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Sour Candies, Sour Stranger, Sweet Ending

, , , , , | Friendly | November 8, 2022

I used to work a schedule that was seven days on, four days off. My neighbor and best friend was a work-from-home mom. On my days off, if the weather cooperated, I would take my two little mutts and the neighbor’s three girls, ages five, seven, and eight, to the local dog park. It was perfect. The play area was right next to the dog park, so I would take my energetic fluffballs to the dog park section and keep my eyes on the kids while they played, and my neighbor got a couple of hours of kid-free time. (The dog park required that you stay in the fenced area with your pets, and the play area only required you were always within view of your kids.) I always handed the kids one coin purse each with enough change to get a snack and drink from the vending machines.

On one trip, I realized I had left one of the coin purses at home. I didn’t want to just hand one of the kids loose change; experience had taught me that loose coins always fell out of their pockets. I dug in my purse and found some lemon drops in a round tin with a pretty snug-fitting top. I only had a few candies left in the tin, so I popped one in my mouth and offered the others to a few people sitting on the bench next to me in the dog park. I then put one of the kids’ coins in the tin and sent her on her way. She immediately noticed the jingling noise the coins made in the tin and had almost as much fun playing with the tin as she did on the playground. Of course, the other two wanted tins, too, so I promised I’d buy another three-pack of the lemon drops and they could have the tins as soon as they were empty. 

We were out at the park another day, and I had just emptied a lemon drop tin for the third kid, who was ecstatic. Once they all had their coin tins, they ran off, jingling them at each other.

After about thirty or forty minutes, I watched a girl obviously older and bigger than my neighbor’s kids run up to them from across the playground and make several attempts to grab at the kids while they ran away from her. At first, I thought they might be playing some sort of game, but I heard the oldest kid start yelling, “KNOCK IT OFF!” She only does that when someone is doing something she really doesn’t like. The older girl backed off and ran out of the playground.

I called the kids over.

Oldest Girl: “She was trying to take our coin tins!”

Me: “If she comes back and causes any more problems, come straight to me.”

About an hour later, I saw the girl come back hauling a ticked-off-looking woman with her. The woman went right up to my neighbor’s kids and said something I couldn’t hear. All three of them ran straight to me.

The woman followed them into the dog park and stormed up to where I was sitting.

Woman: “Your kids have been teasing my daughter with their tins! You or one of the kids needs to give her a tin, and you should all apologize.”

Me: “I’ve been watching the kids the whole time, and there was no teasing involved. Your daughter ran clear across the playground and tried to take the kids’ tins without provocation.”

Obviously, the mom didn’t want to hear this.

Woman: “You’re lying! Give my daughter a tin!”

Me: *Looking her directly in the eye* “No.”

She looked so shocked you’d think I’d hauled off and slapped her. 

Mom: “No?! No?!

Me: “No.”

Mom: “You have to give her a tin!”

Me: “No.”

Mom: “Why the h*** not?!”

This is something I really hate: people who absolutely refuse to accept “no” as an answer. They want you to give them a reason for the answer so they can argue with your reasons since “no” all by itself is a declarative statement that doesn’t really leave room for arguing. I don’t play that game. 

Me: “I said no. Now, either get out of my face or I’m calling park security.”

The mom stood there staring at me until I started obviously looking at the sign with the security office number on it and dialing my phone. She then stormed off in the direction she had come from and her daughter went back to the park.

I watched the daughter and the kids like a hawk until it was time for us to leave. She looked my way a few times while moving toward the kids and backed off when I glared at her. 

On the way home, the oldest kid asked me if I even had any more tins. I told her truthfully that I still had one leftover, which was almost empty, and I would have given it to the girl had she asked nicely. All three kids piped up that the girl had never asked them; she just ran up and tried to take them. I explained that there are some people in this world who behave like that, and it’s important to avoid them if you can and stand up to them when you can’t, or they’ll never stop taking from you because they will never be satisfied with what they have. 

I tell this story now because the middle child just did a presentation for her senior class about people who positively influenced her life, and she told this story. She ended by shaking her tin in the air, and her sisters shook theirs from where we were sitting in the auditorium. Then, she pointed me out while I was ugly-crying, so posting this is my revenge.

There Are Probably A Lot More “Related” Stories In This Family’s Future

, , , , , , , , , | Related | November 7, 2022

We have a little creek behind our house. It’s a nice peaceful spot to unwind most days. Today, my boys, being the avid outdoorsmen that they are, decided to go catch some crawdads and swing on some vines like typical little boys. After I got done mowing some grass, I had to fix my wife’s heat-press, and after MacGyvering the s*** out of it, I felt I deserved a break.

After about three minutes of peace, [Ten-Year-Old] came in all flabbergasted and being his usual diva self.

Ten-Year-Old: “There’s a snake at the creek! It almost bit me! Get a gun!”

Blah, blah, the usual. I kind of blew it off and continued with my lackadaisical afternoon. After a few minutes, my wife gently “encouraged” me to go check on them. Off I went.

I begrudgingly sauntered off to the creek. Upon my arrival, I was witness to quite a sight.

[Ten-Year-Old], my eldest born, the leader of the pack, the standard for my other boys, was ankle-deep in the water, frantically waving a cattleprod taser thing — I’m not entirely sure where he found it — taunting this phantom snake to bring it on.

While I was simultaneously in awe of his fearlessness and dumbfounded about how he had survived as long as he had, I can only assume the snake went full-on “Don’t tase me, bro,” and noped the h*** out of there. I seriously don’t blame the snake; [Ten-Year-Old] was about to take them both out.

I face-palmed but immediately explained the intricacies of electricity and water to my son. He nodded and then ran off to go poop in the woods or whatever [Ten-Year-Old]s do.

[Four-Year-Old], my smartest child, looks at me and says:

Four-Year-Old: “[Ten-Year-Old]’s not very smart.”

And then he proceeded to yeet a rock straight into [Two-Year-Old]’s forehead.

If the children are our future, mine are not going to be very productive. Sorry, everyone else.

We Had Reservations About This… And Then It Got Worse

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: Comfortable-Tone4739 | November 5, 2022

I’m a woman in my early twenties, and I work as a bartender in a restaurant. It’s not a formal restaurant. We’re very casual, although we still get some “bougie” guests on occasion.

We work until 12:00. Last Saturday, a group came in at around 11:00 pm. They had made a reservation for eleven adults and one child for a small wedding dinner. They came in about an hour late without having called in advance to tell us.

As the evening went on and the alcohol kept going, they became more and more obnoxious. After their dinner, the mother of the bride took the child — who was around two or three — around the restaurant playing the “Oh, wow, look at that!” game. Things started going downhill when she walked up to our open kitchen and pointed at the kamado grill standing in the kitchen.

Bride’s Mother: “Oooh, look at that beehive!”

The kid squealed in excitement and started reaching for it.

Meanwhile, I was standing there minding my business, shining glasses and such, when the lady casually started walking toward the swinging door leading to the kitchen. I ran up to her and explained how she OBVIOUSLY wasn’t allowed to walk in the kitchen, how it was a health and safety violation, and so on.

Bride’s Mother: “Oh, it’s no biggie. We just wanna look at the beehive and we’ll be right out.”

What? 

Me: “Ma’am, you are not going in there. And it’s not a beehive; it’s a hot grill!”

The kid started getting upset, and the woman started getting snappy at me.

Bride’s Mother: “It’s not a big deal! Just let us in to check it out. [Kid] is interested to see it!”

I stood between her and the door, not letting her in, and this woman tried squeezing in from the side. I gently pushed her back by her shoulders. She snapped.

Bride’s Mother: *Yelling* “You assaulted me! You have no right to touch me. We are paying thousands of euros to eat here, and we should be allowed to at least walk around the place!”

Me: “You’re welcome to walk around the seating area but absolutely not around the kitchen or any other staff-only areas.”

Her new son-in-law came over and got her to go back to their table.

I was still standing there flabbergasted. How can a woman of her age not understand the concept of not being allowed to walk in a restaurant kitchen like it’s her own, with a child nonetheless?

The Order Didn’t Exist And Neither Does Their Manners

, , , , , , | Right | November 4, 2022

I work as a supervisor at a certain large coffee chain. This afternoon, I have about thirty minutes left in my shift. A kid — no more than twelve or thirteen — comes in with his family and walks up to the counter.

Kid: “I was in the drive-thru of your store yesterday afternoon and ordered three large coffees, but we only got one.”

Automatically, red flags go off. How do you drive off with only a third of your order and then not call or come back until the next day?

Me: “Do you have a receipt?”

Kid: “No.”

Of course not.

The kid is very pushy and persistent, so a coworker and I look up all the orders in that price range four hours before and after he says he visited.

Me: “Look, we can’t find any order even close to what you said you ordered, but I’ll still offer you two small drinks.”

This is a company policy of sorts.

Kid: “We should get three larges!”

After we refuse him several times, he gives in. Apparently, he thinks the drinks should be ready instantly, too. There are about eight drinks ahead of his, but every thirty seconds or so, he comes back to the counter.

Kid: “Are my drinks ready?”

He pointed several times to drinks waiting to be handed off in the drive-thru (the counter was right behind me) to ask me if they were his.

When his drinks did come out, he and his family remained in our lobby and proceeded to rearrange the furniture and converse loudly, tearing up napkins to drop on the floor for the remainder of my shift. I made a point to pass on the story to the supervisor who was coming on as I was leaving, just so she wouldn’t give him any more free drinks.

At Least You Made That Little Girl Happy (Meal)

, , , , , | Working | November 4, 2022

I work at a fast food chain. A little girl came in with her dad and ordered a [Kids’ Meal], and the toys that came with it were from an insanely popular movie. We were sold out, and she looked so heartbroken; it was depressing to see her face fall.

Me: *To her dad* “If you give me your mailing address, I’ll mail the toy to you when our next shipment comes in.”

He gladly gave it to me and the girl seemed hopeful.

Then, I learned that, due to some internal corporate problem, we weren’t getting any more of the toys.

I knew I had made a promise, so I mailed the girl a €10 gift certificate to [Toy Store Chain]. The dad wrote a thank-you letter to the restaurant for everything…

And I got written up for “acting egregiously out of scope without consulting a manager and making unreasonable promises to customers”.