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Mother Needs To Screen Her Son

| Right | June 15, 2011

(I am working the front desk, where parents sign their children in every morning. We go swimming multiple times a week, so sunscreen and bug spray are on each camper’s essentials list.)

Me: “Good morning, [camper’s name]! Ready for the pool today?”

Mother: “He is! Especially since I had to buy him new sunscreen yesterday!”

(She looks at me as if, somehow, this is my fault.)

Me: “I’m not sure I follow you, ma’am. I’m sure he had some with him the other day when we went out to the park.”

Mother: “Two big bottles, yes. And could you be on the lookout for them? I’m sure he just left them somewhere around here.”

(Once again, I get the look.)

Me: “He’s lost them, then? I know he put them in his backpack after we got ready for the park, before we left.”

Mother: “They’re gone! I wouldn’t have to keep buying these for him otherwise!

(My supervisor comes over, likely hearing the commotion, as the mother has been getting progressively louder.)

Supervisor: “Good morning, ma’am. Is there something I can help you with?”

Mother: “Yes! My son keeps going through sunscreen and bug spray like nobody’s business! I can’t afford to keep buying this big bottle for him if he’s going to let your entire camp share, or leave them behind!”

Supervisor: “Well, have you looked through his backpack? It’s pretty big, and his counsellor has said that she saw him putting them away just recently.”

Mother: *offended* “I pack my son’s bag for him every day! There’s no way I would have missed them!”

Supervisor: “How about we double check, just to be sure?”

(He kneels down to the now embarrassed son, who has his backpack with him. Sitting on top of everything are the big bottles of sunscreen and bug spray. My supervisor doesn’t even have to dig around for them. The mother turns red, hastily signs her child in for the day, and promptly leaves.)

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