So I work as a vendor for big box stores, it’s an easy job. I make my own schedule, I worked my own hours, and most of it is auditing and taking pictures of shelves. Easy, pays the bills, and I don’t hate it. However the amount of “I don’t work here” stories I have is ridiculous, because I’m wearing dark clothing and a lanyard so I obviously work everywhere. I’ve got a ton of them, but this one in particular is one I know a lot of you will get a kick out of.
This was before Covid. It was a beautiful crisp day and I was wearing a black T-shirt, gray leather jacket, jeans, had my purse on me, sunglasses on my head, and the only thing indicating that I was even working was a purple Super Nintendo lanyard around my neck. I definitely don’t look like an employee. But regardless a man with two little boys who looked between 4-5 was glaring daggers at me. Not saying anything, just glaring. As if somehow I was going to spontaneously gain the ability to read minds. It was super creepy but I’m not about to approach a random Kevin in the store.
I go into an aisle to continue my work when his kids quite literally run up to me and grab me. One has his hands tightly wrapped around my leg and the other one has a hold of my purse. They’re tugging at me and screaming “Daddy wants to talk to you!!! Don’t ignore daddy!!!” as I’m trying to pull them off of me. I feel like a zebra about to be killed by a pride of lions as the dad starts to storm down the aisle towards me. Definitely a trap. Just as I think I’m done for and my day is ruined and employee intervened and explained that I don’t work there, but she can help.
I take this glorious opportunity as help from the gods and pry myself free and book it towards the entrance to take an impromptu lunch break. As I get up there though I am again captured, I turn around and the same kids have their hands on me. At this point I’m pretty pissed off and firmly tell them to go back to their dad, all the while they’re still babbling and screaming at the top of their lungs the same garbage. Again, I pull myself from their grasp but they keep trying to cling to me, it gets to the point where a manager actually comes over and asked me what’s going on.
As I’m relaying the entire story and trying to talk over the screeching kids I hear another very, very angry man screaming at the top of his lungs. The classic, “How dare you, who do you think you are” etc. The dads back. Awesome. Is he mad at his two small children for running off after a complete stranger? No of course not! He’s mad at the random young lady they’re accosting! Apparently he’s convinced that I’m kidnapping his children, and calls the police.
So now that my day really is ruined I have to sit in customer service as the police go over the footage. The dad won’t stop screaming, his kids won’t stop screaming, management is defending me, and I want to sink into the floor. And of course it’s serving as the best birth control of all time and giving me a massive headache as I’m certain my ears are now bleeding. After everything is said and done I’m cut free and the dad gets charged with wasting police resources and is banned from the store because apparently he’s done this before.
Parenting at its finest ladies and gentlemen. Because while the dad’s behavior was absolutely abysmal, the fact that he condones his children running up to perfect strangers and actually grabbing them, holding onto them, and screaming at them is beyond me. To this day I can’t decide whether or not they were trained to do that, or it was a complete lack of parenting.