Why The Cliche About Kids In Candy Stores Exists

, , , , , | Learning | January 6, 2021

When I’m in college, I work as a supervisor of a candy store that’s inside an amusement park. Every summer, one of the most dreaded days is what we call Camp Kid Day. We get lots of camps over the season, but on this day, the park is overrun with hundreds of kids from one particular camp where rich, entitled parents send their rich, entitled kids to be someone else’s problem for half the summer.

My candy shop has a self-serve bulk gummy display with clearly placed “no samples” signs. I am on the floor watching the hordes of camp kids to prevent shoplifting. I see one, about ten, shake a few gummies into his hand from one of the bins and put one in his mouth. Immediately, I point at him.

Me: “Hey, you can’t do that. That’s stealing. Please give me the rest.”

I hold out my hand for the gummies, but the kid doesn’t move.

Me: “Please give me the candy, so I don’t have to call security on you.”

Camp Kid: “Seriously?! It’s just candy!”

Pouting, he finally hands over the pieces, and I think that’s the end of it. After all, he’s not the first or last to try to sneak candy that day. BUT THEN, I see him talking to a camp counselor, who comes over to me.

Camp Counselor: *Condescendingly* “Did you really have to do that to him? It was just a few pieces of candy.”

Me: “I’m afraid I did. The park takes stealing very seriously, and if I’m missing too much weight of gummies at the end of the day, I get in trouble with my boss.”

This was true. I had strict variance rules to manage. The counselor just shook his head at me in disgust and walked off. I wish I’d come up with a snappier comeback about a COUNSELOR encouraging his young, rich charge to steal, but I was so shocked by it that I didn’t process what had happened until it was too late. Seriously, I could almost forgive the kid, but a counselor who was about my own age? He should have known better, and to this day, I still can’t believe this was a conversation I actually had.

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