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Ice Cream Shop Worker Berated For Serving A Young Girl Without Her Parents Present

Laura Yurs/Getty Images

When it comes to parenting, some parents are much stricter than others.

But raising children with too many rules and regulations can, and often does, lead to a larger inclination to be rebellious.

As a result, their children might often find themselves doing things they are normally not permitted to do behind their parents backs.

Redditor iscream247 found herself complicit in such a situation while at work, resulting in her being sternly reprimanded by both the child’s mother as well as her boss.

Wondering if she had, in fact, done anything wrong, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for serving a child without their parent present?”

The OP explained how what she felt was not a situation out of the ordinary at her place of work resulted in her getting in a considerable amount of trouble.

“I’m 18 F[emale] and working my first food service job.”

“This happened yesterday but it’s still a big deal for some reason.”

“I work at a pretty small ice cream shop, nothing special.”

“We’re right next to a restaurant so we sometimes get customers who wanna come over for dessert.”

“I was working by myself yesterday, besides the manager and had a kid come up to the window for a large cup of ice cream.”

“I’m assuming the kid was 11 F, but I could be wrong.”

“I never got confirmation.”

“She was small but she spoke well so I just assumed she was a middle schooler or a later elementary student.”

“She had money so of course I served her.”

“We get kids a lot, and I noticed parents will usually push their younger kids to order for themselves because ice cream is a pretty simple and straight forward order.”

“Anyways, maybe 5 minutes after that, a woman marches over saying she’s her mother and that I had no right to serve a young child without a parent present?”

“Apparently the kid had just dipped from the restaurant and gone off on her own to get some ice cream, or at least that’s what I assume.”

“Obviously she didn’t have her mother’s permission.”

“She’s demanding a refund and I have to get my manager.”

“Unbelievably he takes HER side and reprimands me, telling me I can’t just go giving kids ice cream without their parents present.”

“He told me the money could’ve been stolen or the kid could’ve been a runaway, so I should’ve been more suspicious/cautious I guess?”

“Now, if the kid was noticeably like 5 years old and had no money and could barely hold a conversation, I’d understand that, but this was NOT the case.”

“My manager really reamed me out for it and I’m just so confused.”

“AITA here?”

“I thought this sort of stuff was normal but this is my first food service gig so I could be wrong.”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not the A**hole
  • YTA – You’re the A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everybody Sucks Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP did absolutely nothing wrong and was in no way the a**hole for serving the child ice cream.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s manager was completely out of line, as was the mother of the child, who had no right to be angry at anyone but herself for not noticing she had gone off to buy ice cream.


“If that’s the store policy then your manager should have told you and I bet they didn’t.”

“We used to always go to the local drug store or ice cream place to buy treats when we were kids.”

“No parents around.”

“I miss those days.”- Phoenix612


“Your manager is an AH.”

“The mother is an AH.”

“You and kid had a normal interaction.”-PeggyHW


“It sounds to me like the manager was trying to save face in front of the customer.”

“Call your manager out and ask for express rules in terms of serving children.”

“If this were another kind of establishment, I’d be on manager’s side, but ice cream?”


“This mom took it out on you that she couldn’t keep track of her kid.”

“That’s a parenting problem, and if manager is going to make it your issue, you’ll need to know to ask how old they need to be, so you can send them to get a parent if they’re younger than that.”

“Honestly, what a bad look for your shop if that’s the case.”

“Sorry to hear this manager doesn’t have your back OP.”- SisterAlliance


“When saw the title I thought it was alcohol.”

“In which case, yes, but for ice cream, no.”

“You had no way of knowing if the parent sent them there or not, there is no legal age or ID required to buy ice cream.”

“Some parents would also be mad at you if you didn’t help an 11 year old.”

“The mother should be mad at herself for not controlling her child.”

“She was probably embarrassed and looking for someone else to blame.”

“No idea why the manager couldn’t figure that out.”- Parrothead62


“If the kid looked about 11, that’s about when I would regularly show up to places like ice cream shops with my friends and no parents.”

“It’s a pretty normal level of independence to have at that age.”- Pretend-Rutabaga-206


“I could almost understand if your manager took the customer’s side in front of her and then told you not to worry about it once she left.”

“A d*ck move, but a lot do that to make life easier.”

“But to continue to say you were wrong once she left?”

“F*ck that.”

“You did nothing wrong.”

“As you’ve said, a lot of parents send kids up to buy their own ice cream.”

“She lost track of her kid, her kid apparently disobeyed, she blamed you because that’s better than admitting poor parenting.”

“Time for some malicious compliance.”

“If I were you, I’d be requiring ID for anyone who could possibly be underage per the new edict from management.”


“Your reasoning seems right.”

“Mom is a fucking weirdo who can’t keep track of her kid.”

“Manager never told you of any ‘don’t serve kids’ policy because it doesn’t exist.”

“Ask for a hard age limit going forward, if that is a policy.”

“That is a normal level of independence for 11.”-thefanciestcat


“If you’d refused someone service based on your assumption of their age I think you’d find yourself in a sticky situation.”

“The mother should have been keeping a better eye on her child!”- Particular-Heron-103


“You did your job.”

“It’s not your fault that woman is a terrible parent.”- Amesaskew


“As a kid, I used to roll up with the loose change I could scrounge up from around the house to go get an ice cream at the ice cream parlor up the street.”

“I was maybe 9.”

“Never was questioned.”

“AND my parents never would have gone to the store to ream them.”

“Had I pulled a stunt like that and taken money to go get ice cream without permission, they’d have reamed me.”

“That’s who deserves the lesson here: the kid.”

“You don’t take money out of my wallet to get an ice cream.”

“You’re grounded!”

“Also totally agree with the malicious compliance recommendations.”

“From now on, you serve no unaccompanied minors.”

“See how that goes.”- SugarSleuth


“What a bizarre reaction from the mom.”- Routine_Meet_5983


“That’s a super weird response from your manager.”

“You served a customer with money, which is your job.”

“The parent should have kept better tabs on her kid if she was so upset about her ordering ice cream.”- Gidget_87


“My kid is 11 and I’m pushing them to order and pay for things like ice cream, movie tickets, etc.”

“To build their confidence with public interactions and handling money.”

“This mom is a controlling B and your manager is ridiculous.”- GoodLord78


“I would reconfirm with your boss that’s what he wants and then ask that he put it in writing at the front of the house for patrons.”

“Get it in writing and then reach out to the shop owner about it.”- Limerase


“It’s not your fault the kid snuck out of the restaurant next door, and it’s not your job to parent/make decisions for someone else’s kid.”

“It sounds like mom was angry and unfortunately decided to take it out on you.”- Ciphree


“Your job is to serve ice cream and kids love that stuff.”

“The parent is an asshole for not keeping watch over their kid.”

“Blaming you for their lack of attention is just dumb.”

“Now since the manger thinks that kids without parents shouldn’t be served, you should get the manager every single time a parent is not there when a kid comes for ice cream.”

“They will see that they were an a**hole.”

“It’s summer so be ready to get them every five seconds.”-lil-peanutbutter

Indeed, it seems that the mother of this child was trying to find anyone to blame other than herself for losing track of her child.

While the OP’s manager was likely trying to cover himself for not properly training her.

One also has to question if a manager who gets angry about a child buying ice cream is working at the right place.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.