Jul 19, 2010


As anyone who's worked retail is aware, it can be an unpleasant experience. In today's entitlement culture the general public feels that the world owes them a living and they'll lie and act like 7 year olds to get their way. Often times workers will take heaps of verbal abuse from those who think they should get a discount on each and every item they purchase. Tantrums, swearing, and even threats of violence are not unfamiliar to the average retail worker.

I think all who work with customers should have a week long retreat at store that has goods for ridiculously low prices. The catch is the employees can say whatever they want to customers without the risk of being terminated.

What makes retail work more frustrating is parents and their children. I can't blame kids for misbehaving. They're kids. That's what they do at times. I do hate parents who will not enforce discipline when out in public. I imagine parenting is hard and with everyone willing to report you to CPS for spanking a child folks the country over are often afraid to seem to strict. A lot of them are exhausted and don't want to start a scene, but it's still no excuse to let your child run through the aisles screaming.

I once worked at a camera counter for a big box retailer. A woman was walking through the department with a kid behind her begging for a toy. She kept saying no, but the kid kept on wailing about how he'll never ask for anything again as long as she would buy him a cowboy gun set he had in his hands. To her credit she held firm in her stance and after much debate she grabbed it and set it out of his reach on top of a shelf holding VCRs. The kid screamed like a banshee and voiced his displeasure with yells of hatred towards his mom. She ignored his cries and walked on with her back to him to which the little tyke wasn't happy about. He decided to shake the shelf in an attempt to bring the toy to his waiting arms all the while announcing to her and the rest of North America that he hated everything about her. Before I could run over there to stop the inevitable I saw an avalanche of VCRs fall to the floor. Luckily he was unharmed, but as she was clueless to the fact of what just happened. I finally had to say something.

"LOOK AT WHAT YOU JUST DID," I say to the kid. He stared at me, then picked up his toy. I yanked it from his little hands and threw it behind the counter. He looked at me, teared up, and ran to his mother.

I started stacking the VCRs when the mother came up to me.

"Did you just yell at my child," she asked?

"Sure did," I replied without even looking at her as I was picking up the VCRs.


"Because he shook down these VCRs."

"You don't yell at my child."

"Mam," I said. "I just did and if he does something like this again I'll do it again."

"No you won't," she said.

"Actually I will," I told her. "And there's nothing you can do about it. This wouldn't have happened if your kid wasn't acting this way...."



She talked to a manager who told her that she should expect that if her kid is coming into our store and destroying property and putting his and others in danger. She firmly stated she wasn't coming back ever again and might bring her husband to have a chat with me. I told her my hours and he was welcome to chat with me anytime.

I saw her the following week, this time without her kid. She ignored me.

"The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop." - Mark Twain


wigsf said...

"Would you have prefered I gave your child a bill for the VCRs he just broke? Or would you like the bill?"

Anonymous said...

I can't stand other peoples children!

Jessica said...

What's a "VCR"? :)