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Category: Family & Kids

The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

| St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

(I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

(My nephew begins to cry.)

Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

(As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

Older Woman: “This little b****—”

Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

(At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

Me: “Yeah?”

Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

Related:
The Engendered Confusion

The Difference Between Father And Son

| Los Angeles, CA, USA | At The Checkout, Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(A customer comes into my video game store with his teenage son in tow.)

Customer: “Hi, I bought this game yesterday. The guy who was here said that if I changed my mind, I could come back and exchange it for another game.”

(I notice the game has not only been opened but actually played.)

Me: “Okay, but you played this game.”

Customer: “Yeah, so?”

Me: “Well, usually exchanges are when the game hasn’t been played.”

Customer: “Well, the guy yesterday didn’t say anything about that! I want to talk to the manager. He said I could just exchange it if we didn’t like it! I just want the other game.”

Me: “Fine, just pick out the other game you wanted.”

(The customer goes to shelf, pulls out the other game, and brings it back. I notice the game he’s returning is $15, while the other game is $20. I ring up the difference.)

Me: “That will be $5.35, please.”

Customer: “What? Why?”

Me: “$5.35 is the difference plus tax between the two games. The game you bought yesterday is $15, while this game is $20. The difference is $5 plus tax.”

Customer: “No! The guy yesterday didn’t say anything about paying MORE for exchanging the game!”

(As the customer says this, his son looks down uncomfortably.)

Me: “You can’t exchange a $15 item for a $20 item without paying the difference.”

Customer: “I’m not paying extra! He said I could exchange this one for the other one! He didn’t say anything about paying more.”

Me: “Sir, you can pay the $5 plus tax difference and take the new game, or you may keep the game you have already bought and played. Or, I can call mall security, and have you removed.”

Customer: *hands over the cash and departs*

Customer’s Son: “Sorry!”

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!”