Our Heart Is Not With The Children

, , , , , | Right | April 19, 2018

(I work as a bagger at a grocery chain well known for its great customer service, assigned baggers at each till, and complimentary service to take customers’ carts out and load their cars. I wear a small heart monitor that has wires connected to leads on my chest, slightly visible under the shirt if I am standing straight. If my heart rate goes too fast or there is an unusual-looking rhythm spike, the monitor lets out a loud beep and I have five minutes to press a button telling it that I don’t need emergency services. If I don’t or can’t hit the button, EMTs are dispatched to make sure I’m not passed out from a dangerous rhythm and unable to get help. A nanny pulls up with a half-full cart and two young boys. One boy is probably four years old and the other is about six or seven, obviously the worst-behaved of the two.)

Me: “Well, hi there, big guys!”

(I start bagging and carefully setting things in the cart around them. The older boy stands up in the cart and leans over to start hitting me in the shoulder and upper chest, with a huge smile on his face.)

Me: “Uh…”

(I pat his head gently to move him back a bit. It’s only my second month working, and I’m afraid to talk back to any customer, no matter how young. The nanny is having a conversation with the mother on the phone, is obviously very overworked, and doesn’t see what’s happening. A few minutes later, I finish bagging and put two hands on the side of the cart to offer to take them out and load their car. I’ve quietly asked the boy to stop several times, but he keeps hitting me. It’s gentle enough, since he’s young, so I tolerate it. The nanny finally notices as she begins writing out the check.)

Nanny:  “Hey, now, she ain’t afraid of you. Stop it.”

(She goes back to her check. The older boy gets nose to nose with me, as I turn my head back to adjust my hold on the cart, and blows a very spitty raspberry in my face before landing a rather hard punch right on one of my monitor leads.)

Me: “Hey!”

(The monitor goes off. I have to pull my shoulders back so I can reach it on the back of my belt to shut it off.)

Older Boy: “OH! WHAT’S THAT?!”

(Then, he grabbed the now visible wire bumps and ripped my leads off my chest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone as mortified as that poor nanny. Next time, when the mother actually came in with her children, the manager told her that she could no longer bring the kids into the store because her son had practically assaulted me. She left all huffy after they showed her the security tapes of her “little angel.”)

The Wheels Of Change

, , , , , | Right | April 12, 2018

(I am a museum curator at a transport museum. I’m teaching a class of six-year-olds and have asked them to take a close look at the wheels on one of our buses. As I move around checking they can all reach one, a little girl stops me with a worried expression.)

Girl: “[Boy] says girls can’t touch wheels; he says we aren’t allowed.”

Me: “Oh, really? Where’s [Boy]?”

(The other children all turn and look at one boy.)

Me: “If girls can’t touch the buses, why do you think there is a woman running the whole place? I even drive the tractors! Don’t forget: girls can do anything. Now, everyone, have a good look at those wheels.”

Girl: “Wow!”

Your Intentions Are Stronger Than A Crane Hand

, , , , , , | Hopeless | April 11, 2018

(I’m pretty good with crane games, and I play them anytime I go to a certain store. I put a couple dollars into a machine one day and win three plush toys: a popular superhero and two of his villains. As I’m waiting for my mom and sister to catch up to me, a man with three young boys walk out of the store.)

Boy #1: *pointing at me* “Oh, look! She’s got [Superhero] and [Villain #1] and [Villain #2]!”

Boy #2: *excitedly pointing at the machine* “She got ’em outta there!”

Boy #3: *tugs his dad’s sleeve* “Daddy, can you win us something? I want [Villain #1]! He’s my favorite!”

Boys’ Dad: *sighs* “I can try. I never can win anything out of those things.”

Me: *holding out the toys* “Here. Take them.”

Boys’ Dad: “Are you sure?”

Me: *nodding* “Oh, yeah. Take them. I’ve got loads of stuff like this at home because I play those games so much. Honestly, my mom would probably appreciate you taking them with you.”

(As I say this, my mom and sister have finally caught up to me.)

Mom: *sighs* “Really, [My Name]? Why do you keep playing those things? You’ve got more stuffed toys than you can shake a stick at.”

Me: *grinning* “See? I told you she would want you to take them.”

Boys: *each grabbing a toy* “YAY! Thank you!”

Boys’ Dad: “Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do that.”

Mom: “No, thank you! She’s won so many stuffed animals and things out of those machines that it’s ridiculous. Thank you for keeping them out of my house.”

(I don’t carry cash on me these days, but for the next six or so years after that I would give any toys I won to nearby children to keep from driving my mom crazy.)

Some Customers Act Like Children, Some Just Are

, , , , , | Right | April 10, 2018

(Where I work, customers can place orders for items in-store and opt for either free home delivery or delivery to the store. If the latter is chosen, we take down their details and phone them when their orders arrive. On this particular day, I have to call up a regular customer who is known for being a little bit strange.)

Me: “Good afternoon. [My Name] speaking. I’m calling from [Store], just to let you know that your items have been delivered and are ready to be collected.”

Customer: “[My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, that’s correct.”

Customer: “Oh, [My Name], that’s great! Here, I’ve got someone here who really wants to talk to you.

(For a few moments, I’m baffled, wondering if I’ve heard him correctly. Before I can say another word, I hear a young child on the other end. Note that I’ve only met and served this customer in person twice, and never seen him around with his kids before.)

Customer’s Child: “Hello?”

Me: “Um… Hello.”

Customer’s Child: “Mummy?”

Customer: *in the background* “No, baby, it’s [My Name] from the movie shop. Say hello!”

Customer’s Child: “Hello, [My Name]!”

Me: “Um… Hi.”

Customer’s Child: “Are we coming to get our DVDs today?”

Me: “That’s why I’ve called, yes. Your DVDs are all ready to be collected.”

(The child then launches into a long-winded tale of what her morning has been like, what she’s eaten for breakfast, what their plans for the day are, what’s currently on television, etc. I’m at a complete loss for words and silently look to my manager for help, who just stares at me quizzically, as these calls should usually only take about a minute, max.)

Me: “Uh… Okay. Could you put your dad back on for me, please?”

Customer’s Child: “BYEEEEE!”

Customer: “Hiya, me again. Bless you. You said something about a delivery.”

Me: “Yes… Your, uh, your items.”

Customer: “Awesome, we’ll pop in this afternoon to get ’em. Cheers, darling. Have a good one!” *click*

(The kicker? We held his items for a good five weeks before he finally came in for them.)

How To Be “Not Wrong” In The Most Wrong Possible Way

, , , , , | Right | March 22, 2018

(I work at a popular fast food restaurant that is known, among other things, for its cardboard crowns. This happens after I’ve finished taking the orders of a man and his son, who looks about four or five years old.)

Me: *to the son* “And would you like a crown?”

Son: “I’m not a f****** baby, you stupid c***.”

(Shocked, I look to the father to see how he’ll react, but he just shrugs.)

Father: “Well, he’s not wrong.”


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