They Must Really Like Tea

, , , , , | Right | November 21, 2019

(I work at an amusement park. It just finished raining heavily. I’m all alone at a teacup ride — one of the few rides open since it is still storming — when a group of teens approaches me.)

Teen: “Hey, are you open?”

Me: “Yes.”

Teen: “Can we ride?”

Me: “No.”

Teen: “Why not?”

Me: “You’re too tall.”

Teen: “We’ll pay you?”

Me: “No.”

Teen: “We’ll buy you a pretzel?”

Me: “No.”

Teen: “She’ll sell you her body?”

Me: “…”

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Sadly, Some Adults Don’t Grow Out Of This

, , , | Right | November 15, 2019

(The non-profit that I volunteer for has recently begun getting booths at outdoor festivals during the summer to introduce our organization to the community, to educate people about our cause, and to do some fundraising. Our booth consists of an activity that costs a dollar and lasts about two minutes. The dollar is a suggested donation, and people will sometimes give more. It is this festival’s inaugural year, so not many people are aware of it. However, it is being held at a popular park, so the foot traffic is good. I’m working the front of the booth, taking donations and explaining the activity. I’m approached by some kids who appear to be about twelve years old. They’re dressed brightly for the festival’s theme and seem to be at the age where parents drop kids off at a location with a little money with the promise of being picked up at a later time.)

Me: “Hi. Would you like to do [activity]? It’s a dollar per person donation for two minutes.”

Tween #1: “That sounds awesome! Two, please.”

([Tween #1] hands me a five-dollar bill, and I give them back three dollars. They get in line behind a few others. After several minutes, [Tween #1] returns to the front of the booth with the three dollars change I gave them.)

Tween #1: “Can we give this to you as a donation?”

Me: “Absolutely! Thank you so much!”

(They return to the line, do the activity, and leave happy. I am still manning the donation station an hour or so later when they return. Our booth is popular, so repeat customers are not unusual.)

Me: “Hi there!”

Tween #1: “Hey. Um. So, we want to buy some fans, because it’s pretty warm out, but they cost two dollars.”

(There’s a pause here, and I’m left to figure out that they’ve run out of money and need a dollar each to get paper fans. I’ve observed that kids of this age are often aware of how money works, but not the myriad of faux pas that goes with it. I’m stuck trying to decide if I’m going to be the nice adult that returns part of their donation, or if I’m going to be the one that gives them a life lesson in not requesting refunds of money donated to nonprofits. In the end, I pull out the three dollars and hand them back.)

Tween #1: “We only need two; you can keep the third!”

(I murmur thanks and put the remaining dollar back in the jar. Later, the members of our group are sitting around after the festival, talking about the pros and cons of returning next year. I relay my story with the tweens. The executive director of our nonprofit nods.)

Executive Director: “Yeah, I saw part of that. What did you do?”

Me: “It was really awkward, but I ended up just giving them the two dollars back. I figured their parents could explain to them later. I’ve been doing education about our cause all day and wasn’t up to explaining money faux pas to them.”

Executive Director: *looking for the silver lining* “That’s okay. It’s three dollars we didn’t have before.”

Volunteer: “Oh, man. That sounds like something I might have done as a kid and looked back on as a mortified adult.”

(The others agree with this assessment, and I decide not to mention to them the number of adults I’d encountered while working retail who tried to demand refunds on charity donations.)

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Their Opinions Are Jumping All Over The Place

, , , , | Right | November 4, 2019

(I work at an amusement park at three different rides: a bungee-jumping-type ride with an extremely high drop, a rollercoaster, and a chair swing ride that’s very popular with smaller kids. I’m at the bungee jump ride when two teenage boys get off.)

Coworker: “Did you have fun?”

Boy #1: “That was so pathetic!”

Boy #2: “I know, right?! They need to make the drop like, three hundred feet taller for me to be scared.”

Boy #1: “The rides here really aren’t that thrilling at all. Maybe I’m just too hard to scare.”

(Later on, I move to the chair swing ride and notice the same two boys lining up. They’re talking quietly to each other but I can still hear their conversation.)

Boy #1: “I dunno. This looks really intense.”

Boy #2: “Look how high it goes!”

Boy #1: “Come on, we can do this.”

(I had to fight the urge to remind them of their previous feedback at the bungee jumping ride.)

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Obviously Not Top Of Her Class In High School

, , , , | Right | November 3, 2019

(I’m required to ID anyone for R-rated movies who looks like they might be underage. A rather young-looking teenage girl walks up to the box office one night.)

Customer: “One ticket to [R-rated Movie], please.”

Me: “Sure. Can I see your ID real quick?”

Customer: *clearly straining to think of what to say* “Um, I don’t have it on me. Come on, I’m in my late 20s! There’s no way you’re telling me you think I’m underage! That’s ridiculous!”

Me: “Ma’am… you’re wearing a high school sweater.”

(She suddenly looks pale and looks down, realizing her sweater does indeed have the name of the local high school plastered across the front in big bold letters.)

Customer: “I forgot this sweater had my school’s name on it.”

(She wasn’t old enough.)

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Should Have Just Left It There

, , , | Right | October 29, 2019

(I work as a receptionist at a local service company. We have a protected entrance so I ask visitors what they need before buzzing them in. The window in front of me has a slot to pass items through, but we have taped it off and have a sign saying, “Please do not use the slot. Thank you.”)

Me: “Good afternoon! How can I help you?”

Teenager: “[Employee].”

Me: “He is not in right now; can I take a message?”

Teenager: “Give him this.” *tries to shove an envelope into the blocked slot*

Me: “Please don’t use the slot. I can buzz you in and make sure [Employee] gets the envelope when he comes to work.” 

Teenager: *in a mimicking voice* “‘Don’t use the slot.'” *tosses the envelope onto the hallway floor, forcing me to leave my office* “There. Now you have to work for your pay like a good dog.” *leaves*

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