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    Chide Should Go Before The Fall

    | Israel | Family & Kids, Money, Wild & Unruly

    (A kid is running around with a toy gun until he falls down and breaks it. His mother grabs it and approaches me.)

    Mother: “I would like another one of this.”

    Me: “No problem, but I need you to pay for the one you broke.”

    Mother: “That’s insane! He broke it in your store! That means it’s your responsibility!”

    (I point to a huge sign behind me that says, ‘You Break It, You Buy It.’ I have never seen anyone run that fast!)

    Holy Smoky Mountains, Batman

    | St. Louis, MO, USA | Family & Kids

    (I’m working the register of a small toy store when a family walks in with a two-year-old boy in a stroller and his older brother (who’s about eight) walking alongside it. They walk past our new “Dark Knight Rises” merchandise.)

    2-year-old Brother: *holds his arms out* “I WANNA BE BATMAN! I WANNA BE BATMAN!”

    Me: *smiling* “We all want to be Batman.”

    8-year-old Brother: “Batman’s real where I come from!”

    Me: “Oh, are you from Gotham City?”

    8-year-old Brother: “No, Tennessee!”

    Musicery Loves Company

    | Bethany Beach, DE, USA | Musical Mayhem

    (I’m 17, and am working in a toy shop on the boardwalk. We play tropical and beach-themed music on speakers in the store promoting CDs we sell. This happens after I have already been working six hours listening to the same CD on repeat.)

    Customer #1: “Oh cool! Are those steel drums in the song?”

    Me: “Yes, they are. I like them too.”

    Customer #1: “Do you sell this CD, or are you just playing it?”

    Me: “We actually do sell it, as well as a few others. They’re on the counter next to the cash register if you’re interested.”

    Customer #1: “Thanks!”

    (The customer goes over to browse. In a few minutes, a sudden thunderstorm breaks, and the rain is so hard that none of the customers will leave the shop. Everyone, including the customer, has huddled near the door to watch the storm.)

    Customer #1: “Geez, when do you think this rain is going to stop?”

    Me: “I don’t know. These storms happen sometimes near the ocean, but they usually pass pretty quickly.”

    (Two minutes pass in relative silence. The music is still playing.)

    Customer #1: “Does this music play everyday?”

    Me: “Yes, usually, unless another CD is used.”

    Customer #1: “All day?”

    Me: “Yep, it’s been playing since I came in this morning.”

    Customer #1: *without warning* “IF THIS MUSIC DOES NOT STOP PLAYING, I WILL KILL MYSELF!!”

    Me: *speechless*

    Customer #1: “AAARGH!”

    (Customer #1 runs out of the shop and down the boardwalk in the torrential rain, while the remaining customers and I stare at him.)

    Customer #2: “I bet you feel like that about the music too.”

    Me: *sighs* “Yep, pretty much…”

    A Killer Whale Of A Story

    | Netherlands | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

    (It’s nearing the end of summer and my coworker and I are clearing away the summer theming in our shop window to make place for something else. This happens as I’m about to cut up an inflatable Orca.)

    Child: “No, don’t kill it! Can I please have it?”

    Coworker #1: “Yeah, sure.”

    Child: “Yes! I can take it home and care for it in our pool. It needs water to live in!”

    Coworker #1: *hands the child the toy* “Now, be very careful with it because it’s very fragile—”

    Child: *runs out of the store to his mother before my coworker can finish*

    Me: “How cute, I bet he’ll take good care—”

    Mother: *smacks the inflatable against a few objects and stamps on it with her high heels*

    Me: “Never mind…”

    (About an hour passes as I overhear a conversation going on at the till. I notice the child with his mother and the popped toy.)

    Mother: “Well, clearly it’s faulty. Look at it! It’s full of holes, and that was out of the packaging!”

    Coworker #2: “I’m really sorry, but without a receipt I cannot provide you with a new one.”

    Mother: *to her child* “Do you hear that? They sell me a broken toy and refuse to replace it. I want to speak to the manager!”

    Me: “Excuse me, miss, but I believe a colleague of mine gave your child that toy and you destroyed it just outside the shop.”

    Mother: “How dare you make such an accusation? Who do you think you are?”

    Me: “I’m the person that set up the display with that same toy several months before. I marked it with a black pen around the valve noting that it would be destroyed at the end of the display time. I’m also the person that was there watching you destroy the toy outside.”

    Mother: “That is a lie and I want a new toy!”

    Coworker #2: “I cannot give you a new one without your receipt.”

    Child: “Mommy, you said that if you made it leaky, you could get me a brand new one for free!”

    Mother: “Well, you will because I know I’m right and they are wrong. I’ll just buy you a new one and send in a complaint on their website!”

    (The mother proceeds to buy a new inflatable orca. It’s a size smaller and a different color then the one from the display since we didn’t have anymore large ones.)

    Mother: *to her child* “See, if you are smart and cunning, you get what you want whenever you want!”

    Matrix’R'Us

    | North Carolina, USA | Bizarre

    (A customer approaches the counter with two sets of toys that build alien robots.)

    Me: “Hello, ma’am. Are you all set to check out?”

    Customer: “Look, I know that one of these robots is evil, and I need you to tell me which one it is. I ain’t bringin’ no evil into my grandson’s house!”

    Me: “Well, I can assure you, ma’am, that none of the toys we sell are ev—”

    Customer: “Look, I know you’re supposed to say that. But I know you know which one of these is evil, and you are gonna tell me right now before I leave this store!”

    Me: “Uh…just don’t buy the red one.”

    (She hands me the blue one and gives me a knowing nod of approval.)

    Customer: “Don’t worry, I won’t tell nobody you told me!”

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