Panting For Breath

, , , , , | Friendly | July 27, 2017

(My 14-month-old daughter has a thing about pants and shorts: she doesn’t like them and will take them off every time I put them on her. I am in the grocery store picking up some last minute groceries after picking up her up from her grandmother’s. Once again, she refuses to wear the shorts I had on her originally. Knowing that the errand will be relatively quick, I don’t fight it and take her in the grocery store with just her shirt and her diaper on. The heat index at this time is close to 110 F (43.33 C), so most people are getting sweaty just walking from their cars into the store, us being no exception. I’m patiently waiting in line when an elderly woman joins behind me, followed by her teenage grandson playing on his phone. I’m getting ready to pay when I hear this gem.)

Woman: “You should seriously put some pants on that child. It’s rather indecent of you to allow her to go out in public like that.”

Me: “Are you seriously offended by the fact that my daughter’s diaper is exposed?”

(She’s about to reply when her grandson interjects, not breaking his gaze from the phone.)

Grandson: “Nana, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s stupid hot outside. If I didn’t have to wear pants in this weather, I certainly wouldn’t. Let the baby live it up while she still can.”

(The cashier and I chuckled while the woman just turned red and kept quiet the rest of the transaction.)

Some Stories (Chop)Stick With You

, , , , , | Hopeless | July 14, 2017

This story takes place about 20 years ago. I own a small Chinese restaurant and every week on Sunday at 11:30 on the dot, a family comes in. The father is Caucasian and the mother is Chinese. Their daughter is about five or six and is one of the loudest and rambunctious children I’ve ever met.

Every Sunday without fail, they’ll come in, and the kid will make a mess, scream, etc., and the father will ask for a fork for himself and their daughter. The mother will constantly try to calm her daughter down and tell her to be a “proper lady” and tell her husband to at least attempt to use chopsticks — and usually fail to do so. It becomes a habit and I usually have to deal with this table because the kid’s such a pain that none of my servers want to deal with her.

One week, the family just stops coming. Most of us are thinking “Oh, good, no more brat.” Three months pass and the family comes back, but it’s just the father and the child.

Surprisingly, the child is very calm. In fact she orders the dishes, says please and thank you (I’d like to mention that half of our adult patrons don’t do that), and she uses chopsticks better than my eight-year-old.

After the meal the father comes up to pay for the bill. I ask him how he got his daughter to be so polite, because quite frankly it seems like a miracle.

He gives me the most forlorn look I’ve ever seen. Apparently his wife died in a car crash about three months earlier (at this point I am feeling very guilty about calling her a brat) and never came home. For some reason his daughter thought it was her fault and that because she was being naughty her mother didn’t want to come back. Even though the father said it wasn’t the case, she insisted on being a “proper lady” and got both of them to learn how to use chopsticks, “Because Ma Ma will come back if she sees how nice we are.”

After he paid for the bill I just went to the back and cried. I went home and hugged my daughter.

It’s been 20 years since then and they’re still regulars. She even has a little family of her own that she brings in. The little girl eventually realized that her mother wasn’t coming back, but was still the most polite customer I’ve ever had. I’m sure her mother would be very proud to see how well she’s grown up.

It still brings me great joy when I see the daughter teaching her own children how to use chopsticks.

Not Too Chicken To Confront Mom

, , , , , , | Right | June 30, 2017

(I work at a fast food chicken restaurant and it’s a very slow day. A lady with two little kids comes in.)

Lady: “Can I have a hamburger and kids meals for these two–”

Me: “Ma’am, we are a chicken—”

Lady: “—and I want two root-beers and a water.”

Me: “Ma’am, we are a chicken—”

Lady: *yelling over me* “AND I WANT SOME FRENCH FRIES!”

Me: “Ma’am, we are [Fast Food Chicken Restaurant].”

Lady: *visually angry* “NO, YOU AREN’T! YOU ARE WHAT I TELL YOU WHAT YOU ARE, AND YOU’RE [Burger Chain]!”

Little Boy #1: “Mom, this is [Fast Food Chicken Restaurant].”

Lady: “NO, IT’S NOT, [Little Boy #1]!”

Little Boy #2: “Mom, what does it the sign above the menu say?”

Lady: “[Fast Food Chicken Restaurant].”

Little Boy #1 & #2: “So we’re in the wrong place, so let’s leave.”

(Lady left with her kids. Never in my career have I seen two little kids correct their parent like that. I was speechless the rest of the day.)

Hasn’t Got This Parenting Thing In The Bag

, , , , , , | Right | June 28, 2017

(I work at a candy store in a mall. We have a rule posted on numerous signs that if you bag the bulk candy, you must buy it, as it is a health hazard for anyone to go dumping it back after they’ve scooped it. A man comes in with his little girl of probably six and he’s busy talking on his phone.)

Girl: “Daddy, what can I get?”

(The father waves her off and continues his phone call. She walks over and grabs a plastic bag. Before the man notices, she has packed the bag full of probably two pounds of assorted gummy candy.)

Father: “Oh, no, honey, don’t get that much!”

(Naturally, the father takes the bag and goes to dump it back into one of the gummy containers. Not only is this a health hazard, but the girl had mixed multiple kinds of candy, so it would be mixing things up.)

Me: “Sir, you can’t put that back.”

Father: “What? Why not?”

Me: “Because it is against health code to bag the candy and then put it back. It is posted all on numerous signs around the store.”

Father: “I refuse to pay for this! It’s outrageously priced and I didn’t want it to begin with!”

Me: “Sir, you are responsible for what your daughter did, even if you were unaware while you were speaking on the phone.”

(The man brings it over, pays for it, and walks out the door. He is clearly pissed of and angry at me. I hear his daughter talking as they head for the exit.)

Daughter: “Can I have some, Daddy?”

Father: “No.”

(He proceeded to drop the bag in a trash can before continuing to leave. The girl was clearly distraught. Talk about Father of the Year.)

Well That’s Just Gravy

, , , , , | Working | June 26, 2017

(I work at a well-known fast food joint which specializes in fried chicken. We sell potato and gravy as a side to go with our popular bucket meals. On this particular day I arrive half-an-hour early for my shift, so I go and sit down and wait until it’s time to clock in. While I’m waiting I notice a customer, leaving the store with his young daughter, drop a tub of potato and gravy on the ground. The girl’s father panics and immediately goes and summons my manager.)

Customer: “I’m so sorry! My daughter has spilt potato and gravy everywhere.”

Manager: *cheerful and smiling* “That’s okay; don’t worry about it. It’s not a problem, really.”

Customer: “Thank you so much. Once again, I’m really sorry.”

(The customer then proceeds to exit the store with his young daughter. I then notice my manager making his way back to the office without even bothering to clean up the mess left behind by the customer’s daughter. As soon as I clock in, I go to clean up the mess, which has since been walked on by multiple customers over the half-an-hour period it had been left sitting there, getting smeared everywhere.)

Me: *sighs*

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