Kids' food allergies should be taken very, very seriously. For those with extreme allergies, even a teeny, tiny exposure could cause them to undergo a fatal reaction. It's important that everyone in that child's life understand just how important it is to keep the kid away from any of their allergens. Well, some people can't seem to get that simple lesson through their thick heads and that leads to all sorts of dangerous situations.
A Reddit user, who we'll call Jessica, shared a story from her days of working at a candy store. One day, an older woman came in with her three grandchildren and it was instantly clear to Jessica that this woman wasn't going to be an average customer. She had no idea, however, that the woman's antics would plunge the small candy shop into chaos.
It was an average day at work for Jessica. She spent the first part of her day doing her usual duties: checking out customers, whipping up hot chocolates, and restocking various candies. It seemed like it would be a ho-hum day...until a grandmother and her three grandchildren walked in.
The grandmother, who we'll call Wanda, clearly preferred her one male grandchild over her two granddaughters. In the story she posted online, Jessica referred to the little boy as the Golden Child, which fit rather well, considering the fact that Wanda behaved as if the other two children didn't even exist. After walking in, Wanda told the little girls to "hurry up and pick something."
Meanwhile, Wanda was fussing over the Golden Child. She approached Jessica, one arm wrapped around Golden Child's neck in what she clearly thought was a loving embrace. In reality, it looked to Jessica as if she were trying to smother the poor boy with her ample chest.
"The woman suffered greatly from the condition of being a short woman with a very large chest and a very ill-fitting bra, therefore resulting in a lot of flesh ooze," Jessica wrote.
To further the poor child's discomfort, Wanda was the kind of woman who wore a ton of rings on her fingers, so he had giant golden bands and gigantic gems pressing into his cheek, leaving imprints behind. Wanda took a huge breath, then she blurted out, "My grandson has a nut allergy. What's good for him to eat?"
Though what Jessica said next was only common sense and in the little boy's best interest, Wanda wasn't interested in hearing anything but what she wanted to hear.
"Ma'am, I apologize, but if your grandson has an allergy, I honestly would recommend that he avoid getting anything from here that isn't a bottled soda or a hot chocolate. Everything else has a high risk of cross-contamin-" Jessica wasn't even able to finish her sentence before Wanda cut in.
"What about that?" she asked in a booming voice, pointing at something on the menu behind Jessica. When Jessica turned around to look at what Wanda was indicating, she had to resist the urge to roll her eyes. It would seem that the woman was pointing at a frozen hot chocolate, which wasn't one of the two options that Jessica had said would be safe for the boy to eat.
"Ma'am, that contains peanut butter. And peanut butter cups. And Reese's Piece's," Jessica said, heroically keeping her tone both respectful.
"He wants a frozen hot chocolate!" Wanda practically wailed, still clutching Golden Child to her matronly chest. For a moment, Jessica wondered if the little boy was still alive since she hadn't heard a peep from him the entire time he'd been in the store.
"I was starting to worry that he'd died, now only supported by his grandmother's tight grip in a mockery of life."
Jessica tried to continue to dissuade Wanda from ordering something for the little boy that could possibly kill him, but it had just about as much success as her previous attempts.
Jessica continued to try and talk sense to Wanda, "Ma'am, as I said, the only things-"
Once again, Wanda forgot that it was impolite to talk in the middle of someone else's sentence. "His allergy isn't that bad! He WANTS one!" Wanda screeched.
It was hard for Jessica to take this woman seriously, especially when she literally sounded like she was a toddler having a tantrum.
"It is very disturbing when a woman old enough to have grandchildren says anything in a voice that would fit a four-year-old girl demanding an extra cookie, especially when she stamps her foot in the exact same way," Jessica wrote.
Jessica's manager, having heard the kerfuffle going on, hustled over once he heard Wanda raise her voice. Jessica refers to this manager as Manager Nitpick because of the time he called her over during a closing shift a few weeks before to look at a spot she'd missed while cleaning. He practically dragged her over to a section of wall, then pointed at a smudge on the wall the size of a pencil tip and said, as if he'd found literal feces on the wall, "What is that?!" Jessica had to get an inch away from the wall to even notice it, that's how small it was. Once this manager came over, Jessica knew this situation wasn't going to work out in her favor.
Just as she figured, Manager Nitpick came over and kissed Wanda's butt as if it were the Blarney Stone. He made Golden Child a plain frozen hot chocolate free of charge for "the inconvenience." Jessica handed it over, all smiles because she was a consummate professional. Her warnings of cross-contamination and Golden Child's possible exposure to an allergen had fallen on deaf ears, so she mentally washed her hands of the situation, but what happened next threw her right back into the lion's den.
The two granddaughters, who Jessica had almost forgotten about, were sitting quietly in the corner, having already gotten their treats. Aside from the first, dismissive "hurry up and pick something," Wanda hadn't acknowledged their existence at all. They seemed all the happier for it, as they playfully tried to stick their spoons to their noses.
For about five minutes, everything went back to business as usual, but that calm was soon broken. Golden Child suddenly dropped his frozen hot chocolate onto the floor and began clawing at his throat and scratching his arms, both clear indicators of an allergic reaction. Jessica's internal alarm instantly went from zero to a hundred.
Wanda was simply flailing around her grandson, making wordless noises of concern, but was otherwise totally useless. Jessica paged the security team and asked them to grab a first aid kit. The oldest of the granddaughters grabbed Wanda's cell phone from her purse and made a call, her calm demeanor an ironic foil to her grandmother's panic.
Just as security arrived with the first aid kit, the grandkids' parents show up. Both were carrying coffee cups from the Starbucks down the street, so Jessica assumed they'd just been trying to have a quick coffee date while Grandma took the kids to the candy store for a treat. The mother, spying her son on the ground, went into Mama Bear mode immediately. She took an EpiPen from her purse and jabbed the boy in the thigh. She did it so quickly that Jessica wasn't even sure what she was doing until she'd already finished. Security called for an ambulance, but now that the danger had passed, for the most part, the mother turned to Wanda, with fire clearly shooting out of her eyes. Jessica couldn't wait to see what she had to say.
Throughout the chaos, Wanda had kept up a steady stream of wails and shrieks. The father, who was Wanda's son, was busily comforting his daughters who were obviously a bit traumatized from watching their little brother nearly die. The mother, having seen to her son, turned her attention to her mother-in-law, who was trying to deflect the blame away from herself. "
I just wanted to give him a treeeaaat!" Wanda sobbed. "You never let him eeeeaaaat!"
It was pretty clear that Wanda was the sort of woman for whom nothing was her fault. Things just happened to her, but she'd never actually admitted that she brought her woes wholly upon herself. Jessica remembered very well that Wanda had claimed that the boy's allergy wasn't "that bad," so she didn't have too much sympathy to spare the woman. She wasn't the only one.
The oldest granddaughter, who had made the call to her parents, piped up, "But the ice cream lady told [Wanda] that [Golden Child] shouldn't have that stuff!" Jessica felt a wave a satisfaction wash over her. There's no better feeling in the world than being right, though that triumph was somewhat dampened by the fact that a young kid was being rushed to the hospital all because his grandmother wouldn't listen to reason.
To Jessica's deep disappointment, the mother didn't even speak to Wanda, though she did shoot the woman a glare that could have made Wanda "crisp up like bacon." The EMTs arrived and carted Golden Child off to the hospital. His mom rode with him while his dad escorted his sisters out of the store. The only one left was Wanda. Oblivious to the fact that everyone in the store considered her the villain, she wailed and carried on as if she were the true victim. It didn't take long for her to realize no one was buying her act, and in fact, most people were looking at her as if "she was a squealing pig rolling in feces."
Once she realized no one was falling for her "poor little me" routine, she left the store, tail tucked between her legs. Jessica has no idea how this little family drama played out once the players left the store, but she imagines that Wanda isn't the most popular member of that family anymore, if she ever even was.
Manager Nitpick wasn't fired for his role in all of this, though he was formally punished by the company and Jessica suspects that he was suspended for a while since she didn't see him around the store for a few weeks. Still, it felt good that he was severely reprimanded by senior staff. Jessica herself was commended for caring about customer safety. Funnily enough, the next customer she helped was interested in getting the frozen hot chocolate but asked what sort of chocolate went into it, since they were afraid that it was something toxic based on the incident they just witnessed. Jessica was able to quickly reassure them that the drink was totally safe - as long as they didn't have a peanut allergy that is.