The Mother Of All Voices

, , , , | Right | October 20, 2018

(Our store has been having a lot of trouble with people, from children to young adults, fooling around on the escalators — running up the down escalator and vice versa, putting their feet on the sides and sliding on the down escalator, sitting on the steps, etc. I work at the jewelry counter, which wraps around the base of both escalators, and our department members have tried politely asking people to practice safety, to no avail. I get permission from my manager to start being a bit more firm. I have a very chipper, cheery personality, and my normal pitch is a bit high, but I’ve done some theater, so I am able to lower my pitch and project my voice pretty darn far, and I also have the benefit of being able to imitate my own mother’s truly terrifying “Mom voice.”)

Me: *next time I see a teen girl crouching on the up escalator, hanging off the handrails* “STAND UP, PLEASE.”

Girl: *jerks her head around to stare at me*

Me: “I NEED YOU TO STAND UP.”

Girl: *immediately stands*

Me: “THANK YOU.”

(I turn around and my manager and coworkers are staring at me.)

Me: *normal voice* “I think that worked.”

Coworker: “Holy s***.”

Manager: *laughs* “Even I snapped to attention a little bit! It’s so weird to hear that voice coming from you; normally you sound like a Disney princess.”

(A few days later, I’m showing a customer pieces when the after-school crowd from the nearby middle school shows up. Two girls start racing each other up the down escalator behind me.)

Me: *turning my head* “TURN AROUND AND WALK DOWN, NOW.”

(They come down and scamper away with their friends, and I turn back to the customer, who’s looking at me a little wide-eyed.)

Me: *normal voice* “Sorry about that. You wanted to see this bracelet?”

(Not even a minute later, I hear the tell-tale loud squeaking of people trying to slide down the escalator, this time a few middle-school boys.)

Me: *snapping my head around* “PUT YOUR FEET ON THE STEPS AND WALK DOWN. I WILL NOT TELL YOU AGAIN.”

(They stand properly and ride down normally, and I turn back to the bug-eyed customer. I apologize again and continue assisting her.)

Customer: “Um… Do you know those kids?”

Me: *nonchalant* “Oh, no, but I don’t want to clean up blood today.”

(The next day, not wanting to have my customer service interrupted again, I stood by the base of the down escalator ten minutes after schools got out, and waited. When the crowd of middle-schoolers showed up, I counted at least three who walked directly to the down escalator’s base, suddenly noticed me standing there staring at them, and quickly veered away. Saved my throat from the “Mom voice” for a day!)

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