my brother and he always gives me the family discount.”

    Me: “Okay, then… let me just ask him.”

    (I signal the owner over as the customer panics and goes bright red. His family also start nudging him.)

    Me: “Uh, your brother wants a discount.”

    (The customer sheepishly smiles as the owner explodes in happiness.)

    Owner: “Oh, my God, Jenny! I didn’t know you’d had a sex change. If you wanted to do that you could have at least kept your hair. Also you’ve put on a h*** of a lot of weight and lost over a foot in height! Why would you do that?”

    (The whole restaurant was looking and the customer’s family rushed him out quicker than the owner could continue talking. Some bosses are awesome.)

    Thinks She’s The Big Cheese

    | Canada | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (I used to work for a large franchise, but at a small location at which we stopped serving shredded cheese on sandwiches for a while. During this period, a woman comes in with her two preteen sons, and everything is just fine until we get to the cheese.)

    Me: “And what kind of cheese would you like?”

    Customer: “Shredded, please.”

    Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t serve shredded on sandwiches.”

    Customer: “What? But I always have shredded.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but the shredded cheese is more expensive than the regular, and since we’re a small location, we need to save it to season our cheese bread.”

    (The customer is getting visibly angry now.)

    Customer: “This is ridiculous! I’ve walked out of stores without shredded cheese before! I’m a paying customer! You’re supposed to give me what I want!”

    Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not allowed to serve shredded cheese. If you like, I can give you [two kinds of our regular cheese that are in the shredded cheese]. It’s basically the same thing, it just won’t be shredded.”

    Customer: “I CAN’T believe this. How hard is it to shred cheese?! I’ve walked out of stores before!”

    Me: “The cheese comes pre-shredded or pre-cut. I have no possible way of shredding the cheese here.”

    Customer: “I am a paying customer! That other cheese tastes like plastic! I should speak to your manager about this! I’m paying and I should get what I want!”

    (Suddenly, one of the customer’s sons, who has been looking increasingly uncomfortable, speaks up:)

    Customer’s Son: “Mom. It’s just CHEESE.”

    Customer: “I know but as a paying customer I should be getting what I want!”

    (She didn’t walk out, but she kept repeating that she was a “paying customer” through the whole transaction. Her poor sons looked like they wished the ground would swallow them up.)

    Day-Careless

    | CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Money

    (I run a daycare for folks around my town. On this particular day one of them calls me up saying they’ve run into some financial troubles and won’t be able to pay me this week. After crunching some numbers I decide I can take the hit to my budget and tell them I’ll still look after their child. The next week I add the amount they owe to their total when they come to pay me for my services.)

    Mother: “Hey, why is the fee double what it usually is?”

    Me: “You weren’t able to pay last week as you said, so I added what you owe to this week’s total.”

    Mother: “What I owe? I said I wasn’t able to pay that!”

    Me: “Well, now you can.”

    Mother: “Uh, no, no that’s wrong. I pay you [total] per week to watch my child and that’s it! If I can’t pay one week that’s just how it goes.”

    Me: “Uh… ma’am, if that were the case I wouldn’t be able to stay in business. You wished to make use of my service; I need you to pay for it.”

    Mother: “And so I am. The same amount I pay every week and nothing more! I run my own business, too, and I know that if you want to hang onto a customer you should learn to respect when they are having problems and not bleed them dry!”

    Me: “Be that as it may, you still owe me for last week.”

    Mother: “NO, I DON’T! Now go get my son for me and stop being so rude!”

    (After she leaves I take a few hours to cool down and think over what to do about this. Finally I pick up the phone.)

    Me: “Hello, it’s [My Name] again. Just wanted to let you know that I thought over what you said and decided that if you aren’t going to pay for me watching your child then don’t bother bringing him to the daycare anymore.”

    Mother: “WHAT!? No, you have to look after him! I’ll be terribly inconvenienced if you don’t!”

    Me: “Too bad. I have a business to run. too, and I can’t keep it going if the customer expects me to work for free. If you aren’t going to pay what you owe for the services rendered then you’re going to have to find someone else to watch your son.”

    Mother: “How dare you! This is going to terrible inconvenience me! Do you know how much the other places charge in this town!? You can’t do this! You can’t—”

    (I hung up while she was still screaming. She still turned up the next day demanding I watch her kid, then left when I refused, screaming some more about how unprofessional I was and how I just lost a good customer.)

    Call The Missing Parent’s Hotline

    | Montreal, QC, Canada | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Money

    (I am the manager of the admission desk at a museum. While I am serving a client, a woman and her two kids (around 10 and 12 years old) enter the museum and try pass by the admission desk. I politely tell her to wait just one moment while I’m taking care of the client in front of me. I then ask her if I could help her.)

    Woman: “Yes, I’m here for the free activity for my kids.”

    (Our museum holds a workshop for kids each Sunday where they can do arts and crafts, themed with our current exhibitions.)

    Me: “Of course, the workshop is one floor below. Kids 12 years old and under are always free and right now, we offer a 25% discount on the regular entrance fee. So, for one adult, it will come to [price].”

    Woman: “I thought it was free!”

    Me: “It is free for kids 12 and under. But as I said, we offer a 25% discount on the regular adult rate. Also, each kid visiting our museum will receive a free bag with other games they can do in our regular exhibitions.”

    Woman: “No, no, no. I went on [Website that isn’t ours] and they say the workshop is free for families.”

    Me: “I am so sorry, madam, but, unfortunately, while it is actually free for the kids, adults have to pay.”

    Woman: “Well, then, I’ll leave my kids to you and be back in half an hour.”

    Me: “Madam, I am really sorry but a responsible adult must stay with the kids at all time. By law, they cannot stay alone in our facility.”

    Woman: “Why not? Just take care of them. Make them do the workshop. What’s so difficult about it?”

    Me: “Unfortunately, we do not have the accreditations to do so. The volunteer in charge of the activity is not trained to take care of your kids… just to explain the activity and how it works. We need you to stay with your kids.”

    Woman: “But the website says that it is free!”

    Me: “I’m sorry but that website was wrong. It is, indeed, free for kids but not for adults.”

    Woman: “It is false advertising!”

    Me: “Actually, if you check our official website, it clearly state that parents need to pay. We do not have control on what other website posts. I will gladly take the website name again so I can make sure that the information they have is the right one.”

    Woman: “That website says it is free, so you have to let me come for free!”

    Me: “We cannot be held responsible for what other websites put online. Again, if you check our website—”

    Woman: “Well, I don’t care. Why are you not taking my kids, then? We came here because [Other Website] said it was free! I’m from [Town about 20 minutes from here] and we took public transit, which cost money. I don’t have money for this.”

    Me: “I understand your frustration, madam. I really do. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do except make sure that [Other Website] stops posting false information about our workshop.”

    Woman: “Just take the kids, then. They can do the workshop. They’ll behave.”

    Me: “Again, madam, that is impossible. The staff is neither qualified or trained to do it.”

    Woman: “Why not?”

    Me: “Just for the purpose of this, if your kids have allergies—”

    Woman: “My kids don’t have any allergies!”

    Me: “That is not the point. If something, ANYHTHING, happens to your kids, we don’t have the staff or the infrastructures to help them. That is why, when you want to register you kids for school, day camp, summer camp, you have all of those contracts to sign.”

    Woman: “This is insane. You are not giving me a good customer service. I leave my kids alone all the time. Even at the grocery store! I leave them while I do other errands. There is nothing wrong with that! I want to speak with the manager.”

    Me: “Actually, I am the one in charge of the admission.”

    Woman: “Well, there must be someone more important in charge.”

    Me: “There is, but the offices are closed during weekends. Do you want me to provide you with the phone numbers and names of the people in charge so you can contact someone?”

    (I gave her all the names and phone numbers needed and she left saying that she was going to report me for not letting her kids stay unsupervised! You know what the worst part was? This was not the first time! We had to call the police because a couple left their kids at the museum while they went to a restaurant! They were absent for more than an hour. Thank god the police officer was on our side! We also had a woman who left her infant child alone so she could go shopping. In both these cases, none of the parents claimed to know what was wrong…)

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