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  • No Wonder She Ran Away

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

    (I work in one of the gift shops at a popular UK theme park. One day I notice a little girl, probably no older than eight, wandering around our shop unattended quite late in the day.)

    Me: “Hi sweetie, are you all right there?”

    (The girl just bursts into tears.)

    Girl: “I’ve lost my mummy and daddy!”

    Me: “Okay, okay. Well, don’t worry; I’ll help you look for them.”

    (I take her over to a stool we’ve been using to stock up and get her sat down. I let my coworker know to inform security so they can issue a park announcement and come take over the situation.)

    Me: “Now, here’s some tissues, and some water. Do you like sweets?”

    Girl: “Yeah. Coke bottles are my favourite.”

    Me: “Me, too! Tell you what: you clear up those tears, and we’ll fill up a pick’n'mix bucket for you, okay?”

    (She smiles a bit and nods, and starts blowing her nose. About 10 minutes pass, and the girl has calmed a little bit. I’m told that security are all of a few minutes away, when a couple come into the shop.)

    Mother: “[Girl], there you are! How DARE you run away from us!”

    Girl: “I got stuck behind some people—”

    Father: “Don’t you interrupt your mother, you little cow!”

    Me: “Ah, excuse me? I take it you’re this little girl’s parents?”

    (They both look at me with a mix of disgust and shock.)

    Mother: “What’s it to you?”

    Me: “Well, I’m not a parent, but if I’d lost my daughter I wouldn’t be insulting and yelling at her, especially since she’s literally just stopped crying.”

    Father: “You rude little s***! Who do you think you are?!”

    (The father gets a tap on the shoulder by the security team that has just arrived.)

    Security Guy #1: “Well at a guess, I’d say this is the staff member who found your daughter and has been looking after her.”

    (The girl holds up her bucket of cola bottles, squashed down as far as we can get them.)

    Girl: “He let me have all of these sweets!”

    Mother: “We better not have to pay for them!”

    (I just about hold my tongue, but the security guys say what I am thinking.)

    Security Guy #2: “Are you for real? You lose your kid and you’re worried about paying for a bunch of cola bottles?!”

    Security Guy #1: “Tell you what: any complaints or questions you have we’ll sort out at the security office with all the other paper work, and let these guys get back to their jobs.”

    (Just as they left, the girl gave me a hug and said ‘thank you.’ I don’t know what happened to her, but I hope the parents eventually saw sense as to what’s important in life.)