I come into work for my afternoon shift through the front of the store. Things aren't looking too bad customer wise... aaand I jinxed it with that thought.
A kid comes sprinting straight up to me who is, give or take, about six years old. His eyes are all on my purse which, I'll admit, is pretty nice. I managed to snag a C-Named brand that is patterned with the letter C in pretty teal and lavender colors. It's my precious, and it will take two Hobbits and a Fellowship to make me part with it.
The kid comes to a stop, eyes glued to my purse. "Can I see that purse?"
I get the creeping feeling of "this is going to go south," and give him a small, tight smile. I move my arm a little so he can see the pattern better but keep a grip on it. "Pretty cool, huh?"
He frowns at me a little, "No, I said I want to see that purse," and reaches for it.
I promptly tuck it firmly against my side and say, "Sorry honey, look with your eyes only, okay?"
Kid: "No. You're going to give it to me to look at."
The fuck I am!
Me: "No, I'm not, son."
Kid, turning it up to 11 instantly: "YOU CAN'T TELL ME 'NO!' GIVE ME THE PURSE OR I'M TELLING MY MOM!"
Me: "Go right ahead and tell her, kiddo."
The kid spins around and sprints off.
I'm no idiot. The moose will be loose in the field, and I want my personal belongings nowhere near this train wreck. Since I'm right next to the employee door, I dart inside, stuff my purse in my locker and lock it.
A few minutes later I'm signed in and walking the floor to the front of the store.
Kid's voice: "THERE SHE IS, MOM!"
On the plus side, I can already see a coworker on the phone, calling the manager. We're good about spotting those huge, flashing, neon signs that warn of danger.
The raging woman comes storming up to me just as I reach the registers.
Mom: "Did you just tell my child 'no?!' "
Me, Big McIntoshing it to the extreme: "Eeyup."
Mom: "How dare you! You do not tell my child 'no!' "
Kid: "She wouldn't let me hold her purse!"
Mom: "Where is the purse?"
Me: "I put it away."
Mom: "My son wants to see your purse! Go get it for him!"
Me, Big McIntoshing it again: "Nnope."
Does it hurt when the fires of hell burn in your eyes? Asking for a friend.
Mom: "My. Son. Wants. To. Hold. Your. Purse. Go. Get. It."
Me; Big McIntosh has possessed my vocal cords: "Nnope."
Mom: "You will get your purse and give it to my son or I will have you fired."
Me: "Nnope." (This time I emphasize the 'p' sound in 'nope' with a soft popping sound at the end.)
Mom: "Manager! NOW!"
Me: "Eeyup." (another pop on the 'p' sound.)
The manager is jogging our way, expression confused: "What's going--"
Mom: "I want this bitch fired!"
Manager: "I heard something about a purse...?"
Mom: "My son asked to hold a purse, and she refused to hand it to him!"
Manager, 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!"
Manager glances at me, and I can read his thoughts; 'Yes, actually, we can.' I can actually see his jaw work. Huh. So that's what 'literally biting your tongue' looks like. I've never seen that before. I'm learning new things today.
Manager, speaking carefully, calmly and slowly: "Ma'am, we have purses on the floor that your son is perfectly welcome to hold."
Kid: "I WANT THAT ONE!"
Mom: "I don't care about those purses. My son wanted a specific purse, and this bitch refused him."
Manager: "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."
Kid: "I WANT THE PURSE!"
Mom, seething, "I'll call corporate!"
Manager, smiling: "Here's their phone number."
Kid: "MAKE HER GIVE ME THE PURSE, MOMMY!"
The woman snatches the slip of paper out of his hand and storms off, angrily screeching child in tow.
Manager: "[My name], go into the back and... I dunno, hide or something until I call you."
I stayed in the back for quite a while. Found out later the woman whipped out her cell phone like, three feet away from the door, jabbed her finger on it like the phone had personally insulted her, and ranted into it for several minutes.
Big Wig: "[Manager], 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..."
Manager: "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."
(Beat of silence.)
Big Wig: "...So this isn't a prank?"
According to my coworkers, the Mom's smug expression wavered when my manager grinned widely, then laughed.
Manager: "Nope. Sorry. It's an actual thing."
There was a long, deep sigh. My manager said he could almost see the Big Wig pinching the bridge of his nose.
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."
The lady's phone rang. She snatched it up, and her face twisted into an expression of '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 my manager, and disappeared into the sunset.
For once, the promise was kept, and there was rejoicing throughout the land.