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    Category: Family & Kids

    Customers Are Cry-Babies

    | London, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Crazy Requests, Family & Kids

    (I work in a clothing store with 3 floors, and the fitting rooms are on the top floor. I have been chatting with a customer, admiring her adorable baby. Five minutes later, I notice the stroller is in the corner, baby fast asleep, but the mother is nowhere to be seen.)

    Me: *on the store walkies* “Hey, guys, I’ve got a sleeping baby downstairs and the mother doesn’t seem to be down here. She’s blonde with a cool red leather jacket. Can anyone see her on their floor?”

    Colleague: “Yeah, I just put her in a fitting room up here! Let me check in with her. I didn’t know she had a kid with her!”

    (A couple of minutes pass.)

    Colleague: “Yeah… She’s ‘just trying on a couple things and will be back in a minute.'”

    Manager: “Um, no. Can you let her know that we are not responsible for her child, and she needs to come downstairs right away? We have a customer lift so she can bring the stroller up to the fitting rooms.”

    Me: “Oh, god, it’s crying. What do I do?”

    (I enjoy the cuteness of babies, but they freak me out.)

    Colleague: “She’s on her way down, and she is NOT happy.”

    Me: “Neither is her baby!”

    (The customer comes stomping down the stairs, various items of clothing hanging off of her.)


    Me: “Ma’am, I haven’t touched the stroller at all, but you really can’t leave your child unat—”

    Customer: “Ugh, well, of COURSE she’s crying. You need to rock the stroller back and forth! God!! What kind of idiot are you?!”

    (My manager appears, as if by magic.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, my staff are not your babysitting service. We have elevators and large fitting rooms specifically for our customers who want to bring their children while they shop. We will be as accommodating as possible, but you cannot just leave your baby down here without saying a word. Frankly, I don’t understand why you would want to leave her with a complete stranger. Please stop shouting at my employee. Honestly, the noise is just making your baby cry more.”

    (The customer gapes like a fish for a minute, embarrassed, mutters a rather sulky apology, and goes back upstairs – with the baby, this time.)

    Me: “You’re a lifesaver.”

    Manager: “Why would she leave that baby here? You could be a psychopath for all she knows.”

    Me: “…Thanks?”

    Lost In Retail Space

    | Austin, TX, USA | Family & Kids

    (I’m working the register when I see an unusual sight: a young boy, about 12, pushing a cart filled with clothes, followed by his grandmother and little brother. The boy keeps pushing to the checkout, but the rest of his family gets a little distracted; the grandmother starts checking out clothes further in, while the brother wanders away. Unsure if the boy has noticed, I decide to say something.)

    Me: “I think you lost your family.”

    Boy: “I’m okay with that.”

    Not A Strong Parental Drive

    | Minneapolis, MN, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Transportation

    (I am a technician. I am given an SUV to perform a brake job. I hop in the car and drive it into the shop when I glance in the rear view mirror and spot a small boy strapped into his carseat. He smiles and waves at me. I whip around and look at him with a dumbfounded look.)

    Me: “Uhh. Why are you in here?”

    Boy: “Mommy said I can stay in the car.”

    Me: “I think your mother was mistaken.”

    (I roll down the window and shout for my shop foreman. He walks up and his jaw drops. I un-strap the child much to his dismay, and walk him into the lobby while holding his hand.)


    Me: “Don’t shout at me. Why on earth did you think leaving your son in your car was a good idea? Do you have any idea how hot it was in your vehicle by the time I got into it?!”

    Mother: “He’s restless. The only time he calms down is when he can nap in the car! WHY DID YOU TAKE HIM OUT?!”

    Me: “Ma’am. I am not leaving a child in a hot car five feet in the air while I perform service on it.”

    Shop Foreman: “Go ahead, ma’am… Call the police, and explain to them why your son’s energy is reason enough to leave him in a hot car with the windows up… I think they might side with us.”

    (She sputters profanity at us for about 30 seconds before storming out of the store looking for her car.)

    Shop Foreman: *to me* “Are you gonna back her car out?”

    Me: “I was thinking of going to lunch, actually.”

    Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Abandon Your Children

    | MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (One customer repeatedly leaves her six-year-old in the store for hours at a time. The kid would try to tear the controllers off our demo machines, throw game boxes, and sometimes rip down entire displays. After a particularly busy morning in the holiday season, the customer walks her son in, and then makes to leave.)

    Me: “Ma’am, you’ve forgotten your child.”

    Woman: “I’ll be right back. He’ll be fine.”

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but you can’t leave your child here unattended.”

    Woman: “I’m just going to be fifteen minutes. Watch him for me.”

    Me: “Ma’am, we are not a daycare and I cannot assume responsibility for your kid. I see kids dragged out of the store screaming and crying because their parents won’t buy them something, and I have no way of knowing if a kid is being a brat or being abducted by a random stranger.”

    Woman: “You’re telling me that you’d let my kid get taken?”

    (I sigh, because that usually is enough to scare the parent into watching their kid better. My manager, who had been dealing with customers but had been paying attention, called out from behind the counter.)

    Manager: “Ma’am, if you leave your child here I’m going to call the social services and report that the child’s been abandoned.”

    (The customer’s eyes widen. She grabs her child by the arm and drags him out.)

    Me: “Can we even do that?”

    Manager: “No idea, but she doesn’t know that.”


    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Family & Kids, History, Pets & Animals, Religion

    (I work as an educator in a science museum in St. Louis. One of the activities in my section of the museum involved putting together the cast of a Dromaeosaurus skeleton.)

    Eight-Year-Old Boy: “I know why this dinosaur died.”

    Me: “You do?”

    Eight-Year-Old Boy: “He was a smoker.”

    (Later that day, a middle school group is passing by…)

    Seventh-Grade Girl: *addressing her peers* “This dinosaur died because he didn’t believe in Jesus.”

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