Not Sue-table Clients

| Right | December 5, 2014

(I am giving a tour of my home daycare to prospective clients.)

Mother: “This is quite lovely. I really like your outdoor space and the type of toys you have for the children in the playroom. I was wondering, how do you deal with discipline?”

Me: “Well, it depends on the type of behavior I am dealing with. I mostly redirect, show appropriate behavior, and say no when I have to. I only resort to time-out when a child really needs to cool down and their actions are directly affecting the other kids.”

Father: “Well, how do you deal with hitting or biting?”

Me: “Some children, not all, will go through a phase or episodes. It’s a matter of getting them to understand it hurts, showing them alternate ways to express frustration, anger, or excitement, and also teaching the other children to say no firmly. As hands-on as I try to be, it cannot be always be avoided, but we work through it. Both parties learn from it, in terms of self-control and assertiveness.”

Mother: “The reason we are looking for daycare for our daughter is because at the last place, a little boy bit our daughter. We are both lawyers, and I can assure you that we sued the bejeesus out of that provider.” *disturbing giggle*

Me: *thinking to myself* “And that makes me want to take you on as clients because…?”

Me: *out loud* “Some things will happen. This is a safe space, regularly inspected, but toddlers are learning to handle their feelings and emotions and sometimes it manifests in physical ways. I am here to guide them and show them better ways. I cannot condone litigious responses to fairly normal occurrences that cannot possibly be prevented, though they can be corrected. Are you fine with being sued if your little girl hits another child at the park?”

Father: “She would NEVER do that. If she so much as grabs food without asking first she gets a spanking, so I can guarantee you she’s not going to physically attack another kid.”

Me: “…”

(Needless to say, I made the rest of the tour as brief as I could and when they emailed me to ask about enrolling, I turned them down politely.)

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Hopefully The Next Supply Will Live Long And Prosper

| Working | January 21, 2014

(I work in the deli section of my store. Lately, we have been having trouble getting supplies in stock.)

Me: “Where are all the trash bags?”

Coworker: “We don’t have any.”

Me: “Are you serious? Again?!”

Coworker: “Yup.”

Me: “I’m going to head over to the bakery and see if they have any.”

Coworker: “Not gonna work.”

Me: “Why not?”

Coworker: “[Baker] is working today. You know how he is. He never helps anybody out.”

Me: “I know how to handle him. Trust me.”

(The baker who’s working today happens to be a huge ‘Star Trek’ fan. I head over to the bakery and don’t see him as I proceed to grab a few trash bags, but then he shows up as I’m about to leave.)

Baker: “What the h*** do you think you’re doing?”

Me: “Getting bags.”

Baker: “No, you’re not. Put them back.”

Me: “We have zero bags at the deli.”

Baker: “Well, I have almost zero bags here. I can’t let you have any.”

Me: *deadpan, holding up a Vulcan salute* “It is only logical. The needs of the deli outweigh the needs of the few.”

(A few seconds pass.)

Baker: “HA HA! All right, all right. Take your stinkin’ bags.”

(I can still hear him cracking up as I walk away.)

This story is part of our ‘Star Trek’ roundup!

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Every Dog Has Its Christmas Day

| Working | December 16, 2013

(I work at a kennel, where people board their dogs while they’re on vacation. Everyone is very laid-back which makes the job more fun. My boss, coworker, and I are going over the holiday schedule.)

Boss: “I’m really sorry to say it, but you two ladies are going to have to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. [Coworker] is going on a family vacation. I do have good news, though! All you have to do is come in, let the dogs out, feed them, and clean. You can go home right after that because we’ll be closed. Plus, you will get time and a half. I do need both of you, since we’re booked solid. So, please make sure you’re on time.”

Me: “No problemo, boss lady.”

(My coworker and I step outside to clean up a bit.)

Coworker: “Why did you tell her that that was fine?! That’s f****** bull-s***! I am NOT working on Christmas!”

Me: “Well, someone has to. And I’ll be there, too. I doubt we’ll be here more than a couple hours. Plus, we get time and a half! And at least we won’t have to deal with clients. Since we’re closed we should get everything done extra fast.”

Coworker: “If we’re closed, why the f*** do we have to come in?”

Me: “Uhh… It’s our job to take care of these dogs.”

Coworker: “That’s r******d!”

Me: “Are you telling me that if it was up to you, you’d give your employees the day off? These dogs would sit in their crap all day, since no one will be here to clean up after them. You would let the dogs go hungry for a day because you don’t want to work?”

Coworker: “Dude, it’s ONE day!”

Me: “But people pay a lot of money to board their dogs! If they didn’t want their dog taken care of, they would save their money and neglect their dog. You’re saying people should pay us to neglect their dogs for them!”

Coworker: “Whatever. I’m going home.”

(After my coworker left I told my boss what had happened. She ended up talking to my coworker for over an hour, trying to explain why her logic was flawed. My coworker was fired a couple days later for being rude to a client. My boss ended up working with me on Christmas, which was extremely appreciated; plus she gave me a large Christmas bonus. At least my idiot coworker didn’t have to work Christmas!)

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Can’t Believe What You’re Hearing

| Working | June 16, 2014

(I work in a large discount home-ware warehouse store. It’s just after ten am. The store opened at nine; I started at ten. A customer has come to me.)

Customer: “There’s been an accident in the china section.”

Me: “Oh, no. Could you show me where?”

(He takes me to a section where shelves had collapsed, spilling china all over the concrete floor. Shards are everywhere.)

Me: “Oh, was anyone hurt?”

Customer: “No, I just found it like that. I came around the corner and almost trod on the broken plates.”

Me: “It’s funny that I didn’t hear it. That sort of crash would have been heard all over the store.”

(I block off the area and go to find the manager and to bring back cleaning equipment.)

Me: *to coworkers* “Have you seen [Store Manager]? There’s been a big shelf collapse in the china department.”

Coworker #1: “He’s not in yet. Strange that we didn’t hear anything.”

Me: “Yeah, may have happened overnight.”

Department Manager: “Oh, was that what we heard this morning?”

Me: “You heard it? When?”

Department Manager: “About 8.30.”

Me:  “And you didn’t go to check?”

Department Manager: “No, not my job. [Coworker] could do it”

(That coworker had the day off. It’s lucky that no one was in the area at the time, because they wouldn’t have been found until after I got in, and lucky that no customers walked on it!)

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Eggs, Milk, Bondage Gear…

| Right | January 19, 2009

(I was working for a grocery store in Panama City Beach, which is a big tourist spot. I was bagging this couple’s groceries – which included condoms – when this exchange occurred.)

Me: “So, you must be from out of town, then?”

Customer: “Yeah, we’re only here for a few days. Just getting the necessities, y’know?”

(Just then, a pair of handcuffs comes rolling down the conveyor belt.)

Me: “Just the necessities, eh?”

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