Playing The Generation Shame

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 26, 2019

(My cousin is cursed and blessed with a very young-looking face. Despite the fact she is 35, she sometimes still gets asked for ID. I am 21 and have also inherited the family baby-face. We’re walking round a well-known mother-and-baby store chain. She is pushing her oldest child — still a toddler — in a pushchair, whilst I have her younger baby in a papoose on my back, to make things easier for her whilst she shops. We get everything she wants and join the line for the tills. Behind us are a pair of older women who start to make snippy comments about us.)

Old Lady #1: “Look at those two. Can’t keep their legs shut!”

Old Lady #2: “Ridiculous. Our generation didn’t fight in the war so that ungrateful girls like them could sponge off our war pensions.”

Old Lady #1: “I hope their mothers are ashamed.”

Old Lady #2: “I bet they’re not married. Probably no father in sight!”

Old Lady #1: “Probably a [racial slur] who slept with them for drug money.”

Old Lady #2: “Disgusting.”

(Finally, my cousin has had enough of this and turns around to speak to them.)

Cousin: “Excuse me, were you talking about me and my cousin?”

Old Lady #2: “Your ears work as well as your ovaries, then, love?”

Old Lady #1: *sniggering* “As if they know what ovaries even means!”

Cousin: “Not that it’s any of your business to judge who would and who wouldn’t make a good parent, but I’m 35, I’m married, I have a biology-based PhD, and I’m the head of Science at [Local Large Secondary School]. [My Name] here is my cousin and is just carrying my youngest daughter for me so I don’t have to use the bulky double pram on what I’d only planned as a very quick shopping trip. You’ve done nothing but make hateful assumptions, which, whilst we’re on the subject, reminds me, if – unlike me, obviously – you look your own age, then there’s no way you’re from the WWII generation. This would make you baby boomers, who’d be relying on my and [My Name]’s generation to foot your whopping NHS bills. I suggest you think before you open your mouths next time.”

Old Lady #1: *massively backpedalling* “Well, I didn’t mean my generation; my father…”

Old Lady #2: “We didn’t mean you, dear, we meant…” *looks around hoping to see a legitimate teenage mother in the store* “I… uh…”

Cousin: “Come off it! I don’t want to hear it. But I seriously hope you think before spouting any of your nonsense to your children or grandchildren without being sure of your facts!”

(They didn’t quite have the good grace to apologise, but did at least look a bit ashamed of themselves.)

A Lunchtime In-Vase-ion

, , , , | Right | April 26, 2019

(I’m on my lunch break at a shopping centre. As per my company’s uniform policy, I am wearing a jacket over my work shirt so it isn’t visible at all. Occasionally, a regular customer at my shop will see me elsewhere in the centre and ask for help, usually directions or recommendations. Then sometimes, this happens:)

Customer: “Where are the shopping carts?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Well? Aren’t you going to get me one?”

Me: “A… What?”

Customer: “I need a shopping cart! I can’t carry it by myself.”

Me: “Well, you’d have to look in the shop you’re buying from. They have their own.”

Customer: “But aren’t you going to get me one?”

(I try to walk away, thinking that I have more than enough on my plate as it is. The customer then attempts to grab my arm; fortunately, I move away fast enough.)

Customer: “This is outrageous! I am going to report you to [My Company].”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m not at work right now. We don’t have shopping carts in our shop, and I don’t know where you are going or what you want to carry.”

Customer: “The vase. I said I wanted the vase!

Me: “And where is this vase?”

Customer: “[Shop a few feet away], obviously! Can’t you see the vase?

(I had noticed a window display featuring a collection of ornamental pots, so again I suggest that she asks an employee of that shop to help her. Then, I speedily make my way into the staff-only part of my own shop. Later that day…)

Manager: “[My Name], I had a rather weird complaint about you earlier.”

Me: “Was is a lady who wanted me to get a shopping cart so she could buy a vase at some other shop?”

Manager: “Uh… Maybe. A lady came in screeching that one of our employees refused to help her carry her purchase to the car. She insisted that it was you and waved this bag from [Other Shop], and I just said that our policy wasn’t to carry things for people unless they had particular needs. Then she screamed and asked why we didn’t have any carts.”

Me: “I was on my lunch break. I think she might have seen me working at some point but I wasn’t in uniform.”

Manager: “We got security in the end. She wouldn’t stop shouting that we needed carts and better staff. But I think one of the big security lads did manage to carry her vase for her.”

Unfiltered Story #144690

, , , | Unfiltered | March 21, 2019

“Hi, I’m looking for something for my mother for Mother’s day.”

“Okay, what were you looking for?”

“Molly…”

I thought perhaps I’d heard wrong so I asked him to clarify…

“Molly – you know, my mother is a prostitute but I still want to look after her.”

At this point I hung up, and upon looking at the caller-id the number belonged to an employee who was trying to prank call us. They were [obviously] not smart enough to block their number and promptly got a call from my manager.

Unfiltered Story #124766

, , , | Unfiltered | November 4, 2018

(My cousin is cursed/blessed with a very young-looking face. Despite the fact she is 35, she sometimes still gets asked for ID. I myself am 21 and have also inherited the family baby-face. We’re walking round a well-known Mother & Baby store chain. She is pushing her oldest child (still a toddler)

Unfiltered Story #124737

, , , | Unfiltered | November 3, 2018

(My cousin is cursed/blessed with a very young-looking face. Despite the fact she is 35, she sometimes still gets asked for ID. I myself am 21 and have also inherited the family baby-face. We’re walking round a well-known Mother & Baby store chain. She is pushing her oldest child (still a toddler) in a pushchair, whilst I have her younger baby in a papoose on my back, to make things easier for her whilst she shops. We get everything she wants and join the line for the tills. Behind us are a pair of older women, who start to make snippy comments about us):

Old lady 1: Look at those two. Can’t keep their legs shut!

Old Lady 2: Ridiculous. Our generation didn’t fight in the war so that ungrateful girls like them could sponge off our war pensions.

Old lady 1: I hope their mothers are ashamed.

Old lady 2: I bet they’re not married. Probably no father in sight!

Old lady 1: Probably a [racial slur] who slept with them for drug money.

Old lady 2: Disgusting.

(Finally, my cousin has had enough of this, and turns around to speak to them)

Cousin: Excuse me, were you talking about me and my cousin?

Lady 2: Your ears work as well as your ovaries, then, love?

Lady 1: *sniggering* as IF they know what ovaries even means!

Cousin: Not that it’s ANY of your business to judge who would and who wouldn’t make a good parent, but I’m 35, married, with a biology-based PhD, and I’m the head of Science at [local large secondary school]. [My name] here is my cousin, and just carrying my youngest daughter for me so I don’t have to use the bulky double pram on what I’d only planned as a very quick shopping trip. I’m not entirely sure what you’re doing in [franchise], since I wouldn’t voluntarily let you anywhere NEAR my kids, were you in my family. You’ve done nothing but make hated assumptions, which, whilst we’re on the subject, reminds me, if – unlike me, obviously – you look your own age, then there’s NO WAY you’re from the the WWII generation. This would make you baby boomers, who’d be relying on my and [my name]’s generation to foot your whopping NHS bills. I suggest you think before you open your mouths next time.

Lady 1: *massively backpedalling* Well, I didn’t mean MY generation, my father…

Lady 2: We didn’t mean YOU, dear, we meant… *looks around hoping to see a legitimate teenage mother in the store* I… uh…

Cousin: Come off it! I don’t want to hear it. But I seriously hope you think before spouting any of your [right-wing tabloid] nonsense to your children or grandchildren without being sure of your facts.

(The cashier, who was staring at my cousin dumbfounded, buzzed for her manager – who swiped his staff discount through for her. He also tells the ladies that he will serve them, this once, but that they are not to set foot in the store again. They don’t quite have the good grace to apologise, but do at least look a bit ashamed of themselves.)

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