Thursday, July 05, 2007

Why I hate howler monkeys, part 237

Sighs. I know. Some people love their children, well, actually, Susan Smith aside, nearly all people love their children. I just wish they would think about the impact of the little darlings on the world around them. Namely me.

I've tried to spread the Gospel of the Howler Monkey - Sterilization Before Recreation - but it doesn't seem to be working. Parents are still flocking to the Wal-Mart with hoards of demon-spawn in tow -- and then refusing to watch them.

My heart drops every time some woman goes nuts about her kid going missing and we find the brat 20 minutes later - oblivious to all the fuss - playing hide-and-seek with some other miniature two-legged terrors in the racks of clothes.

But back to the point. It's late Saturday afternoon and I've got a line that looks like an iPhone camp-out. I'm trying and failing to ignore the fact that my head is pounding and it is infernally hot because Wal-Mart is cheap with the A/C.

One of my regulars rolls up - with her kid in tow. I know the woman, she's always decently polite - but her child is a terror. She'd send Gandhi running for the hills and screaming for the Supernanny hotline. And the woman is apparently of the "indulgent" school of parenting.

So whatever Little Shanni wants, Little Shanni gets. If this includes rooting through the buggies of returns for toys, throwing toys on the floor, bouncing balls or riding a returned and DEFECTIVE bike around - even after I told her the brakes did not work - so be it.

The coup de grace was the little crotchling sitting at the application computer, pounding on the keyboard with a package-less Bratz doll and demanding "MAMA MAKE THIS WORK. I WANNA PLAY. MAMA MAKE THIS WORK."

All this time, I'm trying to count out a $900 money order in fives and tens. Yes. Fives and tens. I don't want to know where her money comes from. I don't ask. I don't need to know.

After the money order prints out, the girl-Damien decides she has to have a Bratz doll. But not the one she practically destroyed. I don't care. I just want her to leave.

So I ring her up and bag it. It was like $15 or something. I forget exactly how much. Mommy tells the spawn she has to pay. I'm expecting a twenty from Grandma or something. Oh no. I would never be so lucky. Never. Ever. Not at the Wal-Mart.

Having the kid pay translated into a jar of change. A jar of change.

The woman pulled a peanut butter jar out of a raggedy old purse and put it on the counter.

I looked at it and then looked at her. She looked right back at me and said "There's about $18 in there. Can't you just give me back three dollars?"

I resisted the urge to laugh and just said "No." The woman standing in line behind her looked around to see what was taking so long and said, out loud "What the hell?" when she saw the change. Good for you because that's sure as hell what I was thinking!

I dumped the change out on the counter and started counting. Whatever could make a dollar. Neat little piles. Quarters. Dimes. Nickels by twos.

The woman and the daughter tried to "help" - which only kept screwing things up. I asked them to stop. They didn't. I finally stopped counting and told her I wasn't going to finish if she kept counting. I had to count it by myself. She could watch and count with me. But she had to keep her hands off the money.

All said, there was $16 in the jar. Only two dollars of it was in quarters. Think about fourteen dollars in dimes and nickels and pennies for a minute. That's a lot of change. And with a big line standing behind her glaring because I'm helping her.


There was no way I could have done anything about that. I had to take that money for that merchandise. That, or bring out an elephant gun and tranquilizer darts.


hockeyfrog said...

Yay, the word "crotchling" is catching on! We have a whole slew of words equating to the same thing.

However, of them, crotchling is probably the nicest out of the batch, so I shall refrain from further listing.

I always hated small children and their grubby hands and snotty noses walking by at glass counter level while working in the jewelry dept...

Anonymous said...

I always thought they should have a store where no children were allowed. It would be a "Must be 18 to Enter" but just a regular store. But of course that would never fly...

luckycanucky said...

I always thought there was some sort of rule for retailers could enforce about the amount of change a person can attempt to use to purchase something, but maybe that's only in my dreams...

Songbird said...

Oh my GODS, lady, there are WAY too many Coinstars for you to be pulling this stunt. I can't go through a grocery store or a bank without tripping over them. Plus the kids loves dumping the money in and making a racket, I'm sure they don't notice they're being charged eight pennies on the dollar.

I'd never heard "crotchling" before this makes me cringe but it's hilariously appropriate to the types of children that get described here!

Cam said...

In Canada, a retailer can refuse coinage over certain amounts. For example, you can refuse more than 25 cents in pennies, or 5 dollars in nickels.

The "Legal Tender" wiki indicates that this is not the case in the US though... Too bad for you.

Pretty poor form that they didn't have it counted and rolled. But that would have ruined the game they tried to run on you.

Thanks for the stories, I quite enjoy them.

Anonymous said...

I kind of like the term "crotch fruit."

Anonymous said...

Legal tender doesn't mean that you *have* to take it. Any retailer in the U.S. could decide to take only Canadian currency if they choose.

Library Rat said...

Never mind the tranqs. Just bring out the elephant gun.

Debo Blue said...

If I were you, I would have refused to accept the coins and told her to come back w/them rolled.

What would have happened if you had counted all those coins and it wasn't enough to buy that brat the Bratz?

Give me a staple gun and some duct tape, quick!

Anonymous said...

When I worked in the accounting office, I ran jars of change through the coin counter in times like this. But then, there was someone in there 24/7. Maybe mgmt. could have done it for you???

Charles James Barry said...

Crotchling is awesome. I'll have to use that for the overly annoying children I come across. For the older ones, specifically the ones that are underage, dress like whores, and have the entitlement attitude, I like to use prostatots. It always gets a giggle out of whomever is nearby. Try it.

High-Maintenance & Hostile Heidi said...

Omigod. I must commend you. I would have totally gone ballistic.

How on earth did you ever keep your patience? First, when you had to count all that change. Then, second, when they tried to "help" you count it.

Wal-Mart needs to give you a big fat raise!

x____AComfortableLiar said...

too much. Even if you dont want to pay fees for Cionstar the selfchecks are a good alternative! ring a big item up when lines are not-so-long and keep hitting "Cancel Payment" and it spits out cash! I've done this! Everyone laughed lol but hey! it works! and no fees!

j-yo said...

It's important for kids to learn to save up their money for things they want but it's also importnat for them to learn that the world does not stand still for them; therefore, it is NOT okay for them to bring in a zillion fricking coins and expect a store associate to count all of them.
I have my kids go through Coinstar. If I'm feeling generous and they haven't driven me nuts that day, I'll reimburse them for the service fee. I don't have the patience to wait through all that counting and I don't expect anyone else to, either.