“Help” Them Understand Their Entitlement

, , , , , | Right | April 25, 2021

I work in a store in a wealthy neighborhood. Three or four women come into the kids’ department with several children, all quite young. The women sit themselves down in the storytime area to chat and sip coffee. The children are running all around, completely ignored by the adults, and I am doing my best to straighten in their wake. One little girl who can’t be more than three has discovered the “Dora the Explorer” display.

Girl: “Dora!”

Me: “Yes, that’s Dora.”

Girl: *Grabs another toy* “Um…”

Me: “That’s Swiper.”

Girl: *Suddenly terrified and starting to sniffle* “SWIPER, NO SWIPING! SWIPER, NO SWIPING!”

Me: “Oh, honey, it’s okay. Swiper won’t swipe anything while I’m here.”

Woman: “Why are you talking to my daughter?”

Me: “She seemed upset, ma’am, so I was—”

Woman: “You don’t need to talk to my daughter. You’re the help.”

Me: “…”

Woman: “Just do your job and don’t bother us.”

So, I do. I go and begin shelving books, ignoring the children. In less than ten minutes, the noise is such that the adults can’t hear themselves think.

Woman: “You need to manage these children better.”

Me: “Ma’am, you’ve already directed me to ‘just do my job,’ and looking after the children is not it.”

Woman: “I spend a lot of money in this store!”

Me: “Yes, ma’am. The Dora doll your daughter is chewing on is $5, and the book she tore the cover off of is also $5. What else will you be purchasing today?”

The women gathered up their kids and left. I learned later that the woman complained about me to a manager, but the manager made it clear that my job was not to babysit. She was also apparently forced to buy the toy and book her daughter damaged.


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