A few years ago, I worked as a cashier at a big box store. During my first holiday season at the store, we had every register open and we were Not Allowed to Leave Our Register for Any Reason (except, of course, when we went on break). Well, one day I was on one of the registers by the Pokemon cards. A boy came over who looked to be about 9 or 10. He didn't say anything, just looked at the cards. Every once in a while, he'd go to the end of the lane and look around a little. Then he'd go back to looking at the cards.
I started to get concerned. Every time he went to the end of the lane, he walked a little further out. I knew something wasn't right and he'd been alone by the cards for upwards of fifteen minutes. So, the next time he walked out to the main aisle and looked around, I went up to him. For this, I will be Me and he will be B for Boy:
Me: Is your family here, sweetie?
B: *nods his head*
Me: Do you know where they are?
B: *shakes his head no*
So I found myself with a lost kid. Seeing as I wasn't allowed to leave the register, I had two options: I could disobey orders and leave my post to get this kid to Customer Service where we could page his parents or I could remain following the directive and just keep an eye on him. I chose the only option I thought was right and took him to Customer Service.
I walked him up to the counter and explained that he was lost. It took a little coaxing, but we got his mom's name. One of the ladies at Customer Service paged for her. I wanted to stay with him, but I had to get to my post so I told him to stay with the name Customer Service ladies and went back to my register.
I could still see Customer Service from where I was, so I kept looking back to see if his mom came to get him. Every time I looked, he was still over there. I was getting really worried. Were his parents even still in the store?
Finally, about twenty minutes after the initial page (they called it out a couple more time) his mom finally came to pick him up. She looked like one of those reality television moms with the bleach blonde hair and outrageous style. She looked basically like Jennifer Coolidge in A Cinderella Story. And, based on her facial expression and body language, she was annoyed at being asked to come get her own child. I felt terrible for that poor child, but what more could I do.
I'd still see them in the store every once in a while. My opinion of her never rose (especially because I once checked them out and she acted like Jennifer Coolidge in A Cinderella Story too), but at least every time I saw them from then on she kept him at her side. So maybe she learned something after all.