To me, it was just a rainbow bracelet

I interact with tons of different Guests on a daily basis in the store where I work. Most of them are your usual retail experiences: you give them the spiel, currency is exchanged, small talk small talk, awesome have a nice day!

There are the Guests that stick out and make me my day a little nicer:

  • the super nice Guests
  • the over excited kids
  • the over excited adults
  • the kids that dress up and leave glitter everywhere
  • the adults that Disney-bound and get really pleased when you recognize what character they are
  • the Guests that leave compliments
  • the Guests that haven’t been to Disneyland in ____ years and let me tell you how it was when I was here/it’s changed so much!

And, of course, there are the Guests who make you work for your paycheck. They are the ones that test your patience, your sincerity, your Company and store policies, your sanity and your belief in the good of all humanity.

I think I’ve broached this topic before. It’s probably one that I’m going to come back to time and again when I have a story to share.

This one falls in between the Good and Bad, I guess. And I want to write about it because it was one of those interactions that just stuck with me and I can’t get it out of my head.

I remember that I was on the register. Our queue lines have tons of little knickknacks last-minute grab-bag items from chocolates to magnets to little pins and bracelets. All Disney-themed of course as this is the World of Disney store.

I remember a dad and his son bringing their items up to the register. I don’t remember what they had or what they were wearing. But I do remember starting up the usual routine, the small talk, and that the son was younger. Cute. About 6. Still innocent and loving every moment of his Disneyland vacation.

Dad and I were talking and the kid was checking out all the little extras. He spies the rainbow-colored Mickey-mouse shaped bracelets. He gets this little smile on his face and shoves his tiny hand into the display of bracelets, pulls one out and puts one on.

“Look, Dad,” he holds up his wrist towards his father. “I really like it.”

And I smile because that kid just looks so happy over a little plastic bracelet.

But then I look up at the Dad and my smile falters a tiny bit. He has this look on his face, this mixture of fear and uncertainty, and I can see that he’s trying to compose himself and he does so rather quickly. But then he says, “Oh you don’t want that, son.”

Playing it off so nonchalantly like he isn’t petrified at the fact his son has picked up a rainbow-colored bracelet of all things because oh my god that could mean that he might be —–

I can hear it in his voice. I can see it in his body language, the way he tries to get his son to put the bracelet back. And then his eyes flick over to me for help.

There’s a split second of eye contact before I turn my attention back to the kid.

“I bet you like it because it’s made up of Mickey Mouse, huh,” I say, instantly on the kid’s side and trying to assuage the father’s stupidity in one Perfect Guest Service swoop.

“Yeah,” the little boy says offhandedly. His attention is back on the bracelet. He runs his fingers over the shapes, following the bumps made by Mickey’s ears.

My eyes flick back up to the Dad. I shrug. “That’s why I like it.”

Dad ended up buying the bracelet. He calmed down a bit by the time they had left and the kid was happy as a clam.

Sorry Dad. I’m almost always going to be on the kid’s side. The Happiness of my Guests is my number one priority, especially when it comes to the younger ones. They still have that spark, that wide-eyed wonder of everything around them. And for some reason, I want to protect them and let them have that wonder for as long as they can.

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