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    Category: Family & Kids

    Summer Starts Earlier Every Year

    | MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

    (I am a counselor at a summer camp. A parent asks me this as she is dropping her son off on the first day.)

    Mother: “Camp starts at 9 am, right?”

    Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

    Mother: “So when is the earliest I can drop him off?”

    (This is a reasonable question, as some camps in the same building provide before-care options. Ours, however, does not.)

    Me: “8:55? We always start with some casual games that the kids can join as they arrive, so there’s no need to worry about him missing anything.”

    Mother: “But I need to drop him off, and his sister at her camp, and then I have to get to work. So I really need to drop him off earlier. His sister’s camp doesn’t have before-care so I need to drop her off second.”

    Me: “I’m sorry; we don’t have before-care either.”

    Mother: “But you must get here before 9.”

    Me: “Well… we do get here earlier but we have setup to do.”

    Mother: “I’ll just drop him off when you get here then.”

    Me: “We really can’t be responsible for the children outside of camp hours.”

    Mother: “He won’t bother you.”

    Me: “Please do not bring him before 9.”

    Mother: “Okay, see you at 8:30!” *walks away*

    Me: “No… please don’t!”

    (I got there at 8:20 the next morning and found the child sitting in the hallway outside the locked room!)

    Caribbean There, Done That

    | London, England, UK | Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geography

    (I’m a volunteer lunch-server in a nursing home, but I’ve spent the last month working in the south of France. I’ve picked up a slight tan, but usually my skin is as white as it gets. One lady stares at me oddly as I bring her her food.)

    Lady: “Where are you from?”

    Me: “From here, ma’am. I live a few roads away.”

    Lady: “No, I mean where were you born?”

    Me: “Finchley, originally, but I moved—”

    Lady: “No, no, no. Where are you from?”

    Me: “Uh. London, ma’am. Britain.”

    Lady: “And your parents?”

    Me: “Also from London.”

    Lady: *squints at me* “No, you’re lying. There’s no shame in being Jamaican, you know. You can tell me.”

    Me: “I… What?”

    Makes You Wish You Were Cat-atonic

    | VA, USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

    Grandmother: “Come look a these pictures.”

    (The waitress is obviously uncomfortable as my grandmother proceeds to show her a ton of pictures of my cat.)

    Grandmother: “See, it looks like it’s playing piano.”

    Mom: “She doesn’t want to see all of our pictures, mom.”

    Grandmother: “Look at this one.”

    Mom: *mouthing silently* “I’m so sorry.”

    Grandmother: “He’s playing with something here…”

    Will Not Be Moved

    | PA, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

    (I’m working the register at a grocery store when a mother and her 10-year-old son start unloading their cart. As I’m finishing with the customer before them, I hear the boy continually trying to finish his mother’s sentences, occasionally getting them right and prompting her to say, ‘Hey! Stop predicting the future!’ Their turn comes up and we exchange the usual greeting pleasantries. I address the boy.)

    Me: “So you’re trying to tell the future, huh?”

    Boy: *matter-of-factly* “Uh-huh! I’m trying to learn all kinds of stuff, like telepathy and telekinesis.”

    (I happen to be Pagan with some mystic friends who taught me a few tricks. Plus, despite being a humanities major, I spent a good deal of college reading up on quantum theory.)

    Me: “Well, you know the secret to telling the future, right?”

    Boy: “Um…”

    Me: “It’s not about seeing the future, it’s remembering the future.”

    Boy: “Huh?”

    (I explain to him the theory that all time happens at once but the human brain only perceives it as moving in one direction, meaning the future is already here and we just don’t remember it yet.)

    Me: “So what you’ve got to do in the future is bundle up what you’re trying to remember and send it back in time to yourself. I’ve been training myself to do it for years and now I can sort of remember emotions from situations I haven’t experienced yet. It’s a good thing you’re starting so young. Maybe by the time you’re my age you’ll be able to remember words, too!”

    Boy: “… I think I’ll stick to learning telekinesis.”

    Me: “Ah, that’s slightly trickier. What you have to do there is learn how to mentally manipulate the electromagnetic attraction between certain objects.”

    Boy: “… Never mind, then.”

    (As they left, the mother was chuckling to herself and the boy looked both confused and dejected. Hopefully he had better luck with telepathy!)

    Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount, Part 2

    | VA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Movies & TV

    (We have discount five pm shows during the week, and one pm shows on weekends. People often show up at five pm on weekends wanting a discount, but most are suitably good-natured on finding out that they were using the wrong day’s newspaper to get their information. A customer comes in dropping off his teenage son.)

    Customer: “One, please.”

    Me: “That’ll be [full price amount].”

    Customer: “No, I only want one.”

    Me: “I know. It’s full price.”

    Customer: “No, it isn’t. It’s discounted. The newspaper says so.”

    Me: “Our weekend schedules are different. You’re using a paper from another day. I’m sorry. I know it’s inconvenient and a lot of people make that mistake, but it is full price.”

    Customer: *getting belligerent* “No. It is discounted and I will not pay full price.”

    Me: “I really am sorry, but as I said, a lot of people make this mistake. I can’t give you the discounted price.”

    Customer: “I’m going to go get the newspaper from my car and show you and you’ll have to give me a refund.”

    (The customer pays full price for his son, who scampers inside, as several dozen pairs of eyes wait to see what will happen. Many of them have paid full price and will no doubt want refunds, too, if I give this customer one. Then, about a minute later, he reappears with a paper.)

    Customer: *arrogantly and rudely* “Why don’t you tell me what it says right here?”

    Me: *reading from newspaper* “That says 5:00 at the discounted price.”

    Customer: *beaming*

    Me: “Now why don’t you tell me what it says right here?”

    Customer: *reading from paper* “Showtimes listed are for today… only.”

    (At that point he turned and walked off, without so much as a good bye to his son. I think the son at least enjoyed the movie.)

    Don’t Discount The Customer’s Ability To Discount

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