See With Your Eyes And Not With Your Hands
Right out of the gate, the kid (let’s call him Timmy) reaches for her bag and squeals, “Can I see that purse?” Now, Jessica is no rookie to dealing with bratty kids, so she gives him a small, tight smile and moves her arm a little, so he can see the pattern better.
With a tight grip still clutching her bag, she says to him, “Pretty cool, huh?”
Little Timmy was anything but impressed. He frowns up a little and said, “No, I want to see that purse!” and lunges forward to grab it.
Jessica promptly tucks the bag firmly against her side and says, “Sorry honey, look with your eyes only, okay?”
Timmy: “No. You’re going to give it to me to look at.”
In her mind, Jessica knows this can go one of two ways: either she stands her ground and the kid freaks out, or she lets him hold her bag, and he tries to bail with her prized purse. The latter was not an option, so she stands firm and replies sternly, “No, I’m not, son.”
Timmy, turning it up to 11 instantly: “YOU CAN’T TELL ME ‘NO!’ GIVE ME THE PURSE OR I’M TELLING MY MOM!”
Jessica has one of those moments where time freezes as she tries to refrain from going off on this entitled little brat. It took a lot of self-control and experience with entitled customers demanding things they had no right to, but nevertheless, she snaps out of it and simply replies: “Go right ahead and tell her, kiddo.”
The kid spins around and sprints off, but Jessica’s no idiot. The moose will be loose in the field, and she didn’t want her personal belongings nowhere near this train wreck. She was right next to the employee door, she darts inside, stuffs her precious Chanel bag in her locker and locks it shut.
She calms down, and gets herself ready to go out on the floor. A few minutes after she clocks in and walks across the floor to the front of the store, she heard a very familiar and annoying squeal. It was Little Timmy pointing and screaming, “THERE SHE IS, MOM!”
Jessica sighs, and the realization that her day is officially about to get ruined sets in. Here. We. Go.
Say The Magic Word
On the plus side, at least Jessica had backup. She looked to the register for reassurance, and could already see her coworker on the phone giving her the “I know the drill” look that let Jessica know her coworker was calling the manager. That was one thing Jessica was eternally grateful for: her coworkers were usually good about spotting those huge, flashing, neon signs that warn of danger.
Now it’s time to introduce Jan.
You know Jan. She’s the entitled helicopter mom who always brings oranges and Capri Suns to the kids’ soccer games, but sits on the sidelines and shades all the other parents. Her son Timmy isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, but he still can do no wrong in her eyes. Mommy’s Little The one with no moral compass, and it SHOWS. Yeah, that was Jan. She comes storming up to Jessica just as she reaches the registers, and with steam rolling off her short, brown bob she grits out the words: “Did you just tell my child ‘no?!”
Jessica, her face already with a glazed over “not dealing with your drama today” look, simply says: “Yup.”
Jan: “How dare you! You do not tell my child ‘no!’ “
Timmy: “She wouldn’t let me hold her purse!”
Jan: “Where is the purse?”
Jessica: “I put it away.”
Jan: “My son wants to see your purse! Go get it for him!”
Jessica, with the same look: “Nope.”
Jan: “My. Son. Wants. To. Hold. Your. Purse. Go. Get. It.”
Jessica for the second time: “Nope.”
Jan: “You will get your purse and give it to my son or I will have you fired.”
Jessica: “NoPe.” (This time she emphasizes the ‘p’ sound in ‘nope’ with a soft popping sound at the end.)
Jan: “Manager! NOW!”
Finally, the magic words: “Manager.” Jessica felt a wave of relief wash over her now that she could take a back seat to the drama. This demand for a manager should have meant that Jessica was free from this harpy, but Jan would try everything in her power to keep her front and center in this meaningless drama.
By now, Jessica’s manager, Jonathan, is jogging their direction. He arrives and immediately tries to assess the scene. Jonathan could barely get out the words: “What’s going–“
Jan cuts in: “I want this witch FIRED!”
Jonathan: “I heard something about a purse…?”
Jan: “My son asked to hold a purse, and she refused to hand it to him!”
Jessica: “That’s because the purse is mine, ma’am.”
Jonathan, eyebrow raised: “My employee doesn’t have to let your son hold her personal property, ma’am.”
Mom, raging: “You can’t refuse my son service!”
Jonathan glances at Jessica, and it’s like she can read his thoughts through the confused look on his face: “Yes, actually, we can.”
Jonathan would not let this woman get the best of him, even though she was clearly determined to do whatever she wanted and darn the consequences. Even though Jan was staring at him with her mouth gaped open in offended astonishment, Johnathan was a professional and a firm believer in excellent customer service, which was exactly why he wasn’t about to let this insane woman push his staff around. Jan, however, knew all the right buttons to push in order to make people get upset enough with her to meet her level of pettiness.