Some Customers You Have To Bear With

, , , , | Right | August 16, 2017

(The fast food restaurant where I work is located on a busy road with deep woods behind the building. Our dumpsters are located on the edge of our parking lot, closed in with fencing. I am cashing out a woman and her two small children (under five years old), the only customers in the building. My coworker, who had just been running out the trash bins, runs into the building through the side door and SLAMS it behind her, peering over her shoulder.)

Coworker: “[My Name]! There’s a BEAR in the dumpster!”

Me: *forgetting there are children* “Holy s***, no.”

Coworker: “I went to open the fence to the dumpster and a BEAR climbed over the side wall and ran into the woods!”

(My manager grabs the phone in the office to call the police or animal control while my coworker is still peering out towards the woods to see if the bear comes back.)

Me: *turning to the customer and her kids* “Well, ma’am, I’d say you’re going to have to stay in a while. I don’t feel safe letting you out of the building. I’ll get you some sodas, too, for the trouble.”

Woman: “I can’t stay here! My dog is in the car with the windows open. What if she sees the bear and starts barking? The bear could come back and get into the car to get the dog, or the stupid dog might jump out of the car and run after the bear!”

Me: “I… see… Where are you parked?” *hoping she was parked on the front end of the building facing the highway away from the dumpsters*

Woman: “It’s the blue van.” *this is parked on the same side of the building as the dumpsters*

Coworker: “OH, MY GOD, HE’S BACK!”

Me: *internally swearing*

(The woman is absolutely INSISTENT on leaving, so my coworker and I go out with her, my coworker keeping an eye out for the bear once he wandered back into the woods. The woman’s car is parked roughly twenty feet away from the side door, so I grab one child by the hand and she picks up the other, and we get the kids in the car quickly, buckle them up, and my coworker and I wave her off once we run (nearly peeing our pants) back into the building. An hour later my shift ends and I make my way out of the building toward my car. Two cop cars have arrived by that point to make sure that anyone who pulls in stays far away from the dumpsters and the woods and to make sure the bear doesn’t come back. I am parked right up along the dumpsters, so I talk to one of the cops as I got into my car.)

Cop: “Did you call in for the bear?”

Me: “Not me; my manager. I didn’t see the bear myself. Have you?”

Cop: “Yeah, it was a little baby bear.”

Me: “Oh, god, that’s even worse. Who knows what kind of mood Mama Bear is in?!”

Cop: “Yeah, I just had to try to explain that to some crazy woman with two babies. When we pulled in they were walking up the hill with their dog because they went into the woods to take pictures of the baby bear.”

Me: “They– Wait, WHAT?!”

Cop: “Yeah, see, they knew about the bear but when she saw it was a baby bear she said the staff was ‘being ridiculous,’ so she parked again to let her kids see the bear and they went down the hill. My supervisor yelled at her about endangering her children and molesting the wild life and stuff.”

(So to recap: I escorted this woman and her kids to the car, basically volunteering to be HUMAN BEAR BAIT if necessary so her kids could be buckled up and get home safely, and her response was to say “Screw it. I’ll just FEED MY KIDS TO THE BEAR.”)

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