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    The Mother Of All Bad Parents

    | Adelaide, SA, Australia | At The Checkout, Family & Kids

    (My coworker, who is manning the registers, has been approached by a small girl, no more than three years old. The girl is crying and has lost her mother.)

    Coworker: *to me* “Can you please make an announcement over the PA? I’ll look after her.”

    (My coworker takes the little girl to the colouring-in table and sits with her, which leaves us one short at the registers. I jump on to cover her and continue to make PA announcements every few minutes, describing the child and asking for her parent to make themselves known to staff. Perhaps 15 or more minutes pass.)

    Coworker: “It’s been at least 15 minutes, and the girl is getting more and more frightened. I can’t distract her with colouring forever. I don’t think the mother is in the store.”

    Manager: “You’re right; it’s been too long, and not one staff member knows who the mother is. I’ve done the rounds and asked everyone. I’ll call the police.”

    (At this moment, a woman wanders over to the colouring-in table and grabs the child by the arm, completely ignoring the fact the girl is sobbing.)

    Manager: “Are you this girl’s mother?”

    Woman: “Yeah.”

    Manager: “We’ve been paging you for near 20 minutes. Have you been in the store this whole time?”

    Woman: “Yeah.”

    Manager: “Surely you heard the pages? All we asked was that you make yourself known to staff! Your daughter has been frightened half to death! We were just about to call the police! Why didn’t you come to the counter?”

    Woman: “And risk losing the service of the guy who was selling me a computer? F*** that. I ain’t risking having to wait for someone else to serve me. What if he served someone else while I was talking to you lot? It was pretty f***ing clear where my daughter was thanks to the PA system, wasn’t it? Not like I f***ing lost her or anything!”