Not All Families Are Going To The Dogs

, , , , , | Friendly | April 17, 2019

(A friend and I go to the mall together. We both have service dogs, both for different conditions. We’re in the food court, trying to decide what to eat. A stranger comes up to us with her three young kids.)

Mother #1: “Oh, look at the pretty doggies!”

(My friend and I exchange looks. We know exactly where this is going.)

Mother #1: “Do you guys want to pet the doggies?”

(Another mother with a young child, about four or five, comes up. She’s noticed the other family eyeing our service dogs.)

Mother #2: *loudly* “[Son], do you see those two dogs?”

Son: “Yes! Can I pet them?”

Mother #2: “Nope, do you see what they’re wearing?”

Son: “They have coats on! Why are they wearing coats?”

Mother #2: “It means they’re working. Some dogs have very important jobs. You know how [Name] helps people who can’t do some things by themselves?”

Son: “Yeah! He helps them go out and get food and medicine and do fun stuff!”

Mother #2: “Well, those dogs do that, too. Some help blind people, some help people get around, and some even warn people if they’re going to eat something they’re allergic to!”

Son: “That’s so cool!”

Mother #2: “But if you pet them, you’ll distract them from doing their important job! So, that’s why you never, ever per a dog wearing that vest!”

Son: “Okay, Mommy!”

(The first family seems to have understood and wanders off. I go to the second mom and thank her.)

Mother #2: “Oh, it’s all right. My nephew is an aide for people with disabilities; he works with some people with service dogs and says it’s the biggest problem.”

(We ended up buying her and her son ice cream. The son wanted to learn all about service dogs, so we talked for a while about what ours do. He also told us to tell them they were doing a very, very good job!)

The Customer Is Always Right But Their Children Are Worse

, , , , | Right | April 17, 2019

(We have a group of children running, squealing, and playing games all over our store. There are a teenage girl and boy with them; the girl is caring for a baby while the boy is egging the other children on. They are disturbing other customers and throwing stock around, and I’ve had enough, so I go after the teenage boy. I have already paged several times to request they stop running.)

Me: *behind him* “Uh, excuse me.” *he ignores me and walks away* “Excuse me.” *he walks faster* “YOU, IN THE [TYPE OF CLOTHING], STOP RIGHT THERE!” *he finally stops and turns to me* “I’ve already asked you and the children several times to stop running through the store. Can you—“

Teenage Boy: “It’s not me; it’s the others.”

(He walks away. I refrain from going after him as I’m ready to burst. As I turn, one of the younger boys runs into the aisle.)

Me: “Where are your parents?”

Younger Boy: “I’m with my cousins.”

Me: “Where are your parents?”

Younger Boy: “They aren’t here; I’m with my cousins.”

Me: “Let me guess. Your parents are in [Restaurant], aren’t they?”

(We often get children sent to play in our store so the parents can eat.)

Boy: “Yes.”

Me: “Thanks.”

(I tell another staff member that I am going to the restaurant for a moment. I see the boy run after his cousin. At the restaurant, I speak to the owner’s daughter.)

Me: “Do you have a family in here that’s now missing a bunch of kids? Because they are all running riot through our store.”

Owner: “I know exactly who you are talking about. Those kids are a f****** menace. You should just tell them to f*** off.”

Me: “I’d love to, but I need my job right now.”

Owner: “I’ve been telling them to f*** off all afternoon. I know the parents have heard me but they’ve done nothing. Just leave it with me. I am going to have some lovely words with them and I’m going to f****** well enjoy it.”

(Thankfully, I didn’t have to put up with the kids again; when I was heading back to the store I saw them going around the other side of the restaurant.)

Just A Nudge Away From Crazy

, , , , | Right | April 17, 2019

(I am a utility worker, which roughly translates to a cart pusher most of the time. While working, I encounter a mother texting on her phone and her two children, one of whom is sitting in a cart despite being disallowed, and the other obstructing the cart bay.)

Me: “Excuse me!”

(The family ignores me. Since I have to fill the cart bay as much as possible, I push the row of carts I was moving in, and I unintentionally nudge one of the children. Suddenly, the mother whips around and starts screaming!)


Me: “I’m sorry, I couldn’t see how far the carts extended for, and couldn’t accurately judge my distance. Sorry!”

Mother: “CLEARLY YOU F****** CAN’T, YOU S***HEAD!”

(I recoil in shock, not expecting her to use such language in public, let alone in front of her children. The one I bumped seems largely unamused. Her yelling attracts my team leader.)

Team Leader: “What’s the problem?”


(The team leader merely looks at me, where I am behind a now fully-stocked cart bay, and thus can’t do anything without climbing over the carts or weaseling my way between them.)

Team Leader: “I apologize. I’ll be sure to talk to him about this.”

Mother: “GOOD!”

(Now placated, the mother and her children leave. I walk back outside and meet up with a coworker waiting on his ride home and my team leader.)

Coworker: “She was a real b****, huh?”

Team Leader: “Yep, but the customer’s always right. By the way, good job keeping a cool head, [My Name].”

(For the record, I wasn’t written up.)

Welp. That’s Awkward…

, , , | Right | April 16, 2019

(The store where I work has the workers write quotes for the customer. I’m 18 at the time and have just finished helping a customer in their late twenties find an item, and I have almost finished writing the quote to get my commission.)

Me: “All right! The price is [total] for [item]. May I get a phone number?”

Customer: *looks me up and down for a second* “No, thanks.”

Me: “It’s for the quote.” *moves so he can get a better look at the computer screen so he can see where it asks for a phone number*

Customer: “Oh! Yeah, it’s [number].”

(When I told my manager, she just about pissed herself laughing. Five years later, at the same job, that guy is STILL the only one to assume I wanted their number for myself.)

Price Match Rematch

, , , | Right | April 15, 2019

(A woman and her son come in to buy a sewing machine. They have brought in printouts from another store and a copy of our price matching policy. The machine is on special at the other place and she wants the extra 15% off that we offer. I read both papers and take note of what they say.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t match prices with online stores or sale items.”

Son: “The place has a storefront.”

Me: “They might, but right here it says, ‘Online-only special.’”

Mother: “It’s not on special; you have to match it.”

Me: “The full price is clearly marked right here and I can’t even match that for you because our regular price is cheaper than their full price.”

Mother: “It’s not on special.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but from what it says here, it is on special. I have to ring them and find out for sure.”

Mother: “They aren’t open today. I want to buy the machine today for the matched price.”

Me: “I have to be able to call them to confirm it.”

Mother: “Oh, great. Now you’re just making up your own rules.”

Me: “No, I’m reading them straight from the printout that you gave me.”

Mother: “Where does it say that? Prove it.”

Me: *points to line* “It’s right here. See? Right above the line that says that we don’t match prices on sewing machines.”

Mother: “You made that up.” *snatches the papers from me*

Me: “You printed it.”

Mother:Fine! We are going elsewhere.” *storms to the door, stops* “I’m calling in a complaint about you.”

(I can see it’s a ploy to scare me into giving her the discount, one which would probably get me fired. A complaint could, too, if the company decides I’ve treated her rudely, but by this time I don’t care.)

Me: “They aren’t open on Sundays; do it tomorrow.”

(I make sure I document what was said and give it to my manager. She rarely backs me up.)

Manager: “You should have given her the discount. I would have approved it; you lost us a sale. A sale is a sale.”

Me: “It would have brought it under cost price.”

Manager: “What? Oh, my God, you’re right. You just saved both of us from possible termination.”

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