An Alarming Lack Of Parenting

, | Bucks County, PA, USA | Right | July 14, 2015

(We share a building with a popular candle store that is notorious for setting the fire alarms off. I have been working with a customer who is amassing a rather large pile of clothing, lingerie, and makeup. She is letting her ten-year-old son run all over the store and not stopping him from pulling the pants down on all of the mannequins in the store, picking up handfuls of underpants and throwing them, and spraying the employees with a bottle of tester perfume. I am being a good sport and putting up with it because she is going to spend a lot of money and she is being pleasant with me. All of a sudden, the fire alarm goes off.)

Me: “Oh, no, [Candle Store] must have set off the fire alarms again. We are going to have to vacate the building. I’m sorry, ma’am. If you want me to hold the clothes at the register, I can finish your transaction as soon as they give us the all clear to come back in.”

Customer: “No, that won’t be necessary. There’s no fire, so we can stay in the shop.”

Me: “I’m sorry ma’am, I know you cannot see a fire, but since we share this building with a candle store, there may very well be a fire in the building and it just has not spread to this shop. It’s a potentially dangerous situation, and we need to vacate the building for our safety until the fire company arrives and says it’s okay.”

Customer: *now getting annoyed* “I told you there’s no fire! Do you see a fire? No! That’s because there’s no fire! My son was annoyed that I was taking so long, so he pulled the fire alarm. He does that sometimes to let me know it’s time to go.”

(My store manager comes up to us as we are the only ones left in the store. She tries to shoo us out but the customer repeats her story to my manager.)

Manager: “Wait, wait, wait. Your son pulled the fire alarm because he was bored?”

Customer: “Yes, I saw him heading toward it and I said “[Kid], don’t you dare!” and he smiled and did it anyway and ran off. I don’t know where he is now.”

(My manager and I stand there in shocked silence as the firemen burst through the doors.)

Fireman #1: “Wow, for once it wasn’t the candle shop!”

Fireman #2: *noticing us* “What are you guys doing in here? You need to get out of the building!”

Customer: *now exasperated* “No, it’s okay. My son pulled the alarm. Now can we please finish ringing up my stuff so I can pay and leave before he does something else?”

Firefighter #2: “Ma’am, pulling a fire alarm for no reason is punishable by a fine.”

(The customer dropped all her stuff as if it was on fire and proceeded to sprint out of the store and head to the parking lot. Her son popped out of a display rack and went after her with Fireman #1 chasing them down. I’m not sure what happened to her after he caught her.)

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Would Love To See Her React To Blueberry Pie

| Canberra, ACT, Australia | Right | July 14, 2015

(Where I work we have gummy bears as an extra on the menu, and when younger kids come in I tend to fill a little dish with bears from the container and offer it to them while their guardians decide what to order. The other day, I offer some to a family with dad, mum, and three kids. When I offered the gummy bears to the kids, they recoiled and looked at their mum.)

Mother: “Are there blue gummy bears in there?”

Me: *I look at the container in my hand* “Yes, there are.”

(She nods ‘yes’ to her kids, who grab all the gummy bears from the container except the blue ones. I open my mouth to joke about them leaving the blue ones when the mother smacks the container out of my hand, shattering the dish on the floor and spilling bears everywhere. Very calmly she steps forward and informs me:)

Mother: “Blue food is unnatural and the Devil’s work.”

(Stunned, I stare at her while she calmly fills her order and her kids don’t even blink. No further comments are made other than:)

Mother: “You should wear gloves while cleaning this up, dear.”

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35 Cents Too Rich For That Wallet

| TX, USA | Right | July 14, 2015

(I work at the student mail center on a university campus, and we constantly have 18-year-old freshmen come in who have never mailed a letter in their lives, and have no idea how it works.)

Customer: “Hi! So, I’ve never done this before, but I have to mail a thing.”

Me: “Okay. What is it you have to mail?”

Customer: “Just a thing. How much is it?”

Me: “Well, I have to see what you’re mailing. Do you have it with you?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Go ahead and take it out for me.”

Customer: *takes a wallet out of her backpack* “Just this.” *puts it back in her backpack*

Me: “Okay, well I need you to take it back out so I can weigh it. Does this have to get anywhere fast?”

Customer: *has not taken the wallet back out yet* “I don’t know. How long does it take?”

Me: “Depends on where it’s going.”

Customer: “I’m sending it to my brother.”

Me: “Okay, where?”

Customer: “To my brother’s house, duh.”

Me: “Yes, but where is your brother’s house?”

Customer: “Oh, in [Town about an hour from here].”

Me: “Okay, then in that case, if you put it in this envelope, it’ll get there in about three days. Is that okay?”

Customer: “Sure, whatever.”

Me: “So just write your address here, and your brother’s address in the middle, and when you’re done, it’ll be about $3 all together.”

Customer: “…Why?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Customer: “My friend said it would only cost like thirty-five cents to mail something.”

Me: “Um, that’s not really how it works. It’s based on weight and—”

Customer: “But my friend said it would only be like thirty-five cents!”

Me: “Look, even if all you were mailing was a postcard, that would be thirty-seven cents. If you were mailing a single sheet of paper, it would be forty-nine cents. But you’re mailing a wallet. Even at the cheapest shipping, you’d be looking at about two and a half dollars for postage, and fifty cents for the envelope.”

Customer: *rolls her eyes* “Whatever. I have to ask my mom if I’m allowed to spend more than thirty-five cents on this.”

(Then she walked off and we never saw her again.)

A Fish In Troubled Waters

| CT, USA | Right | July 14, 2015

(I am an unpaid volunteer at a local aquarium. On this particular day we have a chocolate company visiting and vendors are set up throughout the building selling their food. I am working at an information desk at this time.)

Guest: “Hey, do happen to have an ATM in here?”

Me: “I apologize sir, but the closest ATM is outside in the parking garage.”

Guest: *suddenly yelling* “You mean to tell me I have to go all the way outside, come in, and pay AGAIN?!”

Me: “I assure you, you won’t have to pay again if you have your ticket. If not, you can ask for me to come verify you’ve been in. However, you will have to go back outside. I apologize for the inconvenience.”

Guest: “YOU KNOW WHAT?! I DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOUR S***, YOU INSOLENT LITTLE F***!”

Me: “Sir, please stop swearing; there are young children around. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this has brought upon you, but we do not have a general need for an ATM except for this one day.”

(The guest goes into a rant about how I am ignorant and it is my fault the aquarium is losing money. I am losing my patience with this man and start zoning out. When he pauses to breathe, I take my chance to interject.)

Me: “I am terribly sorry, sir, but we do not have a use for ATMs as the fish do not require us to pay them on a regular basis.”

(The manager, who witnessed the whole thing, started laughing as she had security escort the man out.)

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Not Always Right: The Comic – The Land Of The Free To Be Who You Are

, , , , , | Los Angeles, CA, USA | Right | July 13, 2015
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