Category: Family & Kids

Raising A Good Egg

| Glen Ellyn, IL, USA | Family & Kids

(I work as a bagger at my local grocery store. It’s a typical mid-week afternoon, with a steady stream of orders. The cashier I’m bagging for is an elderly woman in her 80s, and a wonderful person to work with.)

Cashier: “[My Name], could you grab some towels? A kid dropped a carton of eggs at the front of my line.”

Me: “Sure thing, [Cashier]. I’ll clean it up.”

(I grab a roll of towels, a bottle of cleaner, and a plastic bag. I walk around to where the mess is, and find a dozen-egg carton on the floor, and a father frowning at his toddler son, who’s sitting in the cart.)

Me: “I’ll get this cleaned up, sir. Don’t worry. Would you like me to get you a new carton of eggs?”

Father: “No, thanks, miss; my wife’s getting the eggs.” *to his son, who looks a bit confused* “Tell the nice lady you’re sorry for making a mess she has to clean up.”

(The boy doesn’t say anything, but he looks contrite, so I don’t get mad. Besides, he didn’t do it on purpose. The family leaves, I get the eggs cleaned up, and all is well. Three weeks later, I’m bagging for the same cashier, when the father and son come through our line, although I don’t recognize them at first.)

Son: *very firmly* “My name is George.”

Me: “Well, hello, George!”

Son: “I’m really sorry for dropping the eggs.”

(At this point I recognize the two, and I grin.)

Me: “Why, thank you, George. That’s a very nice thing to say. Apology accepted!”

(As it turned out, the father had been hoping to catch me at work so that his son could apologize. Good on him for raising his son to be a gentleman!)

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Sick Of Bad Parenting

| Ireland | Bad Behavior, Family & Kids, Health & Body, History

(I occasionally help out in my mother’s salon at busy times like Christmas week. There is a bit of a lull one morning this year so I leave to run some errands just as a client arrives with her three young children. I missed the following occurring not even ten minutes later..)

Baby: *throws up*

Mom: *sympathetic* “Is she OK?”

Client: “She’s fine, just something she ate this morning.”

(Almost on cue, one of the older kids “projectile vomits” across the floor. The other one doesn’t look very well either.)

Mom: “I’m sorry, but you need to take them home. They’re all sick.”

Client: “But my hair…”

Stylist: “No, they’re sick and if we get sick, too, we can’t work. They have that stomach bug that’s going around and it’s really bad.”

Client: “But my husband won’t look after them. I need my hair done!”

Mom: “In Ireland, men mind children, too. If he lives here, he helps.”

(She reluctantly left. I came back to my mother bleaching everything the kids had touched or thrown up on, and thankfully none of us got sick. We were just so boggled about how anyone could take clearly sick kids out anywhere, let alone for something as silly as a hair appointment. The client even tried to get another appointment for the day after Christmas, when no salon will open…)

The Ugly Untruth

| USA | Family & Kids, Pets & Animals

(I am an educator at a fairly large zoo. On my break I occasionally zip a jacket up over my uniform shirt and walk around to see some of my favorite animals. It’s not required that I not wear my shirt while on break, but I like just enjoying the animals without being asked 200 times where this/that/the other is. I’m hanging out with our elephants when I overhear a father talking to his kids. He is very loud and very close to me, so I can hear very clearly what is being said.)

Father: “You see, kids, zoos only take animals that are perfect. And if an animal is too ugly or looks like it’s not out of a picture book, they kill it.”

(I have to blink a few times… I did NOT just hear that. Just as this happens one of our male elephants walks by. He happens to have very little hair on his tail so it looks bald and short.)

Father: “See! I’m surprised they kept that one alive, since he has that tail.”

(I almost have to sit down. At this point I unzip my jacket, pull out my ID, and approach him.)

Me: “Sir, I’m very sorry, but I work here and happened to overhear your conversation. I can PROMISE you that we would never, EVER kill any of our animals simply because they are ‘ugly’ or have physical abnormalities. In fact, most of the animals in our North American area are orphans, blind, crippled, or otherwise unable to survive in the wild. We actually take in a lot of animals who need help and rehabilitate them. I know many of our keepers and these animals are pretty much their children. They love them profoundly and would never, in a million years, allow one to be killed simply because they aren’t picture book perfect.”

Father: “Oh! Well, that’s so good to know! Thank you!”

(I just… I can’t. Where did that idea even COME from?!)

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat Insurance

| Columbia, SC, USA | Extra Stupid, Family & Kids, Transportation

(I answer phones at a boat repair shop. We live in an area where bass fishing is BIG business and have a mobile repair truck that we dispatch to docks and people’s backyards.)

Me: “Good morning. Thank you for calling—”

Caller #1: *interrupts me* “Oh, thank god you are there. I really need your need help!”

(The caller sounds like a teenager.)

Me: “Okay, how can I help—”

Caller #1: “I really need you to get out here and fix a [type & size of] motor. TODAY!”

Me: “We are booked up right now. We won’t have time to come see it until next week.”

Caller #1: “NO, NO, PLEASE! You have to come TODAY! My dad is going to kill me!”

Me: “Okay, calm down. I can send someone out but it will be a $100 charge to even come see it.”

Caller #1: “$100! I don’t have that kind of money! I… I…”

Me: *in a motherly tone* “Hon, how old are you?”

Caller #1: “I’m sixteen.”

Me: “What happened?”

Caller #1: “My dad went out of town for the weekend. He told me not to touch his boat but I had some friends over and—”

Me: “…and you wanted to show off and you did something?”

Caller #1: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay, what did you do; maybe I can help you?”

Caller #1: “Well, we were in the backyard and I got up on the boat and started it and it ran great for a few minutes and then when I tried to rev it, it made a clunk sound, smoke poured out, and now it won’t start.”

Me: “Wait, you ran it on a trailer in the backyard? It wasn’t in water?”

Caller #1: “Yeah. What do I do? My dad is going to be furious.”

Me: “You need to call an adult relative and get them to come over with you.”

Caller #1: “Why?”

Me: “Because you are dead meat. Your father is going to kill you. You blew the motor.”

Caller #1: “What?! Can’t you fix it?”

Me: “NO. You overheated it. The reason boats need to be in the water is because it sucks in water to use to cool the engine. You ran it OUT of water so there was nothing to cool the engine. You overheated it and blew it.”

Caller #1: “But you can fix it, right?”

Me: “No, you will have to buy a new motor.”

Caller #1: “How much? I have a bank account.”

Me: “The motor you described will cost $6,000.”

(At this point he starts crying and begging me to help him and fix the motor. I tell him I am sorry; there is nothing to be done except call a relative and be a man and tell his father the truth, and next time listen to his father. Two days later I get a call:)

Me: “Good morning; how may I help you?”

Caller #2: “Yeah, my dumb-a** son ran my boat in the yard, and overheated and blew the motor. I need to know the cost of a new motor so I can let him know how long he is going to have to work to pay it off.”

(I was glad to hear the kid would live.)

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Arnold Palmer Says You’re At Tea Total

, | Marion, IN, USA | Family & Kids, Food & Drink

(I am at college, and my dad has come to visit. We decide to grab a quick bite to eat before he goes back home. Our order is being taken.)

Dad: “Can I have an Arnold Palmer?” *half lemonade half iced-tea*

Cashier: “We are not allowed to mix drinks, sorry.”

Dad: “Do you have lemonade?”

Cashier: “Yes.”

Dad: “Do you have iced-tea?”

Cashier: “Yes.”

Dad: “All right, then mix them!”

Cashier: “The lemonade is fresh and costs a different amount than the iced tea. I’m not allowed to mix drinks.”

Dad: “No one will know.”

Cashier: “It’s against the rules. Which would you like?”

Dad: “An Arnold Palmer.”

Cashier: “I cannot do that.”

Dad: “Yes, you can. You’re just too lazy to—”

Me: “Give it up, dad! She can’t do it. It’s not her fault. You’re probably not the first person to yell at her, and it didn’t change anything. If you want something to change, write to somebody who is in control of the company! It is not her fault!”

Dad: “It is her fault! I want an Arnold Palmer! [Other Restaurant] gives me Arnold Palmers!”

Me: “They have different rules.” *to Cashier* “He’ll get a number five with a lemonade. I’ll get a number five with an iced tea. Could you give us an extra cup?”

(Cashier nods and puts in the order, hands us receipt. My dad takes the receipt and a pen and starts scribbling angrily on the back.)

Me: “What are you doing?”

Dad: “Writing to management.”

Me: “You think they’ll take you seriously if you’re writing on a receipt?”

(My dad blushes, folds the receipt, and puts it in his pocket and goes to sit down. I apologize to the cashier, get the order, then go sit down with him. I take the extra cup and fill it half with iced-tea, half with lemonade, and hand it to him.)

Dad: “But [Other Restaurant] gives me an Arnold Palmer!”

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