Children (and parents) misbehaving in public

Not only are people in the service industry witnesses to children's tantrums, they are also often the ones who have to clean up afterwards.

They share their experiences with The New Paper on Sunday.

"A girl (about four or five years old) did not like the flavour of the ice cream that her mother had chosen.

She scooped the icecream with her right hand and smeared it all over the empty sofa seat next to her.

All her mother said was, 'Oh you are so naughty. The uncle (referring to me) will have a lot of cleaning up to do'."

- Mr Ramesh Sundram, 49, manager in a family restaurant

"A child's mother had gone into a fitting room and he was left with his maid outside.

When he couldn't see his mother, he started to scream and could not be appeased.

The next thing I knew, he upturned his milk bottle and dripped the milk onto the gondola of bras.

When I rushed over to stop him, he screamed louder.

Then his mother came out of the fitting room and screamed at me."

- Miss Felicia Ng, 20, sales promoter for a leading lingerie brand

"The mother was trying out shoes, the father was seated, glued to his phone.

The pair of brother and sister decided to play 'throw and catch' with the shoes on display.

When a colleague tried to stop them, the mother apologised but the father said, 'What's the big deal? Don't buy from here', and walked off."

- Mr Goh Teng Kin, 43, sales assistant in a department store

"The child was with a group of adults.

She was bored because the adults were chatting among themselves.

She turned the French fries and ketchup into a paintbrush and paint, and doodled on the table."

- Madam Ang Hwee Hwee, 55, part-time employee in a fast-food chain

"He tore off the plastic wrap of a book and bookmarked the pages with dog's ears.

I asked him if an adult was with him and he started to bawl.

An elderly woman walked up and began to scold me for making the boy cry.

When I showed her the book, she pulled out $50 and said, 'Nah, I pay for the book. So shut up.'"

- Mr Adrian Soh, 41, shop assistant in a bookstore

"A pair of brothers decided to test-drive the remote control car. Not only did they rip off the packaging of the car, they also opened a pack of batteries.

By the time my colleague saw the damage, it was too late as they had left the store."

- Ms Lynette Mulchand, 49, manager in a toy shop

"The damage in this case wasn't ours to bear, but three boys were running amok during a wedding dinner.

They were playing with the dry ice (for the march-in), the flower petals on the red carpet and so on.

At the second march-in, for some reason, they decided to run up to the stage while everyone was watching the couple - and the champagne glasses came crashing down.

"I can't even describe the chaotic scene that followed."

- Mr Quek Zhihao, 48, banquet manager in a hotel

"The escalators are a favourite, especially among boys.

Once, I saw a boy try to balance himself on a moving handrail of the escalator going up.

I approached him to tell him to stop, and he spat at me before running away.

I didn't give chase but told myself that I'd ignore him the next time he did that.

If he fell and hurt himself, he'd only have himself to blame."

- Mr M. Subramaniam, 60, security guard in a shopping mall

This article was first published on December 21, 2014.
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