It’s Like She’s Toying With You

, , , , , | Right | January 8, 2018

(I work on a cruise ship as a dishwasher and we’ve just arrived in Stockholm. We’re in quite a rush, and it’s only my coworker and me left to do a huge pile of dishes before we have to lock down the pentry. The bar is already locked down and our supervisors have left. The only set of keys to the bar is three decks down. A few minutes before closing, one of the bartenders brought in a cheap toy — something you get for free when you pick up a piece of candy sold everywhere — which was left behind by some parent and then put it in the now locked-down bar section. The parent suddenly appears in the kitchen, holding his happy-looking baby.)

Parent: “Excuse me, have you guys seen a toy somewhere? I must have left it behind and we need to get off the boat.”

Coworker: “Yes, actually. One of our bartenders took it into the bar, and we’re closed now. They’ve locked all the doors; I’m sorry.”

Parent: “You have to do something! You need to kick in the door! My baby won’t stop crying; he loves that toy!” *the very happy-looking baby laughs*

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but we don’t have the keys to the bar, for security reasons. There’s nothing we can do. You can pick up the toy in Stockholm, too; it’s cheap and comes with [Candy].”

Parent: *shouting* “NO! HE WANTS THIS TOY! HE WON’T STOP CRYING! DO SOMETHING!” *the baby giggles*

Coworker: *looks at me, then nods* “All right, sir, I’ll try and call one of our supervisors to bring up the keys.”

Parent: “YES! THANK YOU!”

(No one answers my coworkers call, which isn’t unexpected, since we’ve all been up since 2:00 am and everyone usually goes straight to their cabin to catch up on their sleep.)

Coworker: “I’m sorry, but they’re not answering. I guess I could run down to the reception and see if the keys are there.”

Parent: *yelling even louder* “YES, YOU WILL! BRING ME MY CHILD’S TOY!”

(My coworker leaves and I’m left alone to try and rush through all the tasks, moving as fast as I can in the very small kitchen. The parent steps in.)

Me: “Sir, please, if you could just wait outside. My coworker is trying to find the keys and we’ll try to help, but I really need the space to do our tasks. She’ll be with you as fast as she can.”

Parent: “When will she get back?”

Me: “As fast as she can.”

Parent: “In two minutes? When will she be back?”

Me: *losing my temper a bit* “Sir, it will take the time it takes. The reception is three decks down and about 750 people are between her and the desk, getting off the boat. Are you sure you can’t pick up the toy in Stockholm? They sell it literally everywhere.”

Parent: “NO! HE WANTS THIS ONE! IT’S VERY IMPORTANT!”

(After a few minutes, my coworker arrived with the keys, looking flustered but happy to be able to help, opened the bar, and handed the toy to the baby. The parent did not say thank you, and the happy-looking, giggling baby started crying the moment he saw the toy. Thanks for nothing, I guess.)

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