Category: Family & Kids

Harry Potter And The Amazon Woman

| ID, USA | Awesome Customers, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule

(I work reference desk at a public library. My desk is right next to the “New Books” display, and among the new books is a copy of “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.” The dust jacket shows Wonder Woman in the process of changing from her alter ego to her superhero form, so she still has her glasses and jacket on, but is also wearing her iconic leotard and crown. A mom and her children are walking by the display when one spots the book.)

Child: “Mom, look! It’s Harry Potter Wonder Woman!”

(I’m also a geek in my off-time, so I’m tempted to cosplay that at my next convention now…)

A Grocery Error Of Judgement

| USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I work in a popular grocery store. It’s a very busy Sunday afternoon, and I am monitoring the six self-checkout machines, which is basically like paying attention to six things at once, while answering questions of customers passing by. A man and his three- or four-year old daughter walk away from their machine and come up to me.)

Me: “Hi, can I help you?”

Customer: “Hi. I left my credit card in the car. Can you watch my groceries while I run out and grab it?”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but as you can see, it’s very busy at the moment so I can’t hold your machine. However, I can suspend your order while you get your card, and you can finish checking out when you get back.”

Customer: “I’m parked just right outside. Can you please just hold it for a minute?”

(People in line are already getting irritated that this guy is talking to me instead of checking out, but this continues for another couple of minutes. Finally, I just give in.)

Me: “Okay, but please try to hurry. There is a long line.”

Customer: “Thank you so much! I’ll be right back.”

(He takes his daughter by the hand, presumably to take her out with him. A few seconds later, she comes walking back up to me.)

Me: “…Hi. Where’s your dad?”

Girl: “He told me you would watch me while he went outside.”

(This guy left his very young daughter with me, while I was running six cash registers at once on the busiest day of the week. He was gone for about fifteen minutes (way more than “a couple”) and when he returned, he smelled like he had been chain smoking the whole time he was gone. I ended up calling one of my supervisors over to help watch the kid while I did my job. All of the customers who were around kept asking if I knew the guy and his kid, and when I said no, the looks of shock and disgust that he left a complete stranger to babysit her were priceless.)

Meat Her Halfway

| NY, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(I’m working the self-scan machines. A grandfather comes by with his granddaughter in the seat of the shopping cart. He takes a pack of cookies from the nearby shelf and gives them to her.)

Grandfather: “Okay, honey, what should we get next?”

Granddaughter: “MEAT!”

Me: *chuckling* “I guess she’s a little carnivore, huh?”

Grandfather: *also laughing* “Well, her mom’s a vegetarian so I can’t really give her meat.”

Granddaughter: *bouncing in the seat with a big smile* “MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT MEAT!”

Me: “I don’t think she’s a vegetarian, sir.”

Would Love To See Her React To Blueberry Pie

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Crazy Requests, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Religion

(Where I work we have gummy bears as an extra on the menu, and when younger kids come in I tend to fill a little dish with bears from the container and offer it to them while their guardians decide what to order. The other day, I offer some to a family with dad, mum, and three kids. When I offered the gummy bears to the kids, they recoiled and looked at their mum.)

Mother: “Are there blue gummy bears in there?”

Me: *I look at the container in my hand* “Yes, there are.”

(She nods ‘yes’ to her kids, who grab all the gummy bears from the container except the blue ones. I open my mouth to joke about them leaving the blue ones when the mother smacks the container out of my hand, shattering the dish on the floor and spilling bears everywhere. Very calmly she steps forward and informs me:)

Mother: “Blue food is unnatural and the Devil’s work.”

(Stunned, I stare at her while she calmly fills her order and her kids don’t even blink. No further comments are made other than:)

Mother: “You should wear gloves while cleaning this up, dear.”

An Alarming Lack Of Parenting

, | Bucks County, PA, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids

(We share a building with a popular candle store that is notorious for setting the fire alarms off. I have been working with a customer who is amassing a rather large pile of clothing, lingerie, and makeup. She is letting her ten-year-old son run all over the store and not stopping him from pulling the pants down on all of the mannequins in the store, picking up handfuls of underpants and throwing them, and spraying the employees with a bottle of tester perfume. I am being a good sport and putting up with it because she is going to spend a lot of money and she is being pleasant with me. All of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off.)

Me: “Oh, no, [Candle Store] must have set off the fire alarms again. We are going to have to vacate the building. I’m sorry, ma’am. If you want me to hold the clothes at the register, I can finish your transaction as soon as they give us the all clear to come back in.”

Customer: “No, that won’t be necessary. There’s no fire, so we can stay in the shop.”

Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, I know you cannot see a fire, but since we share this building with a candle store, there may very well be a fire in the building and it just has not spread to this shop. It’s a potentially dangerous situation, and we need to vacate the building for our safety until the fire company arrives and says it’s okay.”

Customer: *now getting annoyed* “I told you there’s no fire! Do you see a fire? No! That’s because there’s no fire! My son was annoyed that I was taking so long, so he pulled the fire alarm. He does that sometimes to let me know it’s time to go.”

(My store manager comes up to us as we are the only ones left in the store. She tries to shoo us out but the customer repeats her story to my manager.)

Manager: “Wait, wait, wait. Your son pulled the fire alarm because he was bored?”

Customer: “Yes, I saw him heading toward it and I said “[Kid], don’t you dare!” and he smiled and did it anyway and ran off. I don’t know where he is now.”

(My manager and I stand there in shocked silence as the firemen burst through the doors.)

Fireman #1: “Wow, for once it wasn’t the candle shop!”

Fireman #2: *noticing us* “What are you guys doing in here? You need to get out of the building!”

Customer: *now exasperated* “No, it’s okay. My son pulled the alarm. Now can we please finish ringing up my stuff so I can pay and leave before he does something else?”

Firefighter #2: “Ma’am, pulling a fire alarm for no reason is punishable by a fine.”

(The customer dropped all her stuff as if it was on fire and proceeded to sprint out of the store and head to the parking lot. Her son popped out of a display rack and went after her with Fireman #1 chasing them down. I’m not sure what happened to her after he caught her.)

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