With a title like that, you’re probably thinking that this is going to be an inspirational type piece, or something of that nature, right?
Wrong! Yea no, this is a story of a child who found out that all the superhero toys had been put away or donated and decided he wanted to test my patience.
See, this summer was the ‘Every Hero Has A Story’ Summer Reading theme. So my boss, Miss Glenda the Good – who always has the most awesome ideas for summer decorations and such- decided to set up a build-it table that had legos, blocks and other building toys along with some pre-made cardboard towers, cheap superhero toys and cars. This way the kids could build cities for their heros and villans to save and destroy. Great idea right?
Anyway, the table was a hit; but now its time for the Superhero table to be retired and something new to go in its place. So most of the superheros and villans that had been living at the library for the last few monthes have found new homes or have been donated or just put away until next time. The only thing still on this table are the building toys.
So, along comes this kid, about 8 yrs old, and he asks where all the superhero toys are. Which is NOT in any way a new question, so I explained that the superheroes had been the summer theme and now that it was fall they had been put away or donated to children who needed toys more than a library did.
Now, normally this is the end of the conversation. The kid might be sad and say ‘aww I really liked those toys’; or something along those lines, because really, who didn’t like a full summer of nothing but heroes? I’m an adult and I enjoyed it, so why wouldn’t the kiddos? But that was generally it, they accepted that answer and went on their merry way.
Not this kid, oh no, he didn’t stop there. He demanded to know where the toys were and told me I needed to go get them. When I tried to explain they were put away or gone, he became irrate and told me that ‘toys need to be played with, not put away’. Then, when I still didn’t get up and make these toys magically appear this kid really mean mugs me and goes, and I quote “I want those toys and I have a really NASTY temper”.
Now kid, when I woke up this morning, I didn’t want to be a bitch. I had had a very, very, long and stressful week. All I wanted to do was come in, work on my blog and my storytime, maybe help some folks find some good reads…. but you…awwww you just flipped my bitch switch.
I leaned in towards the kid and told him, ‘well so do I, son, now… this can go one of two ways. You can go over there and play with the toys that are there OR we can go have a talk with your parents. Do I need to talk to your parents?’
He mutters ‘no’ and goes to play, still bitching the ENTIRE time. At this point I’m beginning to think this kid might have some sort of disability, or just straight up spoiled, because he is just NOT letting this issue go. And he’s working himself into what appears to be a full on meltdown. And, of f*cking course, the parents are no where to be seen.
A few minutes later he comes back, still bitching bout the same thing. He really storms right up to my counter and says “where’s your boss, I wanna talk to your boss!”
Now…mind you, had MY kid had the audacity to speak to me like that, he wouldn’t be able to sit for a week. Hell, if he acted like that to aby of the library staff or even to a customer service employee, I woulda had his ass in a sling. There is absolutely no reason to be rude. And having worked the vast majority of my professional career in the customer service industries be it a service desk, or cashier; I have an apprecation for customers who have manners. Being an ass rarely gets you what you want; it just makes them make you wait longer or some other passive aggressive action. And they will ALWAYS remember and your service from then on will suck!
Anyway, I’m sitting there telling myself breathe, just breathe…you don’t wanna go to jail for slapping some kid. Especially, if he turns out to indeed have some sort of disability
So, I look at him and tell him, no I’m not getting my boss. And once again, I asked him whether or not we needed to go have a talk with his parents. When he again mutters ‘no’ to the idea of his parents getting involved; I told him that there was no reason to keep being ugly, it wasn’t gonna get him what he wanted but if he kept on it was going to get him in trouble. So he really should just go play with the toys that were already out on the table.
I dunno what it was in that last conversation that made the difference, but he went and sat down to play. He still muttered a bit under his breath but other than briefly coming back to just tell me something – which was still along the same lines of his previous rant but far more subdued and mellow- he behaved the rest of the time he was there…. which was a whole whopping 20 minutes…maybe?
Needless to say, that was a topper on a really crappy day already.
I’m really glad I didn’t have to actually go speak with this kids parents. I mean, could you imagine that conversation?
“Oh excuse me, Mr. And Mrs. So-in-so, your child is getting a little irrate over in the kids area. Why? Because the superhero toys had been put away. Now, he’s yelled at me and threatened me -granted it was a very weak threat, but he was still threatening me- and was causing a bit of a scene, so I really think he needs to stay over with you.”
Oh yea, that would totally go over well. And after the way he stormed up to me and demanded to see my boss….I’m thinking he learned that from someone. What child would know to demand a boss if they didn’t get what they want? What kid even knows what a boss is??
So yea, I’m thinking that had I actually had to drag this kid over to his parents…I really would have needed Miss Glenda the Good to come save me.
After that I went and hid in the storytime room to finish working on my Ocean story time (which I’ll post next week) and planned on having a REALLY big, very alcoholic drink when I got home.