Retail

Flash Fiction – Stanley, The Grumpy, Kid Loathing Salesperson – Flash Fiction

Stanley was destined to hate life from birth. He was supposed to have been born a boy, that’s what the doctor had assured the mother of. Stanley’s father had nearly burst with pride and his parents bought every boy related item under the sun for their impending arrival. A name was settled upon easily. Stanley Allen Stevenson. The first name for his father, the middle for his mother’s uncle.

When the big day came and the child was a girl they ditched the middle name and stubbornly kept the first. She became Stanley Margret Stevenson and she wore a lot of blue.

One would think the girl would be the victim of merciless teasing, kids can be so cruel. Not Stanley, or not for long. At first she tried to go by her middle name but the other kids said it was a grandma name. Then she tried the name Leigh but it never caught on. Finally she made the decision that all children were awful, including herself so she would act accordingly.

Stanley singled out a few of the strongest and most popular boys and beat them up. Thus began a reign of terror her small town never forgot, even after she moved to the big city. When she came home to visit her parents the mom and pop stores closed and people stayed off the streets. No one ever picked on her again.

Eventually Stanley found love and got married. She was nice, as much as she could be, to her husband but her disposition changed little.

Now some people mellow with age, not Stanley. She hated most adults too and became an expert at making everyone around her miserable. She held a special place in her black heart for kids though. Nothing made her happier than ruining some random child’s day or making a teenager feel bad about themselves.

To further her passion she got a job in the only toy store in her city. Stanley was a hard worker and quickly moved up the ranks to management. Oh the stories she could tell of meanness, entrapment and accusations she delighted in.

Her favorite tale was of the little girl she made cry over a stuffed pony. The child ran to her mother and they came back to yell at Stanley. Since she felt no remorse they left without satisfaction. However, before exiting the store the mother informed Stanley she would place a curse on her. She would pay for the way she treated her daughter and all the other children she’d heard about. Of course Stanley had a reputation by then.

A couple of months after the curse, Stanley got very sick. She could hardly eat, she threw up all the time and she was always tired. She went to the doctor and after some tests that made no sense to her she realized the curse had worked. It was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to her.

Quintuplets. The end.


I’ve said this before, sometimes you just need a silly story. This one was a great outlet after the incident my daughter had this weekend. Perhaps I’ll write more adventures for Stanley one of these days.

Teenager Discrimination

Not everyone believes that age discrimination is really a thing, at least not when applied to teenagers. I myself have practiced it when I worked retail. I might not have accused any young people of anything but I certainly kept an eye on any large group of them that came into my store and I’ve had to ask a few such groups to leave when they started damaging things. What I’m wondering today is, is that fair? Sure it’s fair to be thrown out of a store for behaving badly but what about the being prejudged part? No, probably not.

Today my fourteen year old daughter had a bad experience in a store at our local mall. It was a party supply store, yes a national chain. She went in with a large group of friends, that was the first check off the list against her. It was all girls, add another check. Ten teenage girls aren’t really capable of being quiet so I have no doubt they were being loud – check. In a group of people who large, the ones actually shopping are going to want different things but they wanted to stay together so they went down every aisle. It didn’t really take long for an employee to get so suspicious she had to say something.

Did she tell them they were being too loud or disruptive to other customers? Nope. The exact quote as repeated to me was:

“I hope you guys know this is not a playground, it’s a store and if you’re not going to buy anything we’re going to kick you out.”

A playground. Can you get any more insulting to a teenager? I think not. I know the employee had no way of knowing if these kids were paying customers or not, but isn’t that the point? As a matter of fact, five of them did make purchases, even after being humiliated.

Now as a parent of a well-behaved kid who has rarely done anything wrong in her life (she’s a people pleaser, poor thing), I’m furious with that lady. As a former retail employee I understand, to a point. I think she handled it badly and that perhaps she needs to not work weekends. I, for one, have never been into a party store on a weekend and Not seen teenagers in it.

My daughter also told me the store was actually FULL of teenagers, mostly in groups, so the party pooper in the party store probably has way less hair than she did this morning.

What would you have done in the employee’s place? For the parents out there, would you be angry?


Sidenote: I wrote for much longer than six minutes today and I’m very happy about it! What’s next for me? Why a story about a fictional grumpy, job hating, teenager loathing villain of course.