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Category: Family & Kids

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Watered Down Justice

| Spokane, WA, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Liars & Scammers

(It is Saturday, so the store is very busy, and the dining room attendant is expected to help take orders when the line gets long. I am helping at the cash register when a large family comes in. The mother has instructed everyone in the family to request water, but I am still required to ask each person what they would like to drink. I have taken all of the kids’ orders, and the mother’s, and have come at last to the father. Our soda fountain is self-serve, and often times people will order water for free, then put soda in their water cups.)

Me: “What would you like, sir?”

Father: “I’d like to have [order].”

Me: “And what would you like to drink?”

Father: “Oh, I’ll take a soda.”

Mother: “Hey! Everyone is getting water. Come on, get a water. Please?”

(The younger children all chime in that he needs to get water, too.)

Oldest Son: “Daaaaad! We’re all going to get ‘special waters!’” *he emphasizes this, clearly indicating they’re going to be putting soda in the water cups*

(The mother and the father both shoot guilty glances in my direction, but the father does agree to order water. I finish their order, and as the line is clear, go back to emptying the bus station and washing tables. I happen to be at the drink station when the family gets their order, and they approach to get their cups.)

Mother: *on seeing me* “Come on, everyone! It looks like we really are drinking water!”

(She filled all their cups with water. It’s nice to see justice happen, sometimes.)

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I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 22

| MO, USA | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(When I was twelve years old, I was about 5’2” or 5’3” – about 155 or 160 cm for you non-Americans. Not the tallest girl in my class, but taller than average for my age. One day, my mother takes me and my younger sister shopping. While she is in the fitting room with my sister, she tells me to wait just outside the door. Bored, and seeing that a display table of shirts is a stirred up mess, I start folding shirts.)

Customer: “Hey! I’m talking to you!”

(I realize a woman I’d heard and tuned out is looking at me.)

Me: “Me?”

Customer: “Yes, you! Where are your capris?”

Me: “Uh, I… I don’t…”

Customer: “Don’t give me that. I know you sell them! They’re in your flyer.”

Me: “I don’t know.”

(The woman steps into my personal space and raises her voice, berating me about a sale being advertised. I am frozen, wide-eyed, and speechless. A sales associate on the other side of the store starts toward us, but my mom comes out of the fitting room first.)

Mom: “You don’t talk to her like that!”

Customer: “She was being rude to me!”

Mom: “I don’t care! You don’t talk to her like that; you don’t need to talk to her at all!”

Employee: *finally arriving* “Ladies, how can I help you?”

Customer: “Are you the manager? This girl ignored me and then refused to help me!”

(I am wearing a girly-girl sundress, while the store uniform is a polo shirt and khaki pants.)

Employee: “She doesn’t work here, but I can help you.”

Customer: “But she WAS working!”

Mom: *catching on* “She’s twelve!

Customer: “Then WHY was she FOLDING SHIRTS?!”

Employee: “Just to be nice. Ma’am, what do you need? How can I help you?”

(The employee guided her away from us, while the customer threw a parting shot over her shoulder that I shouldn’t fold shirts if I didn’t work there.)

Mom: *loud enough for her to hear, and earning a dirty look* “Next time a strange adult yells at you, you run away from them and you find me.”

(Later, the employee came back and made a point of thanking me for being helpful – even though I later saw her refolding the shirts more neatly. And for a few years it was a running joke in my family to ask me WHY I was FOLDING the laundry.)

Related:

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 21

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 20

I Don’t Work Here, Does Not Work Here, Part 19

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A Bad Reaction To The Question

| USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink, Health & Body

(One of the most common substitutions I do is swapping out dairy for soy milk. Most of the time it’s just a taste preference, but it can also be because of allergy. The customer here is about ten or eleven, with a number of other kids around.)

Girl: “…and can I have my milkshake with soy milk? I’m very allergic to dairy.”

Me: “Sure, that’s not a problem. We even have a separate blender, okay?”

Girl: “Oh, good, thanks!”

(A minute later, as I’m handing off her drink:)

Girl: “Wait, can I get whipped cream on mine?”

Me: “Sorry, I— You said you have a dairy allergy? The whipped cream is made from milk.”

Girl: “No, it’s not! It’s whipped CREAM, not milk!”

Me: *thinking quickly* “Is your mom or dad here with you?”

Girl: “Yeah, why?”

Me: “If they say it’s okay, I’ll put whipped cream on your milkshake.”

(A few minutes later, with her mother:)

Girl’s Mom: “Why would you embarrass her in front of her friends like that? That was cruel of you to do!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but I didn’t want to give her anything that might make her sick.”

Girl’s Mom: “Well, she swells up and stops breathing, but she’s got an Epi-Pen for that. I just can’t believe you would humiliate my daughter. It’s hard enough for her to have allergies. You need to be more sensitive!”

(This went on for about five minutes. The girl’s friends didn’t notice a thing until her mother started carrying on. Best part? I’m also allergic to dairy, and generally consider airways closing up a lot more embarrassing than checking with my mom!)

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The Strongest Generation

| The Netherlands | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids

(I am 16 years old and helping my grandpa shop in the supermarket near closing time. My grandpa survived the Second World War. He survived being captured by Germans, at 16 years old, and lived through forced labor, starvation, and the eventual fighting to liberate the Netherlands, at 21 years old. As an older man, 82 at the time, he is still quite fit, tall, and strong.)

Grandpa: “[My Name], can you go and get some ham and cheese for me? I’ll get the bread so we can make some grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.”

Me: “Awesome! I’m on it, gramps!”

(I make my way to the aisle that contains the ham and cheese and find only one package each of ham and the cheese left. I luck out, as it’s near closing time. I pick them both up and turn around only to find myself surrounded by three guys. )

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer #1: “Yeah, you can actually. You can start by giving us your ham and cheese.” *makes a grabbing motion*

Me: “What? No! Why would I give this to you? I obviously intend to buy this.”

Customer #2: “Shut up! Just give us the d*** ham and cheese.”

Customer #3: “We could always just kick your a** and take it from you?”

(At this point I’m absolutely astounded. Not only am I being “robbed” in the middle of a supermarket, but they don’t want my money; they want the darn ham and cheese. Before I could even say another thing, a soft but deep voice speaks to them.)

Grandpa: “I ask you kindly to leave my grandson alone.”

(All three “customers” turn around in sync and see my grandpa standing there, smiling at them.)

Customer #2: “Or what? You’ll give us an ear full and scold us?”

Customer #1: “F*** off, old man.”

(At this point the first guy grabs my arm and is trying to take away the groceries. When this happens, my grandpa leaves his cart and walks straight past the first two guys. He grabs the guy by his shoulder, then his wrist, and pulls it back in one fluent motion. The guy screeches in pain as he gets slammed into the nearby doors.)

Grandpa: “I’ll ask again. Leave my grandson alone.” *turns to the other two* “I suggest you move away or I’ll break this guys arm.” *pulls it a little*

Customer #1: “Ow, ow, ow! Stop it! You’re bending my arm too far!”

Worker: “What’s going on here?!”

Customer #2: “F*** this. Let’s get the h*** out of here.”

Customer #3: “Let’s go, man.”

Worker: *through a wall phone* “Hello, boss? Yeah, I’ve got some hooligans here who seem to be attacking some of our customers. Can you call the cops?”

Customer #2: “I’m out!”

(Grandpa lets go of Customer #1 and they all make a run for it.)

Customer #1: “F*** you guys!”

(All three then bolt towards the main exit.)

Worker: *obviously concerned* “Are you guys okay?!”

Me: “I’m good, just a little surprised by my grandpa’s quick moves.”

Grandpa: “Hey! I might be old, but that doesn’t mean I’m slow! Besides, they were bullying my grandson.”

Me: “More like robbing me… for ham and cheese of all things!”

Worker: “Are you serious? They weren’t after your money… they were after your groceries?”

(I nod.)

Worker: “That’s insane! They are in a supermarket, for god’s sake!”

Grandpa: “The stupidity of people will never cease to amaze me.”

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Tour Cried

| Bucharest, Romania | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Non-Dialogue, Tourists/Travel

In order to visit the Presidential Palace (former Royal Palace), you need to make a reservation at least two days earlier. My mother and I arrive on time and wait for the tour to start when an American family of three women and four children, all related, arrive. The first sign that this is going to be fun is that, despite the receptionist telling them about the rule, they make a scene about having traveled from far, wanting to visit, etc. The tour guide decides to bend the rules for the kids and agrees to take them on. Meanwhile, the children practically pick the Reception Hall apart. Since the museum is inside a functioning Government building, you are not permitted to leave the tour without announcing to the guide and waiting for an escort.

Kid #1, around 14 years old, the first chance she gets, takes her shoes off, lies down on the floor, and reads her book. Throughout the whole tour, not once did she look at the building or listen to the guide. But, hey. At least she was quiet, I guess. Still, would she have been allowed to do the same in the White House?

Kids #2 and #3, aged between eight and ten, make a point of touching every single item labeled with a “do not touch” sign.

And my personal favourite, Kid #4. The sweet little darling is about three, obviously way too young for a 100 minute-long tour. She is running around like crazy, getting behind the cordons, climbing up on the delicate historical furniture, while not a single adult from her family, including her own mother, pays ANY attention to her. After the tour guide pleads with the accompanying adults for the hundredth time, the little hellspawn’s mother drops this pearl, saying that Kid #4 doesn’t listen to her and that the kid will just scream if she tells the kid anything, so YOU do something about the kid. She then questioned why should she leave the tour when she paid for it?!

The poor guide, and every other visitor in our group — also paying customers — had to put up with an increasingly hysterical toddler and her entire entitled entourage for the rest of the visit, except the Royal Church. By that time, our guide had finally had enough and forbade them from entering. We asked her if we’d be allowed to buy her a drink on us after all the ordeal.

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