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    Went On A Jurassic Lark

    | Rapid City, SD, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Top

    (I work at a geology museum. A woman and her son, who looks about five, walk in. The boy is entranced by the mammoths, dinosaurs, and marine reptile skeletons on display. The mother looks unimpressed, and is on the phone for most of her stay. Since the building is kept at a pleasant temperature, she drops her heavy coat off with me at the front desk. Later, I spot her heading for the exit.)

    Me: “I hope you had a good time at our museum. Did you have any questions before you go?”

    Mother: “I’m not interested in your stupid dinosaurs.”

    (She heads for the elevator, which is around a corner. I assume she has her child waiting there, since I can’t see him in the rest of the museum. Three hours later, I see her son wandering around the displays, looking lost. I rush over to him.)

    Me: “Hey, buddy. What are you doing here?”

    Son: *in the most heartbroken voice ever* “Have you seen mommy? I fell asleep.”

    Me: “I saw her a little while ago, bud. Why don’t you have a seat over here? Do you have your mom’s phone number, or a way to contact her?”

    (Fortunately, he has a list of emergency-contact numbers in a tiny wallet. I call the one labeled ‘Mom’ in blue crayon, after giving him some paper and colored pencils.)

    Mother: “Who is this?!”

    Me: “This is [My Name], from [Museum's Name]. We have—”

    Mother: “You d*** well better ship me my coat, you b****! That’s a $500 coat, and I’m already on the other side of the state!”

    Me: “You also left your son here, ma’am. And I don’t have a box in his size.”

    Mother: *after a brief pause* “You son of a b****! You should have told me I left my kid behind! It’s going to take me five f****** hours to get back there!”

    (I decided to end the call, and instead called the police department. The mother stormed in a little over four hours later, long after the museum is supposed to be closed. She had a nice long conversation with child-care services. Her son gave me a hug and thanked me for staying with him. I still have his drawing of a plesiosaur.)