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  • My Little-Minded Brony

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Geeks Rule, Movies & TV

    (It’s my day off so I go to the toy shop where I work with my eight-year-old niece. She’s a huge fan of ‘My Little Pony,’ so we’re off looking at toys. Two men are already there, talking about the show. My niece is pretty social, so she tries to strike up a conversation while I eye the display.)

    Niece: “Ooh, you like My Little Pony, too?! Who’s your favourite? I love Fluttershy; she’s so pretty and kind. That’s how I want to be when I grow up.”

    Man #1: “You’re a fan, huh? I guess you’ve got all the merchandise then?”

    Niece: “Merch… an… dise?”

    Man #2: “The toys and stuff. Don’t you have any?”

    Niece: “Oh… yeah! I got some for my birthday!”

    Man #1: “So you probably know the names of all the main characters, then?”

    Niece: *lists characters*

    Man #2: “What about the episode names?”

    Niece: “Um…”

    Man #1: “Don’t you know them?”

    (I’m starting to get quite annoyed.)

    Me: “What are you doing?”

    (They both give me defensive looks.)

    Man #1: “Nothing!”

    Man #2: “We just wanted to know if she’s a real fan or one of those fake geek girls.”

    Man #1: “She can’t even name the episodes.”

    Man #2: “Bet she hasn’t even watched them all.”

    (My niece is starting to get upset, so I lose all patience.)

    Me:” Are you serious? All it takes to be a fan is for someone to like and enjoy something. Where do you get off acting so smug because you know more about a show for little girls than its intended audience?”

    Man #1: “Are you saying men can’t like stuff for girls? That’s sexist!”

    Me: “Sexist?! I’m not the one spewing misogynistic nonsense at a child simply because they can’t pass some pointless memory test. You obviously haven’t learned much, since the TV show is all about friendship and treating people with respect! Now, shove off or grow up!”

    (They storm off. I turn round to see my manager watching me.)

    Me: “Am I fired?”

    Manager: “You’re not in uniform; they don’t know you work here. Besides, if someone talked to my kids like that, I’d knock them out.”

    (My niece cheered up after a while, and I bought her some new ‘merchandise’. I hope those men went home and watched the show again, and maybe took its message to heart this time.)

    Won’t Yield To Their Tub-thumping

    | Mansfield, MA, USA | Holidays, Theme Of The Month

    (I am working at a small chain toy store, the kind where very little is electronic. We do have birthday parties, where parents can come in and buy toys and put them in a tub, which we’d wrap for the party. This happens around Christmas. I’ve just rung up this woman’s purchases, something around $200.)

    Me: “Okay, that’ll be [price].”

    Woman: “Fine, but can you hold these for me for a few days?”

    (This is not something we could do. An hour, maybe, but definitely not a few days. I tell her that.)

    Woman: “But those tubs up there, you could just put it in one of those.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but those are just for birthday parties that are being hosted here.”

    Woman: “Well, I came here to do some shopping for my kids, and they’re here, so I can’t take them home now.”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, there really isn’t anything I can do. Store policy won’t let me keep them here.”

    Woman: “I’m spending my money here, and you won’t even help me with my kids’ Christmas presents?”

    Me: “I’m happy to help you find anything, order anything, and wrap anything, but I can’t break store policy.”

    Woman: *now grabbing her kids, who were quietly playing with some of the open toys that are available* “You just lost a customer! I will never come back to this f****** store!”

    The Key(s) To Customer Service

    | Raleigh, NC, USA | Crazy Requests, Technology

    (I usually work the electronics department, but I’ve stepped into the main toy section to show a customer where an item is located. Another customer gets my attention.)

    Customer: “Can you tell me where [line of dolls] are?”

    Me: “I’m not familiar with those dolls, but if we do carry them, they’ll be in [aisle numbers].”

    Customer: “Well, the other girl said that you don’t have them!”

    Me: “We probably don’t, then. It’s been a very busy morning and we’re sold out of a lot of popular items.”

    Customer: “Can’t you look it up on that doodad of yours?”

    (The customer gestures at the set of keys in my hand, which have a large black magnetic key attached to them.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I’m afraid I don’t have my handheld scanner, but if you give me a moment I can go to the electronics department—”

    Customer: “No, that doodad in your hand!”

    Me: *as gently as possible* “Ma’am, these are my keys, not my handheld.”

    Customer: “I have had it with this store! This is the worst customer service! I will inform your manager that you refused to serve me!”

    (Later, my manager drops by.)

    Manager: “Did you try to help a very grumpy old woman?”

    Me: “Yeah, and she was mad that I couldn’t use my keys to look up an item.”

    Manager: “I’m not surprised. She complained about you, and then wanted me to help her find a doll in an ad. I pointed out that it was an ad for a competitor and that the doll was marked as that [Competitor]‘s exclusive item. She told me she’d just come from there and they didn’t have any more, so what was I going to do about it? I told her nothing, since we’re not [Competitor]. Last I saw she was leaving her cart and walking out of the store complaining about how employees these days have no sense of what customer service really means.”

    Don’t Kick A Pink Gift Horse In The Mouth

    | UK | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Family & Kids

    (It’s nearly closing time, when a mother comes in with her son, who looks to be about two or three.)

    Boy: “I want a dolly! Look mummy!” *takes doll off shelf*

    Mother: “No, that’s for girls. Let’s go look at the Lego.”

    Boy: *points at box of pink Lego* “This one, mummy! Please!”

    Mother: “You can’t have pink, that’s a girl’s colour.”

    Boy: “I get horsey?” *points at pink toy horse*

    Me: “I love horseys. That seems like a great idea. It’s always lovely to see a handsome young man like you who likes pink horseys. Is that okay with you, Ma’am?”

    Mother: “You’re trying to turn my son gay!”

    Me: “I can assure you that I am not attempting anything like that.”

    (I walk away to allow the mother to pick out a ‘suitable’ toy for her son. They walk up to the cash desk with a toy car set, but the boy is crying.)

    Me: “That’ll be £23, please.”

    Boy: “Want horsey!”

    Me: “Since you’re such a cutie, how about a free horsey?”

    (I took a cheap pink horse from a shelf and handed it to him.)

    Mother, Daughter, Lawyer, Cry

    | Sweden | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (I’ve been told I am extremely scary looking, but I am very kind, especially towards children. My girlfriend has a habit of teasing me for looking so scary. A small child enters the store with her mother. I notice the girl holding a teddy bear and don’t comment on it. My girlfriend is the cashier.)

    Mother: “Excuse me!”

    Me: “Yeah? Can I help you?”

    Mother: “How dare you!”

    Me: “… Pardon?”

    Mother: “How dare you treat me like a lesser being?!”

    Me: “I literally said ‘can I help you.’ I work here. It’s my JOB to, y’know, help people.”

    (The mother huffs and hurries off, leaving the girl behind, who was looking at some toys. She panics once she sees her mother is gone.)

    Girl: “Mommy? Where are you?”

    Me: “Aw, h***. Yo, kitten!”

    Girlfriend: “Yeah?”

    Me: “Can you get [Coworker]? Dude should be in the back. Tell him to find the kid’s mother.”

    (I explain how the mother looked. She nods and hurries off. The coworker quickly walks past us with a calm smile. He’s one of my best friends and the only time he snaps is when people are being idiots.)

    Me: “Hey, kid. You want a cookie or something?”

    Girl: “Mommy says I shouldn’t take things from strangers.”

    Me: “Fair point. Come on. Let’s look around, shall we?”

    (I show my hand with a calm smile. She carefully grabs it. I now notice she dropped her teddy bear.)

    Me: “Hey… Where’s your teddy?”

    Girl: “Huh? Oh, no!”

    (She looks panicked. I quickly find it and hand it back to her with a calm smile. She quickly hugs it.)

    Girl: “You’re scary… but nice.”

    Me: “Yeah, so I hear…”

    (The coworker from earlier now comes along with the mother, who is screaming
    loudly.)

    Mother: “How dare you assault my child! You sick f***! I’ll have your a** sued!”

    Me: “For what? For leaving your daughter behind?”

    Mother: “I’ll have your a** sued! I’m a lawyer!”

    Girl: “Mom, you’re a waitress…”

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