They’re Not Playing Around In That Playground

, , , | Right | August 12, 2017

(I’m about six years old. My grandparents operate a big, Oktoberfest-y beer garden with up to 1000 visitors a day, and a connected playground. When I visit for the summer I am always eager to help. Since they can’t have a child running around behind the tills, they invent the job of ‘playground supervisor’ for me and tell me to see that everybody is having fun. I’m doing just that when I see a kid shove another kid from the swing and spit on him.)

Me: “Hey! You can’t do that!”

Rude Kid: “Shut up! I can do whatever I want!”

Me: “No! That was bad! Please apologize and let him back on the swing…”

(In the same moment I feel the hand of an adult violently grabbing me by the arm and yanking me to the nearby registers. My grandpa, who was standing behind it, sees this from afar and already comes around the front of the till.)

Rude Adult: *to me* “You’ll be sorry for that!” *to my grandpa* “This spoiled brat was rude and insulted my child and me! I want you to throw him off the premises alongside his useless parents or I’ll give him the whipping he very clearly needs! And I want you to comp my meal for the hostile environment you exposed my child to!”

Grandpa: *quietly by visibly furious beneath the surface* “[My Name], why don’t you go back to the playground?”

(I turned around and went back to the playground but still could see that it was dawning on the rude woman that she made a terrible mistake. A few moments later an employee came and escorted the rude child alongside his mother and her friends out of the beer garden. I don’t know what was spoken but they looked mortified and I’ve never seen them back in the years since.)

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Not Behaving Like An Adult

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2017

(We have a promotion where children, after reading a few books, can receive a free kid’s meal with the purchase of a corresponding adult entree, A woman calls and asks some questions about the deal.)

Customer: “How exactly does your promotion work?”

Me: “Well, after the children have read the necessary number of books, they will receive a free kid’s meal when they come in, provided you order a corresponding number of adult entrees.”

Customer: “So if I have two adults and three kids…”

Me: “In that case, you would receive the two free children’s meals because you’re ordering two adult entrees.”

Customer: *who until now had been pleasant, but immediately became nasty & irate* “So that really sucks if I come in with two adults and three kids, huh?”

Me: “I’m so sorry, but unfortunately that’s how this promotion works.”

Customer: “Fine. We’ll just go somewhere else then.”

(She then hung up rather abruptly. I don’t know anywhere she could go to get three free kid’s meals after purchasing only two adult entrees, and if she knew of one, she should have just gone there in the first place!)

Mrs. Reaper And Her Kids

, , , , | Friendly | July 30, 2017

(My husband is very tall, thin, and pale, and has some heavy scarring on his face from a car accident. He is also pretty quiet and naturally has a stern-looking face, and usually wears dark clothes with long sleeves to cover more scars on his arms. People are often intimidated by him, but he is actually very sweet and a little bit shy. One of my coworkers has young daughters about the same age as our sons, so we set up some play dates. My husband loves children and spends a lot of time playing with the kids. My coworker relays this story about her daughter to me a few weeks later, after Halloween.)

Daughter’s Classmate: “If you go out alone on Halloween, the Grim Reaper will catch you and chop off your head!”

Daughter: “No, he won’t! I’ve met the Grim Reaper. He’s really nice!”

Daughter’s Classmate: “No way! How?”

Daughter: *proudly* “My mom knows his husband. I play with their kids all the time.”

(My coworker said that she explained that my husband is NOT the Grim Reaper, after she stopped laughing.)

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.

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