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Category: Family & Kids

Lost In Retail Space

| Austin, TX, USA | Family & Kids

(I’m working the register when I see an unusual sight: a young boy, about 12, pushing a cart filled with clothes, followed by his grandmother and little brother. The boy keeps pushing to the checkout, but the rest of his family gets a little distracted; the grandmother starts checking out clothes further in, while the brother wanders away. Unsure if the boy has noticed, I decide to say something.)

Me: “I think you lost your family.”

Boy: “I’m okay with that.”

Not A Strong Parental Drive

| Minneapolis, MN, USA | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids, Transportation

(I am a technician. I am given an SUV to perform a brake job. I hop in the car and drive it into the shop when I glance in the rear view mirror and spot a small boy strapped into his carseat. He smiles and waves at me. I whip around and look at him with a dumbfounded look.)

Me: “Uhh. Why are you in here?”

Boy: “Mommy said I can stay in the car.”

Me: “I think your mother was mistaken.”

(I roll down the window and shout for my shop foreman. He walks up and his jaw drops. I un-strap the child much to his dismay, and walk him into the lobby while holding his hand.)

Mother: “HOW DARE YOU TOUCH MY CHILD! I’M CALLING THE COPS!”

Me: “Don’t shout at me. Why on earth did you think leaving your son in your car was a good idea? Do you have any idea how hot it was in your vehicle by the time I got into it?!”

Mother: “He’s restless. The only time he calms down is when he can nap in the car! WHY DID YOU TAKE HIM OUT?!”

Me: “Ma’am. I am not leaving a child in a hot car five feet in the air while I perform service on it.”

Shop Foreman: “Go ahead, ma’am… Call the police, and explain to them why your son’s energy is reason enough to leave him in a hot car with the windows up… I think they might side with us.”

(She sputters profanity at us for about 30 seconds before storming out of the store looking for her car.)

Shop Foreman: *to me* “Are you gonna back her car out?”

Me: “I was thinking of going to lunch, actually.”

Abandon All Hope All Ye Who Abandon Your Children

| MD, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(One customer repeatedly leaves her six-year-old in the store for hours at a time. The kid would try to tear the controllers off our demo machines, throw game boxes, and sometimes rip down entire displays. After a particularly busy morning in the holiday season, the customer walks her son in, and then makes to leave.)

Me: “Ma’am, you’ve forgotten your child.”

Woman: “I’ll be right back. He’ll be fine.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but you can’t leave your child here unattended.”

Woman: “I’m just going to be fifteen minutes. Watch him for me.”

Me: “Ma’am, we are not a daycare and I cannot assume responsibility for your kid. I see kids dragged out of the store screaming and crying because their parents won’t buy them something, and I have no way of knowing if a kid is being a brat or being abducted by a random stranger.”

Woman: “You’re telling me that you’d let my kid get taken?”

(I sigh, because that usually is enough to scare the parent into watching their kid better. My manager, who had been dealing with customers but had been paying attention, called out from behind the counter.)

Manager: “Ma’am, if you leave your child here I’m going to call the social services and report that the child’s been abandoned.”

(The customer’s eyes widen. She grabs her child by the arm and drags him out.)

Me: “Can we even do that?”

Manager: “No idea, but she doesn’t know that.”

Tobaccosaurus

| St. Louis, MO, USA | Family & Kids, History, Pets & Animals, Religion

(I work as an educator in a science museum in St. Louis. One of the activities in my section of the museum involved putting together the cast of a Dromaeosaurus skeleton.)

Eight-Year-Old Boy: “I know why this dinosaur died.”

Me: “You do?”

Eight-Year-Old Boy: “He was a smoker.”

(Later that day, a middle school group is passing by…)

Seventh-Grade Girl: *addressing her peers* “This dinosaur died because he didn’t believe in Jesus.”

Literally Scream For More Ice Cream

| Canada | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(At the library I volunteer for, we have a “Reading Event” in the summer for the kids. My job is to hand out one ice cream to each child. Throughout the course of the day, one of the younger boys decides to hang around me to keep me “company.” Another kid comes up to me.)

Me: *hands ice cream to kid* “Enjoy and have a great summer!”

Child: *nods his head, then reaches to grab another ice cream from my cooler*

Me: *I tug the cooler away from him* “Sorry, but it’s only one-per-person.”

Child: “That’s not fair!” *the child begins to stomp his feet on the ground and basically throw a fit*

(At this point a woman I can only assume is the boy’s mother rushes over.)

Woman: “What on Earth do you think you’re doing to my son!”

Me: *trying to stay calm* “Nothing, ma’am! I was just telling him he could only have one ice cream!”

Woman: “Nonsense! He’s my baby and he deserves as many as he wants!”

Me: “Miss, please, I can’t give him more than one ice cream; it’s one of the rules!”

Woman: “But—”

(At this point the younger boy hanging around me decides to pipe up:)

Younger Boy: “SHE SAID ‘ONE-PER-PERSON!’ NOW GET LOST!”

(Both the woman, the child, and I all stared at the younger boy in shock. The lady began to look sheepish and dragged her son out of the library. And without saying anything, I handed the unopened ice cream the kid left behind in their haste to leave, to my favorite “little helper.”)

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