A Build-A-Bear workshop may be "Where Best Friends Are Made," as the toyshop claims.
But the stores also have the capacity to breed mischief, thanks to naughty customers taking advantage of the personalized voice recording option–a popular feature.
"Build A Bear workers what's the strangest voice recording you've heard?"
These are examples of scenarios when a customer couldn't speak for themselves.
"I had a guy come in with loads of shopping bags. Flowers and chocolates. Typical gifts you'd get a girlfriend but WAY too many. He bought a bear and just recorded."
"Hannah, I'm SORRY!"
"He didn't seem in the mood to talk so I didn't pry but everyone in the store agreed it was a terrible idea. Reminding your girlfriend she's angry at you everytime she squeezes a bear."
The Private Message
"I can’t think of any truly strange recordings, but this did make me think of a semi-awkward situation I was in. A dad came in to make stuffed dog for his daughter. His partner was telling me that he was going through some sort of intense custody battle situation and didn’t get to see his daughter very much. He ended up going to like a separate part of the store (or maybe the bathroom? I don’t remember) to record the message. Like, the dude clearly didn’t want anyone to hear it. But then when I put the sound thingy in the dog’s paw and line it up correctly, I kept accidentally pressing it a bunch of times. It was basically him just telling his daughter how much he missed her—so nothing sketchy or anything like that. But I just felt super intrusive because it seemed like it was intended something really personal that I wasn’t supposed to hear."
"So just to be clear - this isn’t a judgment on the customer, just my awkward and clumsy-a** self."
"I heard a man there, he had made a 'sexy' recording for giving to his girl. Kinda creepy, but if it worked...."
A Bear's Purpose
"A friend gave a girl a bear, when asking her out, with the recording of his voice saying 'It is my duty..... to rock that booty.'"
Adult customers can be silly as mischievous children.
The Bear Doesn't Consent
"In high school at the time, making a bear as a gift for my best friend. Thought it’d be hilarious to put the little heart speaker into the bear’s crotch and have it say 'Don’t touch me there!' when pressed."
"Go to check out and this poor elderly woman working the register grabs the bear in just the right way that at least 10+ people around hear someone shout 'DONT TOUCH ME THERE!!!'”
"All heads turned. I thought I was going to have to resuscitate the poor cashier. Left and never went back."
"I was a customer. One voice recording I managed to hear was 'C*CK AND BALL' very loudly.
Beware The Volume
"I worked at BABW from 2004-2010. I can’t remember any build-a-sounds that were especially outrageous. My favorite was when the parents really didn’t care, so the kid would record something long, rambling, and odd. The sound costs $8 back then, so almost as much as some bears, but the parents would just shrug it off as the kids screamed some random message."
"If it was an important message, like a proposal, I would try to persuade people to just buy the sound box, then go record it at home, and come back another day to make the bear. People don’t realize that Build-a-Bears are hella loud. Those stuffy machines were basically vacuums and playing your build-a-sound while standing next to vacuum and gaggles of children is not a great representation of what you’ve just recorded. It is going to play back LOUD. We’d have people record in the bathroom regularly, which was better than recording in the store, but very echoey."
Oliver, The Sardonic Bear
"Customer, not worker, but John Oliver has a comedy sketch about when he moved from the UK to New York and he was feeling really lonely, so his friends got him a present: a Build-a-Bear that said 'You will die, alone, in a dark, cold room.' That's friendship for you."
"Well, my sister thought it was hilarious, so I went and did it for her. You get some weird looks at the store, but even as she moved across the country from me, she took it with her and cherished that someone cared enough about her to build a stuffed bear telling her she would die alone to satisfy her sense of humor."
"She named the bear Oliver."
A Parent Bonds With Their Daughter
"My daughter when she was 11- in a creepy voice, 'Get your Paws offa me!' We laughed like idiots, playing it over and over on the way home. Her mom did not share our humor. We still laugh about it 15 years later, but I'm pretty sure wife burned the bear."
"Yesterday, a high schooler came in and wanted to record anime moans from his phone. BaB vetoes some recordings..."
Get A Clue
"I mean probably not weird but I set up a scavenger hunt for my wife each clue solved gave her a letter collect all five letters and solve the cryptex."
"The clue I gave her was something like 'the beating source of life needs to be removed, do you have the stomach to do what you must?' I wrote the letter on the little heart they put on it and they sealed it up. I recorded the jigsaw quote I want to play a game' on the speaker and when she found the stuffed dog it had a picture of jigsaw and a knife."
"My bear didn’t say anything he just mooed like a cow. I also named him suitcase."
On the flip side, memorial bears are a poignant options for those in grief.
A Boy Memorialized
"My son works at BaB. His very first day of work he had to build a memorial bear. The mother and grandmother came in with a voice recording of the little boy who died of cancer. It was a recording of the kid saying he was brave and loved his life."
"I can't count the number of memorial bears Ive made."
"Most recently had a family bring in a recording of their grandma's heartbeat to make a bear for each grandkid."
"I think the weirdest one I got was a couple preteens recording a tiktok onto the build a sound. I'm not sure exactly what was on it, but they were really awkward about it, so I ended up turning the computer down really low so it didn't project through the whole store. I made an extra effort to not squeeze the sound as I put it in the paw."
"Us Bear Builders have lots of stories. Some good, some sad, some downright terrifying."
A Gift For A Bereaved Mother
"I had a lady come in to make a memorial bear for the mother of a baby who died, she put an audio recording of the baby crying."
"Definitely not creepy. We had our baby’s heartbeat recorded during an ultrasound and put it into a stuffed animal. My newborn daughter passed away a few weeks after delivery and now that heartbeat is something we have to remind us of her."
It's no wonder that BaB toys are so popular.
It's next-level roses and chocolates gift-giving option for all occasions.
Of course, it's also a huge opportunity for vexatious customers to exploit the personalizing feature for their dirty deeds.
Which customer are you?
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Redditor At A Loss When Niece Keeps ‘Accidentally’ Putting Things In Her Pocket and Taking Them Home
Money isn't everything, but it can change everything.
I think we're far enough along as a society to appreciate the fact that money does indeed make things easier.
I grew up poor and my biggest regret of my childhood is that I didn't grow up rich.
There are just so many things you have access to. No... money is not the cure for everything wrong, and it can cause strife, but it can get you a lot great stuff that makes drama easier to deal with.
There were so many simple signs of wealth I could point out as a poor kid, you'd be shocked. Sometimes it was just three meals a day.
Redditor phiggie wanted to discuss everyone's ideas on being rich, by asking:
"Redditors who grew up poor, what do you associate with being rich?"
Fancy cars. That was always my first clue. And now that I'm older, how you order a drink without care. There is a significant price difference between SKOL vodka and Belvedere.
Need Itgive me christmas GIF by TargetGiphy
"Being able to buy something you need without having to ask yourself how badly you need it." ~ Awkward_Name5898
"There's a line from Nick in "New Girl" that describes being well off as 'filling your gas tank up all the way rich.' That was the rich I wanted to be. Comfortable. Also not having to do math in the grocery store to see what food you can buy. I hated that. I wanted to just go buy necessities like gas and food without worrying. Proud to say that now I usually fill my gas tank all the way and don't do math when buying groceries." ~ Top_Confidence_9177
"My parents used to tell us they were saving up to take us to Disney, always "next year." Years came and went and they quietly stopped mentioning it. All my friends and schoolmates got to go, though. I did eventually get to go to Disneyland as an adult a few years ago as an LA local for my best friend's birthday."
"I had 0 in my bank account because of it and had to get assistance paying the following month's bills but it was extremely fun & unforgettable. Oversight on my friend's part that not all of us could afford to go but I didn't want to pass it up either since I never got to go as a kid." ~ bee3056
"Not knowing EXACTLY how much money you have at any given time." ~ wrongstuff
"Wow, that resonated with me in a way that actually kind of surprised me. I'd never thought about it before, but it's so true. back when I was struggling, I knew down to the penny what was in my bank account at all times." ~ Sniffs_Markers
"Holy crap this is true. I was poor growing up and was financially insecure until well into my 20s. I knew exactly how much money I had and how to budget it to make sure I could eat until the next paycheck came in. I managed to progress my career to a pretty high level of seniority and nowadays I don't even know how much I earn. I have a rough idea but because of all the benefits and the way bonuses are calculated I couldn't actually tell you a figure. And yet I still buy discounted stuff that's going out of date at the supermarket." ~ fadevelocity
StuffMoving Season 2 GIF by Paramount+Giphy
"Going to a store to pick out furniture. Like, actually buying NEW stuff, not just taking whatever you can find at thrift stores or garage sales. That seems so luxurious!" ~ Nonsenseinabag
So far, all true. How does one shop without looking at the price? That's living the dream.
Waterfridge roommate GIFGiphy
"Those fridges with the water dispenser on it." ~ Siyuen_Tea
People Explain Activities They've Added To Their Post-Pandemic Bucket List | George Takei’s Oh MyyyWhile we've all been cooped up for the better part of two years, many of us have been dreaming up exciting plans for the future. Maybe it's finally time to s...
"Not having to worry about food or bills. Paying out of pocket at the dentist." ~ Longjumping-Price-42
"I was poor for a bit and my wife and I would have $100 for food and gas for the month. We had to balance driving too much or eating better food. First time I was able to fill my tank and buy whatever I wanted to eat was the best feeling." ~ allf8ed
"Even better is not worrying or having anxiety to log in to your bank account to see how much money you have left." ~ flimspringfield
Movin' On Up!
"Hiring moving men. Especially if they're the ones who pack all of your crap for you, too. So many times, I would borrow a friend's pickup (and buy my friend's help with offers of pizza and beer) to move from one sh*tty place to another. For my most recent move, my wife and I packed everything, but hired professionals to load and unload it. I felt like a king." ~ KhaoticMess
"Hiring people to either cook, clean, mow the grass or do snow removal in the winter. Showing my age but rich people didn't need lay away to afford back to school or Christmas shopping I don't remember ever having name brand items, food or clothing. It was all generic Kmart. I bought my son a pair of Nike shoes and thought I felt rich for doing so." ~ thatstaceygirl
SURPRISE!!Alicia Silverstone My Bad GIFGiphy
"Parents buying a car for your 16th birthday." ~ ghosthues
I was mortified...
"Regular doctor's office visits or seeing a dentist at all for anything other than an emergency." ~ didnsignup4dis
This brings back a horrible memory. When I was 19 I had to get my wisdom teeth removed because they were hurting and pushing my other teeth together. I didn't have insurance because I was too poor but also made 'too much money' for state assistance ($10.50/hour) so I had to pay out of pocket. When the HR woman brought up what the bill would be I started crying and she asked if I was sure I could pay it in the most pitying way. I was mortified." ~ f**kit_sowhat
"Having the crayons that have the sharpener built into the box." ~ dahopppa
"I so wanted the big box of crayons with all the beautiful colors when I was a kid. They were so cool." ~ OddTransportation121
'appetizer money'sign language appetizer GIF by Sign with RobertGiphy
"Getting an appetizer and/or dessert at a restaurant in addition to an entree." ~ Frankfluff
"Growing up we went out to dinner once around Christmas and maybe once in the summer (unless my grandpa came and took us out.) We knew not to even think about asking for appetizers or any drink but water."
"Since we've all left home my dad got a better paying job. My mom likes to say that they now have 'appetizer money' and it makes me really happy for them. We went out to dinner a few years ago when I was home for Christmas, and after we all ordered a single entree my mom asked if we wanted anything else. All of us siblings didn't even know how to respond. It was really weird, but very cool." ~ redsyrinx2112
"Not having debt collectors coming round." ~ alanbastard
"This! I remember multiple occasions where my mum would run into the living room, turn everything off frantically and tell us to hide until she said we could come out. People would knock and look through the windows etc. And eventually leave and i never really thought about that until fairly recently. Was 100% debt collection and my mum not being able to pay." ~ Edmaaate
"Having snacks in the house a week after grocery day." ~ fiftyonions
"Me shopping Saturday morning: I better get two bags of chips so I have some at the end of the week."
"Me 2am: Monday morning: vomiting because I ate both bags over the weekend." ~ transylvanian_witch
"Knowing what a duvet cover is and owning one. I remember when my wife and I were newlyweds and she was telling me how we needed a duvet cover for our bed. I had no clue what a duvet cover was prior as I always though people just purchase sheets and/or the big blankets with the lion/tiger prints. Suffice to say, my mind was blown away." ~ hominian
"Parents having time to show up in school events or parents throwing birthday parties in school for their kid." ~ UnderTheFishHook
"One of my friends was going through that with her kids' school pre-Covid. She managed to get her kid into an honestly really great elementary school, and her sons teacher was pretty much shaming her for never showing up during school events, specifically the ones that happen during school hours."
"The time of day when she worked. When she tried explaining to the teacher that she worked during the day, the teacher suggested taking a vacation or sick time. My friend tried to explain to her that she doesn't get vacation or sick time at her jobs. The teacher then insinuated that she wasn't caring for her son's education by not being there to support him. So much BS." ~ Diredoe
"Indifference. I realized what real wealth meant in high school when we cleaned up trash from a creek and the rich kids wore their Polo shirts, Guess jeans, and Jordan's because if they were trashed they simply would get new. The poor kids wore their grubby clothes they do labor in. Wealth is shown most acutely by indifference, nothing matters because money will fix it and there is plenty enough to fill black holes." ~ Waxnpoetic
YummyPizza Pizza Pizza Dancing GIF by Domino’s UK and ROIGiphy
"Eating pizza because you want to not because it's $2. That and mom eating along with us normally instead of pretending that the crust is her favorite part and that's why she'd eat the crust we leave." ~ DirtySingh
"Parents that didn't fight. Mine and my other poor friends' parents were always fighting. Most of the time my parents fought it was over money. You could tell that they were just scared whether or not we were going to make it and that's how it manifested."
"You just never really saw that same type of fighting at the friend's parents who were comfortable. Like obviously there's more factors but there's a unique chaotic tension in poor households that is hard to describe." ~ Elegant_Extreme3268
Why would a 16-year-old need an expensive car? They're just learning. Whatever, spend as you will.
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Show me the money, if you've got it! Growing up wealthy is something most people only dream about. And children who grow up with money don't immediately realize the meaning of rich or the differences between their lives and the lives of their friends. And that moment can be quite the culture shock.
Imagine being six and you attend your first party. And much to your surprise one of the people from the household answers the door and you're thinking... "Where is your butler?"
Talk about a sharp look into how the other half lives.
Redditor itsohsodemi wanted to hear all about the times people accepted that they had financial privilege, by asking:
People that had rich parents growing up. When did you realize you were rich?
I grew up poor so I can only remember being shocked by friends having all the toys I had been asking for in duplicate. That was fun to witness. That was when I learned rich people were real and not just characters on "Dynasty."
LUCKYY!!mickey mouse 80s GIFGiphy
"When I started talking in school about the pros and cons of Disney World vs Disney Land, and people were like "YOU'VE BEEN ON VACATION?! LUCKYY!!"
"Apparently it wasn't normal to go on holiday once a month."
"It's doable if you lower your standards and you're a family of 1. I made 45k and went on mini vacations every 3 weeks. Motel 6, spirit airlines, and public transit. $200-250 was all it cost me to fly away for the weekend. Not everything needs to be $800 flights to Cancun with $400/night luxury hotels!"
"I had a knee injury and was limping around everywhere ~14 years old. My parents told me they did not have the money to see the doctor. When I repeated this to my soccer coach he was in shock and pissed. Told me, "Do you know how much money your parents make?" I think he had a strong word with them and my parents took me to the doctors. Found out they were Multi Millionaires and my Dad was a CEO. My meniscus was torn."
Paycheck to Paycheck
"My parents were wealthy, but since they were good ol' Midwestern folks, they also wanted my siblings and me to work early and work hard. I got a job at 14 at a local sandwich shop and had a co-worker who was around the same age. I just assumed that she didn't need to work and was only doing it for the "character building" aspect like I was. I asked her what she was going to do with her first paycheck."
"Assuming it would be something fun, and she told me she was going to give it to her parents because they were really struggling and needed help with the bills. I was shocked. I had never met someone who needed to help their parents with bills at only 14-15. She was a really sweet girl. I hope she and her family are OK."
Free!Student Loans Corona GIF by INTO ACT!ONGiphy
"My friends talk about their student debt. I graduated debt free with my Masters Degree."
Ah to be debt-free, to have health insurance, and to be able to visit Disney World anytime you wish... the luxury of it all. How can I get adopted by some of these people?
We're FineI Am Rich Nene Leakes GIFGiphy
"When the 2008 recession had absolutely no effect on us and we still had tons of music lessons and other expensive hobbies and still went on vacations. Also when my parents bought me a horse. Not a pony, a full sized American Saddlebred (though I was a horseback rider and still was up until I was in college). We still have him too. :)"
"When my dad's friend lost his job and lost his house in a divorce, my did casually went out and bought him a new house, replaced his car and gave him a monthly "salary" for his friend to go and live his life on so he can remember that life can also be amazing. It was also the time I realised my dad (and mum) are freaking incredible. Miss that man. He was one of the good ones to get lucky with money. The man wore the same jeans every day but bought his friend a house."
People Reveal The Things That Are Unnecessarily Expensive | George Takei’s Oh MyyySometimes shelling out the extra cash for better quality is totally worth it. It can cost money to keep replacing cheaper items repeatedly. But some items ar...
"When a kid in my class (who as it happened didn't live that far away from us) bragged the day after Halloween that he and his friends had gone trick-or-treating on our street "where all the rich people live." I had always known we were well-off, but would not have described us as rich because a) we didn't have live-in staff b) our property was not fenced off and c) my parents always drove themselves. I.e., we didn't live like Richie Rich."
I am the boss.
"Dad came home late from work and I had been eagerly waiting for him for a reason I don't remember now. I do remember clearly him coming up the stairs and me asking him why did he take so long, didn't his boss allow him to leave on time? His answer was: What are you talking about? I am the boss. It suddenly hit me that the hundreds of people he had around him all day weren' t exactly his pals."
The DeedHome Luxury GIF by The Pozek GroupGiphy
"Dad owned a financial advisory company. never knew I was rich because since he was so financially literate, he just invested a lot and didn't splurge. When we moved into a new house I accidentally found the paper for the house listing and saw that the house we were moving into was a million dollars."
"When I moved away to go to college. I had always dreamed of escaping suburbia and the nuclear family. I never realized how privileged I was to have fresh paved roads, low noise pollution, street lamps, light police presence, pets, access to nature, double pane windows, and a thousand other perks not appreciated until lost."
"(Also, in elementary school, I went on a field trip to SF. I saw homeless people for the first time in Civic Center Plaza. In my hometown there were no homeless, or if there were they were kept out of sight)." ~ nick1812216
Same city, very different part of town...
"My mother and father were divorced, and so I had 2 very different lifestyles at the same time. During the school year, I lived with my mother. She was self-employed making scrapes compared to others. We lived in a trailer behind my grandmothers house. I often wore the same clothes for several school years. During the summer, I was with my father. Same city, very different part of town."
"Basically the Hollywood of our city. He too was self-employed, but making much much more. I pretty much had everything I needed and then some. But after talking about our cabin with a swimming pool to my other friends, I realized no one had any idea what I was talking about. Most of my friends thought I was basically homeless and couldn't understand why I would suddenly show up well dressed for events." ~ Pitiful-Sherbert-326
"Not quite the same, but my wife, a teacher, had asked me to find a number of our children's toys that had specific characteristics for a couple science experiments at school. I also included some redundant toys in case the primaries didn't work out or got broken. All the kids in her class were amazed her children had so many toys (probably .5 to 1% of their total toy inventory) and were worried our kids would miss them while they were gone. Heart breaking." ~ Reikko35715
2008Dave Chappelle Reaction GIFGiphy
"Dad always told my brothers and I how fortunate we were as we grew up. However, it didn't hit me until I learned that 2008 was a thing 6 years after it happened." ~ ohboythisisawkward
"My parents were always super frugal (we camped instead of hotels on road trips, siblings had to share ice cream cones, rarely ate out at restaurants) but then my parents bought a jet ski, new car, and a boat all within a couple months and I went "wait..."
"Turns out Dad was a VP at a Fortune 500 company, but his emphasis was always on paying for education and experiences and passing down fiscal responsibility rather than being flashy." ~ BurlyNerdGetsTheWorm
until I was homeless...
"When I realized just how outrageously lucky I was. Grew up in a town with people ten times wealthier than we were. Went to a well-known boarding school with sons and daughters of billionaires. It majorly skewed my idea of what "rich" was, despite having multiple houses, boats, cars, and family trips all over the world."
"One side of the family is very old money, the other self-made hoteliers, and my parents both highly intelligent and hard-working successes, but my younger years were spent in a bubble of people where everything was just orders of magnitude grander. I never had the proper perspective until I was homeless." ~ TheAndorran
"When my Dad's health became a concern, he sat me and my siblings down and showed us his will and how to get into the financial accounts should anything happen. None us knew we would each inherit a sum where we wouldn't have to work again, if we didn't want to. This man raised us to go without nothing so he could give us everything. Thanks, Dad." ~ JustCallMeYarr
"My dad was pretty well off when I was a kid. We moved into a three story kinda house kinda mansion in the suburbs right outside Berlin. It was the perfect childhood. I would say many Germans are relatively sparing in what they spend their money on and being flashy isn't as popular in certain communities."
"But my parents indulged in creating a beautiful home and always made sure we had everything we needed (and more). Most of my friends lived in apartments within the city, and looking back, although it wasn't apparent at the time, it's a very different experience."
"There were a handful of other kids that lived in the same suburb. It wasn't until my preteens when we moved to the US that I realized how much that lifestyle impacted my childhood. I went from having my own bedroom and play areas and an entire garden and forest, to living in a one bedroom with four people." ~ poofity-passington
WowHappy Mood GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"When my friends started commenting on how big my house was. or when I realized I wouldn't have to be in student debt. wow." ~ flip-wizard
"I'll play this game. My dad recently sold his company for good money. He worked his way up from bottom to owning. I am in no way set for life on that sale... he is (I don't expect to be). I realised I had a wealthy dad when I sold my first house to move closer to home, he recently sold company and offered to buy out mortgage. So currently my bank is bank of dad. He still expects full money but no interest. I realise how special I am." ~ Jeff_Cunningham
The house, the opulence of a home is the first dead giveaway. The limo is the other. Be rich, have fun with it. I just wish everyone was more humble though and knew how to use their financial freedom for the greater good.
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