When The Smush Is Too Much

, , , , , , | Right | July 21, 2020

This one is kind of on me a little bit. I work at a popular phone retailer selling the phones and doing tech. A mother and her four-year-old son come into the store, and the mother is considering switching to our network. The son is a terror. He spits on the floor and starts licking the counters. The mom doesn’t do anything about this except impotently telling him to stop. However, she agrees to switch once her husband comes home from work. 

That evening, they show up, but their kid is with them. Fair enough; they can’t just leave him. He’s no better behaved than the previous time. He’s licking things, twisting the door push bar to create that wonderful screeching metal noise, and running around the store. His parents tell him if he behaves, he’ll get a cookie when they get home. So, naturally, they get him one in the middle of all of this. As he’s eating it, a chunk breaks off.

Customer: “Oh, you’re going to have to clean that up! We do not do that!”

The kid grins and smashes the cookie into the floor.

Customer: “You’re going to have to clean that up!”

I am thinking that she’s serious but I’m still half-joking.

Me: “I have a broom in the back I could get him.”

The husband ends up cleaning up the bigger pieces, leaving a ton of tiny pieces for me to clean up. The parents temporarily take the cookie and put him in the corner, but they give it back. I’m keeping my cool. I get it; he’s four and this has to be boring. He goes back to his parents and starts licking a display case.

Me: “All right, we’re transferring over your data. It shouldn’t take terribly long.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you! It’s cool that you can do that!”

The kid then starts picking his nose. The mother tries to stop him, but he doesn’t care. I inwardly grimace but don’t do say anything, trying not to think about the fact that I’m the one who has to clean up anything he does just like I did that afternoon. Finally, the kid picks his nose and wipes it on the display case that he’s been licking. I respond before I can stop myself.

Me: “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me!”

Again, it was all on me to clean up anything he did. I apologized to his parents for the little outburst, cleaned up the kid’s mess for the third time that day, and finished everything up. The three of us left on friendly terms.

The next day, I got the survey they left. They gave me a horrible one because I was rude to their kid, who licked display cases, spit on the floor, wiped his snot on a display case, squeaked the door push bar, and smashed a cookie on the ground. And all I said was, “Are you kidding me?” Oy.

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