For the longest several months of my life, I worked in retail. I worked in retail at Babies R’ Us. I worked as a cashier in a very purple shirt. I learned a lot about people that I wish that I had not. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, covered in sweat, screaming “It’s expired, the coupon’s expired!” to a chorus of screaming children and their angry mothers. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but the stories are real: here are 7 customers to avoid at Babies R’ Us.
1 Angry Exchange Couple
Photo Credit: KayVee.INC
My very first day on the job, I witnessed an episode that qualifies as the most entertaining thing I have ever seen, that I also got paid to watch. Couple comes into the store. Couple peruses and chooses among the offered breast pumps. Couple then start arguing with cashier about why they cannot bring the item back after it has been used. “What if it’s broken when we get it home?” They ask. A manager is called to inform them that the protective seal must not be broken in order to return the item. “But how will we know if it’s broken unless we try it?” Couple could not understand why accomplished store would not want a crusty, used breast pump brought back. Couple left without breast pump, yelling all the way. This situation is not so bad with only a single person, but when two present, they are known to egg each other on to unimagined heights of rage.
2 Unwarranted Self-Important Mom-to-Be
Expectant mothers need considerations. One should always offer to help them with bags, baby paraphernalia, and loading their items into their car. However, Unwarranted Self-Important Mom-to-Be likes to get at the end of the longest line in the store, then loudly huff and complain when the person in front of her, who has two items, does not let her and her 300 items cut in front because she is clearly pregnant and in a hurry! Meanwhile, all other women in long line are pregnant and busy, or have infants or toddlers and are busier.
3 Let-Them-Have-It Mom (or Dad)
Photo Credit: Jon Bradley Photography
These moms let the child riding in their shopping cart wear all the clothes they are purchasing and play with all the toys they intend to buy, which is fine. They then neglect to start taking the items away from the child when they hit the checkout line, which is not fine. Let-Them-Have-It mom forces the cashier to feel like a monster by taking the items out of the cart and making the baby cry — at which point mom glares at poor cashier, as if she just stole candy (or Elmo) from her baby. Which she did. Because she had to.
4 Let-Them-Run-with-It Mom (or Dad)
Similar to Let-Them-Have-It Mom or Dad, this parent will let his or her kid ride all the toys around the store, which is fine and dandy until it gets abandoned in the most unexpected places. It is then either tripped over by various customers and employees, or the cashier gets snapped at to go gather up toys out of the store, and thus gets to carry a toy lawnmower, a buggy, a large teddy bear, and a Dora the Explorer chair through the store — while randomly being stopped and asked to be of assistance.
5 Coupon Crazy Mom
Photo Credit: HalfEmptyWallet
Babies R’ Us gives way a lot of coupons — and their coupons have a lot of fine print. This mom — and very often this dad as well — goes flat out insane when her coupon cannot be used for the item she wants, requires her Babies R’ Us card (which doesn’t actually ever do anything helpful), isn’t good yet, or has already expired. She takes seven years off the life of her cashier by virtue of the fact that the cashier is sure she just saw snakes in the customer’s hair and will turn to stone if she looks in the customer’s eyes.
6 Diaper Dad
Photo Credit: foshydog
Diaper Dad has two versions. Diaper Dad 1 comes through the checkout with nothing but diapers, carried without benefit of a buggy because he is a manly man. Diaper Dad 1 is always in the Biggest Hurry Ever and gets impatient and huffy if the transaction takes more than two seconds. Diaper Dad 2 comes through with three boxes of diapers in a cart, along with miscellaneous tiny baby things. He does not feel like pulling anything out of the cart himself, leaving the cashier to muscle all the diaper boxes, which have been ingeniously wedged into the cart, onto her station and then juggling them back in, only to be told that Diaper Dad 2 wants a bag for all three boxes. No, double bag it, those diapers are heavy, lady!
7 Customers Who Come on the Bus
This does not apply to all customers who take the bus. It applies to the family who came to the store on the bus, purchased a stroller, and then spent two hours at the front of the store cussing and grunting and calling out insults as they tried to put the stroller together themselves after being told store personnel could not do so for legal reasons. This also applies to the family who, bizarrely, enacted the same scene over a full size crib. Because the boxes could not go on the bus.
Have any of you ever worked at BRU? If you have horror stories of your own to tell, from this store or another retail chain, please share!
Top Photo Credit: RETAIL MEMORIES! with Darrell James