In A Nation Founded By Convicts…

, , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2020

I’m working stock at a popular discount variety store chain, when a father, a mother and their two sons walk in and start looking at toys. I overhear part of their conversation:

Father: “Only pick one each, we actually have to pay for these. It’s not like back home in South Africa where you could just walk out of the shop.”

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Not Worried About Geography

, , , , | Related | April 5, 2020

Several years ago, I had planned a vacation to Romania and Bulgaria. At the time, Sarajevo had had a devastating flood, and Ukraine was in the depths of their civil war. My mom called me the day before I left. 

Mom: “Aren’t you worried about the flooding?”

Me: “That’s in the Balkans, Mom. I’m not going there.” 

Mom: “Okay. What about the war?”

Me: “That’s Ukraine. I’m not going there, either.”

Mom: “Okay, well, just be careful.”

Me: “If you didn’t worry about these things, you wouldn’t be my mom.”

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The Cry Baby Here Isn’t The Baby

, , , , , | Right | April 4, 2020

(I am working at the circulation desk at the library when a woman comes up with a stack of VHS tapes that she wants to check out for her son, who looks to be about three. As part of the checkout, we open the boxes and make sure that the videos match the box. 

One of the videos doesn’t match the box, so I tell the mom I won’t be able to check that one out to her.)

Mom: “But he’ll cry!”

(Wishing I could just tell her that the kid will only cry if SHE makes a big deal out of not getting the one video, I explain again that I cannot check out that video because it is not the one that is on the box.)

Mom: “But he’ll cry!”

(I offer to hang on to the videos while she goes and gets another one to replace the one I can’t check out.)

Mom: “But he’ll cry!”

(I start to point out that if her son really wants that video and it isn’t in the box… And then Mom shouts:)

Mom: “You don’t UNDERSTAND!”

(She shoved the whole pile of videos across the counter at me, grabbed the kid’s hand, and dragged him out. And yes, he cried.)

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Lost And Losing It

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I work at a theme park. I am off-duty and leaving work after a long day. On the way out, I am accosted by a very frightened guest. We have a cabin labeled “Lost Parents” where children who have been separated from their parents are taken when found.)

Guest: “My daughter is missing!”

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Guest: “She’s only eight years old. She has blonde hair and is wearing a green shirt and khaki shorts.”

Me: “I haven’t seen her; I’m sorry.”

Guest: “Can you page for her?”

Me: “They don’t usually page for lost children, but you can ask at Guest Services. First you should try Lost Parents.”

Guest: “What’s wrong with you? Do you think this is funny?”

Me: “No, sir. But if your daughter’s been found, then someone will have taken her to Lost Parents.”

Guest: “I’m not lost! My daughter is lost!”

Me: “Yes, well, if you go up that hill and then right at [Ride], you’ll see the cabin on the left. It says, ‘Lost Parents’ on it.”

Guest: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? MY DAUGHTER IS LOST!”

Me: “Would you like for me to walk you to Lost Parents?”

Guest: “No, I want you to find my daughter! I WANT YOU TO PAGE FOR MY DAUGHTER!”

Me: “I’m a food service worker. You have to talk to guest services to have someone paged. But our security guards are pretty vigilant; your daughter is probably waiting for you at Lost Parents.”

Guest: “I AM NOT LOST! MY DAUGHTER IS! You know what? I’M GOING TO REPORT YOU AT GUEST SERVICES WHEN I HAVE THEM PAGE FOR MY DAUGHTER! YOU GO FIND HER!”

(The guest stomps off in the wrong direction.)

Me: “Um… Lost Parents is the other way.”

Guest: *over her shoulder* “I AM NOT LOST!”

(I go to Lost Parents to check on the child and immediately spot her. She looks very frightened, so I get her a drink and sit with her until her parent arrives with the security guards.)

Guest: “You again! You knew where my daughter was the whole time, and you didn’t tell me!”

Security Guard: “She didn’t tell you to try Lost Parents?”

Guest: “I thought she was joking!”

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Pooling Together All The Bad Behavior

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2020

(I’ve been working at this pool for over five years, and since I’m now in college I only work when back home on breaks. A colleague warns me about a new patron who thinks he’s above the rules. A few days later, I get to meet him.)

Me: “Hello, sir!”

(The patron grunts and pulls his tiny two-year-old daughter, still in street clothes, around to the side of the pool and around the corner, past me and my line of vision. A few minutes later, I hear strange noises and go to investigate. I find him by the metal bleachers, attempting to use our rope lane to TIE HIS DAUGHTER UP LIKE A DOG.)

Me: “SIR! SIR, YOU CAN’T DO THAT! PLEASE STOP!”

(I rush over and untie the girl. He glares at me.)

Customer: “What am I supposed to do? Last time, the guard refused to watch her!”

Me: “That’s because we’re not a daycare, sir. We are lifeguards and we need to watch the pool and swimmers, not your child. There is a daycare center right upstairs.”

Customer: “They charge $35 an hour! You expect me to pay that? YOU JUST WANT MORE MONEY!”

Me: “I don’t care about money, sir. I care about keeping my pool safe. Either leave or take her to the daycare, or she swims with you.”

Customer: “FINE!”

(He begins ripping off his daughter’s clothes right there on the pool deck, leaving her in only a diaper. Diapers are ABSOLUTELY not allowed in our pool; only swim diapers can go in.)

Me: “Sir… She’s wearing a diaper; she can’t go in. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize.”

Customer: “YOU TOLD ME SHE COULD! LOOK, WE’RE GOING SWIMMING TOGETHER NOW!“

(He picks her up and attempts to RUN to the pool. I step in front of him and block his path.)

Me: “Sir! If you attempt to get any closer to my pool, I will have them tear up your membership! You do not yell here, you do not run, you do not bring diapers in, and above all else, you do not ignore the lifeguard! You need to leave for today; you can come back when you’re ready to obey the pool rules.”

(He glares down at me for a minute. I stand my ground, even though he’s three times my size, and he eventually gathers up his stuff and leaves, mumbling under his breath. I talk to my boss after my shift and he tells me to call him down next time the guy comes in, as he’s been a huge troublemaker. A week later:)

Me: “Uh-oh. He’s back.”

Coworker: “Crap. You’re the senior guard; what do you want me to do?”

Me: “Call [Boss] and tell him who’s here.” 

(My coworker goes into the guard office to make the call while I watch the man. Today he has his daughter from before, and an older daughter, who is mentally impaired and cannot move on her own, in a large stroller. Both girls are fully clothed. He walks over to me and holds up a swim diaper.)

Customer: *annoyed* “Is this the right thing for swimming?”

Me: “Yes, sir! Your daughter will be able to accompany you in the pool while wearing that! If you just take her in the locker rooms to change, I’m sure you’ll all have a great time!”

(He grunts and heads back over to his kids and starts taking off their clothes in the middle of the pool deck.)

Me: “Sir? Could you take them into the locker rooms and change them there, please? We—”

Customer: “NO! THERE ARE MEN IN THERE! THEY WILL LOOK AT MY DAUGHTERS!”

(My coworker returns from the phone call.)

Coworker: “There are men out here in the pool…”

(He ignores us and continues to change his kids right there. My coworker tells me that our boss is on his way back from lunch and to keep the pool safe until then. The man gets into the lap lane with his daughters, and I decide to let it slide since there’s no one in the lap lanes and to keep the man from blowing up.

He has a hold of both of them for a while, playing with both, and then he deposits the two-year-old on the lane line — which is the plastic rope used to divide the pool into sections — and sticks a foam noodle each under the paralyzed girl’s neck and legs. He then begins swimming laps away from them. My coworker and I sprint over and snatch both girls out of the water before they go under, right in time for my boss to show up.)

Boss: “What the h*** is going on here?!”

(We explain what just happened, and we are directed to go fill out incident reports and leave the kids with my boss. We’re filling them out in the office as man swims back toward my boss and his daughters, emerges, notices the situation, and begins arguing with my boss. There is some yelling that we can’t hear, and then:)

Customer: “Well, f*** you, then! I’m getting my own pool, and I will swim in that and never come back here, and you will be sorry!”

Boss: “Fine with me! Get out and don’t come back!”

(The man leaves and my boss comes to the office, muttering.)

Coworker: “You okay, boss?”

Boss: “Yeah, I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about him anymore; I’m tearing up his membership.”

Me: “Is he really getting his own pool? I feel like he should be banned from pools everywhere.”

Boss: “I doubt it; he probably just wanted to sound important. And if he does, when his kids nearly drown, he’ll see just how important lifeguards and rules are!”

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