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    My Little-Minded Brony

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

    (It’s my day off so I go to the toy shop where I work with my eight-year-old niece. She’s a huge fan of ‘My Little Pony,’ so we’re off looking at toys. Two men are already there, talking about the show. My niece is pretty social, so she tries to strike up a conversation while I eye the display.)

    Niece: “Ooh, you like My Little Pony, too?! Who’s your favourite? I love Fluttershy; she’s so pretty and kind. That’s how I want to be when I grow up.”

    Man #1: “You’re a fan, huh? I guess you’ve got all the merchandise then?”

    Niece: “Merch… an… dise?”

    Man #2: “The toys and stuff. Don’t you have any?”

    Niece: “Oh… yeah! I got some for my birthday!”

    Man #1: “So you probably know the names of all the main characters, then?”

    Niece: *lists characters*

    Man #2: “What about the episode names?”

    Niece: “Um…”

    Man #1: “Don’t you know them?”

    (I’m starting to get quite annoyed.)

    Me: “What are you doing?”

    (They both give me defensive looks.)

    Man #1: “Nothing!”

    Man #2: “We just wanted to know if she’s a real fan or one of those fake geek girls.”

    Man #1: “She can’t even name the episodes.”

    Man #2: “Bet she hasn’t even watched them all.”

    (My niece is starting to get upset, so I lose all patience.)

    Me:” Are you serious? All it takes to be a fan is for someone to like and enjoy something. Where do you get off acting so smug because you know more about a show for little girls than its intended audience?”

    Man #1: “Are you saying men can’t like stuff for girls? That’s sexist!”

    Me: “Sexist?! I’m not the one spewing misogynistic nonsense at a child simply because they can’t pass some pointless memory test. You obviously haven’t learned much, since the TV show is all about friendship and treating people with respect! Now, shove off or grow up!”

    (They storm off. I turn round to see my manager watching me.)

    Me: “Am I fired?”

    Manager: “You’re not in uniform; they don’t know you work here. Besides, if someone talked to my kids like that, I’d knock them out.”

    (My niece cheered up after a while, and I bought her some new ‘merchandise’. I hope those men went home and watched the show again, and maybe took its message to heart this time.)

    A Plate Of Justice With Extra Dressing

    | UT, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I am a cashier at a shop that specializes in fine clothing, like for proms and weddings. As such we have MANY white dresses made from materials that are easily soiled.)

    Me: “Welcome to [Bridal Store]. How may I help you?”

    Mother: “I just wanted to see what kind of dresses you have. I’m getting married soon.”

    Me: “Congratulations! My supervisor is just over there, and she can help you out with anything you need.”

    (At this point, I notice that a small boy followed her in, and he is carrying one of those family-sized bags of cheesy snacks. I can immediately predict this turning sour.)

    Me: “Ma’am, if you’d like, we have a room in the back that your son can play in. We have a selection of toys and movies that he may like.”

    Mother: “It’ll be fine. [Son] is a dearie, and he won’t mess anything up.”

    (I just shrug it off, but try to keep an eye on the little boy. My attention is diverted by a lady purchasing a bow tie for her husband. By the time I am done with her, the little boy is nowhere to be seen, and I assume that he has gotten bored and gone into the room to play. After a while, the lady comes back up with a layaway check and a girdle.)

    Me: “Thank you for making us your choice for your wedding dress. Your total is [total].”

    Mother: “You haven’t seen my son, have you?”

    Me: “He’s probably in the room in the back. You’re welcome to go back there if you’d like.”

    Mother: “I’ll get him after I’m done here.”

    (She proceeds to finish her order, gets her son, and leaves. I still feel uneasy about the little boy with the big bag of food.)

    Me: “[Owner], I’m going to check inventory. I kinda feel off about that little boy.

    (I get up and start searching the dresses, and find at least a half dozen dresses of varying styles and colors, a bunch of tablecloths, and even the dressing room mirrors with nice, smeary orange hand prints. I gather the dresses and cloths up and show them to my boss.)

    Owner: *takes one look* “Put them with her dress in layaway. She just chose her bridesmaid dresses.”

    (She later came back and tried to contest the extra dresses, claiming that they’re “not the ones she wanted,” and even threatened to report us to our local Better Business Bureau for “framing her innocent child.” Regardless, none of it worked. As a final attempt to make us feel bad, she gave us a picture of her bridesmaids and her wearing all those soiled dresses. We framed it.)

    Not Sue-table Clients

    | San Diego, CA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I am giving a tour of my home daycare to prospective clients.)

    Mother: “This is quite lovely. I really like your outdoor space and the type of toys you have for the children in the playroom. I was wondering, how do you deal with discipline?”

    Me: “Well, it depends on the type of behavior I am dealing with. I mostly redirect, show appropriate behavior, and say no when I have to. I only resort to time-out when a child really needs to cool down and their actions are directly affecting the other kids.”

    Father: “Well, how do you deal with hitting or biting?”

    Me: “Some children, not all, will go through a phase or episodes. It’s a matter of getting them to understand it hurts, showing them alternate ways to express frustration, anger, or excitement, and also teaching the other children to say no firmly. As hands-on as I try to be, it cannot be always be avoided, but we work through it. Both parties learn from it, in terms of self-control and assertiveness.”

    Mother: “The reason we are looking for daycare for our daughter is because at the last place, a little boy bit our daughter. We are both lawyers, and I can assure you that we sued the bejeesus out of that provider.” *disturbing giggle*

    Me: *thinking to myself* “And that makes me want to take you on as clients because…?”

    Me: *out loud* “Some things will happen. This is a safe space, regularly inspected, but toddlers are learning to handle their feelings and emotions and sometimes it manifests in physical ways. I am here to guide them and show them better ways. I cannot condone litigious responses to fairly normal occurrences that cannot possibly be prevented, though they can be corrected. Are you fine with being sued if your little girl hits another child at the park?”

    Father: “She would NEVER do that. If she so much as grabs food without asking first she gets a spanking, so I can guarantee you she’s not going to physically attack another kid.”

    Me: “…”

    (Needless to say, I made the rest of the tour as brief as I could and when they emailed me to ask about enrolling, I turned them down politely.)

    Doubly Impressive

    | UK | Family & Kids, Hotels & Lodging

    (My parents are the customers in this story. They are staying at a very charming B&B in Britain.)

    Mum: “I can’t believe how well the owner looks after this place, especially considering that he’s on his own.”

    Dad: “I know! Everything’s spotless. He must work terribly hard; it seems that every time I turn around I see him busy doing something.”

    Mum: “Hey, there’s the owner over there. Let’s go tell him what a great job he’s doing.”

    Dad: “…that’s strange. I saw him only a few minutes ago, and I could have sworn he was wearing a different shirt.”

    Owner: *overhearing* “You do realize that I have a twin brother, right?”

    Waiting For The Muffin (Little) Man

    | TX, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

    (Our chocolate chip muffins are coveted by kids as an after-school snack. We recommend that people call ahead and have us set one aside if they want to make sure we aren’t out by the time they arrive, since we stop baking muffins around midday. We will also warm up the muffins on request, but only if they will be eaten immediately, as they will be tough once they cool off.)

    Me: *answering phone* “Good afternoon, [Store]. How can I help you?”

    Caller: “THIS IS GEORGE.”

    Me: “Hi, what can I do for you?”

    Caller: “…”

    Me: “Hello?”

    Caller: “THIS IS GEORGE.”

    Me: *making the connection between the high-pitched voice and the name of one of our regular second-grader customers* “You want me to save you a muffin, George?”

    Caller: “CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN. HEATED, PLEASE.”

    Me: “I’ll wait and heat it up when you get here. See you soon, buddy.”

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