I live in a very small town and my family owns the only grocery store in the area. (You have to drive about 50 miles to get to a Walmart.) We work with the school to make sure we have all the supplies kids will need for the new school year. We keep each of the teacher’s supply lists by the back of the store in a folder.
Well, someone took the supply lists out of the folder and replaced them with copies of lists that look legit but instead were filled with stuff like vodka for “hand sanitizing purposes,” Depends for when “your kid’s teacher can’t leave the classroom to pee. Remember that nugget on Teacher Appreciation week” and gift cards “because teachers need some incentive to come back the next day.”
Fortunately, I was able to discard the fake lists quickly and unfortunately it was a mom friend of mine who left the fake lists. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure this out since I found her lurking in the school supply area recording a video about her list gag.
I went off of her and about what she did because 1) It wasn’t that funny. 2) Parents have been through enough and don’t need their school supply lists messed with and 3) It F’s with our store’s business.
She’s now not only not speaking to me but because she’s so butt hurt, she says she’s going to organize a PTA school supply drive next year so no one will buy supplies at my family’s store.
Did I do something wrong here or is this woman crazy?
Signed, Small Town Business Owner
Dear Small Town,
You didn’t do anything wrong. I think you’re just another casualty of everyone thinking they’re one video post away from being the next great TikTok star. Yes, some of her “school supply list” was mildly amusing – but there’s a time and place and what she wrote seems better suited to a social media or blog post. I actually agree with every single point you raised with your mom friend – primarily that parents have been through enough and also the school supply list is fairly sacred. (Back in the day my daughter had a melt down when I bought the wrong kind of Kleenex. Everyone else showed up for first grade with a flat tissue box and I had bought the upright box. Cue the tears.)
This is my way of illustrating that no one wants to send their kids to school with the wrong stuff or have to wade through someone’s sense of humor to find out how much notebook paper to buy.
Your mom friend crossed the line when her prank messed with people’s time, money, and your store. As for her threatening to start a PTA school supply drive – let her. I seriously doubt she’ll want to undertake that responsibility.
I also advise you to think of this woman as less of a “mom friend” and more of an unhinged jerk. I mean who gets their feelings so hurt being told they’re prank wasn’t exactly the comedy routine of the century that they threaten a friend’s business?
I’ve got two words for this woman – “buh-bye.”
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