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    Ask Again And You’ll Get Slytherin

    | Livingston, NJ, USA | Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (This takes place when I am hosting a release party for one of the Harry Potter books. As kids come in, we “sort” them into a Hogwarts house by having them choose a sticker from a sorting hat.)

    Me: “Welcome! Would you like to get sorted into a Hogwarts House?”

    (The daughter of a customer reaches into the hat and pulls her hand out to reveal a Ravenclaw sticker.)

    Customer: “Ravenclaw?! Hey, buddy, she really wanted Gryffindor. Let her pick again.”

    Me: “Sorry, sir. All the Sorting Hat’s decisions are final.”

    Customer: “Just give her a Gryffindor sticker!”

    Me: “I don’t think that would be fair. All the other kids picked and stuck with their choice. And we’re actually getting ready to start an activity for the Ravenclaw kids, so–”

    Customer: “No daughter of mine is getting stuck with those weird Ravenclaw kids! She’s clearly a Gryffindor!”

    Daughter: “Actually, Daddy, I like Ravenclaw. That’s where all the smart kids go!”

    Customer: “Screw that! Who wants to hang out with the nerds? Give her a Gryffindor sticker!”

    Me: “Okay, here you go!”

    Customer: “Finally! I’m going to talk to the manager about you.”

    (As they walk away the customer loudly teases his daughter for wanting to live with the smart kids. He did complain to my manager, but we just had a good laugh about it afterwards.)

    Kids Say The @#$%est Things

    | New Jersey, USA | Family & Kids

    (A customer comes through my line with a small child.)

    Me: “Aww! How old is your son?”

    Customer: “He’s 4. Isn’t he adorable?”

    Me: “He is.”

    Customer: “Say hi to the nice lady.”

    Son: “F*** you.”

    Me: *shocked*

    Customer: “Isn’t he just precious?”

    Better Late Than Clever

    | Minnesota, USA | Family & Kids, Top

    (At our daycare, we are very strict when it comes to pick up times. Some children are registered to be picked up by four, others by six. For every minute they are late, parents pay a $5 fine. We make it very clear that we are strict about it and we charge for anyone who is late. If they come at 4:01, we charge $5. We even have a clock that uses the same satellites cell phones do so they can’t argue about the time. Most parents admit it is probably their fault and just pay up. If they need their kid to stay later, they can pay for their kid to stay until 6 just for the days they need it, so long as we know in advance.)

    (This happens at 4 PM sharp.)

    Me: “Oh, hi! Melanie’s outside, but you can sign her out and then head around back to pick her up.”

    Mom: “Okay.”

    (Forty-five minutes later, all the kids come in from inside. I see Melanie.)

    Me: “Melanie, didn’t your mom come yet?”

    Melanie: “No?”

    (Her mom comes in.)

    Mom: “Melanie, come on let’s go.”

    Me: “Um, she’s registered to leave at four, correct?”

    Mom: “Yes.”

    Me: “It’s four forty-five. You now owe us $225 in late fees.”

    Mom: “What? No, I signed her out at four exactly. I wasn’t late!”

    Me: “Well, just because you signed her out doesn’t mean you get free childcare for nearly an hour.”

    Mom: “Well, I still had errands to run! What, do you expect me to take her with me to the grocery store? ”

    Me: “Yes, actually. I’ll send you the bill, okay?”

    Mom: “That’s insane! I was here! And what’s one more kid?! Are you really that lazy that you refuse to do your own job?”

    Another mom: “Are you really such a b**** that you refuse to get your own kid on time? Seriously, if you can’t handle taking a kid to a grocery store you probably shouldn’t have kids.”

    Mom: “You don’t even know what’s going on! They’re charging me $225 for being a few minutes late, even though I signed her out on time!”

    Melanie: “Mommy, can we just leave now?”

    Mom: “Shut up! If you weren’t such a bad kid, they wouldn’t mind watching you a little late and I wouldn’t be paying $225 because of your behavior!”

    (At this point, Melanie begins to sob.)

    Me: “It has nothing to do with your behavior, Melanie. In fact, you’re one of the best kids we have here. Sometimes parents run late and we have rules about it, okay? It’s not your fault.”

    Mom: “I bet you tell all kids that to make their parents look bad! I didn’t do anything wrong! I was here on time”!

    Me: “Ma’am, you left your kid here for 45 minutes. I won’t charge you for the time you’ve been yelling at me, but I’m not going to let you get off without paying. And for future reference, if you ever need to pick her up late, you can choose to pay a little extra and get her by 6 instead of trying to cheat the system and end up paying hundreds to get her at 5.”

    Mom: “Fine. How much to get her at 6 today?”

    Me: “Well it’s too late for that now. You need to let us know at least two days ahead of time so we have enough staff because we send some home at 4 depending on how many kids we have. So, you’ll have to pay the fees and next time get her at the time you agreed to.”

    (This continues for more 10 minutes. Eventually she storms out. She ends up paying the fee, though.)

    Little White Lies Vs. Big Green Addictions

    | Vancouver, BC, Canada | Family & Kids, Top

    (I am ringing up a customer when her 7-8 year old son notices the scratch and win tickets under the plexiglass counter.)

    Child: “Ooooo! Mom! We can get some lottery!”

    Customer: “No.”

    (He looks longingly at all the bright tickets.)

    Child: “Are you sure? I could win a lot of money.”

    Customer: “No, not today.”

    (The child starts to whine loudly and the customer is obviously getting ticked off at her kid.)

    Me: “Oh, you don’t want those ones. I checked them earlier and they’re all losers.”

    (The customer bursts into laughter. I can see the child’s face working to see if he’s going to believe me or not.)

    Child: “Really? No winners?”

    Me: “Yup, not a single one.”

    Child: “Oh…I guess I don’t need one then.”

    (He runs off to put the shopping cart away.)

    Customer: “Thank you so much!”

    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 3

    | Atlanta, GA, USA | Family & Kids, Rude & Risque

    (I’m a librarian. I am walking through the children’s section and see a boy of around 12 browsing through ghost stories. He
    picks up a book, opens it, and immediately drops it back on the shelf.)

    Boy: “Ooh! That book’s too scary!”

    Me: “What book is it?”

    Boy:Ghosts of Prostitutes.”

    Me: “What?!”

    (I walk over and pick up the book. It is titled “Ghosts and Poltergeists”.)

    Related:
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation, Part 2
    The Horrors Of Mispronunciation

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