To Some, Parenting Is A Game

, , , , | Right | February 7, 2019

In the 1980s, I managed a small video game arcade in a mall. We were mad busy on Saturdays. On one Saturday afternoon, when I was on alone, a woman came in and started shrieking at me. She demanded to know where her child was. When I could get a word in edgewise, I told her I did not know and had never seen him. She stormed off looking for him.

When she came back to shout at me some more, I managed to sort out what had happened. The little boy — whom she had with her at that point — was about five. She’d dumped him in the arcade, given him two quarters, and gone off to do her shopping. He was too little even to see the screens. After he stuffed his quarters in coin slots and couldn’t play the games — i.e., about five minutes later — he wandered over to the toy store catty-corner from us to start tearing apart the toys, instead. Nearly an hour later she came back to find — or not find —  him. I told her to leave. Sadly, it was only afterward that I thought of what I really should have said: that if I’d found her son in the arcade without her holding his hand, I’d have called the cops to pick up an abandoned child.

I would not have left a bag of groceries on a bench in the mall, and she just went off and left a child? I kept the known perverts out, but there are always ones you don’t know, and I’m sure a sicko cruising for kids would start with either the arcade or the toy store. She just went off shopping and decided that it was somehow my responsibility to do what she was incapable of, namely taking care of her child.

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The Key Is Politeness

, , , | Right | October 17, 2018

(I work at an arcade and bar that closes at 2:00 am on the weekends. At 1:30, two women approach me.)

Woman: “Has anyone returned any keys to you?”

Me: “No, no one has. But lost and found is up at the front; you can go check there.”

Woman: “I was over there, and the girl there was really rude to me! She said they only do cleaning in the morning, and no one is going to look after we’ve closed.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that. Do you want to write down your number? We can call you if we find them.”

Woman: *rudely* “Yeah, but then how will I get home?”

Me: “Right. Well, I hope you find them.”

(I go back to my closing duties, because there’s nothing else I can do. I don’t hear exactly what she says, but she mumbles something to her friend and I hear the word “manager.” I turn back around and give her the biggest smile I can fake.)

Me: “Oh, would you like a manager?”

Woman: *rudely* “Um, yeah!”

Me: “Oh, I didn’t realize. One moment!”

(I call my manager over and he talks to her, telling her the same thing both my coworker and I did: we’re not going to search the building for her keys, and that her items are not the store’s responsibility. Twenty minutes later, I decide to go over to the front desk and see what really happened and if the woman found her keys.)

Me: “Were you the one talking to the woman who lost her keys?”

Coworker: “Yeah, she asked if she should wait around until we close, and I told her we do cleaning in the morning, and she gave me an attitude.”

Me: “Yeah, she was rude to me, too. Did she find her keys?”

Coworker: “Yeah, some guy found them on the ground outside and brought them in. I was so tempted to just throw them in the trash.”

Me: “I would have wanted to, too.”

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Losing At The Discount Game

, , , , | Right | September 27, 2018

(I work at an arcade that is connected to a bowling alley. Two men and a woman, probably in their twenties, come up to me. I am only 16, and is quite obvious.)

Me: “Hi! Would you like to purchase a game card?”

Customer #1: *one of the men* “If I put $5 on a card, how much do I really get?” *winks*

Me: “Just five dollars. We don’t have any specials.”

Customer #1: “Okay, if I put $10 on a card—” *leans in* “—how much will I get on my card?” *winks*

Me: “Forty-five units. When you purchase a $10 card you get five extra units.”

Customer #1: “Just five? Can’t you add more for me?”

Me: “No.”

Customer #2: *the other man* “What about a… military discount?” *winks*

Me: “We have military discounts for bowling, but not for the arcade.”

Customer #2: “Oh. So, you don’t appreciate the military?”

Me: “I do, very much so, but I will not lose my job.”

Customer #2: “Understandable.”

Customer #1: “Fine. Can I just get a $10 card?”

Me: “Of course.”

(Later they came up to apologize and get their prizes. The woman never said anything. It was just hilarious that they tried to hit on me — as I am evidently a minor and they are not — just for arcade credit.)

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Which One Is Your Number Two?

, , , , | Right | September 26, 2018

I work in a midway arcade. Most of the time, I get assigned to run a game booth, and a few times I have had to run the treasury where you redeem tickets.

This night I am sent to Viking, a water gun racing game. I have to kick the foot pedal in front of the gun that’s being used, then press a button to turn on the water. The water is sprayed into a target, and little viking ships come down.

It’s a pretty easy game, and usually not too much hassle. Among our prizes are emoji pillows, including poop ones and yellow faces with various expressions. I do get the best laugh from a really corny joke. A woman plays twice with her son. The boy gets a yellow face, and she takes a poop emoji.

After second game, she says to me, “I can’t wait to sleep on my piece of s*** tonight! Not my husband, my pillow.”

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A Token Of Your Lack Of Appreciation

, , , , | Right | August 13, 2018

(I’m a manager at a batting cage place that also sells food. A guy rents a bat and goes down to the cages. About a minute later he comes storming up while I’m preparing food for a rather large order.)

Customer: *to my off-duty coworker* “The cage isn’t turning on!”

Me: “What cage are you in?”

Customer: “I don’t know! The cage at the end!”

(We have eight cages and the last two have a start button.)

Me: *as customer storms away* “Did you hit the start button?”

Customer: “THERE IS NO START BUTTON!”

(I finish my previous customer’s order and go down before he has a complete meltdown.)

Me: “How many tokens did you put in?”

Customer: “How many do you think?! TWO!”

(I’m fed up with his attitude.)

Me: “Well, if you look here, the sign says three!

Customer: “Well, if you just spok—”

Me: “Well, maybe if you could read!”

Customer: “You don’t have to get so mad!”

(I rarely lose my temper. But when the customer makes such a stink when it’s 100% their fault, it’s hard not to.)

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