Anyone that has ever worked in retail or in the service industry knows how ridiculous, demanding and rude customers can be. There is a large segment of the population that seems to expect employees to adhere to every single demand, 100% of the time, no matter how unrealistic something like that is. It’s one thing to demand an item the store actually carries, but there are definitely those people just refuse to comprehend that some things just aren’t for sale.
Case in point, the story of the insanely entitled and delusional woman who defended her little snot-nosed spawn’s unreasonable demand for an employee’s personal hand bag.
You know, there’s something to say about a parent whose child has no concept of respect for personal property, but when said parent enables and even encourages this type of behavior conflicts can be unruly. This woman went above and beyond to prove that her child had every right to the employee’s hand bag. No amount of shame or embarrassment would hold her back. She went full Karen. Her “Let me speak to your manager” game was top-notch.
Too Good To Be True
It all began as our story’s narrator, Jessica, walked through the front door one afternoon to begin her retail shift. She was relieved to see that things were pretty relaxed. There were only a few shoppers wandering about and the register didn’t look too overwhelming yet. For anyone who understands the retail struggle, walking into madness is no way to start out a shift.
Jessica was determined to have a good day. Working in retail is hard enough without having a good attitude to help sweeten what would otherwise be a pretty sour day. She almost made it to the back to put up her belongings when an unsupervised child comes sprinting toward her with one of those “up to no good” looks in his eyes. Not only was this little maniac literally running down the aisles of the store, but he was running straight at her with the intensity of a lion charging at his prey. Immediately, Jessica blamed her positive thinking for jinxing what could have been a peaceful morning. Even though Jessica was already fearing the worse, her day was about to take a turn for the worse in a way that no one could have predicted.
Just A Girl And Her Chanel Bag
Bracing herself for disaster, she attempts to defuse the situation with kindness, and greets the kid with a smile. His eyes were fixated on her Chanel bag. She didn’t blame him. The bag was very nice, teal with lavender accents. Jessica, herself, loved that bag. Since she worked retail, Jessica didn’t have much money to throw around for luxury items, so she treasured her little piece of extravagance with all her heart. The bag was “her precious,” and she even declared that “It will take two Hobbits and a Fellowship” to make her part with it. Little did she know that the little Hobbit standing in front of her would bring with him a Fellowship that would threaten to separate Jessica from the accessory she held most dear.
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.
“I’m Calling Corporate!”
Jonathan knew that the Jan situation needed to be handled with the utmost professionalism because corporate was DEFINITELY hearing about this one.
Jonathan, speaking carefully, calmly and slowly: “Ma’am, we have purses on the floor that your son is perfectly welcome to hold.”
Timmy felt like this was an appropriate time for him to literally shout out his demand again: “I WANT THAT ONE!”
Jan, seizing on her offspring’s bad manners and adding her own to the mix: “I don’t care about those purses. My son wanted a specific purse, and this witch refused him.”
Jonathan, starting to run out of patience: “I repeat; my employee doesn’t have to let your son hold her personal property. Now, unless you actually want to shop for product that we’re actually selling, I think we’re done here.”
Timmy: “I WANT THE PURSE!”
Jan, who was absolutely seething at this point, decided to double down and really set it on the line with the terrible customer’s last resort threat: “I’ll call corporate!”
Jonathan, smiling and holding out a slip of paper: “Here’s their phone number.”
Timmy stamping his feet and looking seconds away from falling on the floor and throwing a humdinger tantrum: “MAKE HER GIVE ME THE PURSE, MOMMY!”
Jan snatches the slip of paper out of Jonathan’s hand and storms off, angrily screeching with child in tow.
Jonathan knew this wasn’t the last of Jan, so he thought quick on his toes: “Jessica, go into the back and… I dunno, hide or something until I call you.” Jessica
Jan stood angrily at the door, whipped out her cell phone, and “jabbed her finger on it like the phone had personally insulted her,” and ranted into it for several minutes before hanging up.
Things were about to get interesting.
This Was No Prank
The store phone rang a few minutes after that and Jan stared at Jonathan with an expression of smug superiority as he picked it up.
According to Johnathan, there was a corporate big wig on the other end who could not wait to dish on the unbelievable call he’d just gotten out of.
Corporate Big Wig: “Jonathan, you’re not going to believe the call I just got, and I’m not even sure if your employees are just bored or what…”
Jonathan: “Oh, I bet I can believe it. Let me guess: some lady just called because my employee wouldn’t give her personal property to a kid.”
Corporate Big Wig: “…So this isn’t a prank?”
Jan’s smug expression wavered when Jonathan grinned widely, then laughed.
Jonathan: “Nope. Sorry. It’s an actual thing.”
There was a long, deep sigh. Jonathan said he swore that he could almost see the Corporate Big Wig pinching the bridge of his nose.
Corporate Big Wig: “I’ll call her back and tell her that since no policies were broken, no action will be taken at this time. If she harasses your employees, just have her removed by security, or the police. Ban her if she pulls it.”
A Brand New Outlook
Jan’s phone rang. She snatched it up and her face twisted into an expression of what Jessica described as “lemon, no sugar”, and barked out, “I will never shop at your store again!” She then pulled her phone away from her ear as though she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, glared murderously at Jonathan, and disappeared into the sunset. For once, the promise was kept, and there was rejoicing throughout the land. Jessica had finally won, and she had a brand-new outlook on dealing with unruly shoppers thanks to Jonathon. As for Jan, well, let’s just say that karma never forgets!