Category: Family & Kids

Three Thinking

| Long Island, NY, USA | Family & Kids, Liars & Scammers

(The aquarium that I work at offers daily passes as well as yearly passes. You have the option to upgrade from a daily pass to a yearly pass at the end of your visit with a copy of your receipt. Also, we do not charge for children that are two and under.)

Customer: “I would like to upgrade to the yearly pass.”

Me: “Sure, we have a couple of options. Here is a form with the types of memberships we offer.”

(I go over the various types we have and we find a plan that suits her family.)

Me: “Okay, I just need you to fill out the bottom half with your name as well as the children’s names and their dates of births.”

Customer: “Uh… why do you need their birthdays? That’s not important.”

Me: *confused* “Well, we need it to make sure we don’t charge you for an extra child because I see on your receipt here that you have a child that is under three.”

Customer: “To be honest, I lied about that. He’s three, but I didn’t want to pay for him.”

Me: “…”

Coworker: “…”

Customer: “I’m sure people do this all the time…”

Sadly She’s Not As Bright As The Puke

| Victoria, BC, Canada | Family & Kids, Health & Body, Non-Dialogue

I’m pushing my broom around and find a giant splat of brilliant orange vomit in children’s apparel. I don’t begrudge the customer for leaving without asking for a clean-up. If I had a sick child, my first priority would be his or her care, too. I’m simply impressed at how bright the vomit’s orange is. Picture a diet of nothing but cheesy-poofs and orange pop spilled onto a floor as white as a blank webpage.

Well, admiration never fixed anything. I stick a ‘wet floor’ sign on either side on the cosmic impact, blocking as short a section of aisle as I can, and off I go to get the mop.

It turns out it’s way over in Photography. (This is in the dark ages before everyone had a digital camera or camera-phone. Yes, even before fail compilations, back when the chief after-school amusement was throwing rocks at sabretooth cats. We lost a lot of good friends that way… turns out the cats don’t like having rocks thrown at them.) So, a bit delayed, I hurry back with a mop and bucket.

A woman has moved my wet floor signs and pushed her cart straight through the large splatter of cartoonishly bright vomit.

She’s moseyed right through the lumpy middle of it, taking little slow steps to maximize the number of disgusting footprints she is now leaving behind. All four of her cart’s wheels are leaving matching snail trails, too.

Big problems first: I tackle the chief splatter, with step one being to put the ‘wet floor’ signs back where I left them. Barf Lady gives me a stink-eye every now and again while I work. (Perhaps I’m supposed to apologize for failing to nail the signs in place?)

Eventually, I reach the last step: mopping up Barf Lady’s trail. She’s moving slowly enough that I catch up and start swiping up the prints as soon as she and her shopping cart wheels leave them. We make eye contact once, so I smile sheepishly and apologize, as if her inability to avoid tracking puke around is somehow my fault.

She says nothing, does nothing, except to sneer a little harder and turn wordlessly back to the tiny, adorable outfits hanging up — none of which she takes and most of which were still accessible before she moved the signs. Indeed, I plunk the signs as close to the vomit as I can precisely to avoid tempting customers into the splash zone.

Things are pretty awkward, but if I go do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, Barf Lady’s pumpkin-coloured tracks will get stepped in and tracked all over. Instead, I keep mopping up her mess as she makes it, getting stink-eyes until her shoes and cart wheels mercifully run out. Then I rush off to resume the set list.

Boss was not pleased that I dropped my list to clean up the nuclear mess, but at least she didn’t mention a complaint from a customer. Perhaps Barf Lady was too stupid to lodge one, as well as too stupid to avoid stepping in a giant blast of technicolour puke?

Making A Messy Diaper Of Things

| CA, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I work in a small gas station that has a small aisle of hygienic products tampons, diapers, soap, etc. A guy who looks about twenty three walks in and goes over to the aisle, he stays for a moment, looking in his wallet a few times before coming up with two boxes of diapers and a pack of tampons. He’s behind an older man with two cases of beer and a box of diapers.)

Older Man: *mutters* “I only have ten f****** dollars…” *places diapers off to the side and pushes beer towards me*

(The man pays for his beer and leaves, muttering about how mad his wife’s gonna be when he gets home without diapers. The younger man steps forward and put his stuff down. When he saw the price he smiled a bit.)

Young Man: “And a pack of [Brand] cigarettes. But I can actually put my kid and girlfriend before habits.”

(He had his ID and everything.)

Ducking Out Of The Guilt Trip

| Tampa, FL, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Family & Kids

(I’m in line at the register behind a woman who is carrying a baby on her hip and has a young boy who is exchanging his old video games for store credit. The cashier, who is a young woman around my age, has a small clip in her hair that looks like a little rubber duck.)

Woman: *pointing at the hair clip* “Oooh! It’s a ducky! It’s a ducky! Do you see the ducky?”

Baby: *the baby is too young to talk, but sees where she’s pointing and smiles and babbles happily*

Woman: “Awww, you love duckies! Duckies are your favourite, aren’t they? I bet you wish you had that ducky! Do you want that ducky?”

(This goes on for an increasingly uncomfortable length of time. The cashier keeps inspecting the games being traded in and doesn’t react other than to give a polite smile and laugh, while the woman keeps pointing at the hair clip and essentially goading her baby.)

Woman: “Aww, you don’t have the ducky! I bet you want that ducky! Poor baby loves duckies!”

(The baby, who was previously behaving perfectly, is clearly starting to get confused and upset. It begins to cry. Meanwhile, the cashier has finished with the transaction.)

Woman: “Oh, oh! I guess we have to say goodbye to the ducky! But you love duckies, don’t you? I guess it’s too bad! You have to leave the ducky! It’s so sad!”

Little Boy: *looking embarrassed* “C’mon, Mom, I’m done.”

(The woman stands there for a moment longer, staring at the silent cashier who is still smiling politely, then throws up her free hand in disgust, and turns and storms out with her boy and crying baby, muttering loudly about how “unbelievable some people are.” The cashier gives me a disbelieving look.)

Me: “Was she seriously trying to guilt you into giving your hair clip to some random stranger?”

Cashier: “I don’t even know. I’m just so tired.”

(I just felt sorry for the little boy who was clearly embarrassed by his mother’s behaviour, and the poor little baby who had no idea what was happening and being deliberately upset by its own mother.)

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Pregnancy Can Attack From The Sides

| Maryville, TN, USA | Family & Kids, Health & Body

(A cashier has worked at this particular store with me for three years through college. She’s kept her pregnancy fairly quiet as she’s a private person. She’s finally showing.)

Customer #1: “Congratulations!”

Cashier: “Thank you.”

Customer #1: “Was it planned?”

Cashier: “Nope. I was trying for a puppy.”

Customer #1: *leaves*

Customer #2: “Oh! You’re pregnant! But you’re so young! You know how that happens, don’t you?”

Cashier: “I really don’t; would you mind explaining? In detail.”

Customer #2: *leaves*

Customer #3: “Were you planning a baby?”

Cashier: “Well, I was really hoping for a velociraptor but luckily I get nine months to plan for a baby instead.”

(Customer #3 leaves. I walk over to the cashier.)

Me: “You’d think after three years of seeing you every week they’d learn you don’t discuss your personal life at work.”

Cashier: “You’d think. Who asks if a baby is planned? Crazy.”

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