What A Touching Thing To Say

| Cardiff, Wales, UK | Right | November 29, 2012

(I work in a toy shop, so I often end up having conversations with kids while their parents go through the tills.)

Me: *scans an expensive toy* “Wow, is this for you?”

Little Girl: “Yes! It’s my birthday! And I got an iPod Touch, too!”

Me: “Wow! I didn’t get an iPod until I was 22.”

Little Girl: “Maybe your mum doesn’t love you.”

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Completin’ Ain’t Cheatin’

| Anchorage, AK, USA | Right | September 20, 2012

(My coworker is showing a customer a series of trivia games. Each revolves around a different subject: science, geography, presidents, etc.)

Coworker: “They’re a really fun way to learn new things, and the wide variety gives you a lot of options.”

Customer: “But what if the kids memorize all the answers?”

Coworker: “…Mission accomplished?”

Customer: “Oh… oh! Yeah, of course…”

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High-Strung At Heart

| UK | Right | September 5, 2012

(I work in a toy store that sells a variety of products, aimed at all kinds and all ages. A teenage boy and his young brother come in, and are being quiet and behaving.)

Girly Voice: “I’M TIRRRREEED.”

(My back is turned to them, so I expect that they must have a young sister with them. Instead, I turn around to see a tall, pouting, blonde woman in 6-inch heels. Her boys call her “mum”, so it’s clear who she is.)

Mother: *flails arms and stamps her feet* “I’M BORED! I WANT TO SIT DOWN. MY FEET ARE TIRED! I’M HUNGRY. CAN WE GO NOW? HAVE YOU SPENT YOUR MONEY YET?! I’M GOING BECAUSE I’M BORED AND I’M TIRED—”

(I’m not the only one to notice her behavior; other customers are agog at this grown woman having a tantrum in a toy shop. While this is going on, an elderly woman at the till smiles at me sweetly.)

Elderly Woman: “Goodness, if that were my daughter, I’d give her a good slap!”

Me: “Even at her age?”

Elderly Woman: “ESPECIALLY at her age!”

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Chide Should Go Before The Fall

| Israel | Right | August 18, 2012

(A kid is running around with a toy gun until he falls down and breaks it. His mother grabs it and approaches me.)

Mother: “I would like another one of this.”

Me: “No problem, but I need you to pay for the one you broke.”

Mother: “That’s insane! He broke it in your store! That means it’s your responsibility!”

(I point to a huge sign behind me that says, ‘You Break It, You Buy It.’ I have never seen anyone run that fast!)

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Sweep Away Your Own Stereotypes

| Springfield, MO, USA | Working | August 15, 2012

(This occurs while I am looking for a miniature toy broom for my daughter. She loves to help out around the house and thinks it is fun. She is two, and I think it is a great idea to encourage this behavior.)

Me: “Do you sell toy brooms here?”

Employee: “No, we do not. This store enforces playing against gender stereotypes.”

Me: “…What?”

Employee: “Those toy brooms and mops are sickening! It just enforces that little girls are only fit for cleaning and girly things.”

Me: “So, let me get this straight: you don’t sell the brooms due to gender stereotypes?”

Employee: “That is correct.”

Me: “I see a problem with that logic.”

Employee: *smugly* “I don’t see how, ma’am.”

Me: *gestures around us* “How about the nice selection of pink & pretty princess accessories, make-up, and glamour dress-up clothes you got here? Shall we talk more about stereotypes?”

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