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    Parenting The Parents

    | Minnesota, USA | Family & Kids, Top

    (I am a 17 year old girl working at a boy scout camp. It is close to the end of the summer and I’ve gotten very used to encounters like these. The camp has motorized canoes on the river because the boys are generally too weak to row upstream. Some dads tend to abuse the canoes. This particular dad was very obnoxious.)

    Dad: *jumps into canoe*

    Me: “Uh, sir, we actually need to go over safety rules before you guys can start with the canoes, okay?”

    Dad: *blank stare*

    Me: “So…I’ll have to ask you to get out of the canoe.”

    Dad: *blank stare*

    Me: *more sternly* “Sir! I really need you to get out now so we can get started.”

    Dad: “No! You can’t tell me what to do! Do you think I don’t know how to use a canoe?!”

    Me: “Well, I’m sure you are very experienced with canoes, but some boys aren’t, so we just want to make sure everyone knows the ground rules.”

    Dad: “Do you know who I am? You can’t talk to me like this! Who do you think you are to talk to me like this? Do you know who I am? I have the power to fire your a**!”

    Coworker: “Whoa, hey, calm down. You don’t need to talk to her like that. She’s just doing her job.”

    Dad: “She works here?! So she like gets…paid and stuff?”

    Me: “Yes, I get paid and stuff.”

    Dad: “But you’re a girl!”

    Me: “Yes, I am a girl.”

    Dad: “At a boy scout camp! This is just wrong! You can’t work here! Who hired you? What sick freak would hire a girl to do a man’s job?!”

    (I begin writing names and numbers on a piece of paper.)

    Me: “Okay, well if you’d like to complain to my supervisor, here’s her number. Otherwise you can talk to the camp director; her name is Elizabeth.”

    Dad: *storms off*

    (Later, I find out that this same dad attempted to pop a wheelie in the canoe and was put on our “do not canoe” list.)

    Mother Needs To Screen Her Son

    | Lubbock, TX, USA |

    (I am working the front desk, where parents sign their children in every morning. We go swimming multiple times a week, so sunscreen and bug spray are on each camper’s essentials list.)

    Me: “Good morning, [camper's name]! Ready for the pool today?”

    Mother: “He is! Especially since I had to buy him new sunscreen yesterday!”

    (She looks at me as if, somehow, this is my fault.)

    Me: “I’m not sure I follow you, ma’am. I’m sure he had some with him the other day when we went out to the park.”

    Mother: “Two big bottles, yes. And could you be on the lookout for them? I’m sure he just left them somewhere around here.”

    (Once again, I get the look.)

    Me: “He’s lost them, then? I know he put them in his backpack after we got ready for the park, before we left.”

    Mother: “They’re gone! I wouldn’t have to keep buying these for him otherwise!

    (My supervisor comes over, likely hearing the commotion, as the mother has been getting progressively louder.)

    Supervisor: “Good morning, ma’am. Is there something I can help you with?”

    Mother: “Yes! My son keeps going through sunscreen and bug spray like nobody’s business! I can’t afford to keep buying this big bottle for him if he’s going to let your entire camp share, or leave them behind!”

    Supervisor: “Well, have you looked through his backpack? It’s pretty big, and his counsellor has said that she saw him putting them away just recently.”

    Mother: *offended* “I pack my son’s bag for him every day! There’s no way I would have missed them!”

    Supervisor: “How about we double check, just to be sure?”

    (He kneels down to the now embarrassed son, who has his backpack with him. Sitting on top of everything are the big bottles of sunscreen and bug spray. My supervisor doesn’t even have to dig around for them. The mother turns red, hastily signs her child in for the day, and promptly leaves.)

    In-Tent Is Lacking

    | MN, USA | Tourists/Travel

    Me: “[Campgrounds], how can I help you?”

    Customer: “Do you have any places available?”

    Me: “Yes, we have sites open. What kind are you looking for?”

    Customer: “I want to go camping.”

    Me: “Do you want water and electricity or just a plain site?”

    Customer: “Just a site.”

    Me: “Ok, so we’ll see you this weekend. I just need your name and I’ll reserve it.”

    Customer: “Do you have the houses with zippers?”

    Me: “You mean a tent?”

    Customer: “Yeah, the house with a zipper. Do you have them?”

    Me: “No, you bring your own.”

    Customer: “Oh. Do you know where I can get one?”

    (I list a few generic stores.)

    Customer: “Okay, thank you. Do you have water?”

    Me: “No, your site doesn’t have a water hook-up. You can fill up at any site not being used.”

    Customer: “What can I fill up?”

    Me: “A water bottle, a pail or anything.”

    Customer: “Do you have coolers for us?”

    Me: “No, you have to bring your own.”

    Customer: “Where can I get one?”

    Tripped Up

    | Georgia, USA | Family & Kids

    (One of the kids at my martial arts camp has gotten so bad that I have to call to his mother.)

    Me: “Ma’am, your son has not been paying attention during training, and is disrupting the other kids.”

    Mother: “Well, maybe my son needs a male influence instead of a little girl!”

    Me: “The kids are arranged according to proficiency level. We can’t move him.”

    Mother: “That’s funny…you say you can’t control him, but you can threaten to throw him down a flight of stairs easily enough!”

    Me: “Who told you I threatened to throw him down a flight of stairs?”

    Mother: “He did! He said you threatened to throw him down the stairs!”

    Me: “Ma’am, this is a one-story building.”

    *brief pause*

    Mother: “I will talk to him tonight.”

    This Child Has Few Reservations

    | Asheville, NC, USA | Family & Kids

    Child: “Excuse me, but I have a question.”

    Me: “What is it?”

    Child: “Do you believe in Native Americans?”

    Me: *slight pause* “Yes. Yes, I do.”

    Child: “That’s good to know.”

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