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  • 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.)

    Customers Of Substance

    | Tallahassee, FL, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    (I clean up the table after a group of boys leave. I look on the floor and see a bag of illegal substance. I give it to the manager and she calls the police. After the police leave, one of the boys comes back in and walks to their same table trying to find something.)

    Me: *to customer* “It’s not there anymore.”

    Customer: “Yeah, can I have that back?”

    Me: “Sir, I gave it to the police.”

    Customer: “So, I can’t have it back?”

    Me: “No.”

    Customer: “Well, it’s not mine anyway. It’s my friend’s.”

    Me: “You came back to claim something illegal that’s not even yours…”

    Customer: “Yeah…”

    Me: “You should probably leave before the police come back.”

    (My coworkers and I couldn’t stop laughing about it all night! Silly college students!)

    Surviving Their Snipes

    , | ACT, Australia | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Technology

    (My fiancé’s birthday is coming up. As game and console collectors we often browse game stores, but mostly we go to a particular second-hand game store where we find some real old treasures and odd things we don’t see very often, and have become regulars. A few days earlier he had spotted a sniper game for the Wii which comes with a full-sized fake sniper rifle that you mount the Wii remote on, but we didn’t buy it due to lack of funds during a billing period. While he goes to work a few days later I go to pick it up for him as a birthday surprise. As this is a second hand store, what people sell to the store is what the store has. There is no inventory of several of an item unless several were sold to them. Two rough looking men are outside the store as I walk in. I tell the lady working what I want to buy. The two men walk in and hover over the sniper game eagerly, just as the lady serving me takes it out of the display cabinet to pack up for me.)

    Rough Man #1: “Hey! What are you doing? We saw it first!”

    Rough Man #2: “Yeah! That’s ours! Don’t you dare sell that to HER!”

    Cashier: “Sorry, it’s being sold to this customer. We unfortunately don’t have any more in stock at the moment until someone else may sell us theirs. I’m terribly sorry.”

    Rough Man #1: “But we saw it first! We have a right to have it first!” *to me* “You can’t buy it. Give it up!”

    Rough Man #2: “Yeah! Give it up! The rules are the first who see it has a RIGHT to buy first! We override your rights!”

    Me: “Nope, sorry. This is for my fiancé’s birthday. I’m buying it regardless of if you saw it first or not. Whoever enquires first is the early bird. Maybe you can find one online.”

    Rough Man #1: “B****! You can’t do that!” *to the cashier* “You better not give it to her! It’s OURS! We have more of a right to it than her! Don’t you dare f****** sell it to her!”

    (At this point the cashier serving me looks a bit frightened. I don’t move from my post in front of her, being protective of both her and my fiancé’s gift as both of the men approach behind me very closely. I feel very wary as they both stand there trying to look as tall as possible, loudly swearing at me, muttering horrid names under their breaths at me. It doesn’t work and even though I feel scared, I stand my ground because I am not one to keel over to rude people, especially when I am buying gifts for loved ones and when they’re scaring others around me.)

    Rough Man #1: “You stupid s***, don’t be a f****** b**** and hand it over. It’s OURS and we’re buying it!”

    Me: “No way. It belongs to my fiancé. I’ll be walking out of here with it. My fiancé saw this days ago and I WILL be giving it to him for his birthday. Why don’t you find one elsewhere? This one is taken.”

    (I purchased it. All the while they were calling me every name in the book and trying to scare me as I stood tall, even though inside I was scared that they might get violent. The transaction went through, approved. I got my receipt, wished the lady serving me a good day, gave her a look that said to stay safe, and I left victoriously, tightly clutching the gift. I was still scared, though, as I was shopping alone, and made sure to quickly get on my bus home before they saw which direction I went. My fiancé was so happy with his gift, and thinks I’m tough as anything for standing up for myself.)

    Serving By The Seat Of His Pants

    | PA, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests

    (I have a regular customer who comes into the customer service desk where I work. He always needs help with the ATM. He’s a strange little fellow, always smells of beer and slurs his words. I am working on some paperwork when he comes in.)

    Customer: “He-hey, hey, you’re the lady who helped me earlier right?”

    Me: “Yes, is something wrong?”

    (I had helped him with the ATM then did an exchange. He had gotten the wrong ice cream.)

    Customer: “No, I was just wondering if you’d do me a favor?”

    Me: “What do you need? I’ll try my best to help.”

    Customer: “If I give you $40 will you take these pants back to the store for me and get me a smaller size?”

    Me: “Uhm, no. I don’t get off work until seven so I don’t think I’ll be able to get there.”

    Customer: “That’s fine. It’s okay. They don’t close until nine; you have plenty of time.”

    Me: “I’m still going to say no. Sorry.”

    Customer: “You’re saying no.”

    Me: “Yeah, it’s a no.”

    (He walked away without saying anything. My coworker and I just looked at each other like we both imagined it.)

    Freely Bathing In Stupidity

    | Hiram, GA, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Money, Pets & Animals

    (The pet store I work at sells coupon books for $20 that are meant for people who are planning to buy puppies or have just bought them. They greatly help with a lot of the up-front cost and include a sign-up for the customer to continue receiving coupons through their email. A customer comes up with a grooming slip to pay for her dog’s grooming. She is holding a puppy kit and reading it over.)

    Me: “Hey, how are you today? Find everything okay?”

    Customer: “Yeah. Hey, am I allowed to take this book thing home with me and decide later if I want to come back and buy it?”

    Me: “Um, no, ma’am. You have to purchase merchandise before you are allowed to leave the store with it.”

    Customer:” Oh… Well, I guess I don’t want it then. Maybe I’ll get it some other time.”

    (She puts the puppy kit back with the ones at the register and places the grooming slip and a coupon on the counter. I notice the coupon is for $5 off the grooming. In the puppy kit, there is a coupon for a free puppy bath which is what is listed on the grooming slip. To try and save her some money, I decide to explain that to her.)

    Customer: “Hmm… sounds good. I’ll take it.”

    Me: “So you do want to get a puppy kit?”

    Customer: “No.”

    Me: *confused look* “Then what are you wanting to get, ma’am?”

    Customer: “Just the free bath.”

    Me: “Ma’am, the coupon for the free bath is in the puppy kit.”

    Customer: “So, I’ll take the coupon. But I don’t think I want the kit today.”

    Me: “Ma’am, unless you purchase the book I can’t just give you a free bath. It’s a coupon included in the puppy kit and you can’t use the coupons without buying it first.”

    Customer: “Oh… Well, I don’t want the kit thing tonight.”

    Me: “Okay. I’ll just run it through with the $5 coupon, then.”

    Customer: “Yeah, that would be good. Since I can’t get the bath for free without the book, I’ll at least save something that way…”

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